Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 3 December 2020

  • Wellington
  • 1/12/2020
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 3 December 2020

The fishing has been as temperamental as the weather over the last fortnight but those anglers who have carefully picked their time to get on the water have done really well. 

It's encouraging to see the quality of the fish coming out of the Wairarapa rivers and also further north, particularly the mid-reaches of the Rangitikei when it's been clear enough. 

What's also interesting is seeing how quickly the rivers are dropping back to normal flows, even after some of the heavy rain we've been having lately. 

Apologies because we actually got our forecast wrong for some of the rivers last weekend, with several in pretty good shape for fishing having cleared much quicker than we expected. 

This goes to show that, like any forecasting, we're never going to be 100 per cent accurate 100 per cent of the time. Hence why it pays to check the live river flows before making your mind up about whether it's worth going out or not.

Picking the angling conditions is a bit easier this week - the action is going to be in the lower half of the region which will avoid the weather passing through on Saturday night. 

And, as you'll see from some of the images below, if the rivers continue to drop they should be firing for you on Saturday.     

So, grab your licence and go throw a line in!

Here's the outlook:   

Pictured: Wairarapa angler Camlo Carter recently caught this beautiful brown between rain events (Credit: Camlo Carter).   

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is carrying a bit of colour this morning but as you can see from the image below it is prime for spinning or fishing streamers across and down. By the time Saturday rolls around the river should be firing, just a little wind to contend with. The Akatarawa, Whakatikei and Pakarutahi are also up a little but should be fine for the weekend.  

Hutt TotaraPark 36cumecs Birchville WEB

The Hutt River at Totarara Park this morning (Steve Doughty)           

Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

The Otaki is high, dirty and climbing at time of writing, suggesting it received a lot more rain overnight than other parts of the region. The Ohau is also carry a lot higher flow but is dropping quickly - whether it clears before the weekend is going to be touch and go though. The Waikanae and smaller streams are going to be the best bet for Kapiti Coast anglers - just check the flows before you head out.




Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is a little high and carrying a tea colour at Gladstone this morning but it is very much fishable. As you can see from the picture below though, there is a plume of muddy water coming in from the Tauweru just upstream. Keep an eye on the other larger tribs like the Waiohine and Waingawa which are up at time of writing. With any luck they will have dropped back to fishable flow by tomorrow afternoon.  

Ruamahanga Gladstone stage500mm 3Dec2020

Ruamahanga River at Gladstone this morning (Hamish Carnachan)               



Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu looks like chocolate milk again this morning and has little show of clearing in time for Saturday, at least in the middle and lower reaches. Likewise, the Mangatainoka is in flood and still heading up, so it's a case of heading to the smaller tribs such as the  Oroua and Pohangina which, despite the gloomy conditions this morning, look to be in great shape for fishing.            

Pohangina Totara reserve Mais reach 197mm 1

Pohangina at Totara Reserve this morning (Matt Kavermann)



Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is loaded with colour at Mangaweka again this morning, however it still looks to have a fishable edge. It is also dropping. Higher up in the catchment the river looks clean and clear so it could be that getting above the Kawhatua or Hautapu might be the key to finding some good water. Anglers will have to squeeze in their fishing in the early part of Saturday though because rain is forecast for Central Plateau over the rest of the weekend.                          

Rangitikei Stage3750mm MangawekaRangitkei River at Mangaweka this morning (Horizons)

Angling Newsletter Out Now! 

Nletter cover WR19Nov2020

If you haven't received our 2020-21 angling newsletter, click on the cover shot above to download a digital copy.


Tip of The Week - Time To Hit The Hutt

WR Tip 3Dec2020

Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan with a 9.5lb Hutt River brown trout.

The Hutt River is looking in superb shape for fishing this weekend - probably our pick of rivers to target if you're in the vicinity.

Even if you don't live locally, the Hutt is full of large brown trout, and so easily accessible, it is well worth making a special trip.   

Our extensive annual drift dives consistently reveal very high numbers of large trout and the average size caught is between 3-5lb, though there are much bigger fish in the system as the photo above illustrates.  

Despite the high numbers of fish and accessibility, the river does confound many anglers. That's why we've put together some tips for handling this great fishery in a brochure. You can download a digital copy here.

We also have an detailed access brochure which you can download here.  

We highly recommend that you give this fantastic fishery a shot this season - it is a superb resource for Wellington and lower North Island anglers.  

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.


Bonus Tip of The Week - Chase the Whitebait Chasers

The outlet from Lake Onoke to Palliser Bay has been blocked for some weeks now. We've just been notified that it has been successfully opened by Greater Wellington Regional Council's flood protection team today. 

This means that the large schools of whitebait that have been sitting out there waiting to come in can finally make their run... It also means there will be larger fish chasing them!

If you're after some high-energy, turbo-charged sport, you could do worse than get into some hard fighting sea-run trout and kahawai on light tackle this weekend. 

Please take extra care around the outlet as the bank is unstable and the current very swift.     

Lake OnokeThe outlet from Lake Onoke to Palliser Bay at midday today (GWRC)           


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


Notice board

  • Fishing regulations for the Wellington Fish & Game region can be found here.  
  • Don't get a nasty surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. The upcoming activity schedule can be found 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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