RULES OF THE ROAD

   Below are some of the traditional rules of stream etiquette:

1.      When wading a stream, the fisherman wading upstream has the right of way. If you are fishing downstream and approach a fisherman coming upstream, get out before you kick up lots of mud (about 100 yds upstream) and spoil his fishing. Walk around and get in well below him. If the density of stream side vegetation or local laws make it impossible to go around, ask him which bank he would like you to wade by him on and stay as close to the bank as possible. Reel in and DO NOT cast to a rising fish in his vicinity.

2.      If a fisherman is sitting on a log or standing near the bank in front of your favorite hole, he is resting it and it is his to fish. Suffer in silence and move on!

3.      Don’t trespass. If there is no easement along the stream, don’t get out and walk through some farmer’s field for a short cut! Morons who behave like this cause the rest of us to lose fishing rights.

4.      Don’t litter (cans, candy wrappers, tippet material, etc). If you can, pick up other peoples litter that you find and carry it with you.

5.      Don’t be a kiss and tell fisherman. If someone reveals a secret spot to you, do not reveal it to anyone without his permission. If you find a great spot, only reveal it to a limited number of trusted friends. Many great streams have been destroyed by passing out too much of this kind of information. Do other fishermen a favor and allow them to actually learn something for themselves.

6.      Obey fishing regulations and catch and release whenever possible. If you must keep fish, limit your kill. Leftover trout are as tasty as cold tofu!

7.       If you are floating a stream and approach a fisherman, reel in and don’t fish until you are well past him. Ask on which side you should pass, and make every attempt to be as quiet as you can when passing. If possible, stop paddling until you pass. If you are in an aluminum canoe, good luck at being quiet!

 I Would also like to add a few “curmudgeon”  rules of stream etiquette.

 1.      A trout steam with any significant current can be a noisy place. Don’t stand in the stream screaming at the top of you lungs trying to communicate with your buddy 50 yards from you! Fisherman are not only there to catch fish, but also to enjoy the peace and solitude and commune with nature. Therefore, shut your pie hole and save it for later, or learn to use hand signals.

2.      Don’t be like a “chatty Cathy” doll when approaching strangers. They may there to fish and enjoy the peace and solitude, or they may be there to make new friends. Try to determine if they look like they want to talk before asking a bunch of question about what they caught and what fly they are using.

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