Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 23 November 2023

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 22/11/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 23 November 2023

Pictured - Ben Ellison with one of several nice trout taken on the Manawatu River recently (Credit: Ben Ellison).  

Brief Southerly Then Back Into The Action  

Fishing conditions across the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions have been stunning for those lucky enough to get out over the last few days.

There's a brief southerly forecast to push through Friday and into Saturday, which will bring a pulse of rain and even snow for Ruapehu down to 1000m.

While the temperamental spring weather seems a little reluctant to budge it can't last much longer.

Anglers can take heart from the fact that, though a little frustrating, the frequent fronts will set the rivers up well for the coming long, hot summer.   

Meanwhile, the weather is set to subside on Saturday afternoon, so choose your spot carefully and there's every chance some of the smaller tributary streams will be fishable come Sunday.

Grab your season licence now and get set to hit the water. 

Here's the outlook for the weekend:

Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River and tribs - the Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakarutahi - are looking great this morning with high spring flows but clear water. There will be a brief pulse of higher flow pushing through on Friday and Saturday, but the smaller waterways should be fishable on Sunday, albeit with a bit of 'tea' colour.                        

The Hutt River at Silverstream yesterday evening (Credit: Al Markham).


Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are running clean and clear under sunny skies this morning. Only showers are forecast for the weekend but it's the rain that falls in the hills which will make the difference, so check the flows before heading out. While the whitebait season is over, good runs are still exciting the fish in the lower reaches of the Otaki according to reports from locals.                

The Otaki River at SH1 yesterday evening (Credit: Phil Teal).



Click here for live weather updates.

Wairarapa based anglers will want to hit the Ruamahanga and main tributaries - the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - today before the southerly and rain arrives tomorrow. The Waipoua River, in Masterton, has been looking great and could be worth a try Sunday if the flow has dropped out. Fish often tuck into the lower reaches and the confluence with the Ruamahanga during a fresh.              

The Waiohine River yesterday evening (Credit: Ben Ellison).



Click here for live weather updates.  

The ManawatuOroua and Pohangina are running high and coloured up after rain earlier in the week. Unfortunately, the weather coming through tomorrow won't help much. The Mangahoa is an outside chance for Sunday, otherwise remember there are still plenty of fish in the Hokowhitu Lagoon and Marton (Tutaenui) Reservoir after our recent releases.                                              

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



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River has been fishing exceptionally well in the accessible reaches above the Whakaurekou River, which is responsible for the frequently dirty water downstream. The Mangaohane and Springvale access points take a bit of getting to but are well worth the drive. Heavy rain in the Kaimanawa Range will render the river out of action this weekend but be sure to get onto these mid/upper reaches when flows subside. 

The Rangitikei River at Mangaohane yesterday (Credit: Horizons).


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

The Taranaki Ringplain received a significant amount of rain recently, but thankfully most of it was at low altitude and streams had only moderate freshes. All rivers are now trending back towards their low flows and are fishable, except the lower Patea River downstream of the dam. There is some rain forecast for this weekend but there will still be plenty of sheltered places to go for a fish. The latest live flow data for Ringplain rivers be found here.

The Mangaoraka Stream yesterday evening (Credit: Allen Stancliff).



Click here for live weather updates.

Waimarino/Ruapehu rivers and streams had only a minor fresh last weekend and flows are now back to normal. You can check out river flows for the Mangawhero by clicking the highlighted river link. The weather forecast is not looking too bad for the weekend, so may well be worth a visit and remember that the waterways at higher altitude clear faster after freshes than those down country with more extensive catchments.

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


'Rewild' Yourself, Your Friends and Your Family

Want to find out what our "Re-Wild" campaign is all about?

Click the screenshot above to watch our short video and learn how you can take part, enter some awesome competitions we're running, and generally get involved by visiting the website here.    

 We've also got a brief information brochure here which you can download and share with friends and family.


Tip of The Week - Put-And-Take Fisheries Well Worth A Shot

Fish & Game's "Trout Truck" releasing rainbows into the Marton (Tutaenui) Reservoir last week (Credit: Matt Kavermann).

Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game have both recently made several trout releases into various still water lakes and reservoirs for family and kids' fishing events.

With the weather affecting the rivers in some parts of both regions over spring, these make good fallback options for weekend angling as there are still plenty of trout left swimming around.

In their own right, even when the weather gods are smiling, these fisheries are great places to take kids or novice anglers as they are safe and offer good chances of successes.  

Conditions look marginal in the Manawatu rivers this weekend so Hokowhitu Lagoon and Marton (Tuatenui) Reservoir are well worth a look, and the fish will certainly enjoy the cool southerly and be feeding actively.   

Taranaki anglers can get amongst some recently released trout at Lake Rotomanu and Lake Mangamahoe (fly fishing only). 

And Lake Ngangana, near Waitara, is back open again after being closed due to an algal bloom, offering another still water option for trout and perch.   


Stratford Kids Trout Fishing Day – Get In Quick To Secure A Spot 

The booking sheet is starting to fill for the 26th annual Stratford Kids’ Trout Fishing Day being held on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

Give the Stratford i-Site a call on 0800-765-6708 to book a fishing time for your kids or grandkids.

The event involves the release of 300 rainbow trout into the scout den pool in the Patea River within King Edward Park, in the heart of Stratford.

Children will be able to fish from 8am until 1pm with help from Stratford Fishing Club members and volunteers. All fishing gear is supplied, but if you have a supply of worms they will be much appreciated.


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 Flushing Flow dates for 2024 have been confirmed:

    • 12-13 Dec, 21:00-06:00
    • 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


  • Deer culling operations in the Rangitikei Remote Experience Zone - The Sika Foundation will be undertaking another series of aerial deer operations in this area, including thermal assisted aerial hind focused management, for the last two weeks of November 2023. For more information, check out the foundation's latest Facebook post.

  • Baring Head carpark and track closure - Through 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.   
  • 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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