Well the shop is finally back together again just before I go off on a short break with the family, its in donegal of course and the fishing rods will accompany the journey, just in case we get some more of this rain, who am I kidding, there will be fishing regardless of the weather! Last weeks blog prompted a few different reactions, I had a few messages about the droppers and flies for the dibbling, but, several comments were made about fishing etiquette and thinking about other anglers when using flies such as the Francis.
For the most part, your average day on the water is pleasant and most anglers follow the norm, simple things like not stepping in front of another angler in the same pool is really one of the first things I learnt when beginning my fishing journey. Always join behind other anglers, if someone else is waiting to fish the same pool then you have to wait your turn. Now this all seems to get very confusing when anglers are fishing from both sides, what’s the rule here? Does it come down to the size of the river? Hopefully someone can help shed some more light on this, but if in doubt just hold back and wait your turn, it costs nothing to be polite.
Once you are in the pool and your fishing there is still etiquette to follow. Fishing through the pool at a sensible pace is always appreciated by the other anglers, now I am not telling everyone to rush through the pool but there is definitely a happy medium here. Cast, Fish, Step and repeat is a good protocol to follow, certainly there are hot spots that might be worth an extra cast but don’t turn into the angler with lead wading boots who gets to his favourite spot and makes twenty casts over the lie, now its ok if your fishing by yourself but if there are other anglers following you down a pool its nice to fish through at a courteous pace.
This next paragraph is sure to ruffle the feathers of a few anglers but its something that needs addressing and that’s casting etiquette. Sustained anchor casts like the snap t or Perry poke make me cringe when I see someone ripping up the water going down a pool. Now if your fishing by yourself, cast away, I have shared my thoughts on these casts before but if you are mixed in with other anglers going down a pool then such casts show little respect for your fellow fishermen, the small spate rivers we have here in Ireland are easily covered with any other cast. Even when casting behind another angler allow yourself some extra room, don’t cast so far that your flies end up fishing at their hip, if you want a shallow angle on your fly then allow more room before you join in behind the leading angler.
There are a few things that are worth bearing in mind even as we walk up and down the riverbanks, there is nothing more annoying than seeing a large shadow appear across your pool as an angler walks along the bank to close to the waters edge, this is particularly important in low water conditions, being mindful of the skyline and your silhouette not only for your own fishing benefits but be aware of it when stopping to ask how if someone has had any joy.
I will finish on something that should really affect every angler out there regardless of what you fish for and it comes in two parts. Firstly its parking up near your fishing spot. All too often we see one vehicle taking up the space of three, meaning no other anglers can get the same access, parking in front of a farmers gate or lane way is also responsible for many no trespassing signs being put up. This isn’t even fishing etiquette, its just common sense. The final part of this is the rubbish aspect of fishing. I wrote about it a few weeks ago from a shop point of view but pull up at any parking spots used by fishermen and you will see the remnants left behind. Discarded casts, lure wrappers, tea bags and banana skins. Those last two might decompose ok but you wouldn’t like someone parking in front of your house and leaving them lying.
These are just a few topics within the gentlemen agreement that surrounds fishing, im sure there is great history behind these practices and how they came about.
What do you see happening when out fishing that continuously annoys you, have we lost our etiquette on the river bank?