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Ethics for International Fly Fishers

Category: Other Fly Fishing Articles | Author: John Ross

John Ross put together some basic elements of fly fisher's ethics.


  • Fly fishers worldwide share a common bond. 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.
  • Further, we share these common values:
    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.
  • We do not litter or pollute the waters we fish, nor do we enter private lands to fish unless first securing permission from the owner.
  • We respect the rights of other anglers. We will not fish another's pool unless invited to do so, and upon such invitation, will endeavor to preserve as much of the host's solitude as we would wish for ourselves.
  • We honor the species we seek by educating ourselves about their lifecycles, habitats and diets. We refrain from placing additional stress on fish populations pressured by spawning cycle, vagaries of water flow and temperature, commercial angling, disease, pollution or other adversity.
  • We obey both the letter and spirit of all laws governing our quarry and the waters we fish.
  • We honor all those - guides and ghillies, captains and boatmen, and river keepers and wardens - whose services enhance our fishing experiences.
    We actively support legislation that protects and improves game fisheries, and we oppose that which will negatively impact such fisheries.
  • We honor the customs and traditions of the countries where resist and we fish imposing the mores appropriate on our home waters.
  • 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.
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