New Blog Post

Fine warm conditions and low clear rivers will greet anglers who are out and about over the next few days.  

And with light winds also on the cards across much of the region, this weekend could be the one to head into the hills for a night or two and get into the great backcountry fishing that has been on offer. 

The first cicadas are starting to make their presence known too, which means we're right in the thick of summer trout angling heaven. 

This is the best time of year to be out on the water chasing trout with settled conditions and the fish obliged to rise to large terrestrial imitations - It doesn't get much better!  

The cream of the angling is still to come this season so get your licence and make the most of it.     

Pictured: Peter de Boer with a wily old backcountry brown taken on cicada last week (Copyright Andrew Harding)

Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries


Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt River and tributaries are all good to go. Lovely conditions are on the cards for capital anglers this weekend but with low flows you'll need to be a bit more strategic in your approach - the smaller waters are probably starting to get a bit warm so focus on the larger, shaded pools and aerated runs.                 

Kapiti Coast


Click here for live weather updates.

Like the Hutt catchment the WaikanaeOhau and Otaki are all looking great. The Waikanae is very low but our drift dives this week show surprisingly good trout numbers. Again, look to the deeper pools and cooler parts of the rivers to locate the fish.        



Click here for live weather updates.

Drought is starting to take a hold in Wairarapa with the Ruamahanga and even the larger tribs - the WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau - all very low. Despite this the fishing has been good, even in the Ruamahanga which usually starts to slow down at this point in the season. With beautiful warm weather forecast it's a great opportunity for local anglers to get into the hills this weekend.                    



Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu and tribs - including the PohanginaOroua and Mangatainoka - are getting very low also but still fishing well for those who put the effort in to find where the trout are holding. Despite our earlier report about tough angling on the mainstem Manawatu, anglers have since contacted us about 20-plus fish days upstream of the gorge so those numbers suggest it's well worth a look.   



Click here for live weather updates.

The mighty Rangitikei is not so mighty after weeks of no substantial rain. This equates to low clear conditions for all but the lower reaches. Great fishing is still being reported, though, particularly in and around Mangaweka. The Hautapu still seems to be flowing nicely so anglers could find the browns a little more active in the cooler waters of this Rangitikei tributary. Please see the noticeboard below regarding flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam.    

Tip of the Week - Terrestrial Time

IMG 1350a Copy

Spider imitations work year-round but are a great large dry fly imitation to try mid-summer too (Copyright Hamish Carnachan).   

The warm settled weather conditions and falling river flows signal one of the most exciting times on the angling calendar - terrestrial time. 

Cicadas are starting to emerge - albeit sporadically this season - but the grass hoppers and other large terrestrial insects are prolific from the lowlands to the backcountry.

You know when grasshoppers start leaping around your tent that tying on a large, leggy dry fly imitation is a sure bet to tempt a trout. 

With the trout often a little lethargic at this time of year with the warmer water temperatures, these XOS-sized flies are great for getting fish the back on the bite. Trout have a hard time passing up these large protein packs which offer lots of energy for very little effort.

That's why it's a good idea to fish large terrestrial imitations into all likely water, whether you can spot a trout or not. Probe the pocket water and drift as close as you dare in and under overhanging cover where a trout might be seeking refuge from the hot sun.

Even though most anglers go straight to cicada patterns, it pays to have a variety of large flies in your box - be sure to have an equal mix of spiders, hoppers and stimulators.    

By Fish & Game field officer Hamish Carnachan. 



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


Notice board

  • The Otaki Kids Fishing Day is being held on Saturday, February 8. Registrations are essential and can be made through Otaki Hunting and Fishing by email, or calling (06)364-8969. 
  • 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 , which will cause the rivers downstream (including the Rangitikei) to rise, will be conducted on the following dates: 

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.