Unwritten Rules of Fly Fishermen

June 9, 2009

Frenzy

rulesBy Travis Dr. Gillespie Xstream Outdoors

Over the past couple days I have been keenly interested in the subject of why fly fishermen have the ethics and values that they do and how they get them. I want to write out some of the findings that have surfaced from my own unwritten rules to others and why they fish the way they do.

So in the next few days I am going to compile, research and then try and post up something that makes sense.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Question One: Fishing or Catching/Slayin or Chilling?
Question Two: Fishing for Pre or Spawning Fish?
Question Three: Fishing Methods?
Question Four: Picture or Not?
Question Five: Who decides what is right and wrong?

Honestly the more I think about all this the more I realize it doesn’t matter. The only thing that matters is that I am happy in what I am doing at the moment.

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE leave a comment on the post with your answers.

Thank you so much.

11 Responses to “Unwritten Rules of Fly Fishermen”

  1. castingoutloud Says:

    1.: Fishing or Catching/Slayin or Chilling? C&R some retention if it is a very healthy population

    2. Fishing for Pre or Spawning Fish? Never OOS No as a rule

    3. Fishing Methods? Fly Bass Fly Trout Stream Fly Trout Stillwater

    4.
    Picture or Not?
    Yes fish In water

    5. Who decides what is right and wrong? The Angler within the laws of the body of water fished.

    Reply

    Big Hoss Reply:

    thanks for the feedback.

    Reply

  2. Michael R. Mulbjerg Says:

    Question One: Fishing or Catching/Slayin or Chilling? Answer: Fishing with mutiple purpose – 1 retaining what I want to eat; 2 – relaxing; 3 – being with friends enjoying what we like the most (not prioritised order)
    Question Two: Fishing for Pre or Spawning Fish? Answer: All fish that we catch are in one way or another on their way to spawn, it does not matter if it is pre- or post spawning. But never on spawing fish at their spawning grounds. But for retaining fish always prespawning.
    Question Three: Fishing Methods? Answer: prefereably and mainly fly, but I will use other methods if the fish I am targetting requires other approach, e.g. flounders.
    Question Four: Picture or Not? Answer: Yes – pictures if I have a camera by me otherwise No.
    Question Five: Who decides what is right and wrong? Answer: Legislation and beyond that myself, e.g. ethcs and alike.

    Reply

  3. Fishhippie Says:

    Question One: Fishing or Catching/Slayin or Chilling?
    All the above

    Question Two: Fishing for Pre or Spawning Fish?
    Loaded question. Anyone who fishes for steelhead is fishing to pre/spawning fish. Fishing in the late fall for browns before they are on their redds is fishing to a pre spawner. So technically when your talking trout and western rivers I and 99.9% out there have all fished to pre spawners.
    Never to a spawning fish on its redd.

    Question Three: Fishing Methods?
    To each his own. Fly, spin, pin, bait, dry fly, nymph, ballondacator, as long as you are within the law and pick up your trash I honestly don’t give a shit.

    Question Four: Taking pictures or Not / showing off your pics?
    Personally I think a few pic’s are fine, even a hero shot as long has you put the fish back in the water asap and don’t take a roll of photos or drain your battery on one fish. If you cant take a picture in less than 5 seconds you need to have your fingers broken.

    Question Five: Who decides what is the right and wrong way to fish?
    If your not specifically speaking about the law, which I don’t think you are, nobody gets to decide the “right & wrong” way to fish. Let people do their thing. As long as people fish within the law its all good. Other than that I think there should only be one commandment. “Thou shall not low hole”

    Reply

    Chubbs Reply:

    Love the response on this one Fish Hippie! Agreed.

    Reply

  4. Rick Says:

    Question One: Fishing or Catching/Slayin or Chilling?
    Fishing. I no longer catch and keep for “evidence of how well I did. It’s wasting the limited resources of the eco system and besides I don’t want to clean all those fish! Chilling is just throwing a line in and not paying attention. To me it’s not being engaged in the hunt.

    Question Two: Fishing for Pre or Spawning Fish?
    I can’t tell the difference.

    Question Three: Fishing Methods?
    There are always more to learn and it makes it fun.

    Question Four: Taking pictures or Not / showing off your pics?
    A few pictures are OK but not every time you land one, assuming you remembered your camera.

    Question Five: Who decides what is the right and wrong way to fish?
    If the technique you use lets you hook up then it’s the right way. And if you are keeping the fish read the regs and keep it legal.

    Reply

  5. Capt. Travis Holeman Says:

    I really should be sleeping….. however the sun will be up in 2.5 hours. As for the questions. My short life has given me a few truths and the first is that Fly Fisherman are thinkers. Always wondering about this and that. Problem solvers. Second they are morally challenged. Mostly by the query they chase. This is brought on usually by a University degree to go along with the desire to pursue something….anything….. as long as it engages them. Over time they realize that they have changed their stances several times and the moment is usually the answer. By that I mean the more one learns about a subject the more questions arise….. Questions:(1) chillin when ever possible. (2)Spawning… yes for males.. no for females if sight fishing. (3) Sight fishing as much as possible…. when that isn’t working then whatever catches-em. (4) Back in the Day pic’s of all. Now only for client’s and when I need some extra cash. (5) Right and Wrong…… the fish gods are on top…then the feds.. then the state… then finally the angler…. opps let’s not forget the game wardens, wildlife officer and park rangers. If the world was perfect the science of each river, stream or ecosystem would be the determining factor/agent/body/or whatever you want to call the maker of the rules. No matter what,… we as humans are usually to little to late and everything is screwed by the time the world finds out anyway. So do your best to contribute to your scope of knowledge and remember that someone has stood where you are right now and the secret spot matters not if the little slimy buggers are gone. Write your congressman/woman, send pictures and try to bring new blood into the sport. Our futures depend on our communications. Catch- em Big everyone.. I am headed out into the marsh here in Louisiana to do just that. I might even take a pic or two today. Later, Capt. Travis Holeman

    Reply

    Chubbs Reply:

    Great piece travis. thanks. keep up the good work man.

    Reply

  6. Jeff W. Loftin Says:

    If it is legal to do, NOBODY is in position to force individual ethics on anyone else. That’s largely what is wrong with our country. IF YOU DON’T SEE THINGS MY WAY, YOU’RE A PIECE OF SHIT!!! A COMMUNIST!!! A SOCIALIST!!! CRAZY FRICKEN LIBERAL!!! BACKWARDS ASS CONSERVITIVE!!! Heck, PETA thinks catch and release is unethical and cruel. Our fisheries people are the best they’ve ever been. Granted they are not perfect. The cool thing about the “post movie” boom is that states realize there is money(revenues) in fishing. Cutting edge fisheries management realizes the real potential for self-sustaining fisheries, low cost/high revenue yield. Spawining, Pre-Spawn, Putting a few in a skillet, Taking pictures, Types of footwear, Photographing, Barbed hooks, Bait, Trebles, or any other issue, if you are concerned lobby and educate. If you can’t sit on a crowded river bank, in your waders, and not feel robbed because you wanted to fish, and have a lovely day anyway, you’ll never understand this response. Share the “WHY” of our sport and the “HOW” will take care of itself.

    Reply

  7. dean pierose Says:

    poll answers:

    1. fishing and chilling….catching is a byproduct of enjoying the first two…..

    2. pre

    3. fly fishing of course…..i probably fish more streamers then anything else. Big dries are nice, but nymphing is generally my last resort…..

    4. pictures, lots of pictures…..

    5. DNR sets the guidlelines and most fisherman are good stewards of the water and that is what you have to hope for…..

    Reply

  8. Ian Says:

    Question One: Fishing or Catching/Slayin or Chilling?
    FISHIN’ no KILLIN’
    Question Two: Fishing for Pre or Spawning Fish?
    POST SPAWNING – CHANCES ARE THE NEXT GEN ARE FERTILIZED
    Question Three: Fishing Methods?
    BAMBOO 4 WT HARDY REEL, BARBLESS, IDEALLY DRYS ONLY
    Question Four: Picture or Not?
    MY TROUT ARE FOR ME, MY MEMORY AND I.
    Question Five: Who decides what is right and wrong?
    EACH BROTHER AND SISTER OF THE ANGLE. WE CAN ONLY
    HOPE WE ALL THINK ALIKE AND PROTECT OUR PAST-TIME,
    BUT ALAS…

    Reply

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