Fishin' Fouls

Fishing Etiquette, Fly Fishing Etiquette

Fishin' Fouls

facebook twitter email Print This
the editors

Dos and don'ts on the river.

In fishing, as in life, etiquette is important. But we seem to have backslid a bit, into a more chaotic pattern of self-obsessed slights, ongoing offenses, and odious infractions that degrade the angling experience. To avert fishing fisticuffs and streamside vigilantism, we’ve compiled some rules. Read them, live them—because nobody likes a fish-hole. 


Don’t
Fish too close to another person
Do
Give space, be polite, and respect other people’s attempts at solitude 


Don’t
Turn up your nose at the spin/bait angler
Do
Appreciate variety, individual choice, and another angler’s decision to fish in a way that actually catches fish 

Don’t
Leave debris on the bank
Do
Be mindful to clean up excess line, bait boxes, and beer cans, and don’t be afraid to pick up others’ trash while you’re at it 

Don’t
Hold a fish out of water too long, especially for superfluous photos
Do
Keep ’em wet and practice other catch-and-release techniques 

Don’t
Decry bobbers but use a strike indicator (they’re the same thing)
Do
Make things just a little easier on yourself; fish are smarter than you think 

Don’t
Be a guide with an attitude—it’s not your put-in and it’s not your river
Do
Cry foul when it’s appropriate and enforce good stewardship of the resource 

Don’t
Bitch about catching whitefish or, even worse, throw them up on the bank to die
Do
Catch whitefish—they’re native and you probably aren’t 

Don’t
Jump in the hole right below or above someone
Do
See rule #1 

Don’t
Watch someone fish and just sit there, waiting for them to leave
Do
Move along—these are blue-ribbon streams full of trout; you’ll find a good hole just around the bend 

Don’t
Pass too closely to wade fishermen from a boat
Do
Respect the river’s right-of-way 

Don’t
Dawdle at the boat ramp or pull in unprepared
Do
Get your craft in and out quickly, so that others can enjoy their day 

Don’t
Correct your friend’s facts and figures when he’s telling a tale
Do
Respect the art of the fish story, and the concept of creative license

Appears in 
© 2000-2016 Outside Media Group, LLC
Powered by BitForge