Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 30 March 2023

  • Wellington
  • 27/03/2023
  • Roslyn Simmonds

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 30 March 2023

Pictured - The Wellington region backcountry fisheries have stood up well to the weather this season, as this fine rainbow attests. 

Prospect The Small Water

Although clearing Sunday, there's quite a bit of rain around in the forecast ahead which will likely bring the larger mainstem rivers up. 

That said, anglers should e starting to prospect the smaller streams anyway, which are less likely to be affected by the weather, as trout move into spawning streams. 

The conditions this week, including snow on the Tararua and Ruahine ranges, along with falling air pressure and shorter days, are all cues to trigger the spawning urge.     

Be sure to check out our Tip Of The Week below which focuses on Autumn Angling Tactics. 

And start prospecting those small streams from now until the season closes - there are still four weeks of prime fishing ahead until the end of April!     

Here's the outlook for the weekend:


Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The HuttAkatarawa, Pakarutahi and Whakatikei are all looking pretty good this morning although they are on the rise after recent rain. Watch the flows closely as the weekend approaches - if the rain cease then the smaller tribs could be okay, and these will certainly start to see more fish turn up over the coming weeks. .  

Hutt Totara 40cums Birch

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


Kapiti Coast 


Click here for live weather updates.

Good flows again in all the Kapiti Coast rivers after the rain over Tuesday and into Wednesday. The WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are carrying some colour but they're clearing quickly when there is a spell in the weather. Shouldn't be too much rain so there's scope to check the smaller streams over the weekend. Otherwise spin fishing in the larger rivers could get results.                          

Otaki SH1 38cums Pukehinau

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




Click here for live weather updates.

The WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau are up after the southerly brought quite a it of rain and snow but they are fishable for streamer and spin anglers at time of writing. The snow melt will likely see fish triggered to start their spawning migrations so be prepared to move around to find fish. The Ruamahanga is high and carrying colour, and will take a day or two of no rain to clear.           

Waiohine SH2 27cums gorge

The Waiohine River at SH2 this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)



Click here for live weather updates.  

The Manawatu River is big and brown again, and similarly the the sediment load coming from the Oroua and Pohangina headwaters is likely to render these rivers unfishable too. However, there is a silver lining in that  there are plenty of smaller spawning tributaries north of the gorge which could well be starting to fire. A good opportunity to explore this weekend if the rain backs off.                            

Manawatu Teachers 1019mmStage

The Manawatu River at Teachers College this morning (Credit: Horizons)



Click here for live weather updates.

Snow and rain in the central high country continues to keep the Rangitikei River high and dirty. Likewise, the Kawhatau and Whakarekou are still affected by sediment from slips higher up in their catchments. Sunday may provide an opening in the weather to recce some of the smaller spawning tribs - the cooler water temps will have got the trout moving into spawning habitat.       

Rangitikei Mangaweka 3186mmStage

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


Video Of The Week

Not strictly fishing related, but the Guardian's short video investigating the impact of river 'flood control' practices is particularly pertinent given what we've recently experienced.  

With the amount of river engineering carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council, and to a lesser extent Horizons RC, it raises serious questions about their outdated management practices.    

Click the screenshot below to watch.

Video 30Mar2023


Tip Of The Week - Autumn Angling Tactics

Following are a few simple tips to help you increase your chances of hooking up on fish in what can be both a frustrating and exciting period on the angling calendar:

1. Trout will start congregating in their natal streams - the small waterways where they came from and return into for their own spawning. Concentrate on these before they close at the end of April. 

2. Check out the confluences of waterways. Often fish will stack up at these 'intersections' as they wait for conditions to run into their spawning waters. Cues to run could be a pro-longed drop in temperature, falling air pressure, or rain like we've had this past week. 

3. If trout aren't cooperating and are ignoring your dries and nymphs, bring out the big guns. Switch to large streamers - the bigger the better (even articulated patterns). This can force an aggressive territorial strike if the fish aren't actively feeding.

4. Threadline gear and spinners can be effective in autumn for the same reasons as outlined above. 

5. Make them bite. When trout get the urge to spawn, often feeding is the last thing on their minds as they wait for mates or concentrate on defending their patch. If they won't feed, annoy them into biting. Often it can take up to a dozen or more casts at a 'doggo' trout, but if you're accurate enough and keep the flies or lures bouncing just past its nose eventually it will hit it, possibly out of sheer annoyance.        

Autumn certainly brings its own set of challengers for the angler. At times it can be very frustrating sighting large fish that won't take anything as they chase each other around, but other times they'll aggressively strike at anything that hits the water.

Try not to get frustrated. Instead mix up your fishing to suit the season.       


Angler Access - Your One Stop Shop

Click the map below and visit the one-stop shop for all your angling access information.    

Angler Access WR15Dec2022



  • 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:

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.

 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.

More Posts