Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 4 March 2021

Some welcome rain this weekend will be good for the rivers after a sustained dry spell but anglers will likely need to target the small streams to find fishable water.  

Rain in the high country ranges at time of writing briefly makes way for clear skies for most of the region tomorrow and into Saturday leaving a possible window of opportunity to get out for a fish without getting too wet.      

From late Saturday onwards, however, the front moving in from the south Tasman is going dump a fair bit of rain and will leave all but the smaller tribs with high, possibly unfishable, flows.  

As with any forecast, though, it pays to check on the day, so make sure you click the live river flow links for updates to see how things are looking before you make a final decision.  

There is plenty of activity on the water at the moment with amazing surface feeding going on - the best we've seen in a decade. So if you can get out, make the most of this hot action on offer. 

Here's the outlook:   

Pictured: Lovely conditions for sight fishing to rising trout on the Ruamahanga earlier this week (Credit: Hamish Carnachan).   

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt4Mar2021

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The Hutt, Akatarawa and Pakarutahi are very low this morning and in desperate need of the rain heading this way on Saturday. Get in early and you should have most of Saturday to fish before the weather comes in. Still a very strong cicada presences at the moment. Drift dives late last revealed superb numbers of large fish in the middle reaches around Heretaunga.                 

Hutt Totara 2.54cumecs Birchville

The Hutt River at Totara Park this morning (Credit: Steve Doughty)

    

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti4Mar2021

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The Otaki and Ohau are starting to creep up after rain in the hills yesterday but are yet to reach 'normal' flows for this time of year. The Waikanae is still really very low. The main rainfall, which is due to arrive late Saturday afternoon, will kick the flows and fishing back into life though. Perhaps look to head out Saturday morning - the bigger rivers with additional water might be the go.        

            

Wairarapa

Wairarapa4Mar2022

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The RuamahangaWaiohineWaingawaTauherenikau all received a small dose of rain yesterday but it has barely registered any noticeable flow increase. The rain forecast for this weekend may hinder anglers from Saturday afternoon but it is desperately needed to increase flows and remove some of the blue-green algae that is building up. Cicadas have tapered off on the mainstem but they are still going gangbusters in the backcountry! Willow grubs appear to be on the menu for Ruamahanga trout.                  

Rua Cliffs 590mmStage Galdstone

The Ruamahanga at the Cliffs yesterday afternoon (Photo: Hamish Carnachan)               

Manawatu

Manawatu4Mar2021

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Drizzly conditions in Manawatu this morning shouldn't affect river flows, with the mainstem Manawatu River, the PohanginaOroua and Mangatainoka all sitting low, clear and fishable at time of writing. The Mangatainoka is starting to creep up a little from yesterday's rain; if it doesn't come up too much though it could ignite the fishing for tomorrow and Saturday before the rain rolls in midway through the weekend.                           

Oroua 767mmStage Almadale

The Oroua at Almadale this morning (Photo: Horizons)

Rangitikei

Rangitikei4Mar2021

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The Rangitikei has a small fresh moving through at time of writing. While the upper reaches look clear at Pukeokahu, some heavy, thundery rain today, and the front moving through Saturday arvo, could put paid to any angling for the weekend. Look to the smaller tribs and confluences where trout should soon be starting to congregate for spawning movements.                                           

Rangitikei 2900mmStage Mangaweka

Rangitikei River at Mangaweka this morning (Photo: Horizons)

Tip of The Week - Confluences Are The Hotspots

The cooler evening temperatures and shorter days we're now experiencing are some of the environmental cues that signal to trout spawning time is approaching.

Subsequently, trout should soon be starting to move towards their natal spawning streams. 

You might notice fish starting to school up, chase each other around instead of feeding, and getting more aggressive and territorial. These are all indications that they're moving into breeding mode.

Often the fish will hold off running into the shallow and narrow spawning tributaries until the last minute - this is a survival mechanism because the smaller waters leave trout susceptible to predation with less cover to seek refuge. 

The result of this delayed run to the headwater streams is often large congregations of trout forming at confluences.         

These fish can seem tricky to catch as they are more interested in chasing each other than feeding. 

However, because they are increasingly territorial, they will often snap at a large streamer fly or spinning lure out of aggression.

The preoccupation with other fish also means you can sneak in really close without the fish spooking. 

Next time you're out on the water over the coming weeks, be sure to keep an eye on any confluence waters - you might strike it lucky.                

     - 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.

Webcams3 

Notice board

  • Fishing regulations for the Wellington Fish & Game region can be found here.  
  • 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.