Etiquette Question: How Much Space Should You Give?

by Kirk Deeter

Does anything bother you more than to be fishing a river, only to have someone else jump in the run directly in front of you? Sometimes that's ignorance, usually just rudeness.

When space is limited, to avoid "combat fishing," there should be general guidelines on how much room to give another angler. What is your rule of thumb? What do you yield, and at what point does another angler "invade" your comfort zone? Better to stay in one spot, or leapfrog along the river?

Also, jumping in the river downstream (or behind) someone is a whole different situation than jumping above... especially if the other person is working upstream. Isn't it?

The other night on the radio, I was talking with Roger Maves, and he suggested that if you're close enough to tell the color of another (stranger) angler's fly line, you're fishing too close. Makes sense to me.