Weekly Fishing Report - 20th December 2018

  • Wellington
  • 20/12/2018
  • Wellington

Weekly Fishing Report -  20th December 2018

It's so close to Christmas we're going to be optimistic about the fishing despite the niggly showers that persist!   

Most people will be finishing work tomorrow and looking for a chance to flick a fly or cast a lure over the weekend to avoid shopping mall mayhem. 

Well, the news isn't all bad. The only noticeable rain is forecast to go through the region early Saturday morning, and by accounts it looks likely to pass quickly.

On that basis we'll bet on the rivers - at least the smaller ones - presenting some angling opportunity over the weekend.

Please be sure to check the latest flows before you head off, however, as the weather predictions are changing frequently.      

Note that from next week through to mid-January we'll be running abridged Weekly Fishing Reports with no commentary but all the links to weather and flows will be live. 

We hope you have a great Christmas and a holiday with plenty of time spent on the water.

Buy your licence online here if you still need one.

Pictured above right: Wellington backcountry angling at its best (Credit: Andrew Harding).   

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt20Dec2018 edited2

Click the weather icons above to update.

The Hutt River is well up and though it's falling quickly there's a lot of flood flow to clear before the weekend. Anglers' best will be the smaller tribs like the Akatarawa, Whakatikei, Pakuratahi and Mangaroa. Watch for heavy showers later on Sunday.                   


Kapiti Coast

Kapiti20Dec2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

The Otaki, the Ohau and Waikanae are all carrying heavy flows following the rain. Like the Hutt they're dropping quickly but the smaller rivers, such as the Waikanae, are going to be in a more fishable state faster. 



Wairarapa20Dec2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

The Ruamahanga is big and brown at time of writing and still climbing down the bottom of the catchment. The main tribs - the Tauherenikau, the Waiohine and the Waingawa - are well up but falling; whether there'll clear for the weekend is sketchy. The small streams such as the Waipoua and Kopuaranga have barely register any rain though.                           


Manawatu20Dec2018 editedClick the weather icons above to update.

The Ruahine Range clearly hasn't had the rain that's fallen in the south of the region because the Manawatu is looking a little coloured but fishable at time of writing, even in Palmy. The Pohangina looks superb at Piripiri and the Orua looks to be at fishable flows too. The Mangatainoka is carrying a lot of water and is marginal for the weekend.  


Rangitikei20Dec2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

The Rangitikei is carrying a tiny amount of colour at Mangaweka but is looking better than it has in weeks in this stretch; higher up it is crystal clear and looking perfect. Keep an eye on the short front coming across from the Tasman early Saturday but chances are it should still be okay. Just check the flows before you hit the road.

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 - Small Stream Secrets

A repeat of last week's tip but it still stands given the forecast...

Anglers in the Wellington Fish & Game region will know that, given we have no notable lake fisheries, our options for fishing when the main rivers are running high in spring or after rain are somewhat limited.

After a weather event the tiny feeder streams, which have much smaller catchments, clear a lot faster and become fishable sooner.

While most trout drop back into the mainstem rivers when flows fall or settle over summer, the odd resident fish always remains in the prime spot such as a deep pool with overhanging vegetation that provides shade and cooler temps.    

WR Dec13 2018 Copy editedA good fish about to be landed from a tiny Wellington region stream (Credit: Hamish Carnachan) 

The small streams really come into their own at this time of year though, and under the conditions that are prevailing at present i.e. frequent stormy downpours that discolour the main waterways. 

Larger numbers of trout stay longer in these smaller waters after spawning in winter because there is still ample (cool) flow and habitat (pools). There is plenty of food, too, in the form of trout fry which are emerging in these spawning streams.        

With food and shelter there is little need for the fish to drop back to the larger rivers and this means exciting angling for big trout often in tight conditions.

Don't despair if your preferred big water is blown out with spring rain - poke your nose up some of the small tribs and you'll find great angling action and you'll be surprised at the size of some of the fish you find in tiny water!  

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 are interested in 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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