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river etiquette

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I was taught that when you walk up fish a stretch of river and encounter someone already there, it is polite to inquire whether they are fishing upstream or downstream and either fish the opposite direction or walk a few minutes to another stretch and give them some space. My experience on my local river lately has been that only about 5% of fly fishers were taught the same as I was. To make things clear I am talking about situations where there are hundreds of yards of empty publicly accessible water around and someone walks 25 ft upstream of me and starts fishing. This has happened to me at least once each weekend since the start of May on the local river I live above. I find it to be incredibly #%@^!! clueless.

OK so I am done ranting........ My parents were Canadian, was I brought up excessively polite? What do you do when you approach the river and find someone already there fishing?

Steve

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I hate it when I get high holed or low holed by some a-hole....I beleive to be common courtesy to at least go up to the next hole...at the very LEAST. I usually go further when I encounter another guy (unless its the Big Horn where combat angling is the norm. Which is probably why I gravitate to higher mountain small streams during peak season)

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The practice on our salmon streams is cast and step down through a pool and people will happily, dare I say expect to drop in behind you and follow you down almost step for step. But on water that sees a more even spread of fish along it, most folk would move along and give someone space. It must be that they recognise your fish catching talent and hope some rubs off on them if they tag along :)

 

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I usually just cast my fly over theirs and slap water on my back cast or sometimes just walk right through their fishing lanes they usually don't stay long after that but if they were there first I just move on to other spots

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I gotta believe it's just ignorance of fishing etiquette in general combined with a society norm that has become more and more impolite every year. Being polite or having manners isn't even a consideration for some people. I struggle with "should I say something or not". If they look like rank beginners I will try to offer advice or help on some level and introduce the etiquette issue after that as another instructive point. If they just seem rude, I don't even say a word and move on myself. You only buy yourself a heap of trouble if you say anything to these people.

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I hate it when I get high holed or low holed by some a-hole...

 

Well put! Happened to me this week. Sometimes it is blatant, sometimes people don't know better. This week a guy stepped in upstream from me in a large pool. Then a bit later another guy showed up (looked like a guide) and they rigged up and moved. My guess is the first guy just didn't know better.

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I had one on that walked right into top of the hole I was working and started edging down towards me. i kept casting until he snagged my line....I said something laughingly about about how I snagged somebody's busted off rig and clipped his line...He reeled in nothing and glared at me then high stepped it up the bank and outta my sight zone. I made it look totally like an accident but I think he figured it out....yeah when treated with impoliteness I can be a jerk.

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I usually just cast my fly over theirs and slap water on my back cast or sometimes just walk right through their fishing lanes they usually don't stay long after that

 

Paul, you forgot to mention your method of throwing tennis balls into the pool for your retriever to fetch.

 

There seem to be yahoos everywhere these days; there's no escaping them, even out in a boat. My advice is to carry a machete ($8 at Walmart) slung over your back like a landing net. Be sure to dribble a bunch of bright red paint on it and stick a bunch of dog hair on the paint before it dries. When somebody starts to crowd you, just reach back for the machete and start growling and snarling like a wild animal. A nice touch would be to finger the edge of the blade and glare at the offender while laughing maniacally. MMUUUUUHHHHUUUUHHHAAHHAAHHAA!!!!!!! Best case scenario is that the trespasser will be the casting director for a new slasher movie and hire you on the spot. Worst case scenario is that you'll be met back in the parking area by the recruitment squad from the state hospital for the criminally insane. Either way, you'll get a lot of attention, and most of it from a distance.

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Its not just other anglers. I've been hit by sticks thrown by dog walkers for their dogs to fetch on the R. Wharfe. Paid a lot to fish a particular beat and on arriving found parents swimming their kids in the best pool. That is a great one to sort out, I don't get angry, I get helpful!

"If you are going to let your children swim here you should be aware of this." And hand them a copy of the Fly Dressers Guild advice on Leptospirosis (Weils disease). They get their kids out the water fairly quickly after that.

 

Fortunately it isn't much of a problem here. Went to Loch Farlary the other night. When we got there we decided it was too over crowded. We left Colin to fish the loch and went to Loch Salachaidh. That's twice in less than a year we have found L. Farlary being fished by someone else. The Highlands are getting a little crowded these days.

 

Cheers,

C.

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Being polite or having manners isn't even a consideration for some people...If they just seem rude, I don't even say a word and move on myself. You only buy yourself a heap of trouble if you say anything to these people.

This has always been my policy too...half the people out there seem to think it's real sporty to carry a sidearm everywhere they go, and even if they're not packing, you're quite right when you say that a person who's that rude would probably have no problem responding with some form of violence to even the politest criticism.

So where does that leave us? It leaves us with the rudest and foulest among us going and doing where and what they want while decent people are left to tiptoe around them like a bunch of third graders who've just been relieved of their lunch money.

Where the hell is Batman when you need him?

Okay, I've vented.

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I've found that it is best for me to move to a spot that the intruder can still see me catch fish while they can't get a nibble in the spot they stole from me. It is amazing how often it works out that way.

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This might seem quite odd, but i have never been experienced bad etiquette from another fly angler or at least not to the extent of some no speaky english conventional anglers. I don't even need to start, but i have even been hooked before. Our regs book even explains fly anglers need more.

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