The last post was based on the long-held discussion of whether it’s better to fish upstream or downstream. Thinking about it, made me discuss a few pragmatical reasons to fish upstream. I decided to ask Dr. Ishigaki why he likes fishing upstream, looking for more “scientific” reasons. But, instead I was reminded of an important reason that I missed: angler etiquette!
When we go fishing in a mountain stream, we are often looking for solitude. Not only that, but fish in smaller streams will often be spooked more easily and not take a fly if they have been disturbed. So, keeping other anglers in mind, as well as our own interest, the best approach is to have every angler fish in the same direction, upstream. This will ensure that anglers are not crossing each other, just to find the entire rest of the stream spoiled. It will also allow anglers to leapfrog each other if they see someone upstream.
I grew up surfing, and though I won’t discuss the etiquette of wave riding, and surfers tend to be quite different when it comes to protecting their water, they do understand clearly that some etiquette in the water benefits everyone. Sure, there are wave hogs, and most breaks are way more crowded than any stream I have ever fished, but everyone moves in one general direction and that helps keep people happy in the water.