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Stay safe at the waterside or afloat in a boat, by following these basic guidelines for fishing safety tips.

Take a friend

Take a friend fly-fishing. Apart from the cheering company, if one of you has an accident, the other can assist or go for help.

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Learn to swim

  • All anglers should be proficient swimmers. Under qualified supervision, learn to swim at least 50m, fully clothed.
  • Never go afloat in a boat until you can swim at least 50m, fully clothed.
  • Should you decide to go afloat in a boat in pursuit of trout, always fly-fish with an experienced boat handler; never fly fish from a boat on your own – tell someone ashore when to expect your return; wear a life jacket at all times, and never stand up in the boat, you could capsize the boat and/or fall into the water.
  • Never wear waders or fishermen’s thigh boots in a boat – if you fall overboard, they will quickly fill with water and sink you like a stone!

High voltage Overhead Electricity Cables

  • Keep well away from high-voltage overhead electricity cables. A back-cast fishing line tangle with an overhead cable conducting electricity could kill you. Some cables are surprisingly close to the ground.
  • Be aware that electricity from an overhead cable can arc down and strike your fishing rod even if you have no direct fishing-line contact with the cable.


  • Do not fly fish during a thunderstorm
  • Lightning can kill you.
  • A strike by lightning could kill you.
  • Find a safe place to shelter before the thunderstorm begins.
  • Do not go out in a boat if a thunderstorm is forecast.
  • If you are afloat in a boat, aim to get ashore before the thunderstorm begins, and seek a safe place to shelter.
  • Do not shelter directly beneath a tree, lightning striking the tree could kill you.
  • Lightning does not always strike the highest point in the area where it flashes to earth. Lightning can strike anywhere.
  • When caught in the open during an overhead thunderstorm, put your fishing rod, landing-net, and any large metal objects you might be wearing or carrying (lightning is attracted to metal) in a neat pile; move well away from the pile and keep a low profile – kneel, or lie down flat on the ground, and remain in that position until the thunderstorm has passed.
  • You may get wet and muddy and think you look silly, but you will be alive!
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