Wellington Weekly Report 26 September 2019

  • Wellington
  • 25/09/2019
  • Wellington

Wellington Weekly Report 26 September 2019

It's the final countdown to the opening of the new fishing season, with just four days to go!  

While the weather gods are toying with anglers (there's rain forecast for a large part of the region on the eve of the first day of the season) October 1 should generally be okay for fishing in most areas except perhaps the Rangitikei and northern catchment.

Depending on how much rain falls, the smaller streams might be the best bet as there are still plenty of post-spawning trout holding in the lesser tributaries and these waterways clear extra flow a lot faster.  

Those of you heading into the hills are advised to keep abreast of the latest weather updates as rain in the ranges can bring rivers and streams up quickly.   

As we reported last week, the whitebait runs in the lower and lowland reaches of many of our rivers are making for some superb fishing with fat hungry trout chasing the shoals as they migrate upstream.     

This makes for a good Opening Day alternative if you don't want to chance the weather in the backcountry.

Where ever you head for for your fishing fix, please make sure you have you're new season licence - no need to go to a fishing and hunting store because you can grab one online.

All the best for the start of the new season - catch you next week!    

Pictured above right: Peter de Boer with a stunning lowland Wairarapa brown caught last weekend (Credit: Andrew Harding).   

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

Forecasters are only talking about a small amount of rain in the Hutt catchment on Monday before Opening Day so conditions should largely be okay for the Hutt mainstem and its tributaries. The tributaries that have been closed over winter will be holding good numbers of fish still. The Wainuiomata will be well worth a look too. Click on highlighted links for live river flow updates. 


Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

The Waikanae, Ohau and Otaki are clearing extra flow from the recent front that went through but should be good to go on Tuesday, October 1 for Opening. A brief period of rain is expected on Monday but at this stage it shouldn't threaten fishing plans in these parts - as always though, check the flows before you head out. 




Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga and its tribs are clearing the rain that the last front dumped in the hills but flows should be fine by Tuesday for Opening. The only question mark remains over how much rain might fall on Monday - weather forecasters are only predicting small amounts at this stage. Fingers crossed and check the flows for updated information, particularly those anglers heading into the Tararua backcountry.     




Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu should have dropped the extra flow it's carrying from this last front by Opening, particularly in the upper reaches. The tribs that haven't been fished over winter will be the spots to hit this Opening though! You can check the flows for the Pohangina, Orua and Mangatainoka here before you head out.    




Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is raging at time of writing and there's rain forecast all the way through to Opening Day. Unfortunately for high country anglers this amount of rain is likely to put a dampener on Opening Day proceedings in more ways than one. Might be best to head south for some fishing.                  

Tip of the Week - Small Streams The Early Season Pick

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Small streams offer fantastic fishing early in the season (Credit: Andrew Harding)

While many anglers prefer to fish the larger backcountry rivers come Opening Day, often some of the best angling to be had early season is in the smaller spawning tributaries.   

Trout will hold in these small streams for some months until the low flows and higher water temperatures of summer force them to drop back into the larger waterways where they can find refuge in deep pools. 

What this means for anglers is an abundance of top fishing opportunities from October through to the end of November in water that is so often overlooked by others. 

Start searching out some of these lesser known fishing spots and you'll be surprised at how many fish you find and how little water trout will happily hold in.

Hooked into a big brown in tight confines is a real test of skill and awesomely exciting. 

The other great advantage of smaller water early in the season is that these streams clear a lot faster than larger rivers because of the smaller catchment area.

So, with frequent rainfall the norm for the lower North Island through until December (and sometimes beyond), small water is less susceptible to weather events that impact other favoured fishing reaches.

All in all, this equates to more angling opportunities early on!    

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. 
  • 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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