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Written by: George Daniel, creator of Dynamic Nymphing

A fluorescent yellow Mop Fly makes for an unnatural and harmful decoration in a streamside tree.
Picture by George Daniel

Editor’s be aware: This basic story by George Daniel by no means goes out of favor, and it provides a very good reminder to all anglers that the “Depart No Hint” ethic is vital.

Anybody acquainted with The Starvation Video games trilogy will recall a scene within the film when the heroine sings the lyrics to a track titled, “The Hanging Tree.” This morbid tune is about dying, however for some cause it made me take into consideration a number of current journeys on a close-by trout stream.

Not too long ago I’ve been amazed by the variety of flies and rigs that anglers have left hanging on streamside bushes and bushes. On one stretch of water that I frequent on a weekly foundation, I’ll normally see quite a few hanging patterns, so I wade throughout the stream and lower them free. The flies are in nice form since they’ve solely been there for lower than seven days (for the reason that final time I waded throughout and lower them from the identical spot). Positive sufficient, there shall be in the identical spots the time I present up. And it’s straightforward to wade throughout and retrieve the sample, so I can’t perceive why these patterns are left to hold.

I’ve heard quite a few fly fishers criticize spin and bait anglers for throwing trash on the bottom in addition to leaving massive bobbers and monofilament within the bushes. This rubbish turns into a watch sore for the subsequent angler travelling by, and there’s at all times the potential of a chook accidently consuming the bait or lure hanging on the tree. In that case, the tree turn into a literal “hanging tree,” the place chook corpses dangle. In 2017, I lower down 4 lifeless swallows that mistook a dangling fly for dwell insect.

I’ve come to the conclusion that fly anglers are typically simply as responsible (if no more so) as those that take part in different types of fishing. The introduction of the Mop Fly, particularly the bigger and gaudier ones, has made this much more obvious. It’s straightforward to overlook a Pheasant Tail Nymph or a small Elk-Hair Caddis dry fly that’s been damaged off in a tree. These patterns are small and mix into the environment. The Fisherman’s Paradise part on Pennsylvania’s Spring Creek, is an ideal instance of a extremely pressured trout stream the place, should you have been to spend time wanting shut within the cover surrounding the preferred sections, you’ll discover dozens of small midge patterns hanging within the bushes. Nevertheless, change each small, drab sample for a brightly coloured Mop Fly, and it might seem like anglers have been adorning for Christmas. Lots of my favourite stream sections at the moment are riddled with these gaudy patterns. For my part, that is no totally different than seeing empty beer cans or candy-bar wrappers on the bottom. We’re higher than this. And let me make it clear, I’m not excusing myself for these eyesores and chook snares.

I make loads of unhealthy casts and stick flies within the bushes with disturbing regularity. Usually, I’ll resolve to attend to wade throughout stream to retrieve the fly, so I can proceed fishing the water with out spooking the fish. Typically, nevertheless, I turn into so centered on fishing that I neglect in regards to the nearly invisible midge sample I left hanging. It’s straightforward to do with small patterns, however I can’t recall a time after I left a big brightly coloured sample within the tree. After I depart a Mop Fly in a tree, it’s at all times in view and jogs my memory to not neglect it when transferring to a different part. The one cause I’ll depart a fly hanging within the tree is that if it’s harmful on not possible for me to retrieve it. Nevertheless, so lots of the patterns I see hanging in bushes are straightforward to retrieve.

The treefish is simple to hook however notoriously tough to land.
Picture by Phil Monahan

Think about this a reminder for all anglers to consider the affect they depart for wildlife and different anglers. With extra fly anglers fishing much less public property, it’s vital that we take the additional minute to do every part we are able to to retrieve our hanging flies, so the subsequent angler is just not uncovered to our littering neither is a curious birds despatched to its dying. These occurrences aren’t 100% unavoidable, however we are able to do extra to attenuate our footprint.

Certainly one of my resolutions for 2018 is to depart no fly behind, so I don’t contribute to the hanging tree. I perceive this aim might be inconceivable, as there shall be many events when my sick positioned forged is not going to enable me to retrieve a fly (as when the fly finally ends up too excessive within the tree, the place I can’t climb). Nevertheless, if all anglers make a extra acutely aware effort to depart no fly behind, we’ll enable the subsequent passing angler to raised take pleasure in his or her expertise. And even higher but, we gained’t be reminded of that morbid “Hanging Tree” track whereas bathing in our fly fishing bliss.

George Daniel operates Livin On The Fly, a information service in State Faculty, Pennsylvania. He’s additionally the creator of Strip-Set: Fly-Fishing Techniques, Tactics, & Patterns for Streamers, in addition to Dynamic Nymphing

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