Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 31 March 2022

Weather Window This Weekend       

Pictured - Hamish Carnachan about to release a prime rainbow in full spawning livery, caught in a Rangitikei feeder stream recently (Credit: Matt Kavermann).    

After a weather blow-out last weekend, conditions are looking pretty good for Saturday and Sunday before deteriorating again next week.

Make the most of this window because the season is drawing to a close with just a month of fishing available before winter limits come in. 

The trout are certainly there for the taking and in exceptional condition as they head into spawning mode.

Anglers are reporting a switch in feeding behaviour as the seasons change - dries and nymphs are off the menu but streamers are getting smashed.

Even dead-drifting streamer patterns such as wooly buggers is producing takes to sighted fish in spawning waters. 

There's plenty of action available so get into it while the weather holds!       

 Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt31Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

The HuttAkatarawa and Pakarutahi are all clear and good to go this morning. With extra flow in the smaller streamers now is the time to start prospecting for spawning run fish.                  

Hutt Totara 5.4cumecs Birchville

The Hutt River at Totara Park yesterday (Credit: Al Markham)  

Kapiti Coast 

Kapiti31Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

Lovely conditions on the Kapiti Coast this morning - clear and calm with blue skies. The OtakiOhau and Waikanae all look a picture and are perfect for fly fishing today. The drift dive team is on the water in the region so apologies to any anglers who may be temporarily inconvenienced, but the survey work is important for our fisheries management.  

Otaki SH1 4.1cumecs PukehinauThe Otaki River at SH1 this morning (Credit: Phil Teal)

 

Wairarapa 

Wairarapa31Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is still carrying some colour and extra flow from the big fresh last weekend but could be fishable come the weekend. The WaiohineWaingawa and Tauherenikau have extra water but are clear and in great shape for fly fishing. Word is trout are starting to show up in the lower reaches of some spawning streams.            

Waiohine SH2 8.6cumecs Gorge

The Waiohine at SH2 this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)


Manawatu

Manawatu31Mar2023

Click here for live weather updates.  

The mainstem Manawatu River is still big brown and dirty in the middle reaches. Unless you head much higher you're going to struggle. The Pohangina and Ōroua are clearing and should be fishable by Saturday - a good option with trout starting to move into spawning mode.             

Manawatu 1019mmStage TeachersCROP

The Manawatu River at Teachers College this morning (Credit: Horizons)


Rangitikei 

Rangatikei31Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River is still carrying plenty of sediment in the middle and lower reaches - quite dirty at Mangaweka. However, further upstream it is clearing nicely and probably even fishable around and upstream of Mangaohane.             

Rangi Pukeokahu 3168mmStage Mangaweka

The Rangitikei River at Mangaweka this morning (Credit: Horizons) 

 

Video of The Week 

WR Video 24Mar2022Click the screenshot above to watch a great short video on Fish & Game's top five spin and bait fishing tips.  

 

Tip of The Week - Autumn Angling Tactics

TipWR17Mar2022

A beautifully coloured rainbow hen from a Wellington Fish & Game region small stream getting ready for spawning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan). 

The trout in our patch are switching to spawning mode, so anglers need to adapt to the behaviour if they want to be successful.

Following are a few simple tips to help you increase your chances of hooking up on fish in what can be both a frustrating and exciting period on the angling calendar:

1. Trout will start congregating in their natal streams - the small waterways where they came from and return into for their own spawning. Concentrate on these before they close at the end of April. 

2. Check out the confluences of waterways. Often fish will stack up at these 'intersections' as they wait for conditions to run into their spawning waters. Cues to run could be a pro-longed drop in temperature, falling air pressure, or rain. 

3. If trout aren't cooperating and are ignoring your dries and nymphs, bring out the big guns. Switch to large streamers - the bigger the better (even articulated patterns). This can force an aggressive territorial strike if the fish aren't actively feeding.

4. Threadline gear and spinners can be effective in autumn for the same reasons as outlined above. 

5. Make them bite. When trout get the urge to spawn, often feeding is the last thing on their minds as they wait for mates or concentrate on defending their patch. If they won't feed, annoy them into biting. Often it can take up to a dozen or more casts at a 'doggo' trout, but if you're accurate enough and keep the flies or lures bouncing just past its nose eventually it will hit it, possibly out of sheer annoyance.        

Autumn certainly brings its own set of challengers for the angler. At times it can be very frustrating sighting large fish that won't take anything as they chase each other around, but other times they'll aggressively strike at anything that hits the water.

Try not to get frustrated. Instead mix up your fishing to suit the season.       

 

River Webcams

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


WebcamSnip

   

Noticeboard

  • Wellington Fish & Game has been advised of the following dates for flushing flows from the Moawhango Dam:

  9:00 pm Tuesday 3 May to 2:00 am Wednesday 4 May 2022 (river ecological state dependent)    

  • River Bulldozing - Don't get an unwelcome surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. The upcoming activity schedule can be found 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.