Anglers throughout Bay of Plenty will be dusting off their rods and setting alarms for an early start with the new trout season upon us.
A wide range of watercraft are expected to descend on lakes Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina at dawn tomorrow
as anglers reunite and celebrate the new season.
Bay of Plenty fishing guide Miles Rushmer said, in terms of his business, Covid-19 meant it would be a quiet season as 85 per cent of his customers were usually international visitors.
He has been a full time professional guide for 24 years.
"It's always exciting, I think we are looking at an interesting season this year in that we are minus a lot of international visitors. But it's fantastic for Kiwis because there will be hardly any pressure on the systems out there and fishing will be absolutely fantastic as a result.
"I'm looking at a pretty tough season but we're not going to cry about it, I can paint the house or mow the lawns, it's not going to kill us. I would encourage people to support local and try something new like fly fishing, especially in the sunny Bay of Plenty."
He said in comparison to other parts of the country, Kiwis were lucky to even be able to get out and fish.
"I'd hate to be an avid fly fishing enthusiast in England because they're in lockdown for the foreseeable future. To be honest, New Zealand has probably become the most desirable place to be in the world, so watch that space when the borders do open.
"We're spoiled with the fishing we have in the Bay of Plenty and it's right on our doorstep, arguably the best fly fishing in the world."
Rushmer said the biggest threat to the excellent fishing available in New Zealand was water pollution.
"It's world class but we need to make the necessary moves to protect it from the vagaries of industrial dairy farming. That's the biggest threat, bar none, to the wonderful fly fishing we have in New Zealand.
"It was a big thing last election and my vote was cast entirely on fresh water quality. We're starting to see that now and of course, dairy farmers are kicking and screaming."
Tauranga Anglers club captain Stuart Vaughan said the start of the trout fishing season was something fly fishers looked forward to all year.
"For those who fish the back country, it's fairly exciting because they're getting into water that hasn't been fished for three or four months. There will be a few of them heading out for that and plenty of others heading to the three trophy lakes in Rotorua, Tarawera, Rotoiti and Okataina with their boats.
"It is a pretty social event for some, especially the boat fishing and clubs. You'll find the majority of the guys who are fly fishing are on the river by themselves, doing their thing and looking for a bit of solitude.
"It's relaxing and it's a challenge - if you can't get them on one lure or fly, you change and have another go. It's forever changing.
"I normally head to the lake myself, it will be interesting to see how it goes, there should be some good times to be had, good opportunities and there's no international competition which could be quite good."
Fish & Game staff are reminding those heading out to follow the rules. They will be monitoring the fishing and conducting licence checks.
Rangers and biosecurity staff from Te Arawa Lakes Trust, Bay of Plenty Regional Council and the Department of Conservation (DoC) will be ensuring biosecurity measures are adhered to.
Visitors to the lakes are reminded to abide by the "leave no trace" principles of not cutting down trees, toileting appropriately and removing your rubbish.
Biosecurity staff from Te Arawa Lakes Trust will be monitoring vessels at boat ramps.
Anglers are asked to ensure they have checked their fishing apparatus for pest weed fragments and fish eggs, clean the gear to kill any microscopic spores and eggs.