Lower North Lowdown - 4 April 2024

  • Wellington Taranaki
  • 4/04/2024

Lower North Lowdown - 4 April 2024

Signing Off For The Season 

This is our last report for the season and we're happy to be signing off with another great forecast for anglers!    

A south-west to southerly flow will push a light rain band across the lower North Island and Taranaki region overnight Thursday. 

There isn't too much in it, however, and given the low rivers at the moment we expect there'll be little to no impact on the fishing for the weekend.

From Friday onwards into next week it's sunny skies and calm conditions - a continuation of the amazing fishing weather we've been blessed with this season!   

Pictured above: Camlo Carter with a golden Wairarapa brownie.  

With cooler temperatures and shorter days, now is the time to target fish heading into the smaller spawning streams before they close at the end of the month.

There's still plenty of quality fishing in the weeks ahead but do make sure you maximise your investment in a licence and get out over the winter months too. 

Check out our tips below on some of the water to target once the main season is over. 

We hope you've had a great season - thanks for reading the Lower North Island and we look forward to seeing you back next season.                   

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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 are low at time of writing though they may come up a little overnight. Any minor fresh should quickly subside as the front makes way for some lovely weather and fishing conditions over weekend and into next week too. The cooler southerly and touch of extra flow should trigger fish to run now so look to the smaller streams and confluence areas of the Hutt.         

The Hutt River at Melling 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 at good fishable flows this morning. There is the prospect of some showers in the hills in the upper catchment today and overnight but rivers should still be fishable and quickly return to normal flows with fine weather forecast into next week.    

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



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

There's a band of cloud hanging over the Tararua Range this morning but it's fine on the plains. Expect the Ruamahanga and western tributaries - the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - to hold a little extra flow tomorrow but we're confident they should be back to fishable come Saturday. There's a lovely forecast for the weekend ahead so get out and make the most of it, and use the opportunity to look around the spawning streams before they close at the end of the month.   

The Ruamahanga River at Twin Bridges 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 low and clear this morning. There may be a brief pulse of extra flow but there's not a huge amount of rain forecast so they should quickly drop back to normal. Some decent schools of fish have been reported in the Mangahao which suggests spawning runs from the mainstem Manawatu River have begun. Some of the smaller streams in this part of the region should see more run trout showing up too.   

The Manawatu River at Teachers College this morning. Credit: Horizons.



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

The Rangitikei and Hautapu are low and clear and looking very fishable at time of writing this morning. The flow chart is showing an expected minor increase in flow for the mainstem river overnight, however, it looks like it will remain at a fishable level for the weekend. Napier Freshwater Angling Club members had a tough trip to the Rangitikei a few weeks ago but after our recent drift dives around the Springvale and Mangaohane areas we can assure you the river is in superb shape and there's plenty of very well conditioned fish about.         

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.

It’s coming up 30 days since the last significant fresh and all streams and rivers remain at low flow. While there is some rain forecast for Thursday evening it may not be much and will be well gone by the weekend. With cool overnight temperatures, trout are feeding well and the low flows mean they’re very visible in the pools and deeper runs. The riffles and fast water at the heads of pools will also be worth a drift with small lacewing (passion vine hopper) imitations and hare and copper nymphs. Larger terrestrials, such as cicada and grasshopper will also be worth a try. The latest live flow data for Taranaki Ringplain rivers can be found here

The Waiwhakaiho River at Meeting of the Waters this morning. Credit: Allen Stancliff.



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

All rivers are at low flow and with fine weather forecast for the weekend it’s a great time to fish the Mangawhero and Manganuioteao rivers. Ruatiti Domain provides good access to the Manganuioteao, or you can download the access map from the Fish & Game website to get the details of upstream landowners. Check out the live flow for the Mangawhero River.   

The Mangawhero River at SH4 yesterday. Credit: Allen Stancliff.


Winter Angling Special - Get A Mate Out On The Water

Lake Mangamahoe is just one of many winter angling options available. Credit: Allen Stancliff. 

It's April so we're officially into the 'Winter' angling season which sees a significant price reduction for fishing licences.

If you've got friend or family member who has wanted to give trout fishing a go, the Adult Winter Angling Licence is just $92 - allowing them to fish from April all the way through to the end of September, it really is exceptional value.

Although some of the smaller spawning streams close at the end of April, there are still plenty of quality angling options available over winter.

Here are some of our top picks:


  • Manganuioteao River - open all year downstream of Ruatiti Road Bridge.
  • Lake Mangamahoe - open all year excluding the Waiwhakaiho inlet and Mangamahoe Stream.
  • Hangatahua (Stony) River - open all year.
  • Mangawhero (pictured above) - open all year downstream of Raetihi-Ohakune Road Bridge.


  • Hutt River - open all year.
  • Mangahao River - open all year downstream of Marima Reserve Bridge.
  • Rangitkei River - open all year downstream of Mangaohane Bridge.
  • Ruamahanga River - open all year downstream of SH2 Bridge.

There's heaps of prime water available to fish this winter in both the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions. Check out the regulations guide booklet to find fishing near you.  


Hunting & Fishing Photo Competition - Winner for 2023-24!

Congratulations to Mel Mckinnon, winner of our photo competition for the 2023-24 season, with her stunning Waimarino region rainbow!

Mel wins a $300 voucher to spend in store at Wairarapa Hunting & Fishing.

Thanks to Greg and the team at Hunting & Fishing for supporting the competition again this year.    


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.         


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.

*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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