Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - November 18, 2021

  • Wellington
  • 17/11/2021
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - November 18, 2021

Superb Conditions On The Cards     

A beautiful sea-run brown trout caught on a single-hook Rapala in the lower Ruamahanga River, which is teeming with fish at the moment (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).

After the awful weather earlier this week - gale winds and heavy rain in the ranges - we have superb conditions for spring fishing on the cards this weekend.   

Sunny skies, light winds and rapidly falling river levels make up the trifecta for fine fishing across much of the lower North Island.

The angling is really heating up too, with some great mayfly and beetle hatches observed recently on some of our lowland rivers.

And the stellar run of fishing in the lower reaches continues. Last weekend a staff member landed two fat trout, eight perch and one kahawai from the Ruamahanga in the space of just 35 minutes!

With amazing conditions on offer this weekend, and the Xmas crazy season rapidly approach, grab the opportunity to get into the action while you can.  

Time to get your licence if you haven't already got one and hit the water.  

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is up a touch and carrying a hint of colour but is still very fishable this morning. Like the mainstem, the Akatarawa, Pakarutahi and other tribs are carrying extra flow but they are all falling fast and should be fishing superbly by the time the weekend rolls around.       

Hutt Silverstream 13.23cumecs BirchvilleThe Hutt River at Silverstream this morning (Credit: Steve Doughty)  


Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

The WaikanaeOtaki and Ohau rivers are all still clearing the extra flow from the rain this week. They are, however, falling at a reasonable rate and should be at pretty handy levels for fishing over the weekend. We haven't had too many reports in from this part of the region so far this season - we'd love to hear how the fishing has been. 

Otaki SH1 25.6cumecs Pukehinau

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




Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is up and carrying plenty of water but the good news is it is falling fast. We've got similar river conditions for the major tributaries - WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - this morning. The Waiohine, as you can see in the photo below, is up but fishable. Most of the waterways should have enough time to clear before the weekend.   

Waiohine SH2 27.2cumecs Gorge

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




Click here for live weather updates.     

A lot of rain this week has all rivers in flood and carrying plenty of colour at time of writing. Though falling, the Manawatu River is bank-to-bank and unlikely to clear by the weekend. The good news is the smaller streams are dropping back very quickly and should be at fishable flows come Saturday; check the conditions on the Pohangina and  Orua before venturing out. We've had reports of some of the lesser streams - including the Tokomaru - holding good trout numbers.  


Makino Stream2

The Makino Stream this morning (Credit: Matt Kavermann)




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The Rangitikei is looking great higher up at Pukeokahu this morning but has some colour down at Mangaweka. It is a bit high for fishing in the mid- and lower reaches at time of writing but could be in great shape for spin angling and swinging streamers by the weekend if the flow continues the current downward trajectory. The Hautapu and Kawhatau have good fresh flow but should hopefully be in good shape by Saturday.                     

Rangitikei Pukeokahu 3268mmStage Mangaweka

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


Ultimate Armchair Angling!  

Falling after a fresh and with a hint of colour, the Hutt River should be firing and is one of our top picks for this weekend.

Click the screen shot below to check it some classic Hutt River brown trout action.  

Video WR18Nov2021


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Top Tip - The Beetles Are Back  

When the Labrador starts leaping and pouncing around the lawn on dusk, or snapping at the window, it's a sure sign of one thing - Brown Beetles are on the wing. 

Mid-November can often see prolific beetle hatches around the lower North Island's lowland streams.

They hatch out of pastoral areas in the evening and can be so prolific that many clumsily fly onto the water... providing welcome food for trout.

Head down to your local river on a warm, calm evening and select a nice glide - If the beetles are hatching, you'll soon see the trout react with lazy boils on the surface. It's a great time to fish and the action can be red-hot!

Just make sure you're using brown beetle imitations because the green variant is actually the Manuka Beetle which will be present later, around December and beyond.

20211109 091654

Beetle patterns are ideally fished with fly fishing gear, but spin anglers can also try it using a bubble.

Suitable stretches or pools have plenty of edge cover, such as willows, because you want to fish where trout can be hiding out of sight and come out to feed in the evenings.

There are plenty of pools on the Hutt, Manawatu and Ruamahanga which fit the bill - many are very close to the town centres too and easily accessible. 

While these reaches might look devoid of fish during the day, it is surprising how many trout are dragged from cover during a dusk beetle hatch.

The beetles will start to buzz around just on the last 30-40 minutes of light, but the trout will keep taking them well into the night, so blind fishing and listening or 'feeling' for a take can still yield fish. 

In low light the trout are not so concerned about your presence either so you can get quite close to rising fish without disturbing them.

It can also be a good time to take kids out as there is plenty of action but not so much walking or patience required.

Remember to fish the very tail of pools as well as smaller trout will often hang out in these areas at night.

You will have a few mistimed strikes as it gets hard to see and the trout will be taking naturals in the vicinity of the fly. However, if you have two or more trout feeding in the same pool off the surface in the evening, they don't tend to get spooked by splashy noises.

Remember to take a torch for the walk back to the car!



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


Notice board  


  • Review Update - Work on implementing the recommendations outlined in the review of Fish & Game continues. The Review Implementation Steering Group has an update for interested licence holders here

  • Capital Trout Centre Open - The Centre is open under level 2 for family groups. Anyone interested should contact Strato Cotsilinis on (04)386-3740 for further details and bookings.  

  • 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.

  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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