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Fly Fishing Etiquette

08/31/12 at 05:20 AM by Vince Puzick

"Somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl." -- Ernest Hemingway.


Let's be considerate of each other out on our rivers and lakes.  Here is a "A basic outline of etiquette rules to help the wade & float fishing angler " provided by the Colorado Cutthroat Chapter of Trout Unlimited (  See the detailed list here at this Colorado Parks site.  

  • If you spot someone on or near a section of water, that section of water is theirs un- til they move on — even if they stay for the day. 
  • When approaching another angler to find out “how they are doing,” “what they have observed,” “what flies they may be using” or if it’s okay to share the immediate area being fished — use care as not to spook the fish in the area. 
  • When passing another angler do it with common sense. 
  • The angler that is traveling up-stream always has the right of way over an angler traveling Down-stream. 
  • An angler always has the right of way when they have a fish on. 
  • Don’t enter the water on a small river or stream directly across from another angler. 


Want to read fly fishing etiquette from the 15th Century?   Check out the Angler's Field Guide!


Fly Fishing Colorado offers these guidelines for etiquette.








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