Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 12 October 2023

  • Wellington
  • 9/10/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 12 October 2023

Pictured - Fish & Game's Jacob Morison with a stunning lower North Island backcountry rainbow.  

Spring Angling Conditions Prevail 

Typical spring weather conditions will present a few challenges for anglers this weekend but there are still plenty of opportunities.

It is wind, not rain, that we'll have to compete with, although the Taranaki Ringplain, Waimarino and the northern part of the Wellington region should dodge the worst it.

For those who missed our pertinent tips on how to deal with the wind in the last Lower North Lowdown report, you can check it out here.

Meanwhile, despite forecast blustery conditions across the lower part of the North Island, the rivers are in stunning shape right throughout the Taranaki and Wellington Fish & Game regions.

We're getting reports of excellent fish too, with anglers excited about the exceptional condition of the trout this season. 

Don't miss out on the action - get your new season licence now and get into it this weekend.

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

There's a bit of northerly bluster today, with sun overhead, but the Hutt River is clear and perfect for sight fishing. The Akatarawa, Pakarutahi and Whakatikei are all looking perfect and holding good numbers of fish - the best we've seen in years. These smaller streams will provide more shelter from the wind than the mainstem Hutt this weekend.     

The Hutt River at Avalon this morning. Credit: John Miller.


Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki have again had small freshes go through mid-week. At time of writing they are carrying extra flow but are all perfectly clear and set up well for the weekend. The Coast is forecast to get some gusty nor-westerlies Saturday and Sunday, so if flinging flies is out of the question there's always the option of throwing spinners around the lower reaches to target trout chasing whitebait.   

The Otaki River at SH1 last night. Credit: Phil Teal.



Click here for live weather updates.

The WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau are an absolute picture on a stunning Wairarapa day today. They are carrying good spring flows but are clean and clear. The Ruamahanga has a little colour still bleeding in from the eastern tribs but is otherwise fishable at long last. Wind over the weekend could create a few headaches for fly fishers so why not consider throwing some spinners around the lower reaches for kahawai and trout chasing whitebait.     

The Waiohine River at SH2 this morning. Credit: Hamish Carnachan.



Click here for live weather updates.  

The Manawatu River is big and brown below the gorge. However, upstream there is a clear edge and it could be good for spin anglers as we head into the weekend. While the Oroua appears to be clearing (based on the webcam image at Almadale), unfortunately the same can't be said for the Pohangina. Some anglers who followed our advice and targeted the smaller streams out east reported good fishing, and the lower Mangatainoka is also reportedly holding good numbers - presumably fish that have moved up out of the dirty flow in the Manawatu.                                    

The Manawatu River at Weber Road this morning. Credit: Horizons



Click here for live weather updates.

Once again the Rangitikei River is heaving at Mangaweka but quite fishable higher up around Pukeokahu. The Mangaohane and Springvale reaches are going to be the best bet this weekend, but please check flows before making the trek out that way. The Kawhatau and Whakaurekou are also struggling to clear sediment - once we get an extended period of dry weather they should fire though.          

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


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

All rivers and streams are running clear and in great shape for angling. Conditions in the small and medium streams will favour the flyfisher sight-fishing with #14-16 weighted nymphs. It’s looking like a fast-moving front will come through Saturday afternoon, so Saturday morning and Sunday after the rugby will be good times to get out on the water. Check out the live flow data to help you plan your weekend outing.

Hangatahua (Stony) River at Okato this morning. Credit: Allen Stancliff.



The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road is looking good at time of writing with a hint of colour but it is dropping nicely. River flows are continuing to trend downward across the Wamarino and the Manganuioteao in particular will be well worth a visit this weekend. Click here for landowner details and download the map showing the various property boundaries along the middle reaches of the river. The Manganuioteao at Ruatiti Domain will likely fish best with spinners and softbaits, although a Tongariro-style two nymph rig will also be worth a try

The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road this morning. Credit: Horizons.


Video Of The Week – Dry Fly Passion

Most anglers who chase and hunt trout with a fly rod realise that rising trout sipping bugs off of the surface is a special event.

While there are many different ways to throw dry flies at these trout, the ability of the angler to take a patient and highly intentional and observational approach often supports success.

This type of methodical approach is also part of the fun as we are truly hunting trout.

Although set in North America, the Dry Fly Process teaser video captures this "process" and the passion.... Oh, and it's also a collaboration with our mates from Epic rods in good ol' NZ.

Click the screen shot above to watch.      


Obituary - Dave Dannefaerd

Dave Dannefaerd, a stalwart of the Taranaki Acclimatisation Society, friend of Fish & Game, and recognised as one of the region's first effective environmentalists, died at his home in New Plymouth this week aged 84.

Click here to read a fitting tribute to one of the men who kick-started river restoration in Taranaki.       


Kids Fishing Event Next Weekend

The Capital Trout Centre is holding a fishing day for kids aged 2 to 11 years old on Sunday, October 15.

The event will run from 9:00am to 3:30pm at the centre – Landfill Road, Owhiro Bay, Wellington.

All gear is provided but kids need a Capital Trout Centre licence/registration form.

These can be obtained from Capital Fishing, 49 Ghuznee Street or Hutt Valley Hunting & Fishing, 8 Te Puni Street, Petone.

The Capital Trout Centre is operated entirely by volunteers from the Wellington Fly Fishers Club and is funded by donations.

Your donations are appreciated. 


Plan Your Angling Adventure

Click the map below and visit the one-stop shop for all your angling access information, which combines Wellington and Taranaki fishing access points.


If you notice any access points that need updating, please let us know

Weekly River Bulldozing Schedule 

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

The weekly activity schedule can be found here.


Notice Board

  • Fly Box Found - One of our anglers has found a fly box on the banks of a tributary of the lower Ruamahanga River. If you think this is your, please get in touch with the office (link below) and we'll put you in contact with the gentleman who found it. See, there are honest anglers out there!   
  • Baring Head carpark and track closure - Through October and November contractors will start constructing firebreaks in the Wainuiomata River Valley. This may result in temporary closure to carparks and tracks impacting those using the lower river reaches. Please contact Greater Wellington Regional Council for more details.     
  • Lake Mangamahoe near New Plymouth (fly fishing only) has just received a new release of hatchery rainbows and there are also a few nice browns cruising the lake margins.
  • Lake Ngangana at Waitara is temporarily closed to fishing owing to an algal bloom. We'll keep you updated about conditions and when it opens again.
  • Lake Namunamu will be closed to public access from early November 2023 for logging operations. Access to the lake is likely to be restricted for at least three years, however, Earnslaw-One has promised to let us know if there are opportunities to access the lake during breaks in harvest.

 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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