Fly Fishing Etiquette & Good Practice
Anyone new to fly fishing may wish to know a few unwritten rules to help preserve everyone's sporting opportunities and enjoyment.
Whilst not exhaustive, here a few common mistakes to avoid:
1. Upstream fly fishing requires joining a beat downstream and moving up the beat. Always start at the beginning of a beat and move upstream. If you need to walk downstream to start fishing, always walk well away from the river to avoid disturbing it.
2. No Wading: Whilst many waters require wading, Gopsall Fly Fishing Club is bank fishing only, this prevents the river bed being stirred up and silt and debris floating downstream, which might affect an angler below you.
3. Space: In general, try to avoid entering a pool too close to another angler (30 feet downstream is considered a polite distance) and always ask if it's okay to join the beat behind an angler who is already fishing in front of you.
4. Due to the shortness in length of some beats at Gopsall Fly Fishing Club, we encourage members not to join a beat already being fished by another member and to always park at the beat you are fishing, this allows fellow members to see which beats are busy or are free to fish.
5. Speed: Fish at comfortable pace but be aware of keeping moving if fellow anglers are fishing behind you. Always allow a fellow angler the opportunity to finish their beat, without hogging a pool for too long.
6. Landing: If fishing near a fellow angler and they hook a large fish, it's polite to stop fishing yourself and to offer your assistance in landing their catch.
7. Dry Fly Only: Gopsall Fly Fishing Club is a dry fly only club, unless fishing for Grayling after 15th October. Only one fly should be used at a time.
9. Please keep your noise to a minimum and if returning back from your beat, try and avoid walking alongside the river which may disturb fish for following anglers.
10. To avoid any unnecessary distress to caught fish, please refrain from photographing any fish you intend to return.
11. When handling a fish to return, try to wet your hands before touching it, remove your fly as quickly as possible and gently hold it facing the current until it has regained enough strength to swim away.
12. Above all, the politer and friendlier you are, the more you will gain from fishing any water and the more helpful and generous you will find your fellow anglers to be.