Some time ago I decided to make it a point to be friendly on the river. I figured that I know very well how to find secluded water so if I'm fishing a relatively public or well known spot I'm going to be a "nice guy". This was because the majority of fly fisherman I run across on the water act, well, not very friendly, if not downright grumpy. I realized that I didn't want to be that guy.
And it's an opportunity to teach every now and then. It's surprising to me that most folks, even some who have been long time anglers, have no idea about conservation or C&R philosophy.
Just this last Saturday I was back at the parking lot removing my gear after a fantastically spectacular day on the Valle Caldera. On the hike back I had spotted a couple of really big water fowl and I was pretty sure they were Herons but I wasn't confident of my knowledge. Parked next to me were two ladies who were clearly birders and I asked them about Herons, which, it turns out, are really what I saw. After we confirmed my siting one of the ladies asked, in a kind of quizzical way, if I had a good time fishing. I replied, sure, I had a great day. And she commented, "Even though you didn't catch anything".
So, yeah, she's thinking that if I don't have a stringer-load of fish I've had a bad day. I smiled and said, "Oh no, I caught a whole lot of fish. It was spectacular. I just like to put them back so they can make more nice fish and get bigger for my next trip".
It goes both ways some times