Code of Practice /

EFFC Code of Practice

EFFC exists to enable us, the members, to enjoy our sport in a beautiful part of the country. An important part of being a good angler is to ensure that your activities do not interfere with the ability of other members to enjoy their activities. As sportsmen and women we also have a duty to ensure that we cause the minimum of distress to the fish that we seek to catch. This is not only a humane duty but also in the interests of other anglers who want to be able to catch fish. This Code of Practice is therefore intended to maximise the enjoyment that members receive from angling on Errwood.



EFFC Code of Practice

Errwood Fly Fishing Club, Anglers’ Code of Practice (Revised 2016)

Fishing and behavioural guidelines for EFFC waters

Anglers’ behaviour and angling etiquette



  1. Never do anything that may spoil another angler’s sport.
  2. When approaching another angler who is actively casting, check for a moment or two to see if that angler is working along the bank. If this is the case, make sure that you move well away from the water’s edge when you pass the other angler and that you stay well away from the water for a reasonable distance so that you do not ‘kill’ the other’s beat. Remember that trout can see you from a considerable distance
  3. If you pass an angler who is working along the bank, try to avoid working along the bank just in front of them. Errwood is a large water and only rarely are the banks likely to be so crowded that you cannot find somewhere to fish that will not interrupt another’s progress
  4. It is polite to ask an angler you intend to pass if he/she minds you doing so and if you decide to fish within speaking distance, please ask the other angler whether they have any objection to you fishing at that spot.
  5. If you are the stationary angler and you are catching fish, why not invite the moving angler to come close to you or even stop fishing for a few minutes to allow him/her to move through your water?
  6. If you find a ‘hot spot’ and begin to catch fish when others around you are blank, do not hog that spot. It is common decency to move on after a few fish to let others try their skill and have some fun. If you catch 3 fish in half an hour in one particular spot, it’s probably time to move on
  7. If you are fishing near another angler it is good manners not to splash about in the shallows or disturb the water any more than is necessary. Thumping about on the bank also puts fish down. It is therefore polite to other anglers to move about as quietly as possible.
  8. If you see another angler having problems, ask if you can help in any way.
  9. Catch or release-If you intend to release any fish you catch, always use a barbless or de-barbed hook.
  10. In order to cause minimal distress and injury to the fish that you intend to release, the best method is to slide your hand down the leader until you can grip the fly between finger and thumb and then to gently twist the hook from the fish`s mouth without either netting the fish, beaching it or removing it from the water.
  11. If you must net a fish you intend to release, do so as gently as possible, do not grasp the fish from outside of the net. Should you have to hold the fish, ensure your hand is wet and do not squeeze the body.  Fish must never be beached!
  12. When releasing a fish from the hand, support it gently under the surface of the water until it can swim away on its own.  Never throw a fish back into the water.
  13. If you find a fish has been injured by the hook, particularly if it is bleeding, it should not be released but killed as quickly and as humanely as possible.
  14. All injured fish should be killed, especially if they are bleeding.  A fish that has been hooked through the mouth or eye for example is unlikely to survive if returned to the water.  Injured fish can spread disease.
  15. Brown Trout hooked badly/bleeding excessively should be dispatched as quickly as possible and left at the waterside.  All brown trout remain the property of EFFC and must not be taken.
  16. Remove fish from the water as quickly as possible [ play the fish – do not play with the fish ] using a landing net,   [ knotless of course ] of adequate size. under no circumstances should you beach a fish.
  17. Kill the fish as soon after landing as possible with several firm blows to the head with a suitable ‘priest’.
  18. Under no circumstances should fish be allowed to suffocate to death on the bank or in an anglers bag.
  19. Never return dead fish to the water.
  20. Do not clean/gut fish at the  water – do this at home.