Some Etiquette Suggestions
 
CROWDING  ....THE BIGGEST PROBLEM
1. If another angler is already fishing when you arrive:
 a) Don’t enter the water directly in front of him/her...say, “excuse me, do you mind if I go in here?” and even then... allow plenty of room. Only do this if there is no other alternative. It would be better to find another spot in which to fish.
b) Always notice and/or ask in which direction they are fishing.
c) Give them plenty of space...! How much varies depending on the type of water and size.
2. Wade quietly and slowly in company. Shock waves spook fish!
3. Fish where others aren’t and/or fish at less popular times of the day and week.
4. Leapfrog or rotate pools to share space. This is fun!
5. Learn to share space!
 RESPECT FOR OTHER ANGLERS
1. Stay away from the banks...either the vibration of your feet or your silhouette
could spook fish.
2. Walk quietly past anglers in the water, giving them a wide berth.
3. Leave loud children and loud music at home...NOISE POLLUTION!
4. Leave pets at home....if you have your dog along make sure it doesn’t interfere      with anyone else’s fishing.
5. If someone shares a ‘secret spot” with you, don’t abuse that privilege by telling others or going back without that same someone’s permission.
6. Don’t whoop and carry on when you hook a fish - most people aren’t interested in your success ratio! Respect their privacy and solitude.
7. If an angler is sitting on a bank, or is in a boat, not fishing..he/she may well be resting a fish.
 RIGHT OF WAYS
It would be so pleasant if, when encountering another angler, we all prescribed to the following unstated rules as to who has the right of way:
1. The angler fishing upstream
2. The angler with a fish on
3. Any stationary angler....the floating/boating angler should yield to the wading angler. Sometimes this doesn’t work, so let it slide- remember - the folks in the “aluminum hatches” have water rights too.
4. The first angler to arrive and start fishing
THE ENVIRONMENT
1. Pack it in...pack it out!
2. Don’t make new trails..use the old ones when possible.
3. Try not to disturb the stream bottom, and replace rocks that you have turned over to examine for insects.
4. Put your own, and pick up all abandoned, fishing line (monofilament) in your pocket to dispose of later.
5. Use environmentally friendly soaps and shampoos.
THE LAW
1. Buy and carry a license.
2. Don’t trespass..not even to cross private property...without asking permission.
3. Have respect for the high water marks.
4. Read your regulations, both State and local. Obey or pay!
5. Thank the landowner afterwards - Be an ambassador for our sport.
 
BOATS
1.  Never cut between another boat and a school of fish, or on a flat, another boat that has fish working.
2. Reel in your line if your partner has a fish on in a boat...or if fishing close by.
3. If you are operating a boat..look out for other people’s lines, and other anglers.
4. Keep your distance from a boat following a hooked fish.
5. Don’t hog...take turns in the bow of a boat...by fish count, by setting a time limit
6. Try not to put down rising fish...navigate well away from the angler into the
 middle of the river. And DON”T cast into their fish!
7. Have your gear already in the boat, and unload your boat quickly at a ramp to let others get in too.
8. Be careful of anchor/oar sounds, and noise from hitting the side of the boat.
 
SPEAKING OF GUIDES
1. If they are deserving, tip in cash....15 - 20% is a rule of thumb..don’t tip in free meals!
2. On a charter boat, tip the mate directly, and don’t give it all to the skipper.
3. Treat your guide like a friend, not an employee. Respect his knowledge of his water.
3. Treat your guide like a friend, not an employee. respect his knowledge of his water.
4. Be on time.
5. Make sure your needs and wants are clear ahead of time., i.e., your expectations, type of fishing, your lunch requests, etc.,
 
Catch and Release - Handling Fish
IN 1936 Lee Wulff   said, “A good game fish is too valuable to be caught only once.”  It wasn’t until 1964 that the practice was first established - (in Yellowstone Park!)
 
1. A great misconception, which we see all the time is reviving fish..we see people rocking them back and forth...God  didn’t make gills to work in both directions..in actuality, by so doing you are suffocating/drowning the fish each time you pull it backwards ...hold the fish facing upstream until he can breathe on his own..don’t rush it...It takes time..let it swim away on its own...
2. Use barbless hooks and the heaviest leader possible.
3. Land the fish as quickly as possible.
4. Handle it as little as possible, if at all.
5. If you are going to keep the fish..be humane..kill it immediately.
7. Don’t keep it out of the water too long for photos, prepare ahead.
8. Use GOOD catch and release nets...
 9. If you need to weigh a fish, do it in the net and subtract the weight of the net later.
10. Avoid stomach pumps..or learn to use them properly. Are they really that important?!
11. Be particularly aware of fighting cold water fish in warm water conditions. They will have a higher mortality rate.
12. Don’t land fish on rocks, grass, or in shallow water.....go out to the fish if possible.
13. Try to release fish in low velocity water. This enables it to recover more easily.
14. Don’t throw  fish back in!
15. Don’t hold trout by the lip like you might a bass, their mouths are too fragile.         
16. Don’t squeeze or hold fish vertically.
 
A FEW SUGGESTIONS!!
1. Have fun!  Don’t compete.
2. Take a child fishing..they are the future guardians of our resources.
3. Take someone less fortunate fishing..it’s the greatest gift you can give!
4. With different levels of expertise, it is nice to give the less experienced angler a shot at the best fish, and the best water.
5. Join a fishing club to share knowledge, organize projects, and discuss etiquette scenarios.
6. Join conservation groups like the FFF, TU, ASF, Coastal Conservation, etc.
Support fly fishing museums like the Catskill Fly Fishing Center in Roscoe, NY,  and The American Museum of Fly Fishing in Manchester, VT.,

Thanks for taking YOUR time to read this!
 
 
Following these unwritten rules of good conduct is certain to earn a fisherman
 respect and admiration. It is not strange that such anglers not only add to the pleasure of others, but that they themselves get the utmost out of the sport.
P. Allen Parsons