Purpose of observing fishing etiquette when fishing New
The accepted rules of behaviour when accessing
and fishing New Zealand waters are based on consideration for other
anglers and for the land owners who permit access through or to
their land. Observing these rules will also ensure you stay within
the law, avoid conflict, and help maintain the good reputation of
anglers generally. It is especially important that you are aware
of good angling manners when fishing heavily-fished rivers such
as the Tongariro.
Rights of access
Most rivers cross private land and the rights
of the land-owner must be respected. Do ask the owner permission
before crossing their land (and use this opportunity to check if
there are any dangers to be aware of eg large bulls). Very rarely
is permission denied when asked for. Respect the landowners property.
Leave everything as you found it. If a gate is open leave it that
way. Likewise if it is closed. Our ability to continue to have free
access to cross land is dependent on farmers and other landowners
being able to trust that we, as anglers and guests on their land,
will behave responsibly.
Using boat ramps
For guidelines about launching your boat at a
boat ramp, see Boating
A fisherman on a back country river will not appreciate
the trout being scared off by a disturbance. Especially on a small
stream, give other anglers 3 km of undisturbed river. It may be
better to find another stream.
If you need to approach someone who is fishing,
do so quietly, keeping well back from the water, and signal your
intentions. Even your reflection on the water may spook the trout.
Fish disturbance is not such as issue when fishing
for fish on a spawning run in Taupo rivers and pools.
Good manners on river and streams
- Respect other anglers already on the water.
- Enquire politely about their plans.
- At stream mouths, join a line of anglers at
the end unless there is a large gap.
- Ask if it's okay to join an already occupied
- If a pool is full, wait on the bank or move
- If you join others fishing a pool, don't fish
the water someone is just about to fish.
- Do not monopolise a stretch of water, even if
you're catching fish there.
- Move upstream or downstream with every few casts
unless you are alone.
- When sharing a pool, accepted practice is to
take a step every time you cast.
- Leave plenty of room for your neighbour to cast,
and to play and reel in a hooked fish.
- Do not fill a gap left by an angler landing
a fish - let them return.
- If other anglers offend through inexperience,
have a gentle word with them.
Upstream and downstream fishing
Always enter a pool behind any angler already
- If a pool is being fished downstream by wetfly
anglers, start upstream of them.
- If a pool is being fished upstream by nymph
anglers, start downstream of them.
- Start your angling in the opposite direction.
- Don't start fishing a pool downstream when someone
else is fishing it upstream
- Don't start fishing a pool upstream when someone
else is fishing it downstream
- If in doubt, ask where to fish so as not to
cause a disturbance.
Good manners on lakes
- Give plenty of room to anglers who are trolling
or harling to avoid cutting their lines
- Try to "go with the flow" which is
usually to troll parallel to the shore.
- When you meet another boat head on, leave them
plenty of room to manoevre.
- When parking your boat for jigging or flyfishing,
give other boaties room to cast & fish.
- Avoid parking in popular trolling runs.
- Allow other anglers peace and quiet; avoid fishing
on top of other boats.
- Avoid making a lot of noise unless you are well
away on your own somewhere.
These rules apply to accessing fishing waters
via private land.
- No dogs
- No guns
- No camping
- Request permission to cross private land
- Offer thanks on leaving
- Leave gates as you find them (open or shut)
- Stay within the river margins
- Do not litter
- Be aware of fire risk
- Respect private property
- Avoid disturbing stock or damaging crops
- Do not park vehicles in gaterways
- Be courteous to local landowners and others
Fish refuse and litter
Please take all litter away with you and note
that it is an offence to leave any fish refuse on lake or river
banks. The Freshwater Fisheries Regulations state that no person
shall leave any fish or any cleanings or offal from fish, lying
unburied on the bank or margin of any waters.
For further information
For more information about fishing etiquette:
- See Good
Angling Manners on the DOC website.
- Pick up or request a copy of the DOC brochure
"Angling Manners: Understanding fishing in the Taupo Region".
- Read the section on fishing etiquette in
the book Volcanic Trout - A complete guide to fishing in the
Taupo region by Brendon Matthews (Longacre Press, 2003)
- Read opinion pieces by fly fishing guide
Heli use unnecessary...
and anyway why not walk?