Wednesday, April 29, 2020

River Etiquette during these busy times

Fly fishing is a prevailing solitude sport where experiences can be solo on a pristine river.  The resonate of the river, the whish of the fly line, and the enticement of landing in a impressive fish in the net.  With the present worldwide pandemic, rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes are billowing with crowds.  River etiquette is of great precedence so that everyone on the river can enjoy and have a fun experience on the water.

One of the most beautiful aspects of fly fishing is the serene reverberates of the wilderness, the echoes of the river, and the whispering breeze.  Keep the peace by keeping your voice at an appropriate volume.  Fly fishing for many maybe a place by the river to revitalize, to drift into a fishy meditation, or a place to mentally be bestowed far away from life's daily stress.

Too close!

Follow by the rules and regulations.  Get into the habit of picking up discarded cans, wrappers, other trash, and monofilament.  Carry it out for proper riddance.  Lots of rivers provide convenient monofilament recycling bins right close.  Monofilament line is non-biodegradable and can remain in the environment for many years.  Leave the river even better then how you found it.

Many rivers run through private property and are clearly marked with no trespassing or private property signs.  Be dutiful to not trespass on private property.  It is the angler’s responsibility to know or inquire of which land is public and private.  Be insightful of where the open fishing access points are.

Photo by Dustin Harcourt

There are a plentitude of dog lovers who enjoy the companionship of bringing their dog to the river.  Unless your dog is about to win a blue ribbon prize in obedience, it would be best to keep your dog on a leash.  Or, simply leave the dog at home during these buzzing times on the river.

With the booming of crowds out on the river, kindness and courtesy, space, and polite communication will be the golden ticket.  Be thoughtful to not walk through another angler's run.  Step out of the water and walk around.  Provide fellow anglers on the river plenty of room.  The first person on a section of water should be permitted to fish there.  A simply warm greeting when approaching another angler will alleviate a multitude of anguish and begin a cooperative dialogue that will benefit each party involved.  Query for permission to fish above or below another angler helps to ease glitches and makes for a happier way about reaching to fishing sections.  Provide each other enough distance, or simply move up a few runs away so you are not in their way.

Importantly, it is critical with how we handle trout.  Rubber basket nets are choice compared to the old-fashion string nets in protecting of the outer defensive mucus slime found on trout.  This protection layer guards trout from disease and bacteria.  Removing these layers places the trout into susceptibility in decline of health.  Always wet hands first before handling trout.  Be conscientious not to squeeze the trout.  Squeezing too hard can cause trauma to internal organs and possibly result in death after release.  Never place fingers in the gills, or hold the trout by the lip.  Fingers in gills can insult the trout's breathing structures as well as holding by the lip can injure or break its jaw.  Release the trout facing it upstream and when the fish has responded with a sure recovery.

Be a true river ambassador to others during these bustling times on the river.  Good communication is key as well as considerate interactions with other anglers.  Maintain good housekeeping at the river, and handle trout delicately for many others to enjoy.  Mostly importantly, enjoy and have fun!


  1. I commented on a bucket full of dead sunnies on another fly fishing site. also saying what you said here about carefully handling fish of killing them quickly if you are going to harvest. I got comments of rage and calling me all kinds of names. I left this site. (panfish on the fly). Anyone else a member? All good stuff here, thanks.

  2. That is unfortunate. With everything we enjoy or are passionate about, we all would like to learn the proper etiquette and help one another. It's the right thing to do to pass on good knowledge of what is right.