Home' Fish and Game : August 2015 Contents LL THE INDICATORS POINT TO THE 2015-
16 season shaping up to be another cracker in
the Wellington Fish & Game region.
Although the cicadas didn’t come out in
force last summer, many anglers still experienced
the best fishing they’ve had in years with excellent
numbers of trout in superb condition.
Despite the June flooding in Manawatu and Ran-
Wellington Region 73
THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
FISHERY FOCUS - Ruamahanga River
gitikei, the rivers recovered well, providing trout
with good spawning conditions over winter. And
after plenty of snow on the tops, our stunning net-
work of rivers will be in great shape throughout
spring and early summer, providing wonderful
fisheries and fighting fit trout.
Wellington Fish & Game’s comprehensive pro-
gramme of drift dive surveys shows the region’s
HE RUAMAHANGA RIVER IS ONE OF THE
jewels in the crown of the Wellington region
Excellent angling for a high population of brown
and rainbow trout can be had from the middle
reaches -- Martinborough north -- all the way to the
headwaters and in numerous tributary streams and
Regional and national fly angling champs are held
on the Ruamahanga most years because of the high
catch rates and excellent fishing beats.
While the river is renowned for its willing browns
and prolific rises that can occur anytime during the
day, rainbows are becoming more common. They’re
also becoming larger, with some specimens around
the 7-8lb mark observed by staff during drift dives
Like many rivers, however, the Ruamahanga
faces multiple threats from the likes of urban
wastewater discharges, intensive agriculture runoff,
sedimentation, and the regional council gravel
extraction and riverbed straightening activity.
Further threats are posed by Greater Wellington
Regional Council promoting a large scale irrigation
dam for intensive dairying development, and the
problematic new water management regime
whereby laypeople, as part of a so-called Whaitua
Committee, are tasked with setting important and
The Ruamahanga River holds a good population of brown and rainbow trout
and offers excellent fishing from the lowlands to the headwaters
Hooked up in Wellington region backcountry
highly complex water quality parameters.
The outcome of these processes will have a
significant bearing on the future of this fine fishery,
so anglers must ensure they have input when it is
Meanwhile, the river comprises some 160km of
fishable water in the main stem alone, so it can
seem a daunting proposition when starting out, or
if you’re new to the region. Also, the fish have a
trout population is in very good stead. Around 25
rivers are sampled each year, encompassing more
than 60 dives and taking in 80km total length. As
a very general gauge, the drift dives show Welling-
ton’s trout numbers are good, and fish size is even
Staff have also been encouraged to observe
plenty of particularly large specimens (10lb+),
some of which were in surprisingly close proximity
to Wellington city!
It goes to show that anglers will find world class
trout fishing from the Hutt River, in the south of
the region, to the Rangitikei, in the north, and any-
where in between.
The lower North Island’s wily lowland browns,
or the boisterous high country rainbows (both of
which reach trophy proportions), will test any an-
gler’s skills. Then there’s the vast network of easily-
accessed, family-friendly fisheries, which provide
great opportunities for kids and novices alike.
And while many regions also enjoy productive
fisheries, few can boast the lack of pressure and
subsequent ‘catchability’ of trout that Wellington
region anglers have right on their doorstep. In-
deed, we have little guiding activity and certainly
nowhere near the hordes of overseas (non-resi-
dent) anglers that descend on other ‘named’ spots
around the country.
For variety of water, scenic splendour, and qual-
ity of catch, the Wellington Fish & Game region is
unrivalled in the North Island, possibly even New
Zealand. So, with a great season looming, it’s time
to grab your licence and prepare for some first rate
fishing in 2015-16.
tendency to move around in large schools, leaving
large areas of barren water.
It means the best way to tackle this superb
fishery is with plenty of experimentation and lots of
relocation if you’re not hitting fish. Alternatively, join
one of the many freshwater angling clubs we have
in the Wellington Fish & Game region - the members
frequent the river regularly and you’ll learn a lot from
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