Map shows best fish­ing

Hamilton Metro News - - SPORT - Lau­rilee McMichael

Some­times, if you want some­thing, you just have to cre­ate it your­self.

That’s the ap­proach of a group of Tu­rangi busi­nesses who have cre­ated their own map of the most pop­u­lar river in the Taupo¯ fish­ery.

The first map in the se­ries Ton­gariro River Bucket List — Fifty Pools to Fly Fish Be­fore You Die — has just been pro­duced and is sell­ing briskly. The map shows the Ton­gariro River, fish­ing pools, ac­cess points and park­ing, and also rates each pool ac­cord­ing to its ac­cess, dif­fi­culty, set­ting, re­li­a­bil­ity, snags, wad­ing and fish­ing pres­sure.

It also in­cludes in­for­ma­tion on the new Taupo¯ fish­ing reg­u­la­tions and fish­ing eti­quette and even a ruler so an­glers can check their catch is le­gal size. It re­tails for $5.

Orig­i­nally pro­duced by Jim Lewis of Jim’s Maps for the Ad­vo­cates for the Ton­gariro River in 2012, the map has been up­dated be­cause rivers change over time.

One of the map’s spon­sors, Ross Baker of Ton­gariro River Mo­tel, who hosts plenty of an­glers at his es­tab­lish­ment and gives them a free map each, says fly fish­ers reg­u­larly ask him for maps and the one sup­plied with their fish­ing li­cence is in­ad­e­quate for peo­ple un­fa­mil­iar with the lo­cal rivers and how to get to them.

“We’re deal­ing every day with fish­ing clubs from Aus­tralia and I have to in­struct them where to go or take them my­self and show them all the ac­cess points to get them started.”

Although DOC has a Ton­gariro River map of its own and has also pro­duced a fish­ery map which has the new reg­u­la­tions, Ross says each ma­jor river — the Ton­gariro, Tau­ranga-Taupo¯ , Hine­ma­iaia and Waita­hanui at least — needs its own map and they need to show the ac­cess points, park­ing ar­eas and fish­ing pools.

The ta­ble on the side of the Ton­gariro River Bucket List fish­ing map which gives each pool a rat­ing out of 20 was de­vel­oped with in­put from the fish­ing ex­perts at Sport­ing Life to help an­glers de­cide where to fish.

“They can pick and choose and see what suits them in terms of the wad­ing dif­fi­culty, etcetera. They don’t re­alise [un­til they get a map] that we have 50 pools.”

Fisherman Mur­ray Cullen, from Bal­lina, Aus­tralia, has been vis­it­ing the Ton­gariro River for more than 20 years and vis­its three times some years.

Mur­ray says he’s dis­ap­pointed there are no fish­ing maps of the other lo­cal rivers avail­able as dur­ing his month-long stay in the area he has re­lied heav­ily on the Ton­gariro River Bucket List map and con­sults it daily to plan his fish­ing.

The new map has cost “a cou­ple of thou­sand” to pro­duce and the $5 price is to try to re­cover that cost. Ross says they’re sell­ing well.

“I’ve had to go back to the Tu­rangi i-Site and give them more. Fish­er­men love that sort of thing. Each time they come they get an­other map. It’s re­ally in­struc­tive and easy to fol­low.”

To be able to print it, Ross put it some of his own money and se­cured spon­sor­ship from lo­cal busi­nesses Sport­ing Life, Tu­rangi Tav­ern, Raft­ing New Zealand Fish­ing and Out­doors news­pa­per. Ross says DOC is sup­posed to pro­mote the fish­ery, and maps would be a log­i­cal way to do so.

DOC com­mu­nity ranger Pete Shep­herd said DOC was aware of the need for an­gler in­for­ma­tion, whether elec­tron­i­cally or on pa­per and was plan­ning to re­view the in­for­ma­tion it gives out.

“In pre­vi­ous times we had a lot of in­for­ma­tion about eti­quette and how to re­lease fish, the hus­bandry of the fish­ery and things like that,” Pete says. “We have stuff around the changes to the fish­ery reg­u­la­tions that came out in July and we’re keen to re­view all of that hard copy hand-out in­for­ma­tion. There’s lots more in­for­ma­tion on line that peo­ple can find rel­a­tively quickly.”

KNOW­ING WHERE TO GO: Mur­ray Cullen from Aus­tralia, con­sult­ing the new Ton­gariro River Bucket List fish­ing map. Mur­ray vis­its Tu­rangi an­nu­ally for the fly­fish­ing and uses the map every day to plan his fish­ing.

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