Wellington Weekly Fishing Report - 8 October 2020

The new season was welcomed in with absolutely stunning weather for most of the lower North Island and what many anglers are praising as the best Opening Day conditions in years!

For those who weren't lucky enough to sneak away from work for a fish on Thursday (October 1), the angling gods kept smiling over the weekend - and particularly on Sunday - with the forecast strong winds never eventuating.

Rangers were out and about from the lowland streams in the Hutt Valley to the Tararua backcountry and good catches were reported right throughout.

The great run of weather and excellent early-season angling is set to continue this weekend too, with sunny skies forecast for the entire lower North Island. 

The northerly is supposed to pick up on Sunday, so it would pay to take a spinning rod as a back-up if your preference is fly angling.     

Given the often fickle nature of the weather in this part of the world during spring, grab your licence and get out while the conditions are ideal. 

Pictured: Blue skies, light winds and a backcountry river to oneself - it doesn't get any better! 

Hutt River and tributaries

Hutt8Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.

The Hutt is running a little high after overnight rain in the ranges on Tuesday. It is falling back to fishable flows nicely though and should be firing by the weekend with just a hint of colour to throw things in favour of the angler! The tribs like the Akatarawa and Pakarutahi are looking spring-time sensational and holding reasonable numbers of fish. These smaller waters are well worth a look early season before the summer dry conditions take hold.   

Kapiti Coast

Kapiti8Oct2020

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The WaikanaeOtaki and Ohau rivers have all had a lovely little fresh flow through on Wednesday which is clearing fast and will set angling conditions up beautifully for this weekend. With whitebait running at present, a trip to the lower reaches of any of the Kapiti Coast rivers could prove productive for spin anglers or fly fishers throwing streamers.          

Wairarapa

Wairarapa8Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.

The Ruamahanga is sitting slightly above fishable flow at time of writing but should be good by the weekend. The best bets are still going to be the smaller tribs that are used for spawning as trout will still be holding there while the flows are sufficient - do some exploring. Meanwhile, the Waiohine and Tararua rivers are going to be perfect after the mid-week fresh clears - please remember to be considerate to other anglers when you're in the backcountry.      

Manawatu

Manawatu8Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.     

The Manawatu is running quite large and dirty in town but above the Mangatainoka confluence it is looking very fishable. Obviously all the rain fell in the Tararua Ranges because those flowing from the Ruahines, such as the Pohangina and Oroua, are crystal clear and looking stunning today. As with the Ruamahanga catchment, early season is an awesome time to prospect some of teh lesser known stream where trout will still be holding after spawning.  

Rangitikei

Rangitikei8Oct2020

Click here for live weather updates.

The Rangitikei is looking beautiful and clear above Taihape for the first time this season, and any anglers who get out on the water in the upper reaches will certainly have a ball this weekend. Below Mangaweka the river has a little colour but this should clear out by the time the weekend rolls around, however it is set up perfectly for spinning for anyone looking to fish these reaches over the next day or two.            

Family Fishing On The Cards This Weekend

DJI 0085aHokowhitu Lagoon in Palmy will again be the venue for this year's family fishing day.

The team at Wellington Fish & Game and the Manawatu Freshwater Anglers Club are running a family fishing event this weekend.

A large number of trout will be released into Hokowhitu Lagoon, Palmerston North, so the chances of success are very high. There are tagged trout being released and prizes if you catch one of them. Don't miss this great family opportunity!

It's on this Saturday and Sunday, October 10 and 11. You will need a ticket and your own fishing gear as well as a fishing licence (free for under 12s). You can get all these at Hunting & Fishing, 35 Grey St, Palmerston North, including details about how the day will run.

Tip Of The Week - Time To Target Lower Ruamahanga

Credit a.hardingaA healthy brown from the lower Ruamahanga (Copyright Hamish Carnachan)  

The 2020-21 fishing season has got off to a spectacular start with the recently opened backcountry rivers and spawning tribs receiving plenty of hype.

However, a superb and easily accessible fishery, but one often overlooked, is set to fire.

The lower Ruamahanga River fishes very well early season until the water gets too warm in summer. The best - and most exciting time - to fish it is right now through to late December as the whitebait run.

Very large catches can be had by fly fishing or using spinning lures, and some anglers last season recorded 50-fish days made up mostly of perch but with plenty of feisty trout too.

Please be aware that the daily bag limit for trout is two fish per angler per day. We've heard of whitebaiters taking trout again down at Lake Onoke - rangers rangers will be periodically on location. 

The most productive flies and lures are those that imitate whitebait or juvenile perch - something green and yellow like a Green Rabbit imitates the latter well.

While a boat will allow anglers to cover much more water (trolling and harling is very productive), it is not essential, with plenty of public access and open banks to cast from.

Look for structure if you're after big perch numbers. And as the water warms you'll find trout in deeper pools, shaded areas, or where streams flow into the mainstem.

The lower Ruamahanga is a great place to get kids hooked into fishing too as the chances of success are very high - just keep a close eye on them as the banks are steep and the water deep in parts!

There are plenty of public points to access the lower Ruamahanga in our information guide which can be found here.

If you're in the area or not far away, give this superb fishery a go. You won't be disappointed.

By Wellington Fish & Game officer Hamish Carnachan.

Video of the Week

Every river your cross is an angling opportunity waiting to be realized. This is certainly the case for the lower North Island where we're blessed with so many trout fishing rivers and streams. Watch and be inspired!  

Click the screenshot below to watch. 

Vid SS 8Oct2020

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 a nasty surprise by Greater Wellington Regional Council's river bulldozing ruining your day on the river. Check out the latest schedule of activity 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.