Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 15 October 2020

Reports coming in from anglers point to fantastic fishing right throughout the region, and the stellar conditions at the start of the season are going to continue for the coming weekend too!

Most rivers and streams seem to be firing - from small Wairarapa spring creeks to the Manawatu mainstem which has well and truly bounced back from last season. 

Sport Flyfishing Manawatu held their annual competition last weekend and organisers report "fish numbers are looking very good this year as is the condition of the trout". 

This reflects observations from anglers who have been out on rivers in the north of the Wellington Fish & Game catchment (Rangitikei and Hautapu) and right through to those who ventured into the lesser Hutt tributaries on opening.    

So, the fishing is stunning and so too the weather after last night's front moves through today - Friday's forecast is for beautiful blue skies and calm conditions which will persist into the weekend, with just a little wind building in some parts of the lower North Island towards Sunday.

We aren't often blessed with such spring weather in this part of the world, so make sure you grab a licence and get into what is the best start to a fishing season we've seen for years. 

Pictured: Tim Angeli kicked off his season with this spectacular brown trout from a small Wairarapa spring creek. 

Hutt River and tributaries

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Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is running a little high after last night's front moved through from the south, but it is dropping back quickly and should be in top condition in time for the weekend. A little fresh is also flowing through the tribs like the Akatarawa and Pakarutahi but they are both almost back to near normal flow for this time of year and will be fishing well tomorrow and through to Sunday.    

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti15Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.

All the Kapiti Coast rivers - the WaikanaeOtaki and Ohau - are quickly falling back to normal spring flows after the recent fresh. Snow in the Tararuas last night will keep water temperatures down so fish might be more active when the days warm so no need for an early start. Reports of good whitebait runs on the coast this week should also see the lower river reaches fishing well.          

Wairarapa

Wairarapa15Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is still carrying plenty of flow from a good rain dump in the ranges on Monday but is clearing and fishable - note that there is substantial flow through the mainstem at the moment, so please be careful when wading. The Waiohine, Waingawa and Tauherenikau are dropping their flow from the rain and snow quickly and should be set up beautifully for any anglers lucky enough to get into the backcountry this weekend.      

Manawatu

Manawatu15Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu is running high and still climbing as rain clears the Ruahines. Anywhere other than the upper reaches are unlikely to have cleared in time for the weekend. The Mangatainoka is still very fishable and while the Pohangina and Oroua are rising at time of writing the rain should pass through in time for them to be back at good flow by Saturday.  

Rangitikei

Rangitikei15Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is high and brown and won't clear for the weekend but don't discount some of the tributaries. The smaller catchments will certainly clear in time for the weekend so pull out the maps and do some early-season exploring - you could uncover across some gems.            

Family Fishing Venue 

Families enjoying the idyllic angling conditions on Hokowhitu Lagoon over the weekendThere are still plenty of trout swimming around Hokowhitu Lagoon, Palmerston North, just waiting to be caught (Credit: Matt Kavermann).   

The Family Fishing event at Hokowhitu lagoon in Palmerston North was held last week and hundreds of people enjoyed the pleasant conditions and plentiful trout. 

There are still heaps of fish in the lagoon that were liberated for the event, so why not take the family down for a go?

Chances of success are high which makes it a great place to introduce children and spouses to the excitement of trout fishing. 

Remember that everyone who is fishing needs a licence, even under 12s who can fish for free.    

 

Tip Of The Week - Practice Makes Perfect

 

Many anglers hit the new season expecting that they'll be casting like they did at the end of the season past.

That's well and good if they've been fishing over the winter but the reality is many hang up their gear over the cooler months and, as a result, are a little rusty come October 1. 

This doesn't just apply to fly anglers either. 

Spin fishing requires equally accurate casting to achieve good, life-like presentations and, subsequently, hook-ups. And, it so happens that months without practice can certainly affect accuracy with this method of freshwater fishing too.

Screen grab 15 Oct 2020

Click the screenshot above to watch casting guru Carl McNeil's casting essentials.  

Just because the fish have been well rested over the winter doesn't mean they're not going to spook when a sloppy cast is dropped on them.  

The best way to avoid this is to get in some practice ahead of hitting the water. A few half-hour sessions each evening on the lawn after work should iron out any early-season creases. 

Put a series of targets out at different distances and practice landing your fly or lure in front of these.

Tip: If you're using spinning lures to practice on the lawn, remove the hook(s) as it stops the lure getting snagged in the grass. And if you're fly fishing then ensure you have something tied to the end of the leader to avoid damage to the terminal end of the line - a small piece of yarn or wool is ideal. 

Do take a little time to get your casting sorted. Standing behind a trophy trout that's feeding furiously and hasn't seen a'fly or lure for months is not the time to throw a shoddy cast!                         

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

 

Webcams

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

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Notice board

  • Fishing regulations for the Wellington Fish & Game region can be found here.  
  • Don't get a nasty surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. GWRC hasn't sent out a schedule of works so please contact them directly for information.  
  • Know anyone who might be interested in learning to fly fish? Hunting & Fishing stores are holding a series of seminars. Dates for lower North Island are as follows:

    H&F Otaki – Monday, October 19

    H&F Hutt Valley – Tuesday, October 20

    H&F Wairarapa – Wednesday, October 21

    H&F Manawatu – Thursday, October 22

      

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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.