International Game Fishing Association
RULES FOR FLY FISHING
Any type of fly line and backing may be
used. The breaking strength of the fly line and backing are not
Leaders must conform to generally accepted
fly fishing customs.
A leader includes a class tippet and,
optionally, a shock tippet. A butt or taper section between the fly line
and the class tippet shall also be considered part of the leader and there
are no limits on its length, material, or strength.
A class tippet must be made of nonmetallic
material and either attached directly to the fly or to the shock tippet if
one is used. The class tippet must be at least 15 inches (38.10 cm) long
(measured inside connecting knots). With respect to knotless, tapered
leaders, the terminal 15 inches (38.10 cm) will also determine tippet
class. There is no maximum length limitation.
A shock tippet, not to exceed 12 inches
(30.48 cm) in length, may be added to the class tippet and tied to the
lure. It can be made of any type of material, and there is no limit on its
breaking strength. The shock tippet is measured from the eye of the hook
to the single strand of class tippet and includes any knots used to
connect the shock tippet to the class tippet.
In the case of a tandem hook fly, the shock
tippet shall be measured from the eye of the leading hook.
Regardless of material used or number of
sections, rods must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs and
practices. A rod shall not measure less than 6 feet (1.82 meters) in
overall length. Any rod that gives the angler an unsporting advantage will
be disqualified. Extension butts are limited to 6 inches (15.24 cm).
The reel must be designed expressly for fly
fishing. There are no restrictions on gear ratio or type of drag employed
except where the angler would gain an unfair advantage. Electric or
electronically operated reels are prohibited.
A conventional fly may be dressed on a
single or double hook or two single hooks in tandem. The second hook in
any tandem fly must not extend beyond the wing material. The eyes of the
hooks shall be no farther than 6 inches (15.24 cm) apart. Treble hooks are
The lure must be a recognized type of
artificial fly, which includes streamer, bucktail, tube fly, wet fly, dry
fly, nymph, popper and bug. The use of any other type of lure or natural
or preserved bait, either singularly or attached to the fly, is expressly
prohibited. The fact that a lure can be cast with a fly rod is not
evidence in itself that it fits the definition of a fly. The use of any
lure designed to entangle or foul-hook a fish is prohibited. No scent,
either natural or artificial is allowed on flies. The use of scented
material in a fly is prohibited.
G. GAFFS & NETS
Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish
must not exceed 8 feet (2.48 meters) in overall length. (When fishing from
a bridge, pier or other high stationary structure, this length limitation
does not apply.) The use of a flying gaff is not permitted. Only a single
hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon or lance attachments are
prohibited. A rope or any extension cannot be attached to the gaff.
1. The angler must cast, hook, fight, and
bring the fish to gaff or net unaided by any other person. No other person
may touch any part of the tackle during the playing of the fish or give
aid other than taking the leader for gaffing or netting purposes.
2. Casting and retrieving must be carried
out in accordance with normal customs and generally accepted practices.
The major criterion in casting is that the weight of the line must carry
the fly rather than the weight of the fly carrying the line. Trolling a
fly behind a moving water craft is not permitted. The craft must be
completely out of gear both at the time the fly is presented to the fish
and during the retrieve. The maximum amount of line that can be stripped
off the reel is 120 feet (36.57 meters) from the fly.
3. Once a fish is hooked, the tackle may
not be altered in any way, with the exception of adding an extension butt.
4. Fish must be hooked on the fly in use.
If a small fish takes the fly and a larger fish swallows the smaller fish,
the catch will be disallowed.
5. One or more people may assist in gaffing
or netting the fish.
6. The angling and equipment regulations
shall apply until the fish is weighed.
The following acts will disqualify a catch:
1. Failure to comply with equipment or
2. The act of persons other than the angler
in touching any part of the rod, reel, or line either bodily or with any
device during the playing of the fish, or in giving any aid other than
that allowed in the rules and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage
of the line through the rod guides has to be removed from the line, then
the obstacle shall be held and cut free. Under no circumstances should the
line be held or touched by anyone other than the angler during this
3. Resting the rod on any part of the boat,
or on any other object while playing the fish.
4. Handlining or using a handline or rope
attached in any manner to the angler's line or leader for the purpose of
holding or lifting the fish.
5. Intentionally foul-hooking or snagging a
6. Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any
fish (including sharks and halibut) at any stage of the catch.
7. Chumming with the flesh, blood, skin, or
any part of mammals.
8. Using a boat or device to beach or drive
a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal
ability to swim.
9. Attaching the angler's line or leader to
part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the
10. If a fish escapes before gaffing or
netting and is recaptured by any method other than as outlined in the
11. When a rod breaks (while the fish is
being played) in a manner that reduces its length below minimum dimensions
or severely impairs its angling characteristics.
12. When a fish is hooked or entangled on
more than one line.
13. Mutilation to the fish, prior to
landing or boating the catch, caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or
propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh. (Injuries caused by leader
or line, scratches, old healed scars or regeneration deformities are not
considered to be disqualifying injuries.) Any mutilation on the fish must
be shown in a photograph and fully explained in a separate report
accompanying the record application