Weekly Fishing Report - 27 September 2018

  • Wellington
  • 27/09/2018
  • Wellington

Weekly Fishing Report -  27 September 2018

On the eve of the new season it looks like the weather gods are going to gift lower North Island anglers some  suitable fishing conditions!

Many of us in this part of the world are used to having our Opening Day plans thwarted by rain, wind and high rivers. This time, though, October 1 will see generally benign weather that will be spot on for catching naive trout.

Rain on Sunday is forecast to clear quickly to showers so it shouldn't cause any major problems with flow. While the showers persist over Opening Day in Manawatu and Rangitikei, sunny skies will emerge over the Hutt and Wairarapa regions.

The weather only improves as the week goes on -- the first week of the school holidays, remember, so it's an ideal opportunity to get the kids engaged in some healthy outdoor activity! 

There'll be a stampede of anglers heading into the backcountry so why not leave that 'til later in the season when the fishing is better anyway? The lowlands are fishing superbly at the moment too, with healthy runs of whitebait reported in many of these river reaches. 

Where ever you choose to fish this Opening, we hope you have an awesome start to the season. Rangers will be out in force, right back into the upper reaches of our fisheries, so make sure you know the regs for this season and have your licence on you at all times. 

If you haven't bought you licence - grab one online, the easy way, here

Want to see what's on offer this season? Click here for a short, action-packed video and put yourself in the picture. 

PS - Please note that some important changes have been made to the regulations for the Rangitikei backcountry fishery. See the notice board below.   

Pictured above right: A large Wairarapa brown returned to fight another day (Credit: Oddvar Vermedal) 

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt27Sep2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

The Hutt River is looking superb at time of writing. There's a little rain forecast over the coming weekend but not enough to adversely affect flow. Of course the tribs open October 1 (Monday), and they'll clear a lot faster if the rain comes to more than expected.             


Kapiti Coast

Kapiti27Sep2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

Rain is developing on Sunday but clearing quickly on Opening Day (Monday, October 1). At this stage the rain doesn't look like it should come to much so we're picking most of the rivers will be good to go on Monday. Please check the flows, though, in case conditions change. The following highlighted links for the main Kapiti Coast rivers - the Waikanae, the Otaki and the Ohau - will take you to live, updated flows. 



Wairarapa27Sep2018 editedClick the weather icons above to update.

The Ruamahanga and tribs are set up well for the opening of the new season (Monday, October 1) - good, clear flows and cool temps. A little rain is likely in the headwaters but at this stage it isn't forecast to come to much but please get an update before heading into the wilderness. The lower reaches of the Ruamahanga have fished very well lately with good runs of whitebait on the big tides - the trout are about in good numbers at present.         


Manawatu27Sep2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

Sunday's rain is supposed to ease to showers early Monday (Opening Day, October 1) so shouldn't generate too much of a flow issue for the Manawatu. If the mainstem does come up though, it'll be a golden opportunity to check out the smaller streams that have been closed over the winter period. Click the highlighted links for live flows for the Pohangina and Orua rivers.            



Rangitikei27Sep2018 edited

Click the weather icons above to update.

A little more rain than elsewhere is expected for the central high country and this may cause issues for those hoping to fish the Rangitikei. Please check the flows before heading out, especially if you're planning on fishing the backcountry. A tentative green light for the upper catchment on Opening Day at this point but if it comes up the smaller tribs should clear the flow quickly and be fishable.                          

Video of the week

Click the screenshot below to check out what angling in the Wellington Fish & Game region has to offer... You won't be disappointed!  


Tip of the Week - Where to Fish On Opening

Trying to choose where to fish on Opening Day is a conundrum for many... but it shouldn't be.  

I used to regularly beat a path direct to the backcountry (sometimes racing the masses) until a few years ago when I discovered the joy of fishing the small front country streams. 

IMG 7968 edited Copy editedMany of the region's smaller streams fish superbly early season (Photo: Andrew Harding)

Here's why I now focus on these smaller front country waters:

1. Like the backcountry rivers, these waterways are generally closed over the winter meaning you're fishing to 'fresh' fish come Opening Day.   

2. They are easily accessible, meaning you can quickly change your plans if you run into other anglers or, as is common at this time of year, bad weather. You can do neither in the backcountry.

3. Few people fish these 'tributaries of tributaries', perhaps mistakenly thinking they are too small to hold fish - Wrong! Many trout use these tiny waters to spawn and will quite happily remain resident until the low flows and higher temperatures of summer force them to drop back to the mainstem rivers. 

4. Rain and high flows are often a major problem early season, particularly in our region. Small streams clear the flow much, much faster because the catchment areas are smaller.

5. The backcountry usually fishes better in high summer anyway!      

Why not think outside the square this Opening and fish the front country - avoid the crowds and discover your own little slice of angling paradise.               

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

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 - Don't let this destructive activity by Greater Wellington Regional Council ruin your fishing. Emailing Debbie.Kelly@gw.govt.nz to find out where they're dredging our rivers.

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

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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