One of our sponsors, Doug Cummings of
Royal Wulff mentioned he reads FAOL regularly, and asked
if I were going to do anything on ethics. I explained
there are some articles on ethics in
Fly Fishing 101, three in the LadyFisher series, more
in Castwell's column as well as in the European Angling.
The jest of Doug's comments was suggesting we do more.
Part of the problem here on FAOL is we have a good
section for beginners - but as I mentioned previously
no one wants to be considered a beginner, so a lot of
really good information is missed by those who haven't
read Fly Fishing 101.
If we title something 'Advanced' everyone reads it! There
has been an advanced column the past 3 weeks, (including
one this week on a specialized fishing technique) and
they have been very well read. Just proves the point.
As far as ethics and fly fishing are concerned, I don't think
you have to go further than the 'Golden Rule.' Have the same
consideration for others as you would like to have extended
We've all run into the 'Dork's Are Us' people who don't have
a clue, either no one has explained the facts of common courtesy,
which make life more pleasant for all of us, or they choose to
ignore the rules. In today's politically correct society it
seems common courtesy isn't politically correct. You of course,
can try and educate, but sometimes the best solution is to either
wait until the dork moves on, or move on yourself.
There is something which seems to be forgotten. If you are
a guest on someones land, they have allowed you to fish what
is not 'public' water, a 'Thank You' note is certainly required.
A phone call saying 'thanks' is a poor second, but is better
than nothing. That small little act of courtesy may get you
invited back. Or not.
When JC and I lived in Montana, we fished, and hunted. We
always asked permission in advance, told them when we would
be there, left our phone number, description of the vehicle
(along with the license number on it.)
We were always invited back. A little thing you can do
that is really appreciated is a small box of candy, cheese
tray, some little thing that lets the landowner know you
appreciate the privilege. And it is a privilege! Since
we hunted we almost always had home-made jerky, usually
elk. A small container, like a peanut-butter-sized jar of jerky
was very welcome. JC nicknamed the jerky 'PR Jerky.'
Sometimes we do take for granted the little things others
do for us. But those who host you for a fishing trip,
or go out of their way to get you onto special water do
deserve more than a quick 'thanks' when you leave.
Sharing the ride? Share the cost! If your travel partner
won't take gas money, buy lunch. Or dinner. There is
no free ride - or at least shouldn't be. Pick up the
slack and do your part. (If you tie, a gift of a little batch of
your partners or hosts favorite flies is a nice thing too.)
There are some 10.9 million people in the US who have
fly fished at least once in the last 12 months. And
another 18.3 million who want to learn, (according to
a recent AFFTA survey.) That is more people on every
piece of water.
Without common courtesy at least, we are all doomed.
With a little thoughtful consideration, we can all
enjoy that which is so necessary to our piece of mind.
We can share the water - but we all have to be aware
it is not there JUST for us. ~ LadyFisher
If you would like to comment on this or any other article please feel free to
post your views on the FAOL Bulletin Board!