Fly Fishing Etiquette

The list of things that can ruin a fly-fishing excursion is
very short, but poor etiquette from a fellow angler is certainly on it. We
understand that amateur anglers can make innocent mistakes, so our guides can
help to make sure you follow the proper procedures on the Colorado River. In
fact, fishing areas with an abundance of guides tend to run more smoothly and
instill a more respectful atmosphere. There are a few things to think about
before your trip.

First and foremost, anglers must respect the space of
others, whether they happen to be fishing or not. Fishing spots are claimed on
a first-come, first-served. If you come across a group of anglers in a desired
area, you’ll need to either wait or move on. While it’s always a nice gesture
to give up a productive fishing area after you’ve enjoyed it for some time,
it’s never required.
If you find it necessary to approach or pass another group
or individual, be sure to do it very carefully. Pay attention to the direction
they’re casting in and leave plenty of space so as not to spoil the water
they’re fishing in. Wade only when necessary, keeping in mind that fish can be
rattled quite easily, even with shadows from above or far-away vibrations.
Upstream travelers always have priority over downstream ones. However, an
angler with a fish on his line is always considered to have the right of way.
Conversation on the river is a sensitive subject, and every
angler is different. Don’t bother a stranger with small-talk unless it’s
clearly wanted. At the same time, if you’re in doubt of a fellow anglers plans,
you should always ask. Similarly, do everything you can to communicate your own
plans with others, possibly even leaving notes where appropriate. Remember to offer advice to
other anglers only if asked, and to always politely. Even if a someone is
breaking etiquette, try to be nice about it.
As exciting as a fishing trip with your buddies might be,
don’t act like you’re in the end-zone seats at a football game. If someone else
can unwillingly hear you, you’re probably being too loud. Watch your choice of
language in case of younger, impressionable anglers. Don’t litter and be
careful with any source of fire. And if you see a sign that says “No
Trespassing”, obey it. Common sense goes a long way, and good behavior
shouldn’t keep you from having a good time
While respect to other anglers is important, respecting the
fish you’re targeting is another key to proper etiquette. Pinch down barbs on
hooks if they have them, and make sure your net and hands are good and wet
before they encounter a fish. Once you’ve got the fish properly handled, be
careful not to squeeze or poke it in sensitive areas. When throwing fish back
into the river, photograph it as you wish and get it back in the water as
quickly as you can. If a hook is stuck, cut the line and throw the fish back
before it suffers too much.

Proper standards of etiquette allows all anglers
to be on common ground, and to have a more enjoyable overall trip. Fishing
Lee’s Ferry with Marble Canyon Outfitters will help you to stay within the
unwritten rules and have a great trip at the same time.

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