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Hutt River

The Hutt River is a highly regarded water that offers a range of trout fishing options within easy access of the capital city of New Zealand. Fish numbers vary year to year though there are generally good numbers of fish throughout the system.


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Fish type This is a brown trout fishery with fish averaging around 1 kg, although some fish up to 3 kg are caught. A few rainbow trout migrate from the sea into the lower reaches at times but these are very rare.
Situation The Hutt is the largest of the Wellington rivers. It drains the southern Tararua ranges and flows south through the Hutt Valley to enter Wellington harbour near Lower Hutt.

Access map

Access map with topography

LINZ topographic maps: 1:50,000 (260 series)

Check conditions

Weather forecast

View MetService weather forecast for Wellington.

River flow and water temperature

View graphs at the Greater Wellington Regional Council website of recent Hutt River flow and water temperature at:
- Hutt River at Estuary Bridge (lower reaches- tidal)

- Taita Gorge (middle reaches)

- Birchville (middle reaches)

- Te Marua (upper reaches)


View graphs at the Greater Wellington Regional Council website of recent rainfall at:
- Lower Hutt (lower reaches)

- Te Marua (upper reaches)

- Kaitoke Headworks (upper reaches in the Kaitoke Regional Park)


Despite flowing through reasonably densely populated areas for much of its length, the Hutt River has a good population of mostly brown trout. It has a mixture of pools, rapids and runs and offers good fishing throughout its length, even in those areas that flow through densely populated suburbs. Willows and other trees line much of the banks, providing good cover for the fish during the brighter parts of the day. The river is easily wadeable though the stones can become very slippery during late summer.

For more information about the Hutt River Fishery see article by Chris Paulin

Methods All fishing methods work well throughout the season. Both dry fly and nymph fishing are popular, especially during the morning or evening. Spinning works well throughout the day and bait fishing can also be very rewarding.
Recommended lures

Nymphs: In the upper reaches weighted stoneflies and mayfly patterns such as Pheasant Tail and caddis patterns, and Hare and Copper in the lower reaches

Dry flies: Popular patterns include Royal Wulff, Adams, Blue Dun, Coch-y-Bondhu, beetle patterns (during the early summer) and cicada and cricket patterns late in the summer.

Wet flies / Streamers: In the lower reaches use large wet flies such as a Grey Ghost, yellow Rabbits, Jack Spratt and other whitebait patterns during the day and dark patterns such as Craig's Night-time and Scotch Poacher during the evening and at night. In the middle and upper reaches use small wee-wets such as March Brown, Red Governor and Hardies Favourite.

Spinners: Black and gold Toby's in the wider lower reaches and small bladed spinners such as Mepps or Veltic in the rapids and pools in the middle and upper reaches.

Tributaries Most tributaries of the Hutt River are small but provide excellent fishing for those who enjoy using light tackle. These include the Pakuratahi River, the Mangaroa River, the Akatarawa River, the Whakatikei River and the Wainui River.
Applicable to Hutt River
Region Wellington region regulations
Season All year

Artificial fly, spinner

Bait fishing: Child licence holders only may bait fish.

Bag limit 2 trout
Size limit (cm) A 450mm maximum where any fish larger than 45cm must be returned unharmed.

Go Fish Kiwi

Go Fish Kiwi


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