In an ideal world there would be a mandatory informational printout with every fishing license sold, explaining the do’s and don’ts when it comes to respecting other anglers on the water. It does not matter how great of a fisherman you are (or aren’t), it doesn’t give you to right to pull unethical tricks to try and get in on the action. Chances are if someone came and anchored right next to your boat you would question it, so don’t pull it on other people.
Don’t pull up to the launch and decide it’s time to organize your fly boxes, put your rods together or tie on new leaders. If your boat is on a trailer then stop and get everything ready before backing up to put your boat in the water. It’s obviously necessary to put anchors in the locks, hook up your battery or get your oars in, but don’t take a month of Sundays taking up the boat launch.
Nothing is worse than having a boat pull in and anchor at an unreasonably close distance. This happens often when someone is doing well, a boat will magically sneak in and drop anchor while there’s a fish being played or released. A good rule of thumb is not to anchor within 100 feet, or the length of a fly line (a full line, not how far you can cast) to another boat. Big fish run a long ways sometimes, be courteous of other people’s space.
If I had a dime for every time I heard someone yell this at another boat from across the lake I would buy myself a new boat. If someone is having a substantially better day than everyone else, they obviously took the time and effort to dial it in. Rowing up to someone’s boat and asking what fly they’re using is incredibly off limits, as is asking from a distance across the lake while someone has a fish on. Maybe if you get talking at the boat launch you can politely ask but on the water is not the place or time to do it.
This is more of a general rule of thumb but nobody likes seeing a big fish go into the floor of the boat, even if it’s being released. If you’re going to retain the fish then omit this but if you’re practicing catch and release especially on a trophy lake, lean over the side of the boat and keep the fish in the net the whole time.
Remember, if you’re having a great day then all the power to you but it does not mean you are better than everyone else. Don’t go out of your way to flaunt that you’re having success. There’s no need to be the guy that yells “FISH ON!” every 3 minutes, nobody cares but yourself and people around you will shortly be aware that you’re hooked up whether you make a point of it or not. It never hurts to help someone that is clearly new or struggling either, good karma goes a long ways.
Thanks for reading and until next time happy fishing!