Weekly Fishing Report - 31st January 2019

  • Wellington
  • 31/01/2019
  • Wellington

Weekly Fishing Report - 31st January 2019

After some scorching temperatures, it looks like the weekend is going to bring a change to more bearable conditions! 

If you think you've been suffering from the heat, spare a thought for the trout which have had to contend with very warm water (see our 'Tip of the Week' below for advice on how to handle fish with care). 

At least a smattering of showers and a significant drop in air temperature will provide some respite for the fish this weekend. 

The coming conditions will also likely see them becoming more active and feeding happily too. And given the smorgasbord of terrestrials currently on offer, this is great news for anglers. 

At the moment there are an abundance of cicadas, passion vine hoppers and crickets about. These this will provide some super exciting angling with fish readily taking off the surface.

So, apart from the odd shower it's mainly sunny skies and will be all go for the weekend. And don't worry about the forecast wind - that will play to the angler's advantage by knocking cicadas into the drink and forcing them onto the bite.     

Get into it!

Buy your licence online here if you still need one.   

Pictured above right: Late January/February is a great time to head into the Wellington Fish & Game backcountry fisheries for an epic angling adventure (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt31Jan2019 edited

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The Hutt River is looking perfect this morning, as are the tribs - the Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakuratahi. They are still holding reasonable flow for this time of year and with a light flush of showers are cooler southerly blowing through tomorrow evening it should drop the water temp a little, making for happier fish. Cicadas are out in force - make sure you have some in your fly box.                          


Kapiti Coast

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Beautiful river conditions on the Kapiti Coast this morning and it should last through the weekend. The showers are forecast to abate by early Saturday so the weekend is going to be set up perfectly for the fishing the Otaki, the Ohau or the Waikanae



Wairarapa31Jan2019 edited

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The Ruamahanga is a picture of perfection at time of writing, as are all the tribs. The mainstem is due to be drift dived tomorrow so we'll be able to bring you results of fish population surveys for this river next week. Meanwhile, some of the smaller tribs we've dived in this part of the region continue to hold good fish numbers, so they're still well worth a look too.                                  


Manawatu31Jan2019 edited

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The Manawatu is looking good all the way through this morning, though water temps are getting up. Fish will start to seek shelter and refuge in the deeper pools, or they'll move into the forested headwaters of the tribs or the spring creeks that have cooler base flows.           


Rangitikei31Jan2019 edited

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The Rangitikei is fishing exceptionally well by accounts. Conditions look perfect again this morning and don't worry about the forecast showers - these will only serve to help drop the temperature which will certainly be conducive to even better angling. 

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 - Handle With Care!  

The air temperatures have been soaring and so it holds true that the water temps will rise accordingly. 

As one reader pointed out earlier this week, the water temperature in the Hutt River exceeded the maximum threshold for trout - around 20 degrees Celsius. At this point the dissolved oxygen in the water is plummeting and trout are subsequently getting stressed.

Indeed, many voluntary guidelines suggest fishing for salmonids should cease in water between 18 and 20 degrees Celsius if catch and release is being observed as the chance of a fish recovering from a fight and surviving is too low.     

Tip30Jan2019 Copy

Fishing nymphs into deep water from a riffle and drop-off, a great place to find trout in hot weather. (Credit: Hamish Carnachan) 

If you want to continue your angling through the hot period (as you are entitled to do) and intend on putting the trout back, following are some simple tips to follow to ensure you catch survives. 

  • Always use a knot-less landing net - Handling fish can remove scales and lead to it developing skin infections and even death. 
  • Return the catch as quickly as possible - It sounds pretty obvious but there is a proportional relationship between the length of time you keep the trout out of the water and fish mortality. Ditch the grip 'n grins, fish survival comes first.
  • Fish dawn, dusk  and evening - Fish are more active during the cooler times of the day anyway because the water is cooler. It goes that they have a better chance of surviving if released when the temps are lower.
  • Be strategic in your angling approach - Only fish the bigger rivers where there's more flow, more water, deeper pools and, thus, more respite from the heat. Small streams warm way faster than larger rivers, with the latter having thermoclines (cooler layers) in the deeper pools which fish can retreat into to recover.
  • Head to the hills - Headwater streams and rivers that come from forested catchments are going to have cooler water than those flowing through open farmland or over a stony braided riverbed. Trout are happy in the hills at this time of year hence why there's often an early fish migration at this time of year.           

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.   

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We Need Your Eyes On The Water

P1090632 editedRiver destruction carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council in Wairarapa, turning a meandering braided river into a lifeless channel.  

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

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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 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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