Wellington Weekly Report 03 October 2019

  • Wellington
  • 2/10/2019

Wellington Weekly Report 03 October 2019

Dedicated anglers who braved the cold weather over Opening got a small window and had some very good fishing to well-rested trout.     

It looks significantly better this weekend, especially on Sunday, with light winds and sunny skies for the lower part of the region.

Maybe even take Monday and Tuesday off if you can because the conditions look stunning, and certainly the mid-sized rivers and small streams will be back to near-normal flows. 

Imagine fishing in idyllic sunny spring conditions, light winds with hungry early-season trout smashing flies and lures. That's going to be hard to beat! 

Catches have been great on the smaller waters with one angler suggesting a Manawatu tributary had so many trout stacked in that it looked more like a Rotorua spawning stream!

Don't miss out on this action - grab your licence online.

For those of you who are hitting the water for the first time this season, we hope you have a great weekend. Please keep in touch - we're always happy to hear about how your angling has gone!    

Pictured above right: Ben Connolly gets off the mark for the 2019-20 season with a nice Wellington region small-stream brown.    

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt mainstem was looking superb yesterday with a hint of tea colour but otherwise very fishable. Rain and snow last night in the upper catchment has brought the river up again however it should be fishing well by Saturday. Meanwhile, the smaller tributaries and streams in this part of the region which have just recently opened for the new season will be at good fishing flows - word is they've been firing too! Click on highlighted links for live river flow updates. 


Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

Going by what we're hearing from anglers on the Kapiti Coast, the Waikanae, Ohau and Otaki are looking good this morning despite the weather that's gone through. They're up a bit in flow but falling so it bodes well for the weekend, particularly Sunday with light winds and sunny skies forecast.




Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is up but falling and not too far off fishable. The tribs that have just opened will be where most angler interest lies though and at time of writing these are falling and should generally be in great shape for the weekend. Check the flows before you head out as a small pulse of rain is coming through Saturday but at forecast levels shouldn't be enough to adversely affect anglers' plans.    




Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu is a big brown beast this morning and with plenty of rain having fallen in the catchment it will take a while to settle back down. The Pohangina is coloured up at Piripiri but falling fast and, along with perhaps the smaller Orua, with only a touch of rain forecast for Saturday, the fisheries should be firing on Sunday which looks like the pick unless you can wrangle Monday/Tuesday off. Check the flows before you go.     




Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is very dirty and high, even right up at the top of the catchment. With plenty of rain in the central high country over the past 48 hours the small tribs are going to be the best bet for local anglers unless they want to travel south to flick a fly or spinner.                  

Tip of the Week - Fishing the lower Ruamahanga 

DJI 0362A boat helps but isn't essential for fishing the lower Ruamahanga (Credit: Andrew Harding)

There's plenty of hype around how well the recently-opened tributaries are fishing, but a superb fishery which is often overlooked, easily accessible to everyone, and right under many Wellington anglers' noses is firing right now.

The lower Ruamahanga River fishes very well in the cooler months until the water gets too warm in summer. The best, and most exciting time, to fish it though is right now through to late December as the whitebait run.

Very large catches can be had by fly fishing or using spinning lures, and some anglers in the last few weeks have had 50-fish days made up mostly of perch but with plenty of feisty trout too. 

Please be aware that the daily bag limit for trout is two fish per angler per day. We've heard of whitebaiters taking more down at Lake Onoke and now have rangers looking into it. 

The most productive flies and lures are those that imitate whitebait or juvenile perch - something green and yellow like a Green Rabbit imitates the latter well.

While a boat will allow anglers to cover much more water (trolling and harling is very productive), it is not essential with plenty of public access and open banks to cast from.

Look for structure if you're after big perch numbers. And as the water warms you'll find trout in deeper pools, shaded areas, or where streams flow into the mainstem.

The lower Ruamahanga is a great place to get kids hooked into fishing too as the chances of success are very high - just keep a close eye on them as the banks are steep and the water deep in parts! 

There are plenty of public points to access the lower Ruamahanga in our information guide which can be found here.

If you're in the area or not far away, give this superb fishery a go. You won't be disappointed.     

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.



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

Webcams edited

Notice board

  • 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. If you missed last week's report, you can find out about the changes 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: 

10/11 December 2019
28/29 January 2020
18/19 February 2020
17/18 March 2020 

 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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