Fly Fishing Etiquette

Todays topic is something all of us should do, My fishing buddies will tell you I don’t always follow the rules as well as I should. Excitement gets to all of us and we jump in were we should not go(cast into someone elses hole). There is no written rules out there to use as a guide line so you have to figure out for your self. I will just give you some things to think about. A lot of it is just common sense and would I be happy if someone did that to me. I also find a lot of people you meet on the river think they own the river and their favorite hole is a secret. I have fished most of the rivers in southern Alberta for the past 40+ years and some of them have fish from the head waters to were they join other rivers so there is not many holes I don’t know about. Fishing should be about helping each other not trying to hide what you use for a fly or how you are fishing.

The big hole

I see it all the time you are fishing a large long hole on the river and someone stands beside you and starts casting right were you are fishing or going to fish. This in my opinion is poor sportsmanship, go on past and fish that hole later when it is empty there are lots of fish out there. Never hurts to stop and talk to people just respect them and move on a couple of hundred people may have the same favorite hole on any given river.

Look what I caught but I won’t tell you the river

This always bugs me show the fish picture and then when someone asks were at you clam up like this a national security matter, come on people sharing info is part of fishing give everyone a chance to catch fish. I laugh a lot of times because I see the river in the background and know exactly were they are may have fished that hole a hundred or more times myself. I was told by and old fisherman years ago that it is not about the fish you catch it’s about helping others catch fish especially kids, it was the best thing I have ever heard and have spent years helping others learn to fish and then putting them on the fish. Over the years my family has fished B.C. Alberta and some of Saskatchewan and if it was not for the help of some old fisherman we never would have had the success we have had. I am grateful for each and every one of them for giving up their secrets to me so my family could enjoy the sport.

Sharing the river/ lake

I won’t go into too much detail here as we all get this idea, just want to say I live in Canada we have thousands of miles of river and lake access so give people some room when fishing. I think this virus stuff going on is going to help people distance themselves from other even when it is over should help fishing too.

I have been on the shore of a lake fishing and catching fish and had people move right next to us so close that they were getting tangled in our lines, the same has happened on rivers there is no need for this just leave some space between you and the next person.

Not sure if this is Etiquette or not BUT

Not sure if this counts as etiquette or not but it needs to be said if you pack it in full you can pack it out empty. Nothing worse than seeing this beautiful river vista and then as you look closer you see resting on a rock 8 to 10 feet from the water a beer can or walking along the shore to find a large ball of used line laying there. At the lake shore and all you see is plastic wrappers and empty bait containers or after a busy weekend the garbage can is so over flowing that plastic bags are blowing into the lake. All I am saying is we are lucky enough to live in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet lets try to keep it that way.


So to conclude all we really need to do is act like we would want others to act around us and clean up after your self and we can all enjoy this great sport we call fishing and the beautiful world we have been given. If I missed anything you think should be here don’t be afraid to add a comment.

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