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Where to Fish for Trout in the Wellington Region of NZ

Wellington's top trout fishing rivers

Wellington is one of the largest fishing regions in the country and as a consequence offers anglers a huge variety of fishing experiences. Many waters are very easy to reach as roads run alongside them for most of their length while others are some of the most remote in the country. The major rivers are the Manawatu, the Rangitikei and the Ruamahanga all of which provide varied fishing throughout their length and all have great tributaries that also provide good fishing.

Many of the large rivers are not particularly pleasant to fish as they near the coast as they become large, sluggish and silt laden. In their upper and middle reaches however they can provide superb fishing. Rivers such as the Rangitikei have a well deserved reputation for being trophy fisheries and require anglers who wish to venture into their headwaters to get a backcountry licence (which is free to licence holders). Do not think these remote rivers will have fish that are easily fooled however. Fish that reach the magical 10lb+ mark do not get that big by being stupid. Add to that the crystal clear water and you will find that to capture these fish requires considerable skill.

Around Wellington city there are a number of great waters ranging from the large Hutt River that flows through the city itself to the many small rivers that rise in the ranges and provide anglers with a near wilderness experience only an hour or less from the city centre. The small Wainuiomata River near Wellington has a reputation for superb dry fly and nymph fishing during the summer months though being close to the city is very popular and access can be a problem on some areas.

Both rainbow and brown trout can be found throughout the region though rainbow trout predominate in both numbers and in the bags caught by anglers. Like everywhere, brown trout remain the more elusive prey.


The top trout fishing rivers in the Wellington region include the:

Hutt River

Manawatu River

Mangatainoka River

Otaki River

Rangatikei River

Ruamahanga River

Wainuiomata River




Tarata Fishaway: Accommodation and guiding

Tarata Fishaway

Go Fish Kiwi

Go Fish Kiwi


Rangitikei River

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