Weekly Fishing Report - 17th January 2019

  • Wellington
  • 17/01/2019
  • Wellington

Weekly Fishing Report - 17th January 2019

Welcome back and what a start with beautiful fishing conditions set for the long weekend ahead! 

Fine sunny skies and rivers falling back to normal from high flows present superb fishing opportunities for lower North Island anglers over anniversary weekend. 

There is still plenty of water in the rivers flowing from the Ruahine watershed and anglers should pick their spot carefully. But elsewhere it's near perfection. 

The long weekend presents an opportunity to head further afield or into the backcountry so we encourage you to make the most of the diverse and wilderness angling on offer in the Wellington Fish & Game region. 

If you're looking for family-friendly angling action over the long weekend, why not make a special trip to check out the lower Ruahamanga fishery - details in our 'Tip of the Week' below. 

Summer angling is finally upon us so please make the most of it!    

Buy your licence online here if you need one.  

Pictured above right: Finn Harding chasing trout and perch on the lower Ruamahanga River - a fantastic family fishery (Credit: Andrew Harding).   

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt17Jan2019 edited

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The Hutt River, along with all the main tribs - the Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakuratahi - are all clearing quickly after Tuesday's rain and fishable at time of writing. The falling flows, tinge of colour and summer conditions this long weekend should see rivers in this part of the region absolutely firing! Keep your ear out for cicadas too - they shouldn't be far off.                   


Kapiti Coast

Kapiti17Jan2019 edited

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All systems are go for Kapiti anglers this anniversary weekend and the stellar run of fishing they've been having is set to continue. The Otaki, the Ohau and Waikanae are all in tip-top shape and drift dives show plenty of large trout around. Get into it! 



Wairarapa17Jan2019 edited

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The Ruamahanga and the larger tribs are falling fast and perfect conditions should coincide with the start of the long weekend. Nothing more to add other than make the most of the extra day off and get into the action! It's going to be a cracker.                              


Manawatu17Jan2019 edited

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The Ruahines have had quite a lot of rain and as a result the rivers are all up. The good news is they are falling fast and, being a long weekend, there's an extra day to allow the flows to return to closer to normal. At time of writing the Manawatu is brownish but appears to have a clear edge - might be fishable for the latter part of anniversary weekend. The Pohangina is also up but is in a fishable state at Piripiri, suggesting the smaller tribs in this part of the region will be good to go by the time the Saturday rolls around.         


Rangitikei17Jan2019 edited edited

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The Rangitikei is chocolate brown and wide this morning, though the river level is dropping quickly. It's a similar story for the Hautapu and Kawhatau but these smaller streams are understandably falling much faster. They still have two days to clear before Saturday so we're going to pick the tribs will be fishable later in the long weekend and that the mainstem Rangitikei is an outside chance if you get higher up in the catchment. Please check the latest flows before your head out.     

Note that we are conducting ongoing compliance in Rangitikei backcountry fishery to enforce important changes that have been brought into force this season. See the Notice Board below for details.

Tip of the Week - ...

There's hot fishing happening down at the lower Ruamahanga at the moment!

Trout - both rainbows and browns - along with perch are in abundance and readily catchable whether you've got a small boat or are fishing from any of the numerous shoreline access points.     

11Wairarapa 15 edited Copy

Finn Harding with a healthy perch from the lower Ruamahanga. Note that you don't need a boat for success as trout and perch are easily caught from the shore (Credit: Andrew Harding) 

Any fly or lure that imitates a baitfish will do the trick. Look to cast these into structure, under or around willows and overhanging banks. 

Real hotspots are where streams or drains flow into the mainstem river, as this is where prey items such as small fish congregate. 

Aside from the ease of access and large amount of fishable water in the lower Ruamahanga, it is also a great family-friendly fishery. Wide banks with no trees to impede back casts and casting mean less time for mum and dad untangling lures from obstructions.

The very high catch also keeps the kids interested for longer.  

Please be aware though that the river is deep in places right to the bank so keep a close eye on the little ones and consider making them wear a life-jacket for added safety.

We have a dedicated access pamphlet for the Ruamahanga River which includes the access points for the lower section. It can be found at the bottom of this web page.  

Places to consider fishing are around the boat club, the barrage gates and cut off. You can also check the WAMS site online for other access points. 

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

Video of the week

Click the screen-shot below to check out Andrew Harding's latest video clip of Wellington region trout fishing awesomeness.   

Vid22Nov2018 edited

We Need Your Eyes On The Water

P1090632 editedWorked recently carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council in Wairarapa turning a meandering braided river into a lifeless channel.  

We interested what you see on the water. Photos of atrocious river bulldozing or bad farming practice... there's no reason for rivers to be treated badly in this day and age, particularly by regional councils which professes to be looking after the environment.

If you encounter any such activity please email the pics and details to us. 


 Click the screen shot below to go to Horizon's website showing the list of available river webcams.

Webcams edited

Notice board

  • Important changes to the regulations for the Rangitikei backcountry fishery come into force at the start of this season - click here for more. 
  • River bulldozing - Click here to see where Greater Wellington Regional Council is ripping your rivers apart. Email Debbie.Kelly@gw.govt.nz to register your complaints about this appalling practice.  

  • Ruamahanga access at Gliding Club (Greytown). Anglers are being directed to the Tilsen Road access.

  • We've just been advised of the flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam which will cause the rivers downstream (including the Rangitikei) to rise: 

    Water Released from the dam Tuesday at 9pm:

    Wednesday 30 January 2019 – 5 hours

    Wednesday 20 February 2019 – 5 hours

    Wednesday 20 March 2019 – 5 hours

    Wednesday 1 May 2019 – 5 hours


 Email Wellington Communications and Field Officer Hamish Carnachan if you'd like any fishing or freshwater-related items posted to this noticeboard.

​*This report was accurate at time of writing - please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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