Author Topic: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water  (Read 8010 times)

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Chris Puchniak

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Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« on: March 28, 2012, 08:12:47 PM »
Sometimes fishing is riddled with anglers not using good common sense or ethics - either intentionally or otherwise.

Sometimes it's a lack of knowing the proper behaviour, sometimes it's forgotton in the excitement and eagerness of trying to catch a fish, and sometimes it's just blatantly disregarded by anglers who seemingly feel they owe nothing to anyone.  Fortunately the latter is more rare.
 
Numerous authors, web sites, and even government regulations have tried to provide a template of fair and ethical behaviour for anglers to use, but the sad part is that this requires two things from an angler:

1) That they bother to even read the material (often many do not), and
2) That they care enough to consider being ethical to the fish or fishermen, even once they'd been informed.
 
Nevertheless, we all need guidelines and rules to help us SHARE the limited space and resources that we have.

-- --

Here are some of my suggestions:

When fishing a lake by boat (or by shore), always give a wide berth to anyone who is anchored.  When anchoring yourself near someone, use as a general rule of thumb the principle to maintain more than the length of two "casting distances" (or a total of 200 feet) from the other angler.  This gives you both room to cast, fight long-running fish, and not disturb each other with your noises (too much).  If in doubt, go further apart.
 
Proper etiquette on a lake includes never operating an outboard motor in shallows waters where fish are easily spooked (whether there is an angler there or not).  It also includes never passing between another boat and the shore, if that boat angler is casting towards the shore.
 
It means not purposely getting in the way of someone who is drifting or trolling along the dropoff - or to motor past them, go 200 feet, and suddenly drop anchor right in their path.  That is not considered acceptable.  Anchor well behind them, or very far in front.  Better yet, pick another shoal to fish - there are very few lakes where there aren't several alternative locations to drop anchor if someone is already in your "favourite"spot.  Rather than parking next to another angler, try another spot on the lake.
 
If ever in doubt, good etiquette means asking another angler's permission before encroaching upon his or her casting location.  Very few anglers will ever say NO to a polite question such as this.  And if they do, well, you likely don't want to fish next to them anyways... they just might ruin your day.
 
Good etiquette means being quiet in a boat (or otherwise) when sharing the water with others.  Talking, music playing, banging the hull of the boat with an oar, etc... should all try to be minimized.  Not all sounds scare fish, but they can ruin the experience for other anglers.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2012, 08:15:36 PM by Chris Puchniak »
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Mike Fourchalk

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 09:52:51 AM »
Right on Chris. Great Post
I can tell you from past experience that some people just don't get it.  Many times on my favorite lake someone will actually come motoring by within a couple of boat lengths of me when I am anchored chironomid fishing rather than steer a wide berth.  then anchor up inside of 200 ft then proceed to throw an anchor out which is attached to a length of chain which rubs against the gunnell as it goes out.  The other thing that really Bugs me is when I see people who smoke discard their butts into the water.  I have tried to educate them to no avail.  The easiest thing for me to do is just pack up and find another spot.  It saves a lot of arguments. 
If we were all considerate of others instead of the old adage " the rules apply to everybody other than myself "  it would enhance the fishing experience greatly.  I personally find it exhilarating watching a fellow fisherman landing a nice near me because it tells me there are fish in the area.
Mike

Ron Thompson

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2012, 12:25:03 PM »
Good info for those who have no one to ask. There is no where to get this kind of information a few guide lines makes everybody's experience better. We should look at boat launch etiquette as well.
ron
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Den Motoyoshi

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2012, 07:41:41 PM »
I had an experience with a rude fishermen a couple of years back. My partner and I were fishing chironomids with indicators and catching quite a few fish.  As I was literally fighting a fish, Mr. Rude rowed up to me and actually bumped my pontoon boat and asked me what I was using.  His action ticked me off so much that I told him that I was using a "white crappie jig".  I think that he got the message so he rowed over to my partner who was 15 feet away and proceeded to crowd him and ask him what he was using.  My partner had heard my response and was doing all he could to hold back his laughter.  He regained his composure and calmly said, "Yellow crappie jig."  Mr. Rude never bothered us again.  Had he been courteous and not bumped my boat, we would have told him what we were actually using.  Was our action mean or did Mr. Rude deserve it?
   

Vance Whitley

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2012, 08:38:22 AM »
Hi Den
Loved the response to Mr Rude. Can not believe some people!!! Altough he may think u guys were the ones being rude for not telling him what u were really using. Makes me think if he hasn't figured out already the proper fishing code of ethics he probably never will!!! Sort of like honking your horn at a bad driver, they think u r the idiot.
All fishermen are liars except you and me,
and I'm not to sure about you... - unknown

Nick Laferriere

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2012, 01:11:18 PM »
I've been lucky to not have encountered any rude fishermen while fly fishing. Quite the opposite actually.

On more than one occasion I've had other fly fishers come up for a chat, ask how the action's been, swapped reports and even swapped flies on the water. I've even cut the fly off the end of my line that was working wonders and gave it to a fellow fly fisher. To me, fly fishing is about being out there and if I'm catching fish and others aren't, I want them to go home with a smile on their face at least. I don't like when I'm "putting on a show". Sure it strokes the ego every now and then but we really have nothing to prove. We all put our waders on the same way and all have the same goal in mind, so why not extend the utmost generosity and courtesy to others, to make sure everyone has a great day on the water.  ;)

This is what I love about the Parklands in MB. You get fly fishers from all over and after a long day on the water, sharing a beer, or just sharing some stories just strengthens the culture and camaraderie among fly fishers.

Nick

John Kent

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2012, 06:22:58 AM »
I've been lucky to not have encountered any rude fishermen while fly fishing. Quite the opposite actually.

On more than one occasion I've had other fly fishers come up for a chat, ask how the action's been, swapped reports and even swapped flies on the water. I've even cut the fly off the end of my line that was working wonders and gave it to a fellow fly fisher. To me, fly fishing is about being out there and if I'm catching fish and others aren't, I want them to go home with a smile on their face at least. I don't like when I'm "putting on a show". Sure it strokes the ego every now and then but we really have nothing to prove. We all put our waders on the same way and all have the same goal in mind, so why not extend the utmost generosity and courtesy to others, to make sure everyone has a great day on the water.  ;)

This is what I love about the Parklands in MB. You get fly fishers from all over and after a long day on the water, sharing a beer, or just sharing some stories just strengthens the culture and camaraderie among fly fishers.

Nick

Well said, Nick. It all comes down to comeraderie, willingness to share and tolerance levels. Anyone who has been to Tunkwa knows how busy it can get on the water and understanding that some people only fish once a year can lead to a better understanding that not everyone realizes the flyfishers' "code of conduct". Highland Valley Copper Mine's local union used to have their annual campout at Tunkwa and, believe me, there were more foam flyrod handles on that weekend than any other and in one case I was anchored up and fishing chronies and out of the corner of my eye I could see one of our rental boats containing a father and son drifting towards me. Well, as they drew closer and judging the wind direction I could see they were going to collide with me eventually. When the got to within 20' the father, very innocently, asked that I cast them off with my foot when they got close. This wasn't a guy trying to "beak in" on the hotspot, it was just a dad and a son out for their annual fishing trip.

I think as flyfishers we have to be stewards of the sport and display some understanding and tolerance for others to enrich the experience for all parties.

"A candle that shares it's flame to light another loses nothing."

Zane Crewe

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #7 on: May 01, 2012, 07:28:29 AM »
For the most part, my experiences with other stillwater users have been positive. One exception in particular that comes to mind was when my buddy and I were fishing a fly only small lake when a couple of other 12' tin boats showed up. Both boats had 3 or 4 people in them and they were all drinking and one boat was dragging gear and the other boat resented this. They both kept circling the lake forgetting that my buddy and I were even there, they were getting way too close for our comfort and they were yelling and swearing at each other. Finally after this circus started threatening each other, we packed up and left. 

Randy Paskall

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2013, 08:12:52 AM »

Well said, Nick. It all comes down to comeraderie, willingness to share and tolerance levels. Anyone who has been to Tunkwa knows how busy it can get on the water and understanding that some people only fish once a year can lead to a better understanding that not everyone realizes the flyfishers' "code of conduct". Highland Valley Copper Mine's local union used to have their annual campout at Tunkwa and, believe me, there were more foam flyrod handles on that weekend than any other and in one case I was anchored up and fishing chronies and out of the corner of my eye I could see one of our rental boats containing a father and son drifting towards me. Well, as they drew closer and judging the wind direction I could see they were going to collide with me eventually. When the got to within 20' the father, very innocently, asked that I cast them off with my foot when they got close. This wasn't a guy trying to "beak in" on the hotspot, it was just a dad and a son out for their annual fishing trip.

I think as flyfishers we have to be stewards of the sport and display some understanding and tolerance for others to enrich the experience for all parties.

"A candle that shares it's flame to light another loses nothing."

Agreed. What people don't realise is many out there are just trying to have some fun. Sounds to me like some here need to unknot their knickers. Anchoring within 200'? Come on, how far can you cast anyways? lol
I've had trollers swooping my boat while fishing the type 7 40' down per cast and hooked their line as they tried to troll by my area, and even had one snag my anchor rope. I pulled anchor to give it back to them (snapped it off) and had to reposistion in a helluva a wind. I only laughed and wished them luck.
You should be looking at it this way. If others are crowding you you should be flattered most often it's because you are doing well.
It's fishing guys, it's about relaxing and taking it all in even the foolishness.
Last year we were fishing a small river and working upstream to the 'only' lie within 400meters  taking care to probe all the water. The other Randy was JUST about to plop his nymph into the tail out when out of the bush pops this guy with a ball of goo, wails it into the tail and pulls out a steelie.
We LAUGHED and I helped tail the fish for the guy (unclipped) chatted and moved on. I joked that the guy stole Randy's fish (which he most likely did) and Randy just shrugged - which is why I enjoy fishing with him. 8)

A few rules I adhere to:

If another angler is on the area I want to fish first I ask which way they are fishing (up or down) and ask if they mind if I fish and move the other way. If NOT smile and move on.
Talk to everybody I meet if they feel like talking, shut up if they don't.
Help anybody with a fish if they want aid.
Be friendly
Be courteous
Tell them what's up if they ask less specific patterns
Mostly I just advocate smiling a lot and wishing everybody luck.

Hey at times I bitch and moan some but most times later I realise I'm being an arse.
Sorry, but you weren't catching that fish anyway.....

Alex Berger

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2013, 10:00:22 PM »
Hi Randy,

respectfully i like to add another rule:   while wading or walking upstream and I come across another angler, I leave the stream about 100 meters from where he is fishing, make a long detour so that he is not disturbed and re-enter the stream 100 meters or so futher upstream. This has an advantage ,  I do not disturbed the fellow angler,   and waste no time with loose talk.
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Castle

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Re: Stillwater etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #10 on: January 01, 2015, 10:32:13 AM »
40 years of fishing and never had a problem that hurt my fishing.