Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 9 November 2023

  • Wellington Taranaki
  • 9/11/2023

Lower North Lowdown Weekly Fishing Report - 9 November 2023

Pictured - Happy anglers at last weekend's Lake Rotomanu Family Trout Fishing Day (Credit: Allen Stancliff).  

Cracker Weekend Weather On The Cards  

We couldn't ask for a better spring weekend to head out fishing!

With a big high parked right over the entire country, sunny skies are forecast through to next week.

The rivers received a fresh on Monday/Tuesday, but the extra flow should have cleared by Saturday, making for perfect timing. 

And the dusting of snow Ruapehu and Taranaki received overnight Tuesday will really have invigorated the trout in those catchments - anglers would be wise to wear waders this weekend though as the water will be cold!      

As well as some great weather for exploring the regions' rivers and lakes, we've got a number of fishing events over the coming weeks. 

They kick off with the Manawatu Family Fishing Weekend at Hokowhitu Lagoon, Palmy, on Saturday. See details below for other events in the Wellington and Taranaki regions.     

If you haven't got your season licence yet, snap to it and make the most of the beautiful conditions. 

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and Tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River is falling back nicely after a short pulse of rain on Tuesday. It has a hint of colour today but is still very fishable for fly anglers; with the extra flow spin fisher might hold the advantage though. Expect normal spring flows by Saturday. With fine conditions and warmer temps it could be worth looking for a rise in the evenings too - brown beetles are starting and twilight is a great time to dupe the wily Hutt browns.                   


Hutt River at Trentham this morning. (Credit: Al Markham)


Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

Lovely weather once again on the Kapiti Coast this morning. The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are all running beautifully clear with slightly higher spring flows. The forecast for the weekend is stunning so be sure to maximize on these great conditions.             

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



Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga has considerably more volume this morning at time of writing but is still a beautiful clear emerald green. The WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau are similar, and with the forecast we have at the moment it could be a great weekend to explore up into the headwaters which should be fishing superbly.           

The Ruamahanga River at 'The Cliffs' this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).



Click here for live weather updates.  

Same story as last week - the Manawatu has a clear edge above the gorge but downstream it is badly affected by silt from the Pohangina. The upper reaches could be fishable by Saturday. Surprisingly, the Oroua looks to be clearing nicely and could finally be worth an explore if the sediment keeps dropping out over today and tomorrow. The Mangatainoka and Mangahoa are looking great - sitting at the lowest flows they've had for a month.                                            

The Oroua River at Almadale this morning (Credit: Horizons).



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River is carrying a little colour at Pukeokahu this morning but is still quite fishable in these middle/upper reaches - this will only improve into the weekend with fine weather all the way through to next week. At Mangaweka, however, it is still too murky. The Hautapu River has been high but it's falling quickly and could be worth a look on Sunday. 

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


Taranaki Ringplain

Click here for live weather updates

After a minor pulse in flow early on Wednesday morning, all rivers and streams are receding and will be back to normal by the weekend. The weather forecast is looking good both days, so it's a great time to get out fishing. The lack of significant freshes since mid-October means that streambed algae is accumulating in the lower reaches of some waterways and a brown beetle imitation or lightly weighed nymph cast to sighted fish or drifted down foam lines will be the way to go there. The middle and upper reaches are looking pretty good. Water temperatures remain favourable, with a dusting of fresh snow on Taranaki Maunga on Wednesday morning, and trout should be on the feed. Check out the latest live flow data for Ringplan rivers.

Patea River at Stratford this morning (Credit: Allen Stancliff).



Click here for live weather updates.

Waimarino streams and rivers had a decent fresh overnight on Tuesday but flows are already on the way down and everything should be fishable by the weekend. Like Taranaki, Mount Ruapehu received a dusting of fresh snow overnight Wednesday, which means wet wading may be a little cool over the weekend but no doubt the fish will be enjoying it and will be on the bite. The Mangawhero River at Pakihi Road has colour but is dropping fast and should be fishable come Saturday.     

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


'Rewild' Campaign Launched

Fish & Game NZ chief executive Corina Jordan and Dame Lynda Topp at the campaign launch this week. 

Earlier this week we launched our "Rewild' campaign - an awareness initiative designed to get Kiwis back into nature to experience freshwater fishing and hunting.

The campaign is set to promote the benefits of these outdoor activities, including our work around environmental stewardship and conservation, food-gathering and improving mental health and wellbeing.

Please help spread the word by sharing the campaign and our message with friends and family.   


Manawatu Family Fishing Event - This Weekend!

Pack a picnic, grab your fishing rod and licence and bring the family down to the annual Manawatu Family Fishing Weekend at the Hokowhitu Lagoon this weekend.

Around 750 rainbow trout will be liberated into the Lagoon, Palmerston North, so the chances of success are very high. There are also 50 tagged trout amongst those being released and prizes if you catch one of them.

Licences are free for under-12s. Go online or see the team at Manawatu Hunting & Fishing.

Manawatu Hunting & Fishing’s expert staff, along with members of the Manawatu Freshwater Anglers Club and Wellington Fish & Game, will be on site to help out over the weekend.

Don't miss this great family friendly opportunity!

A big shout out to New Zealand Community Trust and Pub Charity for making this event a reality for our families again this year!

For more information about the event - click here


Otaki Take A Kid Fishing - November 18


Stratford Kids Trout Fishing Day – December 2 

Corrin and Adam Jansma inspect their catch from the scout den pool

The 26th annual Stratford kids’ trout fishing day is being held this year on Saturday, December 2, 2023.

The event involves the release of 300 large 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.

Parents and caregivers can book a 15-minute time slot for their kids by visiting the Stratford i-Site in Miranda Street, Stratford, or by ringing them on 0800 765 6708.

The beauty of this release is that the trout remain in the vicinity for several months, complementing the Patea River’s resident brown trout population and providing great fishing for novice and expert anglers alike.

Lake Rotomanu Family Trout Fishing Day

Keen young anglers with a nice perch caught at the family fishing event (Credit: Allen Stancliff) 

More than 100 kids and plus their parents/caregivers turned up to the Lake Rotomanu family trout fishing day on Saturday, October 28.

Around 500 rainbow trout from Eastern Fish & Game’s Ngongotaha hatchery were released for the event, with two trophy-sized fish among them.

While budding young anglers had a great time fishing, there were not great numbers of fish caught so there are still plenty of trout left in the lake.

Early morning or evenings seem to be the most productive times to target them.

The two trophy trout (5kg+) were not caught on the day so there's further enticement to head back and have a crack!

The fishing day was run in conjunction with the Inglewood Rod, Gun & Recreation Club and Taranaki Hunting & Fishing, with Hynds Pipe Systems kindly providing their BBQ trailer. 

Taranaki Regional Council environment officer Abby Lagula was also on hand to provide information on freshwater biosecurity, including about the invasive gold clam.

We very much appreciate everyone’s contributions, which saw families out there enjoying some quality time together in the outdoors.


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. 
  • 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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