Reel Life April 2021

With moderate summer water temperatures, regular freshes and no damaging floods, Taranaki trout fisheries have come through the current season in good shape and all streams and rivers are in good condition heading into the trout spawning season. 

Although many Taranaki region fisheries close to angling at the end of April, a good selection of waters remain open during the “winter season”. 

TRL2April2021 Success from the Lake Mangamahoe casting platform photo Curly McEwen.

Success from the Lake Mangamahoe casting platform (photo Curly McEwen)

These include Lake Mangamahoe, a picturesque lake near New Plymouth that contains brown and rainbow trout up to 2kg.

Above Right: Curly McEwen tries his luck from the Lake Mangamahoe casting platform (photo Charmian Stancliff).

Casting to sighted fish cruising the lake margin or retrieving a green/olive woolly bugger from the new casting platform are good ways to spend a few hours on a sunny day. 

Please note that Lake Mangamahoe is restricted to fly fishing only, with a fly rod, fly reel, fly line and artificial fly. 

Located an hour’s drive south of Hawera, the 14km of the lower Patea River between McColl’s Bridge and Trustpower’s Patea dam is also well worth a visit at this time of year.

Anglers can park on the side of Maben Road to access the river or fish at the power station tailrace.

This section contains tagged brown and rainbow trout from four years of Trustpower-funded releases, plus some larger rainbows from Fish & Game’s Hawera hatchery that have an adipose fin-clip.

TRL3April2021 Hawera hatchery volunteer Kevin MacDonald releases hatchery rainbows into the lower Patea River March 2021

Hawera hatchery volunteer Kevin MacDonald releases hatchery rainbows into the lower Patea River, March 2021.

If you catch a tagged or fin-clipped trout, please send us a photo along with the tag details, or if keeping the fish also record its length, weight and freeze the stomach – which we’ll gratefully arrange for pickup.

Generation flows below the Patea dam can vary significantly over short time-frames, so avoid crossing the river.

Weekends are often a good time to visit with reduced power demand resulting in lower river flows.

Near real-time data on flows at McColl’s Bridge are available on the Taranaki Regional Council’s website at https://trc.govt.nz/environment/maps-and-data/site-details/?siteID=28&measureID=9&timePeriod=30days 

The lower reaches of a number of ringplain streams and rivers also remain open to angling, including the Waiwhakaiho River, where there is a good stretch of fishable water accessible from a walking track at the right-hand end of Rimu Street extension, upstream to a white-yellow and black marker pole.

The lower reaches of Kaupokonui Stream below SH45 is another popular stretch of water, with easy access from the Kaupokonui beach camp off Lower Glenn Road. 

In the Ruapehu district, the main-stem of the Manganuioteao River downstream of the Makatote River confluence remains open until the end of June and fly fishing with a weighted 2-nymph rig, or spin fishing should produce fish.

The river between Ruatiti Domain and the Orautoha Stream confluence will be well worth a visit on a nice sunny day, as fish congregate in this area prior to spawning. 

From 1 July, only the section downstream of Ruatiti Road Bridge remains open and spin fishing in the pools adjacent to the Ruatiti domain will be a good option. 

Additional information on Taranaki Region trout fisheries is available at https://fishandgame.org.nz/taranaki/freshwater-fishing-in-new-zealand/fishing-locations-and-access/ 

Many Taranaki anglers also visit the Awakino River in the Auckland/Waikato Region at this time of year, particularly the fly fishing only section upstream of the Mahoenui SH3 Bridge, although the entire river remains open until June 30. 

Likewise, the Rotorua lakes also attract their fair share of Taranaki anglers in May.  

For anglers who’ve not purchased a 2020/2021 whole season licence, the option of a reduced price winter season licence is now available and allows anglers to fish waters throughout NZ (except the Taupo fishing district) that remain open through to 30 September, including the Rotorua lakes – see http://www.fishandgame.org.nz/content/fishing-licence-info 

TARANAKI REGION WINTER SEASON ANGLING WATERS

Rivers and Lakes

Open From

Brown Trout

Rainbow    Trout

Perch

Area Open

Taranaki Ringplain

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Mangamahoe

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Excluding inlet & tributaries.  Fly fishing only with fly rod, fly reel and fly line

Lake Rotomanu

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

*

 

Lake Ngangana

1 Oct-30 Sept

 

*

*

 

Opunake Lake

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

 

Waitara River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Below Manganui River confluence

Waiwhakaiho River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Sea to landmark pole at the end of gravel track at the right-hand end of Rimu St. extn.

Huatoki Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Below Brois St. Bridge

Manganui River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Below Bristol Road Bridge

Mangaoraka Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Below Devon Road SH3 Bridge

Waiongana Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Below Devon Road SH3 Bridge

Patea River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

*

Below Patea Dam

Waingongoro River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Below SH45 Bridge

Waiaua River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Below SH45 Bridge

Kapuni Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Below SH45 Bridge

Kaupokonui Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Below SH45 Bridge

Stony River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Entire river

Warea River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Below SH45 Bridge

Lake Ratapiko

1 Jun-30 Sept

*

*

*

Except inlet race

Lake Rotorangi

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

*

Dam face to Mangamingi Bridge

Whanganui

 

 

 

 

 

Lake Namunamu

1 Oct-30 Sept

 

*

 

Lake closed 1 December – 31 January

Lake Wiritoa

1 Oct-30 Sept

 

 

*

 

Lake Kohata

1 Oct-30 Sept

 

 

*

 

Whanganui River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Below Ohura River confluence, excluding tributaries

Waimarino

 

 

 

 

 

Manganuioteao River

1 Oct-30 June

*

*

 

Below Makatote River confluence. Excluding tributaries

Manganuioteao River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Downstream of Ruatiti Road Bridge. Excluding tributaries

Mangawhero River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

 

 

Downstream of the Ohakune - Raetihi Road “golf course” Bridge

Tokiahuru Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Downstream of SH49 Bridge

Waitaiki Stream

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Downstream of SH49 Bridge

Retaruke River

1 Oct-30 Sept

*

*

 

Downstream of Oio Road Bridge

Sattlers Dam

1 Oct-30 Sept

 

*

 

 

 

Tight Lines

Allen Stancliff, Taranaki Fish & Game Officer.