From my perspective as someone who has made plenty of New Year’s resolutions to little affect on my life, this year I instead offer a public service in the form of resolutions for others, hoping that my 11 readers will pass them along under the presumption that adherence to any one of these resolutions by other outdoorsmen will make my fly fishing life a bit easier.
- The Resolution for Fisherman Who May Be Too Friendly: If you’re not my guide or I don’t know you and haven’t asked, don’t net my fish. In my personal experience, it rarely ends well for anyone involved.
- A Resolution for Those with (Untrained) Kids & Dogs: The water down around the bend is just as wet as the water I’m fishing.
- The Shy Fly Fisherman Resolution (This comes from personal experience.): Don’t be afraid to ask a successful fly fisherman for help. If you ask while on the water, be courteous and remember what Andre Puyans was reputed to have said, “Move only close enough to communicate and observe, but never close enough to interfere.” Do so and you’ll likely start a new friendship, regardless of its duration; though you should expect that answers to any questions won’t always be totally truthful.
- Resolve to Understand Fishing Doesn’t Always Mean One’s Fishing: Experienced fishermen often study a piece of water before fishing, and often before even entering the water. It’s only good manners to respect this and
gently wake up a fellow anglerquietly ask permission to fish the water being observed.
- A Resolution for Those Filling Stringers: If you see me landing more fish than you, don’t ask if I’ll give you one for your stringer. Catch it on your own; only then have you earned the right to make a decision to let it go or keep it. (The fact that it may be a stocked fish doesn’t negate the premise of this resolution.)
- Resolve to Look for Fish Elsewhere (Part 1): Even if I’m landing more fish than you, my spot is not where all the fish are. Respect the fact that I get up before the sun and fall over rocks in the dark to get a particular spot; or get up earlier than I do.
- Resolve to Look for Fish Elsewhere (Part 2): Please, please don’t cast your lure, bait or even fly 15 or 20 feet to place it in the seam less than 5 feet in front of me. It’s also bad form to cross my line with yours. Be warned: I’ve been working on the accuracy of my