River Etiquette during these busy times

Fly fishing is a prevailing solitude sport where experiences can be solo on a pristine river.  The rhythm of the river, the whoosh of the fly line, and the enticement of landing an impressive fish in the net. With the present worldwide pandemic, rivers, streams, creeks, and lakes are billowing with crowds.  River etiquette is of great precedence so that everyone on the river can enjoy and have a fun experience on the water.

One of the most beautiful aspects of fly fishing is the serene reverberates of the wilderness, the echoes of the river, and the whispering breeze.  Keep the peace by keeping your voice at an appropriate volume.  Fly fishing for many maybe a place by the river to revitalize, to drift into a fishy meditation, or a place to mentally be bestowed far away from life's daily stress.


Follow by the rules and regulations.  Get into the habit of picking up discarded cans, wrappers, other trash, and monofilament.  Carry it out for proper riddance.  Lots of rivers provide convenient monofilament recycling bins close by.  Monofilament line is non-biodegradable and can remain in the environment for many years.  Leave the river even better then how you found it.

Many rivers run through private property and are clearly marked with no trespassing or private property signs.  Be dutiful to not trespass on private property.  It is the angler’s responsibility to know or inquire of which land is public and private.  Be insightful of where the open fishing access points are.  

There are a plentitude of dog lovers who enjoy the companionship of bringing their dog to the river.  Unless your dog is about to win a blue ribbon prize in obedience, it would be best to keep your dog on a leash.  Or, simply leave the dog at home during these buzzing times on the river.

With the booming of crowds out on the river, kindness and courtesy, space, and polite communication will be the golden ticket.  Be thoughtful to not walk through another angler's run.  Step out of the water and walk around.  Provide fellow anglers on the river plenty of room.  The first person on a section of water should be permitted to fish there.  A simply warm greeting when approaching another angler will alleviate a multitude of anguish and begin a cooperative dialogue that will benefit each party involved.  Query for permission to fish above or below another angler helps to ease glitches and makes for a happier way about reaching to fishing sections.  Provide each other enough distance, or simply move up a few runs away so you are not in their way.

Importantly, it is critical with how we handle trout.  Rubber basket nets are choice compared to the old-fashion string nets in protecting of the outer defensive mucus slime found on trout.  This protection layer guards trout from disease and bacteria.  Removing these layers places the trout into suseptibility in decline of health.  Always wet hands first before handling trout.  Be conscientious not to squeeze the trout.  Squeezing too hard can cause trauma to internal organs and possibly result in death after release.  Never place fingers in the gills, or hold the trout by the lip.  Fingers in gills can injure the trout's breathing structure as well as holding by the lip can injure or break its jaw.  Release the trout facing it upstream and when fish has responded with sure recovery.

Be a true river ambassador to others during these bustling times on the river.  Good communication is key as well as considerate interactions with other anglers.  Maintain good housekeeping at the river, and handle trout delicately for many others to enjoy.  Mostly importantly, enjoy and have fun!



About Cat Toy - Mcfly Brand Shaman, Colorado USA

Cat grew up in Mammoth Lakes, California, next to the wild trout creeks and streams in a quaint ski resort town nestled in the magnificent Southern Sierra Nevada mountain range.  She learned to ski at an early age of 3 from her grandparents.  Her grandfather would take her and her younger brother fishing to the high alpine lakes and mountain streams.  They hiked the spectacular glacier carved mountains blanketed with vibrant wildflowers, tall majestic Jeffery and Bristlecone pines, and deep earthquake faults.

Her family moved to Reno, Nevada for new prospects to explore and college education opportunities.  As a young adult, she enjoyed several seasons as a ski instructor at Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe.  Shortly thereafter, she took an interest and became a certified Emergency Medical Technician.

The gates dropped and the rumble of 20+ guys racing motocross dirt bikes exploded from the starting line, including Cat. Not just a recreational racer, Cat pursued points in the annual MX West State Championship motocross racing series in Northern Nevada. Cat knows racing motocross to be most adrenaline pumping perfect storm of both physical and mental concentration which is an absolute requirement for the most severe sport on earth.  Her swift progression in the male dominant sport kept her competitive for 10 years with multiple trophies and numerous corporate racing sponsors.

As an emergency medical technician, the aspiration to go further in the healthcare field led her into the journey of further studies where she graduated with a minor in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2007.  Racing motocross, she said, kept her sane in surviving nursing school.

Cat’s nursing career started in Colorado with experience in psychiatric nursing, post surgical rehabilitation, and as a nursing educator.  In addition to channeling her medical expertise, she is also a ski patroller at the pinnacle summit of the Rocky Mountains gracing the slopes of Loveland Ski Area. Like racing motocross, ski patrolling is physically demanding, requires an aptitude of awareness, discipline, and superior public relation skills.

The opportunity to experience fly fishing occurred recently when she was merely handed a rod and reel and left to discern on her own. Cat used her past experiences of life skills to perfect the techniques that are necessary to be a successful fly angler, and her progression rate soared. Experienced fishing buddies, professional guides, and friends were stunned at Cat's expeditious passion to own the skills.  As a disciplined fly angler, she changed her approach by analyzing the intricate facets of fly fishing from spontaneous hatches to the most technical presentations required among the ever changing drifts of a trout stream.

Fly fishing can take Cat to some of the most ruggedly beautiful, breathtaking canyons found in Colorado.  The near future will unfold as there will be more to come with fly fishing for Cat.  There is so much to share, enjoy, and to treasure.

On tail water rivers that have a considerable amount of living matter in them, rising water can really churn up a lot of fish grub such as scuds and sowbugs.  The fish will gorge themselves silly on the abundance of bugs from the high water.  Amid these times of runoff, fish are still actively feasting.  So don't let the murky water detour the desire to fish.

Low visibility means usage of a heavier leader and tippet is welcomed, just remember that a heftier leader means your flies will sink slower.  Usage of regular monofilament is an option and the occasion to save on expensive fluorocarbon during these muddy conditions.  Fish are less inclined to spook due to the poor visibility high water and rapid water flow.  There are certainly opportunities that allow the ability to get fairly close to the fish near the banks.

I generally fish smaller flies and diminutive nymph patterns, but fly fishing in murky water with lesser transparency allows the angler to fish much larger flies.  Bring weighted flies such Stonefly nymphs, Woolly Buggers, light and dark colored streamers, worms, egg patterns, leeches, to name a few.  Bring an abundance of splitshots to deliver flies hastily towards the bottom to procure that effective drift presentation.  Dry flies are still on the radar, so be prepared for rising insatiable fish.

Safety is the ultimate priority when fishing during runoff.  With high water, it is not necessary to wade.  Obviously with wading, do use great caution with each step and foot positioning.  A wading staff is a must, wear a wader belt, and even wearing a PFD while fishing with your buddies is a smart option.  Always inform another of your whereabouts if you are fishing alone.

Runoff does offer alternative fishing adventures to the angler with great opportunities to catch some impressive, outstanding fish.  Be cautious out there, and see you on the river!