The Etiquette of Fly Fishing a Stream
Fly fishing can be enjoyed by everyone. It transcends all the boundaries associated with age, status, or wealth. Stream fly fishing is known as a gentle sport and that should be reflected in our stream manner and etiquette. For the most part, the rules of stream etiquette are nothing more then good old common sense. However, they might entail things that have been forgotten, or that a beginner might not think of while fly fishing.
One of the most important things to remember is not to crowd another fisherman. Sometimes the temptation is very strong to fish the same water where someone is catching a lot of fish, but that is as rude and inconsiderate as someone cutting into a serving line at a restaurant buffet. If you come upon a spot where someone is fly fishing and having a good catch, the proper thing to do is stop far back from the edge so the fish don’t stop eating. You may watch for awhile, both because fly fishing is a beautiful sport to watch and perhaps you will learn something. If the person that was fishing moves further along the stream, it is acceptable to slowly and quietly enter the water where he had been fishing. Otherwise, move well beyond the fisherman to another point of the stream
Fly fishing casts a common bond amongst all people that love and appreciate the sport. It is important to be friendly to other fishermen that you may come across. If you meet another fly fisherman who is outside the stream, take a moment to be friendly. Sometimes a little chat will give you insight as to what patterns are working best that day, or you could give some tip that will help him to have a better day. If you come upon a fly fisherman that is in the stream a friendly nod or wave is sufficient. Be friendly to all fishermen not just those fly fishing. You never know, sometimes a few minutes spent talking with a non-fly fisherman, could result in his wanted to give the sport a try.
Taking care of the environment is essential in stream etiquette. Stream fly fishing is done in some of the most beautiful areas of the country. It is essential that we do everything we can to keep it that way. No one should ever litter. The environment should look exactly like it did when you have finished fishing for the day as it did when you started. It is not uncommon to see someone who is fly fishing picking up any litter that they come across on the stream banks, or in the water, and carrying it out with them. It only takes a moment to clean up after yourself and that will keep the area beautiful.
While fly fishing a stream, always remember to respect the trout. Trout have been blessed with the natural instinct and temperament to make them a real challenge to a fly fisherman. Only keep what you intend to eat, release any others.
The basics of stream etiquette for fly fishing are very simple. By following them you will ensure that you are doing your best for the environment and you will always be a welcome stream companion.