Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 14 December 2023

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 14/12/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 14 December 2023

Pictured above - A stunning Central High Country brown caught and released by Tim Angeli.   

North And West Are Best  

While a band of rain moving in from the Tasman catches the tail end of the Wellington region on Saturday, central and northern parts, along with Taranaki, escape the weather. 

If you live in the lower part of the Wellington Fish & Game region, today and tomorrow are going to provide the best conditions before heavy rain in the Tararuas impacts the larger river systems. 

Elsewhere, though, conditions look pretty good and should allow ample opportunities to hit the water.

You can see from the regional weather that temperatures are starting to climb as we head into summer proper. 

This is kick-starting the bug life, and anglers are encountering good hatches and rising fish on evenings calm enough for fishing.

If you haven't ventured down to your local river on dusk so far this season, take a look on the next still evening as there are plenty of caddis around with brown beetles still going too. 


Treat yourself to an early present and grab your season licence now - there's no better way to decompress during the busy pre-Christmas rush.    

Here's the outlook for the weekend:

Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River and tributaries - the Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakarutahi - are low and clear this morning. There is heavy rain forecast for the Tararua Range on Saturday, though, which means your best shot at getting a fish in is today or tomorrow. If you're tied up at work, the evening rise has been good and these warm temperatures will help.                              

The Hutt River at Gibbons Street this morning (Credit: Al Markham).

Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are clear with low flows this morning but, as with the Hutt catchment, the rain coming in on Saturday morning is going to ruin the party. Get your fishing fix in today or tomorrow, or consider heading north this weekend where the weather is more favourable.                        

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



Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is looking superb this morning, as are the major tributaries including the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau. Unfortunately that will change with the rain band hitting the Tararua Range Saturday. You may get a fish in early on Saturday before the rain comes through but watch for rising rivers. The Waipoua has been low and is holding a few fish, and given its catchment area may not be as badly affected by the weather.               

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



Click here for live weather updates.  

The ManawatuOroua and Pohangina are running clear this morning. The weather forecast is pretty good for the weekend too, so they should stay that way. With heavy rain forecast for the Tararuas on Saturday, the Mangatainoka and Mangahao rivers may colour up, potentially affecting the Manawatu downstream of the confluences. Otherwise there should be good opportunities for anglers in these parts.                                                

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



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River has colour at Mangaweka but this is just yesterday's flushing flow from Genesis Energy pushing water down the Moawhango River from the dam. Expect the conditions to be settled and clear in the middle reaches for the weekend. Otherwise head up to Mangaohane and Springvale where the river is in superb shape!

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


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

All streams and rivers are trending down towards their summer low flow levels. Algal growth is an issue in the middle and lower reaches of many streams, and fishing in the upper reaches above 250m altitude will be worthwhile. The Waingongoro River really comes into its own as flows decrease and wading becomes easier, and it will be a good river to visit this weekend. Wind, strong west and southwest, has definitely been an issue this week, but this looks to be easing and Saturday will be a good day to be out fishing. The latest live flow data for Ringplain rivers can be found here.

The Waiongana Stream at middle reaches this morning (Credit: Allen Stancliff).



Click here for live weather updates.

It's a similar story to the Ringplain here in the Waimarino district with strong winds expected to back off for the weekend. The Mangawhero is at good fishable flow this morning and along with the and Manganuioteao these rivers are the pick Saturday and Sunday. Warm temperatures in the mid-twenties could really spark the insects into life so make sure you've got a good selection of dries in the fly box.   

The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).

Hunting & Fishing Photo Comp - Win $300 to Spend in Store

Share your trout fishing pics and be in to win! 

Simply 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.

You don't have to reveal your secret spot, but please include the name of the angler(s), photographer's details, and general location in the Wellington-Taranaki Fish & Game region.

Click here to submit you 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.            

Tip of The Week - Read the Water, Find the Fish


If you want to catch more fish, learn how to 'read' water and find out where the trout are likely to be holding.

Click the screenshot above to watch Fish & Game's short instructional, or download our 'Reading Water' brochure here.    

Have Your Say on Waterways In The Horizons Catchment 

Please help us to help protect the waterways and fisheries in the Horizons Regional Council area.    

We've put together a very short tick-box survey here, which takes less than one minute to complete. 

Make sure you have your say if you value trout fishing in the catchment and want to see healthy waterways and sustainable fisheries into the future.    

Whanganui River Strategy - Public Engagement

If you fish and/or recreate in the Whanganui River catchment, we encourage you to get involved and make a submission on this important strategy. 

Following the signing of Ruruku Whakatupua, the Whanganui River Deed of Settlement on August 5, 2014, ratification by Iwi members and the passing of legislation in 2017, a new world-first legal framework was established that recognises the Whanganui River from the mountains to the sea, incorporating its tributaries and all its physical and metaphysical elements, as an indivisible and living whole – Te Awa Tupua.

The passing of the legislation was the culmination of over a century’s effort by Whanganui Iwi to protect and provide for their special relationship with the Whanganui River and Te Awa Tupua is now recognised as a legal person.

The settlement legislation also recognises a set of four intrinsic values, Tupua te Kawa, which represent the essence of Te Awa Tupua. Any decisions affecting the Whanganui River must now recognise and provide for both the legal status of Te Awa Tupua and Tupua Te Kawa.

Since its first meeting on May 17, 2019, a collaborative strategy group (Te Kōpuka) which includes Iwi, local authorities, central government agencies and farming, tourism, recreation and environmental interests, including Fish & Game, have been working to prepare a strategy document, Te Heke Ngahuru, which will identify issues relating to the environmental, social, cultural and economic health and wellbeing of Te Awa Tupua and provide strategies and recommended actions for addressing those issues.

Te Heke Ngahuru aims to unite all the communities of Te Awa Tupua as one, working together for the health and wellbeing of the river.

The draft strategy was launched in mid-September 2023 and public submissions are open until March 31, 2024.

You can read the Te Heke Ngahuru strategy here and make a submissions via that website or by email.  

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.

The weekly activity schedule can be found here.

Notice Board

  • Moawhango River Flushing Flow dates for 2024 have been confirmed:

    • 23-24 Jan, 21:00-02:00
    • 13-14 Feb, 21:00-02:00
    • 12-13 Mar, 21:00-02:00
    • 30-01 Apr, 21:00-02:00
  • The algal bloom at Lake Ngangana, near Waitara, has now subsided and open to fishing for trout and perch.
  • 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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