I have frequented waters throughout this region as far back as I can remember. Some of that was with a heavy background in conventional tackle which is what gave me my start. Whether it be fly fishing or hard tackle, I think there is a lot to be said for overall manners which we like to call stream etiquette. I have encountered about everything imaginable out on the water, most times I have absolutely no issues and find most people very outgoing and friendly…… but there are people out there that would benefit from reading this.
- Be respectful of property owner’s period!! Regardless of what feeling you may have or how your views on things may be, there are no exceptions to the rule. It their land and as a guest you should always respect that. In that regard trespassing holds its own consequences, so don’t do it.
- Know the local regulations, ignorance is never a good court argument. Lack of that leading to carelessness is simply inexcusable on all levels….. at that stage you are no longer a SPORTSman.
- Respect the waters you fish, littering or any other destructive activity does nothing short of hurting the waters you should be protecting…… not to mention potentially losing the privilege of fishing those waters.
- Yield to upstream anglers, as a general rule of etiquette this is practiced. Somebody has to go another direction, not that hard to do. If you happen to come upon anglers give them some space, being social is one thing…….. intrusive is a whole different issue in itself.
- Conservation. Call it what you will, but at the very least try to take in account as to what your impact on a water may be. Abusing such a beautiful resource is nothing short of a sin. Do not mistake utilization to abuse, there is a significant distinction between the two.
- Locals, gotta be able to take this into account. For the most part the guidelines are pretty universal. Taking on a new water, and without a doubt new species at least have the courtesy to do your homework. From salt, to steelhead, on to our trout streams know that they are all unique in their own right.
- Always remember where you came from, everyone starts somewhere. Be a steward to your waters and help other anglers grow within this sport. At some point we have all taken advantage of the kindness of someone passing on knowledge, pass that along.
- Last but not least, have fun!! Stop looking at new faces as being intruders and welcome them to this sport. Efforts to improve your local waters, innovation in equipment and the overall culture that fly fishing brings should be something that we all strive for. If not you may be in this sport for the wrong reasons. Give it an honest try…. you won’t regret it!!