Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 27 February 2020

  • Wellington
  • 27/02/2020
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 27 February 2020

A band of rain is expected to pass across the region on Saturday morning, however, at this stage it doesn't look like it will be enough to blow out the rivers.

Again, any rain is welcome given the dry conditions and low flows.

Chances are the ground will soak up most of the rainfall and any extra flow should set the fishing alight, as we saw this week with some excellent angling for those who managed to hit the water after the rivers cleared from the last deluge.

On that note, we drift-dived the Hutt this week once visibility returned following the fresh and the results are stunning - certainly the best conditioned fish we've seen, and early estimates are that numbers are well up on the previous year's survey. 

It was also great to encounter so many anglers getting into the quality fishing on the Hutt yesterday. Most were encouraged to see us carrying out our statutory fishery population monitoring and enjoyed the chance to discuss other aspects of angling in the region with us.

They seemed to appreciate that drift diving only temporarily disrupts the angling and that there are numerous other spots to fish with good trout numbers anyway. Thanks to those anglers for their display of tolerance and understanding!  

For something quite different, please see the notice board this week publicising an interesting speaker from the US who will be presenting on ...... at the Wellington Fly Fishers Club, Monday, March 2. Details below. Non-members welcome. 

Until next week, happy angling and please ensure you check the flows and weather before heading out on the water.       


Pictured: A beautiful big Hutt River brown quite undisturbed by drift divers passing through his pool (Copyright Hamish Carnachan).  

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is holding so many large trout at the moment it is staggering, and they're right the way through from the headwaters to the lower reaches around Melling. Rain could put a bit of colour in the river on Saturday but if it clears enough for Sunday anglers can be assured of lovely fishing conditions - sunny skies, light winds and stacks of large trout.    

Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOtaki and Ohau rivers all benefited from the rain last week and this should have livened up the fishing action. Another pulse of rain is forecast for Saturday morning but t this early stage the rain radar is showing too much - please check the flows before hitting the river.             



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The Ruamahanga benefited form a much-needed burst of rain but, like the other main rivers in the region (WaipouaWaiohine and Kopuaranga) has rapidly returned to low flows. The rain did, however, rejuvenate the respective fisheries. Further scattered rain this Saturday should set up some awesome angling for Sunday with good numbers of fish still holding in the Ruamahanga.       



Click here for live weather updates.     

The ManawatuPohangina and Oroua all benefited from some much-needed rain last weekend. This will have freshened up the rivers, lowered the water temps and revived the fishing. Water temperatures have been very high, and dissolved oxygen correspondingly low, so please take all measures to reduce stress on fish if plan to release them.      



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei and Hautapu have quickly dropped back to normal flows after a welcome spike last weekend. The fishing will be on fire in both rivers after the last fresh so get into it before the next rainfall arrives. With a front forecast to cross this part of the region Saturday afternoon, anglers are advised to check the flows before heading out. However, indications are that the rain won't come to too much.                 

Tip Of The Week - Handle With Care  

Tip Of the week 27Feb2020 CopyFishing during the cooler hours of the day affords trout a better chance of surviving if released (Copyright: Andrew Harding)   

High summer and it's not just the air temperature that's scorching - water temperatures are getting pretty damn hot too.

One reader recently recorded a water temp of 25degC in the mid reaches of the Manawatu and rightly points out that releasing trout back into that could be a death sentence after a prolonged fight. 

Given we know that dissolved oxygen decreases as the water temperature increases, you can see why trout struggle in some waterways during hot summer conditions.  

We also know that any water around or above 18degC is getting marginal for brown trout survival. Subsequently, the fish will adapt their behaviour once the mercury reaches that point by either slowing down and not feeding or migrating to river reaches that offer relief from the conditions.      

While recent rain will have helped lower water temps, this will likely only be temporary. So, what can we do to ensure trout have the best chance of surviving, living to fight another day, if we plan to release them?

As I explained in last week's tip, one solution is to seek out cooler or more favourable river reaches.

Another option is to fish only during the cooler parts of the day. Morning is great because the cooler ambient temperatures of the previous night definitely result in a drop in water temperature. Similarly, after dinner and into the evening is better for the trout as the heat has gone out of the day and is dissipating from the water. 

The good thing about fishing these times is that it's when trout are feeding most actively anyway! 

Fishing anytime after midday should be avoided at all costs if you intend releasing fish.

For more tips on how to release fish to ensure the best chance of survival, check out our resources here.   

By Fish & Game field officer Hamish Carnachan         


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


Notice board

  • The Wellington Fly Anglers Club is hosting a presentation by visiting US angler Paul Doscher. He will be talking on the history of the eastern American forest, how it was dramatically changed by European settlement, the devastating impacts on fisheries, and how today they are working to restore those streams and recreate vibrant cold water fisheries. The talk will be given this Monday (March 2) at the Tararua Tramping Club Rooms, 4 Montcreiff Street, Mt Victoria, Wellington at 7.30pm. Non club members are welcome to attend. 
  • 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.      
  • 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 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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