Wellington Weekly Report 21 November 2019

  • Wellington
  • 20/11/2019
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Report 21 November 2019

All systems are go for the weekend - excellent weather, stunning looking rivers and streams, along with plenty of hungry trout! 

This is going to be the weekend of the season so far with warm sunny skies and perfect spring river flows. 

Those of us lucky enough to get out and about for a look during the week hooked into some great action.

The small streams are firing, though it won't be long before the trout drop back into bigger water and algae becomes a problem as temps warm - maybe make the spawning tribs the target this weekend. 

Meanwhile, brown beetle hatches have been prolific in the Hutt, Ruamahanga and Manawatu. According to reports, anglers who have stuck it out until dusk and into the early evening have had a ball on surface feeding trout. 

Check out our tip of the week below for fishing brown beetles if you missed it last week. 

All in all there's plenty of hot fishing to be had right through the region, from backcountry to front country. Get your licence and get into it this weekend.   

Pictured above right: Casting into tight cover to a large brown feeding beneath a willow tree (Copyright - Hamish Carnachan)      

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River is looking great again today, as are the tributaries. Even the wind looks like it will abate - a rarity for this time of year in Welly. Get into the fishing while the conditions are near perfect.           


Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

Conditions couldn't be better for fishing on the Kapiti Coast this weekend - sunny skies ideal for spotting and pleasant temperatures too. The Waikanae, Ohau and Otaki are all green light for 'go'.    




Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is at a really good level and the evening rise has been great on the warmer evening with swarms of brown beetles hatching in some stretches. As you'd expect the Waiohine, Waingawa and Tauherenikau are all set up perfectly for the weekend and well worth a backcountry foray given the settled weather forecast.            




Click here for live weather updates.     

Like some of the other large rivers in the region, the Manawatu has seen good hatches of beetles this week too. The Pohangina and Oroua are looking great in terms of flow, and the Mangatainoka is fishing very well in and around the Paihiatua town reaches at the moment.      




Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is sitting pretty today and should only get better as the weekend progresses. With conditions set up perfectly, it's a great opportunity to get into the upper reaches this weekend and even, perhaps, the backcountry.          

Video of the Week 

VidTeaer31Oct2019Click the screen shot above to check out a cool video of some awesome angling action on the Hutt River, courtesy of Pure Fly NZ

Tip of the Week - Brown Beetles On Dusk 

Beattle trout CopyAA chunky beetle-munching brown (Copyright Andrew Harding)

When the Labrador pup starts leaping and pouncing around the lawn on dusk it's a sure sign of one thing - Brown Beetles are here. 

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 in such good numbers that many clumsily fly onto the water providing 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 dry fishing!

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.

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!

By Fish & Game field officers Hamish Carnachan and Tony Hawker. 



 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. Find out about the changes here.  
  • Don't get a nasty surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. Check out the latest schedule of activity here
  • Northern Ruahine 1080 operations are going to be conducted by DOC. Please click here to find out what catchments are to be affected. A facts sheet can be found 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: 

Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 10 December 2019 – 9 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 28 January 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 18 February 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 17 March 2020 – 5 hours
Release from Dam 9:00pm Tuesday 28 April 2020 – 5 hours (subject to monitoring triggers being met)

More info 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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