Ethics for International Fly Fishers

Fly fishermen worldwide share a common bond. Fly fishing ethics begin with understanding state, provincial and local laws and regulations associated with angling. Once understanding the laws and regulations we fly anglers should obey these rules with respect. Don’t just observe but act while you are practicing Fly Fishing Ethics, others may not. Point out to fellow anglers the error of their ways but don’t seek out dangerous situations.

We honour all those – guides and ghillies, captains and boatmen, river keepers and wardens – whose services enhance our fishing experiences.
Fly fishermen should always compliment other anglers and promote the code of angling ethics whether they fish with a fly or not. Fly fishermen do not judge fellow anglers and treat them as they would expect to be treated.

We seek opportunities to introduce young people to our sport, knowing that, without succeeding generations of fly fishers, gains in the quality of water and fish populations will be lost.
Fly fishers share their knowledge of skills and techniques. Everybody should help the novice to understand that fly-fishing contributes to sound fisheries conservation practices.
“Catch and release” is an important component of sustaining premium fisheries that are being over-harvested. Fly anglers release fish properly and with minimal harm. Promote the use of barbless hooks and angling practices that are more challenging and help to sustain healthy fish populations. Always pinch your barbs.

In the main, we are all dedicated to enhancing the quality of the waters we fish; the health of the query for which we fish; and the knowledge and skill of ourselves and our colleagues.
The opportunity to participate in the sport of fly fishing is a privilege and a responsibility.
Fly fishermen respect private property and always ask permission before entering or fishing private property.
We practice and advocate “catch and release” angling. We take no more fish than those required for an occasional meal. Cameras, not creels, capture our trophies. If hooked a wild fish then keep it in the water and handle it with care. When holding a fish use a glove.

We do not litter or pollute the waters we fish and we leave the river in better shape than we found it. Anything you brought in please take it with you and maybe some extra. If possible leave the area cleaner than you found it.

A person fishing upstream has the right of way over someone fishing downstream. Keep your distance. It’s a drag to find someone else has reached your secret spot ahead of you, but those are the breaks. Go downstream out of sight and let them – and yourself – have a peaceful piece of river to enjoy.

Do not enter the water directly in front of someone already in the water and if an angler gives a rest to the pool don’t jump in without permission. We will not fish another’s pool unless invited to do so, and upon such invitation, will endeavour to preserve as much of the host’s solitude as we would wish for ourselves.

A slow moving or stationary angler has the right to remain where he/she is. If you are moving, leave the water and quietly walk around the angler in position in the water.

A section of water belongs to the first person fishing it. It is inconsiderate to crowd an angler who was there first. But be fair and do not occupy a pool for the whole day, rotate and give others an opportunity as well.
Never fish in an area where you can see spawning fish working. Just move on and let those spawners do their job in peace.