Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 01 December 2022

  • Wellington
  • 1/12/2022

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 01 December 2022

Plenty of Prime Fish About!          

Pictured - Cam Carter with good Wairarapa brown trout caught recently on a rainy spring day  (Credit: Camlo Carter)    

Fine weather is on the way and should last for the entire weekend for most of the region.

With falling river flows this means there's ample opportunity to hit the water, and no excuse not to!

We're also receiving great reports from anglers about how hot the fishing is running this season. 

Those who have been making the effort to get out - rain or shine - have been getting amongst some great trout.

While the season has got off to a slow start up around the central high country because of high river flows, elsewhere the angling has been superb. 

As Wairarapa local Cam Carter reports, "the fish are in very good shape."

He also says the rainbows are prolific throughout the Ruamahanga system this season and are well above average condition.

As Wellington Fish & Game staff speculated pre-season, it seems the high flows last summer have been beneficial to the trout population. This bodes very well for the months ahead. 

So, grab your licence and make the most of the fine weather window this weekend, and get into it before things get too busy ahead of Christmas!         

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and tributaries

Click here for live weather updates.

Quite high flows and a hint of colour in the Hutt this morning but still fishable, particularly for spinning and wet fly anglers. The Akatarawa, Pakarutahi and Whakatikei are up a tad but dropping and should be back to their best again come Saturday. There's nice weather on the cards for the weekend in this part of the region so make the most of it.    

The Hutt River at Totara Park this morning (Credit: Al Markham)  


Kapiti Coast 

Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are carrying extra flow and, certainly for the latter, quite a bit of colour. There's still a clear edge on the Otaki though, and with clear skies for the next few days the rivers will clear further and should be in great shape by the time the weekend rolls around.             

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



Click here for live weather updates.

There's a cold southerly blowing through Wairarapa this morning making for less than pleasant fishing conditions. The good news is the rivers are all looking great and the forecast is for fine weather over the next three or four days. The Ruamahanga has plenty of flow but is clean and clear at time of writing. Meanwhile the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau are carrying spring flows but should be good to go for the weekend.      

The Ruamahanga River at Gladstone this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)


Click here for live weather updates.  

Bit of an odd situation in this part of the region... The Manawatu River is possibly fishable with spinning gear upstream of the gorge at time of writing, however, the Pohangina and Oroua are high, coloured up and discharging lots of dirty water downstream. These smaller tribs are forecast to drop though, so keep an eye on developments over the next 24-26 hours. The Mangatainoka is at good flow and has been fishing superbly in town and down through the lower reaches.                    

The Manawatu River at Hopelands this morning (Credit: Horizons)


Click here for live weather updates.

The upper reaches of the Rangitikei River are slightly milky, but clearing, and could be on fire this weekend if the weather forecast holds true. The webcam image at Pukeokahu shows the river up there is actually ideal for spinning today. Downstream the situation isn't so good - the river is running high and carrying plenty of sediment suggesting that, yet again, these parts are not going to be fishable for some time. So, head high or look to the Hautapu and even the Kawhatau if you're passing.               

The Rangitikei River at Mangaweka this morning (Credit: Horizons) 

Tip of The Week - If At First You Don’t Succeed…

This backcountry beauty took several days to deceive but was well worth the effort (Copyright: Nick King)  

If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again. It’s a good adage for many things in life, and certainly for trout fishing too.

How many times have you been carefully walking a riverbank, scouting for feeding fish, only to have one take off right from under your feet?

“Blown it,” you think, and move on quietly cursing yourself…

Yes, you may have scared that fish, and it will likely be sulking somewhere out of sight for some time, but chances are that if you turn up next day it will be in the exact same spot you spooked it from.

This means you are better prepared to make a more cautious approach, hopefully see the fish, and get a cast to it this time without it knowing you are there.

Put simply, trout are creatures of habit. They will hold in the same places all season, often many seasons in a row if the river is stable. Once you realise this, it will help your angling success immeasurably.   

There will be many instances in your angling journey in which you will bump fish from cover, duff a cast that sends one teering off to cover, or lose one during the fight.

Never treat these experiences as failures; they are innately linked to this highly addictive – and at times frustrating – pursuit, but they teach us one of the most important lessons in freshwater angling which is how to read water and the quarry we pursue in it.

Fish a stretch of river often enough and you’ll soon be dialed in on almost every holding spot. How do you think guides learn? They certainly aren’t superhuman (though some would like you to believe they are), they just have developed skills for spotting trout and know from previous experience where they hold.

Understanding a river and trout habits is the most important aspect in progressing from an angler who occasionally catches fish to one who catches lots of fish.

In life there’s no issue making mistakes, as long as we learn from them. Same goes for fishing. 

-        Copyright Hamish Carnachan.


Angling News - Hot Off The Press

Our latest edition of the Angling News is hot of the press!

For the latest season prospects, tips and techniques, and updates on what the Wellington Fish & Game team has been up to, click the cover shot below. 

NletterCover WR24Nov2022



  • Treble Hooks - New regulations for the 2022-23 season ban the use of treble hooks on waterways where there are maximum size limits on trout i.e., fish over a certain size must be returned. These rivers are identified in Note 3 on page 39 of the regulations book. This measure was adopted by the Wellington Fish & Game Council to help the survival of large fish, the breeding specimens, when released after being caught. Please consult the Wellington section of the regulations guide, particularly Note 5 which details where trebles are permitted. All other waters only single hooks are allowed. 
  • Wellington Fish & Game has been advised of the following dates for flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam:

13 Dec, 21:00-06:00

24 Jan, 21:00-02:00

14 Feb, 21:00-02:00

14 Mar, 21:00-02:00

25 Apr, 21:00-02:00

  • River Bulldozing - Don't get an unwelcome surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. The upcoming activity schedule can be found here.
  • The Happy Valley Trout Centre is having an open day December 11. For more information please contact Strato Cotsilinis.      
  • Upcoming fishing competitions:

    January 29-30, 2023: Sport Fly Fishing New Zealand Inc (SFFNZ) Ruamahunga Regional Competition is to be run 29-30 January 2023 from Kokotau Rd (Gladstone) to Te Whiti Rd (Masterton).

 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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