River etiquette to what extent?


If it swims I'm interested.
When I'm fishing I notice things. My senses are peaked. I see that eddy close to the bank, that seem upstream, a blue jay in the tree, and other things in my environment. I also notice people. I've fished a spot and caught one or two fish in a pool. When another angler sees me sit down and relax after one fish, sometimes they don't get it. "Catch another one" is a common response. I then explain I've got a life time to catch fish and don't need to catch them all today. This statement stuns some people. Some are really knocked back when I offer up the only hot spot in the pool to them. I don't offer up my spot every time but more often than not I do.
I can't understand why more people aren't like this. I have never had a 20 fish day and never will. Why do people seem so content with "beating" a pool or a run. When you do this mortality numbers increase and you blow the spot for the next guy, especially in Steelheading.
While fishing in the Catskills I tried an experiment. I gave every angle i met a fly or two. I gave them one of each of the best dry and nymph I had; real fish producers. I let them know it casually that these are the one for this area. I get a big charge from catching a fish on a fly that I tied. I get an even bigger charge from seeing someone catch a fish on a fly that I've tied. 1 out of the 25 people I tried this on gave me one of their flies. I wonder this was the case?
I am not upset or discouraged by the lack of etiquette of some flyfishers. I'm not hear to judge. As I said earlier, I notice things when I'm engaged in fishing. I know fishing is a single, solitary pursuit for some. I usually fish alone. It can be extremely covetous i.e "Dont tell anybody about this spot". I wonder what your feelings are about these types of things? Do you stop and ask someone if it's okay to fish above them? Would you let someone know what the hot fly was? I am not trying to challenge anyone but your input on our culture (which it is) and our community (which it should be) is more than welcome.


Indi "Ira" Jones
WFF Supporter
I'm gregarious and generous to the point that I've been accused of being full of hubris. One or two old codgers on here even think that I'm conceited. I give away flies, I give away advice (even when folks don't ask for it, hmm, maybe that's where they get the hubris from), but more importantly I love giving away indicators :)


If it swims I'm interested.
In summary...... "why doesn't everyone think and do things exactly the same way that I do?"

No. In summary, why as a community don't some of us look out for each other and our precious resource? I don't think I'm right and my opinion is only mine... just wondering what your experiences are with other anglers. Maybe I'm looking for glimmers of hope? Or decency?


If it swims I'm interested.
I'm gregarious and generous to the point that I've been accused of being full of hubris. One or two old codgers on here even think that I'm conceited. I give away flies, I give away advice (even when folks don't ask for it, hmm, maybe that's where they get the hubris from), but more importantly I love giving away indicators :)
Can never have enough indicators. There were plenty of times I could have used those!


WFF Supporter
I like to help out other as well - when I can. It’s in my nature, not sure why but I enjoy watching others succeed about as much as I enjoy the feeling of succeeding myself.

I’m not looking for kudos because I would be lying if I I said I did not get something out of it. It feels good to help other people, whether it be fishing, work, life, ...whatever.

I have received (minor) shit on this site for pointing out that fishing is hot and the beaches are empty and in the end I don’t truly care. Hide your precious hotspots. More than likely I’ve found them (if they are publicly accessible). I’ve put TENS of thousands of miles on my truck in Kitsap county alone in the last 4 years and hundreds of miles on my boots. If I told you how many hours I’ve spent perusing maps, blogs, forums, articles, etc., you would think I was sick. I’m not going to spill the beans on a specific rock or even beach but I will tell people they’re missing out...when they’re missing out. I’ll tell people to get out and fish and on occasion, I’ll tell them a beach or two they should try.

I manage young professionals for a living. For the most part,
people with less than 10 years of work experience. I’m 41 and know that some of these folks are smarter and have more relevant educations than I but guess what; I find no greater joy than helping them become the best they can be. I have projects of my own but put way more thought into the development of my people than my own assigments or self preservation. That what makes me a good manager of people. I work for a big company and in the last 4 years I have hired over 40 people into roles that if they’re successful in, could result in them taking my role. Oh well, so be it. In the end no one ever really outworks me, and that’s how I make myself quasi unexpendible. If the people I hire do outwork me and are smarter, I’ll end up working for them and I won’t have a problem with that. I take the same approach to fishing. I’ll help anyone I can because in the end, I am not threatened. For the same reasons I am not threatened at work.

Not really sure what my point is. I guess the point is; keep helping out folks freestonebound. No shame in that.

Oh, one more thing; @Irafly, what’s your favorite type of indicator for stillwater and rivers? I loved fish pimps for rivers when I lived in CO. Lost a lot though....

Nooksack Mac

Active Member
When giving advice to someone you've met while fishing, it's tempting to play the philosopher/mentor. But try to do it in a sentence or two, or you're likely to be written off as a knowitall windbag. (I often do it in these forums, but here, we sort of ask for it.:rolleyes:)


Active Member
In my humble opinion, for the majority the fish is the end goal, for a few others, the pursuit. Each of us has our own game and individual rules to play by. I've spent a few days "fishing" where I've never cast a single fly.

I go to seek solitude. Should I encounter others, which is rare where I fish, I will exchange the general pleasantries and move on. I don't strike up long conversations or instruct folks unless they ask for advice, and even then, I keep it quick and general. I've farmed out and received a few flies in exchange. I don't preach or instruct folks because for all I know they may be the master and I the student by comparison.
Last edited:


Not to be confused with Freestone
I love giving away indicators :)

Even published fishing authors know better Ira.

"I should mention that the nature of the Platte is such that you end up bobber fishing, even with a fly rod. Fly fishers call their bobbers "strike indicators" in order to distinguish themselves from their bait casting cousins. Call it what you want, a bobber is a bobber"

Chad Hanson - Swimming with Trout
Last edited:

Jim Ficklin

Genuine Montana Fossil
My Dad raised me to be courteous and to help when help is needed - even more so when such help is deserved (I have ignored arrogant people/stupid people/assholes though.). I have lived my life that way and hope that I've never let Dad down.

For me, getting out is the big draw and I'll admit - I enjoy solitude.

Support WFF | Remove the Ads

Support WFF by upgrading your account. Site supporters benefits include no ads and access to some additional features, few now, more in the works. Info

Latest posts