Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 24 March 2022

Time To Top Up The Fly Box     

Pictured - A prime Wairarapa brown trout caught and released recently when the weather allowed some angling (Credit: Ben Ellison).    

Hutt and Kapiti anglers have a very small window to get out for a fish today before the rivers blow out - elsewhere, the rain has already hit. 

Unfortunately the weather that has been a blight on fishing this season has returned. 

The Manawatu region is the only part of the lower North Island that will escape the torrential rain forecast over the weekend, however, all local rivers are already high and dirty.

This weekend is going to be one to stay home, tie some flies, watch fishing videos and await settled conditions to - hopefully - return. 

 Here's the outlook:

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt24Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

The HuttAkatarawa and Pakarutahi are clear and just slightly above normal flows this morning but the rain is coming. Get out quickly if you want a chance to fish because the weather over the next few days is not looking great.                  

Hutt 24mar2022

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

Kapiti Coast 

Kapiti24Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

Like the Hutt catchment, anglers on the Kapiti coast have a brief chance to hit the OtakiOhau and Waikanae before they rise with the rain that has already fallen. The Otaki is fishable at time of writing, the image below just shows localised siltation from the adjacent gravel track.  

24 mar 2022 otakiAThe Otaki River at SH1 this morning (Credit: Phil Teal)

 

Wairarapa 

Wairarapa24Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is just fishable this morning with a clear edge but this won't last long as heavy rain has already fallen in the ranges, affecting the WaiohineWaingawaTauherenikau and other local rivers that feed the mainstem.          

Ruamahanga WR24Mar2022

The Ruamahanga River at Ponatahi Bridge this morning (Credit: Hamish Carnachan)


Manawatu

Manawatu24Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.  

The mainstem Manawatu River is big brown and dirty and taking lots of flood flow from the PohanginaOrua and other tribs. Forget river fishing this weekend - take the family to Hokowhitu Lagoon and target some trout and perch.            

Manawatu Teachers 1688mmStageWEB

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


Rangitikei 

Rangitikei24Mar2022

Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei River is a raging brown torrent. Forget about fishing the Central High Country until the flood waters have subsided.             

Rangitikei Mangaweka 5563mmStageWEB

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.