Home River

Fly Fishing 101, Part 20
Fly-Fishing Ethics


How you are accepted by fellow anglers may not be high on your list of becoming a fly fisher. However, there are some common courtesy rules that any angler should observe. Being a lady or gentleman has not been emphasized in our culture as it once was. Beyond treating others with respect, there is the very serious matter of treating the resource, the water, banks, woods and all of outdoors with respect so as not to damage it. To leave no mark where we have passed in our fishing adventures is the ultimate respect.

Here are some common rules of courtesy to follow:

  1. A section of water belongs to the first person fishing it. It is inconsiderate to crowd an angler who was there first.
  2. A slow moving or stationary angler has the right to remain where he/she is. If you are moving, leave the water and quietly walk around the angler in position in the water.
  3. If an angler is resting the water, (Allowing the water to calm down after some form of disturbance. Generally, after a fish has been caught, the act of the fight scares the rest of the fish and makes them hesitant to hit on a fly, so you Rest the Water until it is fishable again.) or planning his/her next move, it is his/her water. Don't jump in without permission.
  4. A person working upstream has the right of way over someone fishing downstream.
  5. Always yield to an angler with a fish on the line.
  6. Do not enter the water directly in front of someone already in the water.
  7. Always recognize property rights. Leave all gates as you found them.
  8. Do not litter. If you brought it in, take it out. Leave the area cleaner than you found it.
  9. Try not to make tracks whenever possible.
  10. Wade only when necessary. The aquatic food chain is fragile.
  11. Obey all state and local fishing laws and rules.

More on the little niceties that make up the best group of people in the world (fly fishers of course) can be found in This Weeks View as Born in a Barn?

Fly fishing has rewards beyond anything I could have imagined when I started. It can be challenging, a renewal of yourself a complete release from the stress and tensions of work, society or family. A time for sharing with friends or family. Or a solitary time for reflection in the outdoor world, as life's little miracles are revealed to you.

Being an ethical and considerate angler seems to be a very small price to pay for all the benefits.

Stop by the Chat Room and meet some fellow anglers. It is a nice bunch of people - always willing to help new fly fishers! Or just share your fishing adventures. Fair skys and tight lines, ~ DB

Have a question? Email me!

Beginners Archives

[ HOME ]

[ Search ] [ Contact FAOL ] [ Media Kit ]

FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice