Author Topic: River Etiquette - ethics on the water  (Read 4792 times)

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Chris Puchniak

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River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« on: March 28, 2012, 08:40:03 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.

-- --

Gudmundsson's Link

Here is a good link that has been posted on other sites.  I think it is a good read, full of common sense.  Very few problems would occur if people used these guidelines:

http://www.uky.edu/~agrdanny/flyfish/rules.htm


Rotational Angling

Also, in BC (and other regions have this as well), during salmon and steelhead season, ROTATIONAL ANGLING is encouraged, a method which allows both fly and gear anglers to fish the same stretch of water.

From the Province of BC's web site at: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/ethics/#Rotational.

"Rotation angling" is a system designed to encourage everyone on a stretch of river to fish sequentially through it, whether wading or from a boat.  It was designed to allow each angler an equal opportunity to spend some time in the prime pools and riffles.  Simply put, it means starting at the head of a pool or run and following the angler immediately downstream of you at a courteous distance, with everyone progressing at a reasonable pace.  Usually, cast once, step once, cast again, step downstream again...
 
The basic rules are:

Avoid entering the water downstream of another angler who is already fishing, unless invited to do so;
Leave adequate room between the downstream angler and yourself but do not remain stationary unless no one is following you;
After catching a fish, step out of the line and return to the head of the pool, or start of the line;
If you are not sure about the local etiquette, avoid any problems by first inquiring about the procedures from the anglers already on the water.
Always remember as well that if in doubt, please ask another angler if you can fish nearby and if you can follow in behind him.

Last Thought

One further thing to keep in mind is that frequently trout anglers work a river going UPSTREAM, which is in conflict to Rotational Angling in some senses (Steelhead and salmon anglers will be going downstream).  This can lead to anglers unintentionally cutting each other off, or butting in.  Don't always assume that everyone you meet is going downstream (or the same as you, if upstream) - if in doubt, be polite and ask.  Be aware that not everyone approaches a pool the same way.  If you need to share the same pool (personally, I'd go find my own space...), agree on an approach and take turns.
I will fish anywhere and find beauty in it.

Don't be a Pessimist. Don't be an Optimist.  Be a Realist and change when you need to.

Joe Gluck

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2012, 08:12:06 AM »
I know what its like to be on the receiving end of a gear fisherman's bad attitude, and even the occasional fly fisherman.

In general, my rule of thumb is "don't do what you wouldn't want to have happen to you" which then becomes "don't be a dick."

On the whole, though, I find most fisherman, fly or otherwise, an agreeable bunch.  Just as long as you don't drift a worm through the pool I'm covering, I'm cool.
Tie one up, bro!

Alex Berger

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #2 on: April 26, 2013, 04:58:56 AM »
Chris, this is very interesting reading and all makes sense. BC is a large province with thousands of streams, do you have so much rod pressure your rivers that you need to do rotation angling?
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Randy Paskall

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #3 on: April 26, 2013, 06:16:22 AM »
Seems sort of funny when you look at a map full of waters we have here, doesn't it Alex.

There are many waters where there is little pressure and rotational angling is not needed but for where most spend their time in and or near the metropolises with the numbers of anglers that frequent them it's the only way to fly - though many do NOT use rotation preferring to use the first come first served ideal(s) causing 'fence posting' where anglers will sit on a spot all day for it's fish holding capabilities.
Sucks but those of us who move around for the most part do far better numbers wise than those who don't.
Sorry, but you weren't catching that fish anyway.....

Alex Berger

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2013, 10:41:16 AM »
quite correct you are. Here we are fortunate  not to have pressure on our streams.  There are days that I cover on a long stretches and hardly run into anyone, and when I do, I make a long detour.  On the other hand, weather permitting, I don't fly fish on the weekends, ha ha!
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Alex Berger

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2013, 03:16:00 AM »
Randy, I fly fish from Monday to Friday, avoiding weekends, avoiding "weekend commandos". Most people I ran into gang up on the pools, fishing with streamers and nymphs.  The rest of the streams are not frequented.   What I really don't cherish is when these fellows wade in the middle of the streams to go from hole to hole!  In March I was fly fishing in Branzi, a small village at 1200 meters elevation. All was quiet and peacfull until I hear dirt bike! Here were two guys on dirt bikes honing their skills in the middle of the stream.  I quit and drove home.   
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Randy Paskall

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #6 on: May 03, 2013, 05:22:32 AM »
Yeah we all have moments. Not very cool with the gas engines in the water there.

You know I have a thing where I believe the resource is there for everyone even those who don't see fishing as their be all end all. Have a few spots where I fish until the first dog jumps into the water and then I move to the next or quit for the day. Our local river gets clogged with tubers in summer and I have caught many a fish right out from underneath them as they drift by, and some of the bikini hatch ain't too hard on the eyes neither. ;)
With smiles all around (they can't believe I'm fishing and catching we share a few words as they drift by) we ALL get a chance to enjoy the day how we each prefer. 8)
Sorry, but you weren't catching that fish anyway.....

Alex Berger

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2013, 09:26:46 AM »
ha ha! send me an invitation this summer!
"Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave..
Walt Whitman

Dave Bruce

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2014, 02:38:39 PM »
Years ago, in the early 60's, we used to spend a week on Silver Creek (now called Silver-Hope) during the summer run Steelhead. Even back then it was quite popular, but one thing was common place, when one guy would get a fish, others on that run would pull in their lines and head down to watch or help. Now, if you step out of your spot for any reason, someone steps right in. I will not fish the Veder for this reason. What has happened in this time span? These are not all weekend warriors, where did just plan old Manners go? Now I look for lakes that are not frequented regardless of the size or quantity of the fish. Times certainly have changed in those 54 years. I guess we have to ask our selves, do we walk the walk or are we one of them.
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Todd Oishi

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2014, 02:48:54 PM »
I agree Bruce. Anglers with good manners are few and far between on some of the more popular rivers during the peak timing of the runs. I had one angler just about chew me out, as he assumed that I was going to "low hole him". I just wanted to see his fish before he released it and say "Hello!"...
For me, the quality of a trout is not measured in inches or pounds, but rather by the journey and circumstances that allowed our paths to cross...

Gary Hanke

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #10 on: February 20, 2014, 08:20:29 AM »
The first time I cam across a good rotational system was on the Yellowstone River fishing for Cutthroats. We fished about a 150-200 yard section of river. On this section of river there were about 30 of us. I had never seen something like this before. It was very congested. But all in all we all took one or two steps upstream with each cast and gave way to anyone that was fighting a fish. It worked out very well. 3 hours into it I stepped out of the water, went to the bank and rested for a bit before I went back downstream and reentered the water. During this whole time everyone pretty much caught fish and we all had a great time with opportunity to compare notes and share thoughts. it actually was a very pleasant experience for a crowded piece of water. normally I would have just found a quite stretch of water that held no other anglers, but that day it was a first for me in many aspects and an overall good day with new friends.
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Alex Berger

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #11 on: February 24, 2014, 05:31:18 AM »
Randy, i have never the privilege to fish in BC, but some if my friends have.  The tell me its the paradise of anglers!  They  fly fished only in  public waters  (lakes and rivers) never had to pay fees, hardly encountered rod pressure,  and caught trophies!   you have what we call in here the "embarrassment of choices"!       If I was not too old, I would have moved to to BC!!!! :'(
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mattiamangione

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #12 on: February 24, 2014, 09:22:51 PM »
Alex just because you are Italian guy
If you won came in BC my house it's open for you.
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Randy Paskall

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2014, 04:19:28 PM »
Alex, like your posts and humor, you are also welcome in my house, so you now have 2 places to stay. =)
Sorry, but you weren't catching that fish anyway.....

Alex Berger

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Re: River Etiquette - ethics on the water
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2014, 01:04:14 AM »
Randy, you don't have say that twice, I may surprise you!!!  ;D
"Oh I live to be the ruler of life not a slave..
Walt Whitman