Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 13 February 2020

  • Wellington
  • 13/02/2020
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 13 February 2020

More sublime summer angling conditions are coming our way this weekend as the stellar run of weather continues across the lower North Island!

Yes, rivers are running low, however the trout seem to be happy enough and having a field day with the multitude of food on offer at the moment, including terrestrial insects. 

On that note, we've seen fish gorging on passion vine hoppers in recent weeks so make sure you have a few imitations in your fly box or tie some up before the weekend. 

Anywhere there is good bank side covering of blackberry you'll find these small insects infesting the vines. Cicadas are also on the menu but they appear to be small and lighter in colour this season (a different sub-species perhaps) so ensure you have several patterns to 'match the hatch'. 

So, with a little wind to blow the insects into the water the angling should be white hot this weekend.

Get your licence here and get into it!

Pictured: Finn Harding into a lively Hutt brown. There are plenty of great fish holding in this river at present! (Copyright Andrew Harding) 

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is running very low at present but the fish are still quite active. We noticed some XOS browns happily feeding off the top earlier this week, even during the hottest part of the day! The Akatarawa and other smaller feeder streams are fast losing water to the drought-like conditions - target the deeper pools or more gorgy areas where flow is higher and there's more shade.   

Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOtaki and Ohau rivers are in very low state. Fish are still active on the terrestrial insects hatching at present, however the trout appear to have retreated to parts of the river where they can get refuge from the restricted flows and higher-than-normal water temperatures.          



Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga, Waipoua, Waiohine and Kopuaranga rivers are in desperate need of some refreshing flows. Staff have still observed plenty of good fish in the main larger rivers and they've been feeding well, which could indicate they aren't overly stressed. Please ensure, however, you take care when releasing trout in these warm conditions.     



Click here for live weather updates.     

Feedback we've had from anglers suggests the the Manawatu is still fishing well - this is surprising and also encouraging after a poor run of fishing on the mainstem last season. The Pohangina and Oroua are, however, a bit patchy and our drift dives confirm lower than normal numbers (perhaps the trout are yet to move up from the Manawatu). The Mangatainoka is very low so, as is usually the case, most of the fish will be holding in the deep pools. 



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is running low and crystal clear, and the Hautapu is in equally great shape for fishing this weekend. The odd shower and mild temps should play to the angler's favour by making the trout more active. Note that there is a flushing flow schedule for the Moawhango Dam this week - see the notice board below for more details.           

Tip Of The Week - Go Light Or Go Home

Tip of The WeekWRFish13Feb2020a CopyThis large brown sitting in shallow, clear water is not going to be fooled easily (Copyright Andrew Harding)

As is the norm for this time of year, staff are noticing while drift diving that the water clarity in many rivers is very good. 

Long periods without rain means suspended sediment stirred up by higher flows has well and truly settled out. As such, we're recording visibility of 8m-plus in several rivers, even some of our lowland waterways.

What this means for anglers is that the fish are going to be particularly wary - they can see further and have a wider field of view. 

It means you will need to be more cautious in your approach to a likely pool, run or riffle, lest the trout see you first. 

Also, at this time of year it pays to go as light as you can with your terminal tackle. Finer leaders are obviously going to be less visible; also consider dropping down a rod weight for more delicate presentations and to avoid splashing or rippling the surface when you lay out a cast.

Of course this all must be be balanced against the need to get the fish in as fast as possible if you plan to release it so as to avoid over-stressing it.

By Fish & Game field officer Hamish Carnachan         

Video of the Week

In case you haven't seen this already, here's a great little montage of some of the action on the Hutt River that will screen on the Pure Fly TV series later this year.  

Click the screenshot below to watch. 



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


Notice board

  • Greater Wellington Regional Council has issued an advisory about toxic algae in the Waipoua River - read more here. Please note that this does not mean that you can't fish, however trout in affected waters are likely to be stressed so care should be taken if you plan to release them.     
  • The Otaki Kids Fishing Day has been cancelled. We'll provide updates about any advised event as soon as we receive further information.  
  • Anglers wanting to fish the Rangitikei backcountry must have a licence endorsement for this fishery. Click here to find out more. Or purchase your backcountry endorsement.   
  • Fishing regulations changes for the Wellington Fish & Game Region in 2019-2020 might affect you. Find out about the changes here.  
  • Don't get a nasty surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. Check out the latest schedule of activity here
  • Flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam, which will cause the rivers downstream (including the Rangitikei) to rise, will be conducted on the following dates: 

Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 18 February 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 17 March 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 28 April 2020 – 5 hours (subject to monitoring triggers being met)

More info here

 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 - 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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