Weekly Fishing Report - March 17

  • Wellington
  • 17/03/2017
  • Wellington

A lovely five-day settled weather window is upon us, and rivers are dropping back to near-perfect flows - time to get out and make the most of it with only six weeks of the main season left.

The cicadas are still thick in the air, near deafening-levels on the Kapiti Coast yesterday, with rivers clearing nicely after a solid fresh last weekend.

It's likely this is the last of the cicada hatch for the year given the falling temperatures... we're actually lucky they're still going this late.

It means the trout we're seeing are in absolute fantastic condition and fighting fit as they head into the spawning. Great sport! Get amongst it while you can.

Pictured above right: A cicada-munching lower North Island brownie (Credit: Andrew Harding).

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt17Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Hutt River had a hint of 'tea' colour in it yesterday but was falling fast and should be fishing superbly right now and through the weekend. A southerly change might bring a few showers tomorrow but the breeze will be upstream - perfect!


Kapiti Coast

Kapiti17Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

A bit of a southerly change tomorrow and a smattering of showers won't do anything to stop the fish feeding. Conditions looked perfect in the Kapiti Coast rivers when staff were there yesterday and they'll be even better today. Get into it.



Wairarapa17Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Ruamahanga mainstem is settling down nicely after last weekend's rain and will be fishing well from today onward through Saturday and Sunday. Look to the confluence areas where fish will be starting to congregate for their spawning runs.



Manawatu17Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

The Manawatu and is still dropping a bit of flow but is well within fishable range. As above, look to the confluences with the major tribs - the Pohangina and Oroua and Mangatainoka -where trout will start stacking up prior to running into the headwaters.



Rangitikei17Mar2017Click the weather icons above to update.

Stunning conditions up on the edge of the plateau today and over the weekend. The Rangitikei and Hautapu are fishing superbly and this part of the region is our pick for the weekend with perfect conditions and an abundance of fit fighting rainbows and brownies.

Tip of the Week - Fish the Fresh

IMG 7183

Casting into a tea-coloured river carrying extra flow after rain (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).

Okay - we've got a lovely weekend on the cards but given the way things have been going we're certainly likely to have more rain before the season is out.

Too many anglers let a little rain put them off.

Talk to those in the know, though, including guides who spend a lot of time on the water, and they'll tell you that tossing it in because of a little high water is your loss.

Often a little rain will reset a river system and stimulate the fish into active mode. There's a reason we call a flush of rain a 'fresh' - it freshens everything up.

Slime and algae is washed away, aquatic insects are dislodged and the water temperature drops resulting in more 'comfortable' conditions for trout which, naturally, are adapted for cold water. It's like someone has hit a reset button.

So, next time you see rain in the forecast for your preferred fishing day, don't be despondent - chances are the fishing could be great.

However, always be very careful around rising rivers. Fishing the falling fresh is always safest.

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

MagCoverMagCoverFish & Game NZ magazine online

We've just uploaded a heap more content from some of our back issues.

Feature articles, photo spreads, columns and fly tying - check it out Fish & Game NZ magazine online.

And if you're on Facebook, 'like' the Fish & Game NZ Magazine Online page so we can keep you up to date with new content releases, competitions and other offers.

Video of the week

Check out this latest video from Andrew Harding - a compilation of cicada fishing action this season.

Click here to watch.

Notice board

  • River bulldozing - Don't let this activity by Greater Wellington Regional Council ruin your fishing. Click here for the latest schedule of river destruction (you can also register your complaints through this page).
  • Ruamahanga access at Gliding Club (Greytown) - please note that work is being done by the council on the Pah Road access point. Anglers are being directed to the Tilsen Road access. This is across the farmland currently under lease so please respect his wishes that anglers:

- Leave the gates across the access road closed (they won't be locked).
- Contact him first before access (his number is on a sign on the gates) to let him know.

  • There's an import advisory for anglers about the Moawhanga flushing flows here.
  • Rangitikei River Access - Access point 10 (Rangitieki Valley Road end) has been washed out by flood and there is no longer access. Please use alternative access points.

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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