River Etiquette to Keep in Mind

May 28, 2019

River Etiquette to Keep in Mind When Wade or Float Fishing in Fraser, CO Fishing is a hobby people take up to get attuned with nature and to escape from the cares of their everyday lives. Sure, there is also the aspect of pulling in fish and the challenges associated with that, but ultimately everyone who goes out to fish is hoping for a relaxing, enjoyable time. Therefore, if you intend to go out float fishing or wade fishing on a river near you, it’s important to be familiar with river etiquette tips in Fraser, CO that can ensure everyone on the river (yourself included) can have a good time. Here are just few examples of some of those pieces of etiquette you should be aware of:

  • Abide by all regulations: Know the regulations for the state and local area in which you’re fishing, and make sure you adhere to them. Those regulations are in place for a reason, and they’re often there to protect the wildlife in the area.
  • Don’t get too close to others: If you see someone sitting in or near a certain area of the water, let them have that area, regardless of how long they stay. Even if it’s your favorite fishing spot, you need to remember that you do not have domain over that area. They were there first, so let
    them fish in peace. This is true even if they’re just sitting in the area enjoying the scenery.
  • Use barbless hooks: Pinch down all barbs on your hooks. You’ll thank yourself later, and the fish would, too, if they could talk.
  • Don’t feel like you need to talk to other fishers: There are some people who feel like they have to say something to other anglers when they pass each other on the river. You really don’t need to, and in fact, it’s actually quite proper not to. Let them have their quiet time on the water. Give a little nod or wave of acknowledgement as you pass by, but there’s no need to make small talk.
  • Passing etiquette: When you do pass other anglers, make sure you do it respectfully. Slow down and avoid making a large wake so you don’t disturb the waters where the other angler is fishing. Leave some distance between you and the other angler, at least as much as possible in your section of the river.
  • Handling fish: Always handle your fish with care. The less you handle the fish, the more likely it will survive in a catch-and-release scenario. Your fishing net should be wet before you pick up a fish, as should your hands. You should never squeeze the stomach of a fish, or stick your fingers or any other object into its gills. If you are unable to remove a hook from the fish, cut the tippet line and release it before it gets too stressed out. If you want to take a photo before releasing the fish, do it as quickly as possible.
  • Avoid spawning fish: It can be tempting to fish in spawning beds, but you should avoid disturbing spawning beds as much as possible. The spawning process is crucial in the future of the river and in the future of fishing, so be respectful.

Right of way:

When floating a river, avoid wading anglers by moving to the other side of the river to pass and don’t cast into the water that they are working. After all you probably have miles of river ahead of you to fish, but they will probably only be fishing a few hundred yards of water. Do not anchor your boat in the middle of the river or in a narrow channel where you are blocking the river for other river users. If you are fishing down one side of the river and you decide to change sides, wait for boats fishing down the other side to pass rather than pulling in ahead of them. When you are anchored on the side of the river, look back upstream before you pull out so that you aren’t cutting off other fishermen or rafters. If there is a boat coming and you can’t pull out at least 100 yards or more in front of them, just let them pass and then pull out. This should all be common sense. In short, don’t do something on the river that you couldn’t do on a highway or interstate. Be courteous and let everyone enjoy our beautiful rivers.

Be positive:

Have fun, encourage others and be mindful of what you say and do. This is especially true if there are younger fishers with you—your actions will greatly influence them. Try to create a new generation of respectful fishers.

For more information about river etiquette in Fraser, CO to observe while fishing, contact the experts at Winter Park Flyfisher today.

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