Wellington Weekly Report 21st February 2019

  • Wellington
  • 21/02/2019
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Report 21st February 2019

With rain forecast tomorrow and through Saturday and Sunday fishing is going to be a bit of a lottery this weekend! 

 At least everyone agrees a flush through the rivers will be welcome with very low flows over a sustained period starting to take a toll on both the waterways and the fish. 

It's hard to predict how much rain is going to fall and what impact it will have on the rivers because the forecasts keep changing; however, the ground is so dry that it could soak up a lot and not impact flows on the lesser waterways too much.

As such, we'll go out on a limb and predict the smaller streams might be fishable - just check the flows before you head out. 

If there is angling on offer this weekend it will likely be fast action as the extra flow and cooler water will certainly switch the fish back onto the bite. 

So, watch the weather closely and get into the fishing if the conditions are okay. Saturday will be the day because strong southerlies are expected to rip up the lower North Island on Sunday.    

Still need a licence? Grab it online here.   

Pictured above right: Field officer Hamish Carnachan about to land a large rainbow from a small Manawatu stream last week (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt21Feb2019 edited

Click here for live weather updates.

Very low on the Hutt today but that will change with a big dump of rain expected in the Tararuas. The best shot at a fish will be on Saturday in the Akatarawa or smaller rivers in this part of the region.     

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti21Feb2019 edited

Click here for live weather updates.

The Waikanae has the smallest catchment on the coast so is likely to present the best angling opportunities as rain comes through. There's an outside chance for a fish in the Ohau on Saturday. Hopefully the rain and predicted higher flows will wash some of the toxic algae out of the Otaki


Wairarapa21Feb2019 edited

Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga and Waiohine are likely to be up but the lesser tributaries such as the Waipoua and Kopuaranga could be worth a look. Check the flows before you go and as with the other regions, Saturday is going to be your best chance.   


Manawatu21Feb2019 edited

Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu, Pohangina, Orua and Mangatainoka rivers will most likely be out of commission with high flows from rain hitting the ranges; cast you eye to the smaller streams and springs in the region on Saturday if you want a shot at a fish.     


Rangitikei21Feb2019 edited

Click here for live weather updates.

Heavy rain is forecast for the high country from tomorrow with southerly gales thrown in on Sunday. The Rangitikei and Hautapu rivers will certainly come up; best to stay home, tie some flies and wait for the water to recede.               

Tip of the Week - Big Flow, Big Flies

20190221 093054 editedA selection of oversized streamer flies next to a Rapala CD5 for comparison (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)

Some people will go fishing no matter what the weather or conditions. And perhaps not surprisingly, they're the ones who generally catch more fish than the rest.

Yes, we've going to have some coloured rivers this weekend but it doesn't mean you can't catch fish.

When rivers are high it's time to change up your technique - go for big flies (or heavy, highly visible spinners). Naturally, larger flies and lures are easier for fish to see in murky, sediment laden freshes.

And don't think that because the water is high that the fish won't be feeding. Trout have to eat! 

During high flows the fish seek shelter from the velocity of the river wherever they can find it. This can be behind structure or even right up on the edges of the riverbank where the water isn't moving so fast.

Trout can be spotted riding out floods on the edges even in really dirty water  

So, look closely at the margins and target areas of refuge from the high flow with your large streamer flies and lures. Even big, highly visible nymphs will pull trout from dirty water.

If you're really keen or just want to break out of the house, give it a shot and you might be surprised at what you get.           

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

We Need Your Eyes On The Water

P1090632 editedRiver destruction carried out by Greater Wellington Regional Council in Wairarapa, turning a meandering braided river into a lifeless channel.  

We are interested what you see on the water. Photos of atrocious river bulldozing or bad land management practice... there's no reason for rivers to be treated badly in this day and age, particularly by regional councils which profess to be looking after the environment.

If you encounter any such activity please email the pics and details to us. 


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

Webcams edited

Notice board

  • Important changes to the regulations for the Rangitikei backcountry fishery come into force at the start of this season - click here for more. 
  • Don't let Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruin your day's fishing. The schedule of activity can be found here.
  • We've just been advised of the flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam which will cause the rivers downstream (including the Rangitikei) to rise: 

Water Released from the Dam Tuesday at 9pm:

Wednesday 20 March 2019 – 5 hours

Wednesday 1 May 2019 – 5 hours


 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 - please ensure you check the latest weather and river flow information before you head out on the water.

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