252: The Fly Fishing Etiquette Mindset

The fly fishing etiquette mindset is a way of thinking that should permeate the actions of every fly fisher. In this episode, we read a thread from Trout Unlimited’s online forum about a fly fisher who was, in our opinion, quasi-bullied out of fishing on the Madison by four fishers.

With the influx of new fly fishers into the sport, given Covid’s eliminating other activities, the great traditions of our sport must be passed on. People must learn that fly fishing isn’t a competitive sport. At least not like the team sports. If you want to be competitive, compete with your self. Compete with your lousy fly casting technique. Focus on you. Not on bullying other fly fishers.


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4 Replies to “252: The Fly Fishing Etiquette Mindset”

  1. Steve, Dave, I’m a long time listener and just finished a small day trip on a local river.

    After I had fished the stretch of river and was walking back to my truck, I found a good quality wooden net that had been left streamside. There were no other anglers about and the parking area was empty. My question to you regarding etiquette would be what does a fly angler do in this situation?

    Do you leave the gear alone and hope the owner comes back for it?
    Do you take it With you and post a lost and found?
    Do you monitor local fly fishing forums for lost items?
    Or…..do you chalk it up as a good find?

    I personally would like to get it back to its owner but not sure in this day and age how to do it. Any thoughts?

  2. Tough one. My first instinct is to leave it in case he or she realizes that it was lost and returns to search for it. My second thought is to pick it up and do what you said: monitor forums. I have lost enough gear, though, to know that often you don’t know where you lost it. You may have just been given a random gift!

  3. As a new fly fisher (my 14 yr old son and myself 39) I was really glad to listen to this episode and wanted to apologize to other fishers whose toes I may have stepped on at times. The sport is so hard and engulfing for the newcomer that I am certain I fell into errors like ‘camping out at holes’ or being oblivious to others on the stream. And to those kind veterans–thank you for being patient and willing to gently teach us novices the ropes as well as etiquette.

    I still recall the first time another experienced fisherman offered to me two purple haze as I showed up at his spot where he was leavening, saying ‘your just getting here? You look kind new, here, try these.” I didn’t know fly fisherman did that. What an example that was, and it taught me then and there this sport is a gentleman’s sport, or as Isaac Walton says, “for the contemplative mind”.

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