Lower North Lowdown - 28 March 2024

  • 28/03/2024

Lower North Lowdown - 28 March 2024

Long Weekend to Lap Up Awesome Angling  

There's nothing sweeter than a four-day weekend to hit the water and get into what has been some of the best fishing we've had in years in the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions!

Now that we're close to spawning season, anglers can expect the angling action to get even hotter too.

As well as being in prime condition at this time of year, trout get very territorial and this can turn the advantage to the angler as they strike aggressively at lures and flies. Arguably it's the most exciting time to be on the water!

While the weather forecast for Easter has southeasterly winds on Saturday and Sunday, it looks like there won’t be much rain so rivers and streams will remain at low flow.

Pictured above: Max Van Son with a big bar of lower North Island gold.  

Hot off the press: Drift dives late last week showed excellent numbers of fish in superb condition around Springvale and Mangaohane on the Rangitikei River.

Along with the Ruamahanga, the Rangitikei has been one of the standout Wellington Fish & Game region rivers this year so, with a long weekend ahead and a reasonable weather forecast, there's ample opportunity for lower North Island anglers to get amongst it.                   

Buy your fishing licence online

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and Tributaries

Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Hutt Valley.

The Hutt and Akatarawa both had a small spike in flow overnight after rain in the Tararua Range but they are quickly falling and will be back to normal flows in time for Easter weekend. The fresh could get some fish starting to move so the timing is spot on for anglers and provides a great opportunity to explore some of the smaller spawning streams before they close at the end of April. Check out our guide on 'How To Fish the Hutt River' here.         

The Hutt River at Totara Park this morning. Credit Al Markham.

Kapiti Coast

Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Kapiti Coast.

The Waikanae, Ohau and Otaki are all up a little after last night's rain in the ranges and they're carrying a hint of colour too. This should clear by tomorrow and all rivers will be in great shape for the long weekend. Recent drift dives revealed some excellent fish in the Ohau and it appears to have received low pressure this season so it could be good for an explore over Easter if you haven't fished it yet.    

The Otaki River at SH1 this morning. Credit: Phil Teal.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Wairarapa region. 

The Ruamahanga is up slightly at time of writing but falling quickly now the rain has moved off the Tararuas. It is a similar story for the major tributaries flowing off the ranges - the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - but they should all be good to go by Good Friday. With nothing more than occasional showers forecast for Easter, the fine run of angling in Wairarapa looks set to continue.   

The Waipoua River in Masterton this morning. Credit Hamish Carnachan.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Manawatu region.

The Manawatu and its tributaries - the OrouaPohangina and Mangatainoka - are pushing slightly extra flow after the rain from last night but it has barely affected fishability. The Mangahao hasn't registered any of the weather so all rivers in the region should be firing over the long weekend with a good forecast all the way through and into Easter Monday.   

The Pohangina River at Mais Reach this morning. Credit: Horizons.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Rangitikei region.

Despite the rain on Wednesday the Rangitikei appears low and clear in the middle and upper reaches... and looks very, very fishy. The Hautapu started to climb about midday yesterday but seems to have peaked - it should fall away quickly now and will be fishable by Saturday, if not tomorrow, Good Friday. All up there's plenty of quality angling to be had in the Central High Country this long weekend.    

The Rangitikei River at Mangaweka this morning. Credit: Horizons.


Taranaki Ringplain

Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Ringplain region.

Many angling reaches on the Ringplain are entrenched with good riparian vegetation, so it will be easy to tuck in out of the forecast wind and still get some enjoyable fishing. Streams on the southern and western sides of Taranaki Maunga are also less affected by the southeasterly. The Hangatahua (Stony) River at Okato is clearing but there is still plenty of sand in the pools and it seems there is some ongoing instability in the Pyramid Stream headwater tributary which may bring additional material into the river mainstem at any time. The latest live flow data for Taranaki Ringplain rivers can be found here

The Stony River at current flow but it is carry colour. Credit: Allen Stancliff.



Click the weather icon above for live updates and forecasts for the Waimarino region.

The Easter weather forecast is looking pretty good and with rivers remaining at low flow there will be plenty of angling opportunities.
The Mangawhero River along the Parapara Highway (SH4) was in great condition this week, with water clarity at its best and plenty of fishable water for both fly and spin anglers. Check out the live flow for the Mangawhero River.   

The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road. Credit: Hamish Carnachan.


Fish Liberations into Sattlers Dam

Local Fish & Game ranger Chris Bright releases trout into Sattlers Dam (Credit: Allen Stancliff)

Thanks to the generosity of DOC’s Tongariro National Trout Centre, a release of good-sized rainbow trout has been made into Sattler’s Dam, west of Raetihi, to provide fishing for kids and families over Easter and the school holidays.

To access Sattler’s Dam, head west from Raetihi along the Pipiriki-Raetihi Road before turning right into Mangaeturoa North Road.

This winding and narrow metalled road is used by loaded logging trucks so please drive slowly with lights on, keep left and expect oncoming traffic.

In recent years there has been issues with poaching at the dam, so if you see anything untoward please contact Fish & Game on 0272639152.

For further information on fishing at Sattlers Dam click here


Hutt River Works at Melling Under Way

Work on the stopbank at Mill Street has started. The upgraded stopbank will be mostly in the same location as the existing stopbank but will be approximately 1.5m higher. 

The stopbank will provide flood protection during the subsequent construction of the new bridges as part of the wider Riverlink project. 

There will be disruption to angler access for the duration of the works but there's still plenty of fishable water and world-class angling upstream of the site.

For more information about the project, click here.     


Angler Wellbeing Survey 

A big thanks to all anglers who have already completed our online angler wellbeing and mental health survey!

For those anglers who have not yet participated, you can still participate, as we will offer it for another two weeks.

Click here to participate in the online survey. 

The wellbeing survey will keep your personal details confidential i.e, your answers will be anonymous. 

All up, the overall time commitment will be about 20 minutes and as an incentive you will have the opportunity to enter the draw to win 1 of 5 $100-vouchers of your choice.


Hunting & Fishing Photo Competition - Win $300 To Spend in Store

Sarah Carson sent in this lovely pic of Geoff Anderson (her dad) and son, Alby, on their first fishing trip together at the Manganuioteao River. 

Send in your favourite fishing photos from this season and you could be in to win a $300 voucher to spend in store at Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing.

We won't blow your secret spot, just include the name of the angler(s), photographer's details, and general location in the Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game region.

Click here to submit your entry.    

You can send us as many fishing photos as you like. By submitting images to enter the competition you acknowledge that Wellington Fish & Game can publish and use the photos for publicity material.

Entries must be in by 5pm Tuesday, April 2, 2024. The winner will be announced in the Lower North Lowdown report on Thursday, April 4, 2024.    


GWRC Weekly River Bulldozing Schedule

Don't get an unwelcome surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing impacting your day on the river.

For information on the weekly activity schedule, click here to see where and when they'll be working.


Notice Board

  • Moawhango River Flushing Flow dates for 2024 have been confirmed:
    • 30-01 Apr, 21:00-02:00.

If you have any information you'd like to have considered for addition to the notice board, please get in touch with us.

*This report was accurate at time of writing. For your safety please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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