Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Day 16 - Stream Etiquette

It seems that no matter how hard we try to leave the chaos of the world behind us, we inevitably stumble upon another angler. At the best of times a mutual respect can be achieved, but at the worst of times you meet a world class jerk. I know of a guy that believes that the number of assholes you meet on the stream drops considerably the further from the parking lot you fish. I tend to believe that there is truth in that statement.

With the increase in the popularity of angling with a fly and the decrease of public waters, it can be safe to say that the streams are bound to become crowded. Now anglers come in all shapes, sizes, backgrounds, and beliefs. Then it seems to me that you're going to likely meet someone outside your normal social circle. When that happens, I suggest we stick to the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." In other words, don't be a jerk.

Fly fishing has been called the sport of gentlemen. If this is so, we should act with a bit of decency and hold ourselves to a higher standard. This may sound elitist but I don't care. I'm not saying that we should go to the streams in twead jackets, smoke pipes, and wear ties. What I am saying that we should have respect for our fellow anglers (even if they may be a worm dunker).

As such, here is what I see as the Stream Etiquette Top 10:
  1. Show respect to the other anglers
  2. Give the other angler enough space to contemplate
  3. When the stream is crowded, work your hole and move onto the next
  4. When approaching another angler, keep your distance from their hole so you don't spook the fish
  5. If you have to cross the stream, do it on the down stream side of the angler
  6. A simple "Hello" is sufficient. If they want to talk more, then that is their perrogative
  7. Pack out what you packed in. Everyone hates a litterbug
  8. If fishing farm land, leave gates exactly as they were (if shut leave shut, if open leave open)
  9. Keep your hooting and hollering to a minimum, unless you catch a really big fish
  10. Become thick skinned and don't take offense too easily

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