Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 30th September 2021

  • Wellington
  • 29/09/2021
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 30th September 2021

One More Sleep 'Til Opening!

Cover WR 30Sep2021Wairarapa angler and guide Ben Ellison getting his eye in for Opening Day on the lower Waingawa last weekend (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

Sunny skies and clearing rivers should greet anglers out on the water seeing the new season in tomorrow, and the conditions are only set to improve as we head into the weekend.

This is great news for those who can't escape from work for Open Day itself, with Saturday and Sunday looking like the best days as the larger rivers will have time to dump the extra flow they are currently carrying.

The recent rain (that has now passed through) will mean some anglers may have to adjust their Opening Day plans as the main rivers are are slightly coloured. However, they're not dirty and many still have a clear fishable edge today. 

That shouldn't be too much of an issue anyway as the small tributaries hold good numbers of fish early season (see our Early-Season Trout Tactics section below), meaning there's still ample fishable water and plenty of trout that haven't seen anglers for months! 

It's not often we get great conditions for the start of the fishing so make the most of the golden weekend and opportunity ahead. With only one sleep to go, get your gear sorted and grab your Whole Season Licence now!   

Here's the outlook:   


Hutt River and tributaries 

Hutt 30Sep2021

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is looking an absolute picture this morning as it clears the last of the colour from rain earlier in the week. This also means the tribs - including the Akatarawa, Whakatikei  and Pakarutahi - will be at near perfect levels when they open for the season tomorrow! Don't forget the Wainuiomata River either as this will be firing at current flows and the normally wary big browns have been well rested. Capital anglers are in for a super start to the season - get into it!   


Hutt Whakatikei 29Sep2021 15.4cumecs Birchville

The Hutt River at Whakatikei yesterday (Credit: Steve Doughty)

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti 30Sep2021

Click here for live weather updates.

As you can see from teh photo below, the Otaki is a gorgeous green colour this morning despite its high flow. It is still coming up a little but the rain in the ranges looks to have passed. The Ohau and Waikanae are at near-normal spring flows and should be in perfect shape for fishing in the upper reaches tomorrow come Opening Day, with hopefully good numbers of those big browns feeding well after an undisturbed winter.            

Otaki 30Sep2021 40.4cumecs SH1

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


Wairarapa 30Sep2021

Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is carrying a good flood and quite coloured but it has peaked and is now falling fast. The larger tributaries, such as the Waiohine (pictured below), Waingawa and Tauherenikau are running high but have a fishable edge meaning good prospects for anglers heading into the headwaters for Opening tomorrow and staying over the weekend. The Huangarua, Waipoua and Kopuaranga are good bets for those looking for angling closer to home.                      

Waiohine Gorge 30Sep2021 76.3cumecs

The Waiohine River at near the Tararua Forest Park boundary this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnahcan) 



Manawatu 30Sep2021

Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu River is up and dirty but with the rain having now gone through the entire system should start to drop. Regardless, many anglers will be looking to the smaller tributaries that open for the new season tomorrow and although the Pohangina and Oroua are up, they have peaked and are falling like the other smaller feeder streams in the district. The Mangatainoka had a spike yesterday but has almost returned to normal.                                

Pohangina 30Sep2021 4mmStage

The Pohangina River at Piripiri this morning (Photo: Horizons)


Rangitikei 30Sep2021

Click here for live weather updates.

There is some lingering rain up around the central high country keeping the Rangitikei River a little coloured around Mangaweka. This will push off this afternoon, making way for sunny skies and a generally fine weekend. The mainstem is clearer higher up in the catchment so it bodes well for anglers looking to hit the river on Saturday and Sunday. The weekend should see flows on the Kawhatau and Hautapu bang on for early season angling too.                                           

Rangitikei Pukeokahu 30Sep2021 3455mmstage Mangaweka

The Rangitikei River at Pukeokahu this morning (Photo: Horizons)


Weather On The Go

Screenshot 20210930 122430 WindyaWeather forecasting apps have come a long way. 

Over the next few issues of the Lower North Lowdown we'll be running through some of our favourites, and showing you how to use them to make the most of your fishing opportunities.

The Windy app - pictured above - has incredible functionality 'on the go' and has become an indispensable tool in my angling arsenal.

Click on the screenshot above to link to the website and have an explore, and keep an eye out for our Windy tutorial next issue!         


Whet You Appetite!  

The latest season of the acclaimed Pure Fly TV series started last week, with the first episode available on YouTube. 

While it isn't filmed in our neck of the woods, there's plenty of rod bending action to whet your appetite for the coming season. 

Click the screen shot below to check it out. 

PureFly WR30Sep2021


Early-Season Trout Tactics 

20151011 161157 Copy Fox Carnachan with a massive brown trout from a tiny Wairarapa Stream early season (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)  

While many anglers beat feet for the backcountry as soon as the season opens, they're walking past a lot of quality angling in the foothills.

Early in the season - from October through to November - post-spawning trout will be holding in the small tributaries, yet to drop back after the winter runs.

Provided there's enough food and cover, they'll happily stay here until the low flows of summer force them to find deeper, cooler water.    

With many of the browns having spawned early in May and June, they've had plenty of time to put condition on after the rigours of mating when Opening rolls around.

Large, well-conditioned trout can therefore be encountered in small waterways making for very exciting, up close and in-your-face angling. 

As well as good numbers of fish in relatively easily accessible water, the other big advantage of fishing these smaller streams is that they are often fishable when the spring weather has rendered the larger rivers out of commission. 

So, if you're looking for a slightly different challenge early season, try tussling with some big brawlers in the tight confines of our smaller tribs!   



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


Notice board  

  • FAMILY FISHING WEEKEND - Looking for something fun and free to do with the kids this school holidays? The team at Wellington Fish & Game and the Manawatu Freshwater Anglers Club are running the annual Manawatu Family Fishing weekend on Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11. 


A large number of trout will be released into Hokowhitu Lagoon, Palmerston North, so the chances of success are very high. There are tagged trout being released and prizes if you catch one of them. Don't miss this great family opportunity! You will need a ticket and your own fishing gear as well as a fishing licence (free for under 12s). You can get all these at Manawatu Hunting & Fishing, 35 Grey St, Palmerston North, including details about how the day will run.

This is a public event so please follow mask-wearing and physical distancing guidelines.

Family Fishing

Family Fishing Event at Palmerston North 

  • 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.

  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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