Please Sign In

Please enter a valid username and password
  • Log in with Facebook
» Not a member? Take a moment to register
» Forgot Username or Password

Why Register?
Signing up could earn you gear (click here to learn how)! It also keeps offensive content off our site.

Fly Fishing Etiquette: Don't Be That Guy

Recent Comments

Categories

Recent Posts

Archives

Syndicate

Google Reader or Homepage
Add to My Yahoo!
Add to My AOL

FlyTalk
in your Inbox

Enter your email address to get our new post everyday.

September 11, 2012

Fly Fishing Etiquette: Don't Be That Guy

By Kirk Deeter

One of the topics we missed in our conversation about "What Keeps People from Learning to Fly Fish" is stream etiquette. No doubt, a bad encounter on the river (or lake) with other anglers can ruin the whole experience. Sometimes, those things happen purely as a result of ignorance, yet I still am amazed by some of the tricks pulled by anglers who clearly have been doing this for a long time. The onus is on those seasoned anglers to make the experience positive for everyone, and not just for themselves.

Etiquette starts with the guides. I know it's hard to make every day successful for paying clients, especially on more crowded public waters. But the minute you put yourself and your clients in a spot that clearly has a negative impact on others around you, you've crossed the line.

I think there should be better systems in many places where everyone knows the shops or outfitters the guides represent. One foul earns a warning. Two fouls earns a suspension. Three fouls gets the guide banned for the season. Of course, 99 percent of the guides I encounter are the best stewards of all. I like fishing in the area where there are guides (not too close), because I can usually expect them and their anglers to go out of their ways to be courteous to others, and respectful of the resources. It's the one percent that gives guides a bad name, and the people who are most upset about that are the other 99 percent of guides.

Sometimes, the selfish and/or uninformed cry foul with no good reason at all. I remember one morning several years ago, when the late Charlie Meyers (Denver Post) and I float-tubed Spinney reservoir in Colorado's South Park. We walked well behind two anglers who were casting from the shoreline, and then dropped our tubes in the lake at least 100 yards down the bank. Still, one of those anglers felt obliged to yell about what jerks we were for ruining his fishing. We didn't ruin his fishing. But his loud shouting probably did!

Meyers said, "We hear you sir, and we'll be paddling on our way." It bothered me all morning, but Meyers let it slide like water off a duck's back. (I have often wondered if that person realized he was yelling at the great Charlie Meyers, in a place that, ironically, is now a stone's throw from what's now called the Charlie Meyers State Wildlife Area.)

Good etiquette all boils down to several things:

- First, if you are second (or third, or 25th) to the river, that's your problem, not everyone else's. Find somewhere else to fish, or wait.  

- Watch the direction where other anglers are fishing (are they going upstream or downstream, moving right or left along a shoreline?), and never block them.  You should yield at least a couple runs in front of another angler, especially when that angler is on the move.  

- When in doubt, ask. Talk to others. "Do you mind if I get up and fish that pool up there?" 

- Tell others what your plans are. For example, leave a note on the windshield of your vehicle parked at a bridge. "I went upstream, 2 p.m."  Unless the anglers who follow you are nuts, they'll head the other way.

- Your voice should only be heard by others when they want to hear it.  It's great to get excited about fishing, but that doesn't mean whooping it up.  

- Play by the rules and regulations. Don't leave trash. And if you're a catch-and-release angler, do your best to ensure the fish you catch will live.

- Don't camp in one run all day. It might be the most productive spot in the river, but courtesy dictates that you share with others.

- Keep your dog on a leash (or leave your dog at home) if it's not the kind of dog that will heel right next to you as you fish.  

- And don't do things that will screw up the water someone else is fishing. For example, mind your shadows if you're walking next to a river. Don't splash around and stir up the water. Don't paddle your boat right through a run someone is casting into.

- Lastly, if you feel like somebody has done something wrong that negatively affected your fishing, don't yell at them, flip them off, or get into an argument. Odds are, they don't know what they did. If you can politely let them know, and then move on by saying "no worries," they'll be smarter, you'll feel better, and a future bad encounter will likely be avoided.

It all boils down to common sense. Just like most things that have to do with fishing.

Comments (43)

Top Rated
All Comments
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

It is worth a mention that fisherman share the waterways with kayaks, canoes, swimmers, or just a dog lover who wants to take their dog for a swim. The same courtesy's should be extended to all who use the water.

However, as explained in the last blog, you are allowed to whack your fishing buddy upside the head if he gets too close to your cast. He should have known better. lol

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

My approach is to welcome any angler that I come in contact with. That notion of another angler ruining your out of body experience you are having in the wild because they came within eye sight of you needs an adjustment. Find something friendly to talk about. They can step in right near me, and fish if they want.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

See, I knew I could get you boys on the same page if I thought deep enough...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

KD,
You touched on a pet peeve of mine. On the southern Lake Erie tribs it can get mighty crowded as you might imagine. I can't begin to count the number of times I've risen early enough to be on the water before dark thirty, and yet some yahoo will show up a half hour after sun-up and splash right on in within spittin distance...without even a good morning.
My usual response after a couple less than perfect casts is to say "mornin, would you like me to move"?
If that doesn't get the message across I just figure the guy is too stupid to understand.
And I've had more than a couple guides do the same thing with their sports.
Good suggestion on reporting the fouls and the accompanying point system.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I definitely agree with these, and have a special peeve with the "voice" bullet since it's often the most overlooked. It's one thing to have a quick back and forth on a fish you hooked or bird you see, but it's tough to take the 2-6 guys who may be spread out by 50+ yards or just hanging on the bridge or truck and yell obsinity laced jabs all day. We don't all care how much you had to drink last night or what inuendos you can work into the "conversation".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Problem with fishin in Ahiya is you can not get up early enough. A shift of glo-bobber boys have already fished out your hole coming in at midnite...been there done that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

This thread takes the last few full circle. Having a pleasant experience on the river is a great way to get others involved in the sport.

Hoski, I'll be disappointed if we don't fish the erie tribs together this winter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

yeah, add the big thompson to that list. THere are waaay more guides acting unprofessionally on that river now than I care to mention. Kirk and his guides wont act like that but many out of loveland do. By the way, if you show up before anyone else, it doesnt give you ownership rights to the river, but it does show your dedication and discipline. GUIDES: realize that if your guiding on a public piece of water, your still just another fisherman to everyone else. If you say your a guide, your usually held to a higher standard. THose are potential clients your treating like crap.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

yeah, add the big thompson to that list. THere are waaay more guides acting unprofessionally on that river now than I care to mention. Kirk and his guides wont act like that but many out of loveland do. By the way, if you show up before anyone else, it doesnt give you ownership rights to the river, but it does show your dedication and discipline. GUIDES: realize that if your guiding on a public piece of water, your still just another fisherman to everyone else. If you say your a guide, your usually held to a higher standard. THose are potential clients your treating like crap.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Demalderis wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

As always, well written & good points made.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kent Klewein wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Kirk,

Good post man. I agree with you as usual on just about everything.

Where I guide, we have extremely low flows, which limits our ability to always go around other anglers on the river. I'll gladly drag my boat over shoals with the best of them to avoid interfering with the fishing of others, but sometimes I've got clients that are too old or disabled to the degree that they can't afford to get out and do this. In this situation all I can do is float on through where my boat won't run aground as quietly as possible (fly line and flies in clients hands) float on through.

Many times, the recreational anglers are novice and are actually standing in the water they should be fishing, and casting their flies where they should be standing. All at the same time blocking traffic and messing up the fishing for other anglers around them. Most of the time they don't know any better.

Although, I'm a guide, I fish on my own quite often, and I can tell you the people that have the least etiquette ins't the fishing guides, it's the recreational anglers. Yes, there are rookie guides as well as unprofessional guides that are a problem, but they usually get checked Charlie Murphy style pretty quick if they're on a reputable river or stream.

It all boils down to education on this subject. That's why it's so great you wrote this post. I'm sure it will have a positive effect. Lastly, it's important to know, that professional guides always make a point to educate their clients on proper fishing etiquette during the trip. And I think guides should get more credit for doing so.

Kent Klewein

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Thanks Kent (and Joe), who happen to be two of the BEST guides I know. I feel bad sometimes pointing fingers at guides (as I am one myself), but the best ones totally get the responsibilities that extend far beyond catching fish. We just need to talk about these things, and half of the problems will go away. I really believe that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Ya know, I can't for one time remember when I was really crowded out on a river so bad that I said anything, most of the time, it's usually a newb and I end up giving them flies that catch fish and let them fish the run, and sometimes even give them my run and I'll move down and catch the riffle fish. If it's too crowded, I find other water. I do make it a point to anyone I take with me to fish clear water, but give space to others that are fishing. I haven't had problems with guides, rather the opposite, they are polite and on more than occasion, I've seen them give flies away to folks who aren't even their clients. I avoid the hot bite like the plague I guess.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

The time before my last time fly fishing I had a couple of polaris rangers cross in the run my brother and I were fishing. The drivers were in violation in a no atv area, but were crossing back to private land. My brother was livid, I was only slightly perturbed because the fish weren't biting yet anyway. Kirk, I think I recall you having a bad experience in Arkansas, but as a local I literally am accustom to fishing within 4 feet of anglers on a hot spot and figuring out a way to play the angles where I can land fish. Now public land duck hunting can be a tense situation where viscous brawls between armed hunters take place. The key is having several spots in case your area gets taken up. 7 billion and climbing, cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joshua Rust wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

It's all about sharing a common resource, which is public land. There should be some ground rules, more a gentleman's agreement than anything else. It should be first come first serve, but it is ridiculous when someone camps out at a spot all day long so I wholeheartedly agree with Kirk.

You can understand why people privatize water, because they are tired of the assholes. Where I live, I tend to keep the good fishing spots secret anymore because word gets around so quick.

I typically know a spot is in decline when I see the shirtless rednecks sitting on buckets, drinking beer, and flicking their cigarettes everywhere, and pulling out fish that should clearly be thrown back. It's symptomatic of the constant battle in Kentucky between land owners and trespassers, and if people could just learn some manners we'd get more access.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I think the note on teh truck is great courtesy, but a bad safety idea. In my part of the world that would give someone a good idea as to how much time they have alone with my vehicle before I get back. Let them wonder, I say.

I've generally found the water manners of fly fisherman (which aren't very common in my area) to be better than the average, but I'm in SE PA where other than the trout opener, streams offer more than just elbow room.

I second the be respectul of other uses though.
If you're the gentleman who was fishing the Perkiomen and just had to make exasperated gestures and shoot me dirty looks last year when my daughter's kayak made a loud thud on launching after we pulled out about 50 yards above you, portaged our boats down a gravelly bank for over a hundred yards of stream in order to get a full set of ripples away from the large pool you were fishing, be thankful a young lady was present.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I agree with all of the above etiquette except this one:

"Don't camp in one run all day. It might be the most productive spot in the river, but courtesy dictates that you share with others."

The early bird gets to pick their spot. If someone comes along later in the day and starts casting into the spot I'm fishing I will be ticked, but if the same person walks up to me and asks if I will share the spot, you bet he can fish with me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

koldkut has the approach. Way too many fisher persons on our rivers to get upset when someone comes into your area. That guy your mad at could walk miles, and run into folks fishing in every hole. One major problem is a banky doesn't like boaters. He hasn't caught anything, and now he sees a boat approaching him, and the boat has to disappear, or he gets upset. I wave at them, and always tell them to not go out of there way getting around me..pass through, make a cast, or two, have fun. I've had bankies waded out to their knees, and expect me to go behind them, and they wouldn't budge an inch to let me go behind. I'd suggest that kinda banky get a boat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

This is why I don't fish the South Fork much any more. To many jerks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I have never seen a post with so many "+" on this forum. This only signifies that the subject is very close to the hearts of fly anglers. Excellent subject... NOW stay out of my water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Its one thing when someone drifts right through your hole but when they look at you and anchor in 10ft in front of you and tell you its their right is another. Thats why I don't fish the South Fork.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

South Fork of what? Anchoring up is one thing, just wanting to pass through, and there is no way you can do it with an ignoramus on the bank is another. Much of the problem is the banky is a newbie, and wouldn't know etiquette if he saw it. Now I tell the guy on the bank I will go right in front of you if it is a tight spot, and I can't get out of his water by going to the far side. Close to him shouldn't be in his fish water. But you guys make me realize how great it is to live in the West where rivers are of decent size, and I have no problem finding drifts to myself every time I go. I will fish one of the heaviest fished rivers in all the lower 48 on Friday, and more than likely will have 8 miles of river, virtually to myself. I will hope to see a few other anglers just to talk to them, or wave at them as they pass by.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JoBer wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Well done, Deeter. The note-on-the-vehicle idea is TREMENDOUS - let's all try to make this standard behavior. Also - dogs on leashes! Also - I love that you touched on what I call "guide entitlement". Touchy subject for sure, but I see it all the time. Just because your livelihood depends on fishing, does not give you anymore right to fish here than me. No, I won't concede that hopper bank to you even though I see your tags coming up behind me. Let's all just be reasonable people - I know that's subjective, but let's try.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Here's another good perspective. Maybe some of you can connect the dots. A study was done on rats. They put a couple of pair in a cage, and they all got along well. Then they packed the cage with rats. The rats became aggressive many biting, and fighting with each other. Same reason you have road rage. Sure glad to be living out West,and not back EAST, and not packed into the cage like the cage full of rats

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TroutGirl80 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

As a female angler, I'd also like to say, please extend the exact same courtesy to anglers of the opposite sex. While I understand fly fishing is primarily a boys club, women do fly fish.... I can't tell you how frustrating it is either being starred at or asked if I need help with anything. You don't do this with your fellow male casters, please don't with the female casters either. We are on the river with the same goal, same love of trout....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Sayfu, I am no newbe to the south fork of the snake. I have seen good and bad on that river and just decided its not worth it any more.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steelmaster wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I thing I have learned is that when you are polite to someone on the river, typically you learn something. I have been fly fishing for about 2 years now...I have caught roughly 50 steelhead and salmon. Not because I know everything there is about fly fishing because I am a kid, but I stop the "old duffers" and ask them questions, and as a direct result I hold more fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

idduck...I was hoping you were referring to the SF of the Snake. I have been living here, but for 12 yrs. now, and thus not a local angler going back very far BUT..here's my deal. I put as much effort into figuring out other fisher persons as I do learning how to fly fish, and I have put in mega hours doing that. I will fish the SF of the SNAKE on Fri., and probably will not see but a handful of anglers in my 8 mile stretch of water believe it or not. But I highly invest in my sport. I have a small flyfishing jetboat I can riffle run with, anchor up with it, and I also have a driftboat. I will have gravel bar after gravel bar to get out on with no on but me, and my fishing partner on them...guaranteed. And I've done that very same thing in the metropolitan area of Seattle with many, many anglers frequenting the local rivers. Your story is a common one. I just am able to avoid it. Few anglers give it the time, and effort that I give it, but believe me, it can be done.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

steelmaster. You have an admirable quality that few have. Most are too egotistical to take your approach. Most knowledgeable anglers want to tell you how much they know. Deciphering the BS from reality can be your difficulty. And that is the problem with the guy that says flyshops turn up their noses to beginners, and make fun of them. No they don't! It is the problem of the beginner who sees the shop as a place where only knowedgeable anglers hangout, and enter the store with a predisposed problem. Be up front, and tell them you don't understand something, and they bendover backwards to tell you how much they know.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I fish and hunt alone or I don't fish or hunt. I simply cannot imagine doing it any other way. Guess I have been spoiled. If I want the community social experience, I'll go to McDonalds at Walmart and stand in that line. Or maybe to church and stay for coffee hour afterwards. Fishing is about me and nature, not me and dozens of other guys competing for it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Different strokes for different folks Ontario. I want a fishin buddy to experience the same good time as I have. Fishing by myself is not something I do much. Once in awhile I grab a rod, and head but a short distance to test out a new fly, or fish a spot for a short period of time. Even hunting that I do with my dogs, I have more fun when my wife is along. She use to hunt, but no more. But she has things to do like watching where a bird came down, moving the car to pick me up..much more fun talking the sport with someone else along. No fun even driving to and from by myself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Sayfu, I have lived in Idaho Falls for 30yrs and have watched that river go to sh&^ with the attitude people have when they fish it. Henry's lake is just as bad. Had my 6yr old twins up there fishin and up come 2 guys in float tubes and fly rods and move in on us. I don't fly fish any more 85% of the people I run into that do think if you dont you dont have a right to fish and just ruin it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I'm not disagreeing with your experience, I just made the decision years ago to avoid the experiences you have had, and I've been able to do it. If you were along with me on Friday, you'd see what I mean. My wife tells me to "SHUT UP!" "Quit telling folks how you do it!" Be quiet, and be happy you've been able to do what you do." Life changes from yesteryear, you just have to learn to adapt, and I've been able to do it very well. I welcome seeing other anglers, not getting disappointed they are around.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from split484 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Aren't we interested in getting more people into fishing and helping conservation of the "great out doors?" And isn't it really about everyone getting outside and of the damn couch? So no one complaining about a newbie standing in a spot they should be fishing has ever been guilty of doing the same? ever? some of you guys are making it sound like we should all be "doing our homework" and studying how to fish before we whip a hook into the water. I mean, some of us have to learn the hard way. Anyway, I see mostly people chucking balls and sticks into hot spots i want to land my flies...so they're the enemy and they don't have any cause to be in the same public water that I'm in? people are really confusing "right" and "privilege" these days.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Good post split. The problem occurs in those high population areas where there are few fishing alternatives. A bunch of anglers wanting to fish a small stream becomes a problem that isn't easily solved especially when anglers expect to anchor up, and then have other anglers stay well out of their way. Think about the guy that got up at day break rather than at )-dark 30, and expects to fish. Every hole has an angler in it. I've actually seen the day when there would be 30 anglers along one bank fishing in one run, and all getting along having a good time. That was acceptable, and actually fun. It was steelhead season, and it was a happening, and lots of anglers out having a good time. Then along came the fly fisherman that wanted a new ethic established. Get rid of 29 of you guys, and one angler to a run. And I'm virtually a fly angler only, and have been for sometime now, but it is the fly angler for the most part that expects solitude when on the river. The spin fisherman have far less problems accepting other anglers around them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhythm Rider wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

The old 80/20 rule. 80% of problems from just 20% of anglers. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess. When I get aggrivated I should remind myself it's an opportunity to 'mentor' or educate someone. It's up to me to approach the situation best I can, and up to them to learn what's appropriate.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

What says you judgement of appropriate is correct Rhythm Rider? WE had a topic some time back as to how close should another fisher person fish from you? Lots of responses from the fly anglers, and as I recall they wanted the closest angler to be about a quarter of a mile away. That was the closest response we had, many had it farther than that. So you buyin that anyone closer is inappropriate conduct?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

What says your judgement of appropriate is correct Rhythm Rider? WE had a topic some time back as to how close should another fisher person fish from you? Lots of responses from the fly anglers, and as I recall they wanted the closest angler to be about a quarter of a mile away. That was the closest response we had, many had it farther than that. So you buyin that anyone closer is inappropriate conduct?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhythm Rider wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Sayfu, I've had perfectly kind and respectful anglers in tailwaters within 50 feet of me (often it's unavoidable), and loud disrespectful anglers further away. It's about conduct, actions, and attitude. It has less to do with how close they are.

I'd like to have every water around free of anglers for a half a mile up or downstream of me, but that's in no way realistic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Good post,..just wanted you to realize what the consensus on this thread was. I cancelled a subscription of an East Coast Flyfishing magazine...I called them up even and talked to the editor about an article where they featured a business executive, featuring him as a busy guy that took the time off to be with nature, and solitude. The guy hiked for miles up into the back country, and was having this epiphany, an out of the body experience as he described it, and along comes another angler down the trail. The guy described it as totally ruining his trip. The editor saw nothing wrong with the article, and I told him to cancel my subscription

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Well, I suppose the fella expected something else. Big mistake to ever have any expectations. Take what's there and hope for the best.

A few weeks ago on the Labor Day weekend I was in Montana and hiked into my old fishing camp. Had never done that before - always had horses 25+ years ago when I formerly haunted the place. It's eight miles in there and the USFS had since moved most of the trail to I didn't know where. So I had to hike down the old trail which hasn't been maintained for at least 25 years. Ugh! What a mess! Lucky I didn't break a leg in those tag alders. Good thing I'd been over that old trail so many times or I'd never have been able to keep track of it. I stuck with it and still managed to get in an hour and half fishing before I had to head back on the return eight miles, mostly in the dark but at least on the new trail. See the great photos I just put in my profile. Though it was the long weekend I saw no one. It was just like old times. If I'd had anybody else along with me, there's no way we'd have made it in there. No one else is that nuts. Glad I was alone. See the pics and you'll understand why. Lucky I didn't get hurt? If I could get hurt out there, I'd have been dead fifty years ago (incidentally, that abandoned trail is the site of my one and only near shootout with a grizzly). I feel sorry for the guys who can't do this. But if everyone did, no one would be having the experience. It's sad, but it's the truth. I have fished with the crowd. That is okay. I know what to expect and if it gets too bad, I hang it up for a later time or another day. I just look at those situations as practicing my casting. Put the blinders on, ignore what's going on around me, and just let the rythm of the rod and rushing water wash away all my troubles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lucas Alexander wrote 1 year 29 weeks ago

i've got a good idea. Get off the grid, Away from the beaten path and go for a real challenge. I've found many spots by just hiking along rivers and streams. Sometimes they turn into my favorite spots for a few reasons. The fish arent used to artificial man made flys, they are a little more challenging to catch, and who really wants to hike a good 3 miles for a fish.....experienced anglers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

yeah, add the big thompson to that list. THere are waaay more guides acting unprofessionally on that river now than I care to mention. Kirk and his guides wont act like that but many out of loveland do. By the way, if you show up before anyone else, it doesnt give you ownership rights to the river, but it does show your dedication and discipline. GUIDES: realize that if your guiding on a public piece of water, your still just another fisherman to everyone else. If you say your a guide, your usually held to a higher standard. THose are potential clients your treating like crap.

+3 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

It is worth a mention that fisherman share the waterways with kayaks, canoes, swimmers, or just a dog lover who wants to take their dog for a swim. The same courtesy's should be extended to all who use the water.

However, as explained in the last blog, you are allowed to whack your fishing buddy upside the head if he gets too close to your cast. He should have known better. lol

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from WVOtter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I definitely agree with these, and have a special peeve with the "voice" bullet since it's often the most overlooked. It's one thing to have a quick back and forth on a fish you hooked or bird you see, but it's tough to take the 2-6 guys who may be spread out by 50+ yards or just hanging on the bridge or truck and yell obsinity laced jabs all day. We don't all care how much you had to drink last night or what inuendos you can work into the "conversation".

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

My approach is to welcome any angler that I come in contact with. That notion of another angler ruining your out of body experience you are having in the wild because they came within eye sight of you needs an adjustment. Find something friendly to talk about. They can step in right near me, and fish if they want.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from ejpaul1 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

yeah, add the big thompson to that list. THere are waaay more guides acting unprofessionally on that river now than I care to mention. Kirk and his guides wont act like that but many out of loveland do. By the way, if you show up before anyone else, it doesnt give you ownership rights to the river, but it does show your dedication and discipline. GUIDES: realize that if your guiding on a public piece of water, your still just another fisherman to everyone else. If you say your a guide, your usually held to a higher standard. THose are potential clients your treating like crap.

+2 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

See, I knew I could get you boys on the same page if I thought deep enough...

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from kirkdeeter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Thanks Kent (and Joe), who happen to be two of the BEST guides I know. I feel bad sometimes pointing fingers at guides (as I am one myself), but the best ones totally get the responsibilities that extend far beyond catching fish. We just need to talk about these things, and half of the problems will go away. I really believe that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from buckhunter wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

This thread takes the last few full circle. Having a pleasant experience on the river is a great way to get others involved in the sport.

Hoski, I'll be disappointed if we don't fish the erie tribs together this winter.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from fflutterffly wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I have never seen a post with so many "+" on this forum. This only signifies that the subject is very close to the hearts of fly anglers. Excellent subject... NOW stay out of my water.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Hoski wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

KD,
You touched on a pet peeve of mine. On the southern Lake Erie tribs it can get mighty crowded as you might imagine. I can't begin to count the number of times I've risen early enough to be on the water before dark thirty, and yet some yahoo will show up a half hour after sun-up and splash right on in within spittin distance...without even a good morning.
My usual response after a couple less than perfect casts is to say "mornin, would you like me to move"?
If that doesn't get the message across I just figure the guy is too stupid to understand.
And I've had more than a couple guides do the same thing with their sports.
Good suggestion on reporting the fouls and the accompanying point system.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I fish and hunt alone or I don't fish or hunt. I simply cannot imagine doing it any other way. Guess I have been spoiled. If I want the community social experience, I'll go to McDonalds at Walmart and stand in that line. Or maybe to church and stay for coffee hour afterwards. Fishing is about me and nature, not me and dozens of other guys competing for it.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 1 year 30 weeks ago

Well, I suppose the fella expected something else. Big mistake to ever have any expectations. Take what's there and hope for the best.

A few weeks ago on the Labor Day weekend I was in Montana and hiked into my old fishing camp. Had never done that before - always had horses 25+ years ago when I formerly haunted the place. It's eight miles in there and the USFS had since moved most of the trail to I didn't know where. So I had to hike down the old trail which hasn't been maintained for at least 25 years. Ugh! What a mess! Lucky I didn't break a leg in those tag alders. Good thing I'd been over that old trail so many times or I'd never have been able to keep track of it. I stuck with it and still managed to get in an hour and half fishing before I had to head back on the return eight miles, mostly in the dark but at least on the new trail. See the great photos I just put in my profile. Though it was the long weekend I saw no one. It was just like old times. If I'd had anybody else along with me, there's no way we'd have made it in there. No one else is that nuts. Glad I was alone. See the pics and you'll understand why. Lucky I didn't get hurt? If I could get hurt out there, I'd have been dead fifty years ago (incidentally, that abandoned trail is the site of my one and only near shootout with a grizzly). I feel sorry for the guys who can't do this. But if everyone did, no one would be having the experience. It's sad, but it's the truth. I have fished with the crowd. That is okay. I know what to expect and if it gets too bad, I hang it up for a later time or another day. I just look at those situations as practicing my casting. Put the blinders on, ignore what's going on around me, and just let the rythm of the rod and rushing water wash away all my troubles.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Problem with fishin in Ahiya is you can not get up early enough. A shift of glo-bobber boys have already fished out your hole coming in at midnite...been there done that.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

steelmaster. You have an admirable quality that few have. Most are too egotistical to take your approach. Most knowledgeable anglers want to tell you how much they know. Deciphering the BS from reality can be your difficulty. And that is the problem with the guy that says flyshops turn up their noses to beginners, and make fun of them. No they don't! It is the problem of the beginner who sees the shop as a place where only knowedgeable anglers hangout, and enter the store with a predisposed problem. Be up front, and tell them you don't understand something, and they bendover backwards to tell you how much they know.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joe Demalderis wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

As always, well written & good points made.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kent Klewein wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Kirk,

Good post man. I agree with you as usual on just about everything.

Where I guide, we have extremely low flows, which limits our ability to always go around other anglers on the river. I'll gladly drag my boat over shoals with the best of them to avoid interfering with the fishing of others, but sometimes I've got clients that are too old or disabled to the degree that they can't afford to get out and do this. In this situation all I can do is float on through where my boat won't run aground as quietly as possible (fly line and flies in clients hands) float on through.

Many times, the recreational anglers are novice and are actually standing in the water they should be fishing, and casting their flies where they should be standing. All at the same time blocking traffic and messing up the fishing for other anglers around them. Most of the time they don't know any better.

Although, I'm a guide, I fish on my own quite often, and I can tell you the people that have the least etiquette ins't the fishing guides, it's the recreational anglers. Yes, there are rookie guides as well as unprofessional guides that are a problem, but they usually get checked Charlie Murphy style pretty quick if they're on a reputable river or stream.

It all boils down to education on this subject. That's why it's so great you wrote this post. I'm sure it will have a positive effect. Lastly, it's important to know, that professional guides always make a point to educate their clients on proper fishing etiquette during the trip. And I think guides should get more credit for doing so.

Kent Klewein

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from jcarlin wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I think the note on teh truck is great courtesy, but a bad safety idea. In my part of the world that would give someone a good idea as to how much time they have alone with my vehicle before I get back. Let them wonder, I say.

I've generally found the water manners of fly fisherman (which aren't very common in my area) to be better than the average, but I'm in SE PA where other than the trout opener, streams offer more than just elbow room.

I second the be respectul of other uses though.
If you're the gentleman who was fishing the Perkiomen and just had to make exasperated gestures and shoot me dirty looks last year when my daughter's kayak made a loud thud on launching after we pulled out about 50 yards above you, portaged our boats down a gravelly bank for over a hundred yards of stream in order to get a full set of ripples away from the large pool you were fishing, be thankful a young lady was present.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from elkslayer wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I agree with all of the above etiquette except this one:

"Don't camp in one run all day. It might be the most productive spot in the river, but courtesy dictates that you share with others."

The early bird gets to pick their spot. If someone comes along later in the day and starts casting into the spot I'm fishing I will be ticked, but if the same person walks up to me and asks if I will share the spot, you bet he can fish with me.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Koldkut wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Ya know, I can't for one time remember when I was really crowded out on a river so bad that I said anything, most of the time, it's usually a newb and I end up giving them flies that catch fish and let them fish the run, and sometimes even give them my run and I'll move down and catch the riffle fish. If it's too crowded, I find other water. I do make it a point to anyone I take with me to fish clear water, but give space to others that are fishing. I haven't had problems with guides, rather the opposite, they are polite and on more than occasion, I've seen them give flies away to folks who aren't even their clients. I avoid the hot bite like the plague I guess.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

This is why I don't fish the South Fork much any more. To many jerks.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Its one thing when someone drifts right through your hole but when they look at you and anchor in 10ft in front of you and tell you its their right is another. Thats why I don't fish the South Fork.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Sayfu, I am no newbe to the south fork of the snake. I have seen good and bad on that river and just decided its not worth it any more.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from idduckhntr wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Sayfu, I have lived in Idaho Falls for 30yrs and have watched that river go to sh&^ with the attitude people have when they fish it. Henry's lake is just as bad. Had my 6yr old twins up there fishin and up come 2 guys in float tubes and fly rods and move in on us. I don't fly fish any more 85% of the people I run into that do think if you dont you dont have a right to fish and just ruin it.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Drew McClure wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

The time before my last time fly fishing I had a couple of polaris rangers cross in the run my brother and I were fishing. The drivers were in violation in a no atv area, but were crossing back to private land. My brother was livid, I was only slightly perturbed because the fish weren't biting yet anyway. Kirk, I think I recall you having a bad experience in Arkansas, but as a local I literally am accustom to fishing within 4 feet of anglers on a hot spot and figuring out a way to play the angles where I can land fish. Now public land duck hunting can be a tense situation where viscous brawls between armed hunters take place. The key is having several spots in case your area gets taken up. 7 billion and climbing, cheers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Joshua Rust wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

It's all about sharing a common resource, which is public land. There should be some ground rules, more a gentleman's agreement than anything else. It should be first come first serve, but it is ridiculous when someone camps out at a spot all day long so I wholeheartedly agree with Kirk.

You can understand why people privatize water, because they are tired of the assholes. Where I live, I tend to keep the good fishing spots secret anymore because word gets around so quick.

I typically know a spot is in decline when I see the shirtless rednecks sitting on buckets, drinking beer, and flicking their cigarettes everywhere, and pulling out fish that should clearly be thrown back. It's symptomatic of the constant battle in Kentucky between land owners and trespassers, and if people could just learn some manners we'd get more access.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

koldkut has the approach. Way too many fisher persons on our rivers to get upset when someone comes into your area. That guy your mad at could walk miles, and run into folks fishing in every hole. One major problem is a banky doesn't like boaters. He hasn't caught anything, and now he sees a boat approaching him, and the boat has to disappear, or he gets upset. I wave at them, and always tell them to not go out of there way getting around me..pass through, make a cast, or two, have fun. I've had bankies waded out to their knees, and expect me to go behind them, and they wouldn't budge an inch to let me go behind. I'd suggest that kinda banky get a boat.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

South Fork of what? Anchoring up is one thing, just wanting to pass through, and there is no way you can do it with an ignoramus on the bank is another. Much of the problem is the banky is a newbie, and wouldn't know etiquette if he saw it. Now I tell the guy on the bank I will go right in front of you if it is a tight spot, and I can't get out of his water by going to the far side. Close to him shouldn't be in his fish water. But you guys make me realize how great it is to live in the West where rivers are of decent size, and I have no problem finding drifts to myself every time I go. I will fish one of the heaviest fished rivers in all the lower 48 on Friday, and more than likely will have 8 miles of river, virtually to myself. I will hope to see a few other anglers just to talk to them, or wave at them as they pass by.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Here's another good perspective. Maybe some of you can connect the dots. A study was done on rats. They put a couple of pair in a cage, and they all got along well. Then they packed the cage with rats. The rats became aggressive many biting, and fighting with each other. Same reason you have road rage. Sure glad to be living out West,and not back EAST, and not packed into the cage like the cage full of rats

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

idduck...I was hoping you were referring to the SF of the Snake. I have been living here, but for 12 yrs. now, and thus not a local angler going back very far BUT..here's my deal. I put as much effort into figuring out other fisher persons as I do learning how to fly fish, and I have put in mega hours doing that. I will fish the SF of the SNAKE on Fri., and probably will not see but a handful of anglers in my 8 mile stretch of water believe it or not. But I highly invest in my sport. I have a small flyfishing jetboat I can riffle run with, anchor up with it, and I also have a driftboat. I will have gravel bar after gravel bar to get out on with no on but me, and my fishing partner on them...guaranteed. And I've done that very same thing in the metropolitan area of Seattle with many, many anglers frequenting the local rivers. Your story is a common one. I just am able to avoid it. Few anglers give it the time, and effort that I give it, but believe me, it can be done.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Different strokes for different folks Ontario. I want a fishin buddy to experience the same good time as I have. Fishing by myself is not something I do much. Once in awhile I grab a rod, and head but a short distance to test out a new fly, or fish a spot for a short period of time. Even hunting that I do with my dogs, I have more fun when my wife is along. She use to hunt, but no more. But she has things to do like watching where a bird came down, moving the car to pick me up..much more fun talking the sport with someone else along. No fun even driving to and from by myself.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I'm not disagreeing with your experience, I just made the decision years ago to avoid the experiences you have had, and I've been able to do it. If you were along with me on Friday, you'd see what I mean. My wife tells me to "SHUT UP!" "Quit telling folks how you do it!" Be quiet, and be happy you've been able to do what you do." Life changes from yesteryear, you just have to learn to adapt, and I've been able to do it very well. I welcome seeing other anglers, not getting disappointed they are around.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Good post split. The problem occurs in those high population areas where there are few fishing alternatives. A bunch of anglers wanting to fish a small stream becomes a problem that isn't easily solved especially when anglers expect to anchor up, and then have other anglers stay well out of their way. Think about the guy that got up at day break rather than at )-dark 30, and expects to fish. Every hole has an angler in it. I've actually seen the day when there would be 30 anglers along one bank fishing in one run, and all getting along having a good time. That was acceptable, and actually fun. It was steelhead season, and it was a happening, and lots of anglers out having a good time. Then along came the fly fisherman that wanted a new ethic established. Get rid of 29 of you guys, and one angler to a run. And I'm virtually a fly angler only, and have been for sometime now, but it is the fly angler for the most part that expects solitude when on the river. The spin fisherman have far less problems accepting other anglers around them.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

What says you judgement of appropriate is correct Rhythm Rider? WE had a topic some time back as to how close should another fisher person fish from you? Lots of responses from the fly anglers, and as I recall they wanted the closest angler to be about a quarter of a mile away. That was the closest response we had, many had it farther than that. So you buyin that anyone closer is inappropriate conduct?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

What says your judgement of appropriate is correct Rhythm Rider? WE had a topic some time back as to how close should another fisher person fish from you? Lots of responses from the fly anglers, and as I recall they wanted the closest angler to be about a quarter of a mile away. That was the closest response we had, many had it farther than that. So you buyin that anyone closer is inappropriate conduct?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Sayfu wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Good post,..just wanted you to realize what the consensus on this thread was. I cancelled a subscription of an East Coast Flyfishing magazine...I called them up even and talked to the editor about an article where they featured a business executive, featuring him as a busy guy that took the time off to be with nature, and solitude. The guy hiked for miles up into the back country, and was having this epiphany, an out of the body experience as he described it, and along comes another angler down the trail. The guy described it as totally ruining his trip. The editor saw nothing wrong with the article, and I told him to cancel my subscription

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steelmaster wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

I thing I have learned is that when you are polite to someone on the river, typically you learn something. I have been fly fishing for about 2 years now...I have caught roughly 50 steelhead and salmon. Not because I know everything there is about fly fishing because I am a kid, but I stop the "old duffers" and ask them questions, and as a direct result I hold more fish.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from split484 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Aren't we interested in getting more people into fishing and helping conservation of the "great out doors?" And isn't it really about everyone getting outside and of the damn couch? So no one complaining about a newbie standing in a spot they should be fishing has ever been guilty of doing the same? ever? some of you guys are making it sound like we should all be "doing our homework" and studying how to fish before we whip a hook into the water. I mean, some of us have to learn the hard way. Anyway, I see mostly people chucking balls and sticks into hot spots i want to land my flies...so they're the enemy and they don't have any cause to be in the same public water that I'm in? people are really confusing "right" and "privilege" these days.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhythm Rider wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

The old 80/20 rule. 80% of problems from just 20% of anglers. Gotta take the good with the bad I guess. When I get aggrivated I should remind myself it's an opportunity to 'mentor' or educate someone. It's up to me to approach the situation best I can, and up to them to learn what's appropriate.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Rhythm Rider wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Sayfu, I've had perfectly kind and respectful anglers in tailwaters within 50 feet of me (often it's unavoidable), and loud disrespectful anglers further away. It's about conduct, actions, and attitude. It has less to do with how close they are.

I'd like to have every water around free of anglers for a half a mile up or downstream of me, but that's in no way realistic.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from JoBer wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

Well done, Deeter. The note-on-the-vehicle idea is TREMENDOUS - let's all try to make this standard behavior. Also - dogs on leashes! Also - I love that you touched on what I call "guide entitlement". Touchy subject for sure, but I see it all the time. Just because your livelihood depends on fishing, does not give you anymore right to fish here than me. No, I won't concede that hopper bank to you even though I see your tags coming up behind me. Let's all just be reasonable people - I know that's subjective, but let's try.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from TroutGirl80 wrote 1 year 31 weeks ago

As a female angler, I'd also like to say, please extend the exact same courtesy to anglers of the opposite sex. While I understand fly fishing is primarily a boys club, women do fly fish.... I can't tell you how frustrating it is either being starred at or asked if I need help with anything. You don't do this with your fellow male casters, please don't with the female casters either. We are on the river with the same goal, same love of trout....

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Lucas Alexander wrote 1 year 29 weeks ago

i've got a good idea. Get off the grid, Away from the beaten path and go for a real challenge. I've found many spots by just hiking along rivers and streams. Sometimes they turn into my favorite spots for a few reasons. The fish arent used to artificial man made flys, they are a little more challenging to catch, and who really wants to hike a good 3 miles for a fish.....experienced anglers.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment