Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 26 October 2023

  • Taranaki Wellington
  • 20/10/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 26 October 2023

Pictured - Ben Ellison has got off to a cracking start this season - this beautiful big brown a recent catch from a Ruamahanga River tributary (Credit: Ben Ellison).  

Check The Flow Before Your Go 

Check the flow before you go - That's the gist of it for fishing this weekend. 

Another series of spring fronts is creating pulses of flow through the region's rivers, making forecasting somewhat difficult.

Generally, the weather looks good - it's just a matter of how much rain falls between now and Saturday. 

So make sure you use the links we've provided below to check the live river flows, then plan your outing. 

There will certainly be angling opportunities though. 

Best case is all the main rivers are fishable (at least higher in their catchments); at the least there should be angling available in the smaller streams which are fishing well.

The long weekend saw some epic fishing in parts of the Wellington and Taranaki Fish & Game regions. 

Hopefully you were one of those who got amongst the action. If not, it's a good time to get your new season licence and get out on the water.

Here's the outlook for the weekend:

Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River has plenty of flow but is currently very fishable despite yesterday's rain. The only problem is the gale wind rendering casting near impossible. The blustery conditions are forecast to subside, though, and it looks like a nice weekend in the Hutt Valley with sunny skies. There is a heavy rain watch in force for the Tararua Range through to early tomorrow morning - watch this closely and check flows before you go.           

The Hutt River below Silverstream this morning (Credit: John Miller).

Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are running swollen and have colour but they have dropped considerably from yesterday. Conditions would favour spin angling today, particuarly in the lower reaches where there are trout and kahawai chasing whitebait. Fly fishers should get a look in later today and over the weekend but it will depend on how much more rain falls in the hills.     

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


Click here for live weather updates.

The WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau are quite swollen and tea-coloured after a night of rain, and it still looks very dark up in the Tararua Range this morning. At time of writing, though, there's a clear edge for anglers to fish but the wind is going to be challenging for fly fishing. Check back in tomorrow for flow updates to see how much more rain has fallen. It is likely the Ruamahanga will take some time to clear but the smaller tribs in the catchment should be okay by the time the weekend rolls around.      

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



Click here for live weather updates.  

The Manawatu River is up in the town section but above the gorge there appears to be a clear edge. It would certainly favour spin fishing further up and could be very good after being high for some time. The Oroua and Pohangina are dropping and also look to have a clear edge this morning. The Mangatainoka River is falling rapidly after a brief pulse of rain yesterday and overnight. Being dam controlled, the Mangahoa River is one of the more stable in this part of the region so it could be a good fallback if the other waters are affected with higher flows.                                        

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



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River is looking lovely up at Pukeokahu this morning and even looks fishable, finally, down at Mangaweka (at least for spin anglers). There is more rain forecast for the Central High Country over the next few days so it will be a matter of anglers watching the flows closely and planning their excursions accordingly. Some of the Kawhatau tribs could be worth a walk to see if there are any post-spawning fish still holding.         


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


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

A minor fresh on Wednesday morning and probably another on Friday morning may increase baseflows a little in northern and central ringplain streams. Currently they are dropping back very quickly and what rain is forecast should not significantly impact fishing on the weekend, which looks to be fine and sunny. Slightly elevated flows and a little tannin stain will be good for spin and softbait fishers, with the Manganui and upper Patea rivers, along with the Waingongoro River, likely to fish well. For the fly fisher, the upper reaches of streams should provide good conditions, including pocket water in the deeper runs. Check out the live flow data.

The Upper Waiwhakaio River yesterday afternoon (Credit: Allen Stancliff).


Just like the ringplain rivers, it’s a similar story for the rivers coming off Mount Ruapehu with flows having risen a touch - almost imperceptibly - after Wednesday's rain. Barring some heavy falls with the next fresh, though, they should be fishable over the weekend. The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road has colour again after a pulse of rain last night but the flow graph shows it is falling back to fishable. Just check the river levels over the next 24 hours to to see how much more rain falls.    

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

Have Your Say On The Next Steps For Freshwater

Anglers are urged to make a quick submission on TRC's vision for freshwater 

Taranaki Regional Council (TRC) is seeking community feedback on the vision for each of the six Taranaki Freshwater Management Units (FMU’s) and the environmental outcomes that the Council will be aiming for.

If you value fishing, hunting, camping, swimming, or recreating in the waterways and catchments of Taranaki, please make a quick and easy submission to TRC.

Community feedback from anglers and hunters is vital, as the vision and outcomes will shape how TRC plans to look after freshwater now and into the future.

Submission must be in by October 27.   

Family Trout Fishing Day This Saturday

Grab your fishing gear and your kids or grandkids and come along to Lake Rotomanu in Fitzroy, New Plymouth, on Saturday October 28 for the fourth annual Family Trout Fishing Day.

Taranaki Fish & Game is funding the release of 500 rainbow trout into the lake for the event, which will run from 8am to 1pm in conjunction with the Inglewood Rod, Gun & Recreation Club and Taranaki Hunting & Fishing.

For children under 12 on October 1, head to the Fish & Game website to obtain their free fishing licence. Children 12 and over can register at Taranaki Hunting & Fishing stores in the Valley or Oceanview Parade, New Plymouth (Ph. 06-7579676) and we’ll write them out a permit that allows them to fish at Lake Rotomanu until August 31, 2024.

Permits can be collected on the day from the Rod & Gun Club marquee tent located on the grass near the boat ramp.

Bring what fishing gear you have to the Rod & Gun Club tent and volunteers will assist with gear set-up, lures, bait etc.

Families will then be able to distribute themselves at suitable fishing sites around the lake. If you have a supply of garden worms, they are a great bait for trout and perch.

Fish & Game has 100 spinners to give away to get you going, and Taranaki Hunting & Fishing will have ready-to-go spin fishing sets available for purchase from $40.

There will also be free chocky fish and BBQ sausages available at the tent courtesy of Hynds New Plymouth, so come along and have an enjoyable day with the kids.

Take a Kid Fishing - November 18


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

  • Fly Box Found - One of our anglers has found a fly box just after Opening Weekend on the banks of a tributary of the lower Ruamahanga River. If you think this is yours, please get in touch with the office (link below) and we'll put you in contact with the gentleman who found it.   
  • 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) recently received a 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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