Lowholed on the Sky! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Lowholed on the Sky!

Leland Miyawaki
02-21-2004, 09:34 PM
Who Woulda Thunk?

This morning, I hoofed it into a good loking tailout on the Sky that I had been eyeballing for quite awhile. When I emerged from the woods I saw a couple driftboats had just moved into the pool, so I walked upstream and began working my way down behind them. While I was fishing another four boats came down. They all passed through with a friendly nod and fished the far side on their way out of the pool.

Just as I got into my "honey" water, a white, red and black Clackacraft with three flyfishers came through. I held back my cast as they came by me and we joked about not being at Meydenbauer. Next thing, they pulled off just below me, dropped anchor and got out. They had something to drink and lit cigarettes while they stood around holding their flyrods. Next thing, two of them walked about 15 feet below the boat, waded out and began casting. I continued to cast, but in 10 steps, I was at the boat and couldn't go down any further without seriously impeding my d-loop. I reeled up and walked over to the one fellow in the boat and told him I didn't think that what they did was very nice. I said that six boats came through before them and they all gave me room to fish and that I never expected my fellow flyfishers to lowhole me like they did. He was apologetic and told me he thought they were well below me.

Guys, if you are a lurker and read this, I'm not expecting you to acknowledge yourselves or write an apology. You know what you did wasn't nice. There's a lot of water on both sides of the river that you can fish that we wading flyfishers can't get to. Maybe next time you'll consider that.

This is all I am going to say on this matter.


02-21-2004, 10:55 PM
especially here in the Great Lakes. We waders are called "bank maggots", and just considered another obstacle to avoid to the drift boats.

It's too bad - I think stream etiquetteis long gone, and a casualty of modern fishing.

Earlier this year, two of us were sharing a pool, a reasonable distance apart - and some clown walked down between us and started fishing. Both of us stood our ground, and the ignorant SOB kept it up for about an hour. As I was downstream, he tangled my line a couple of times - but I wasn't about to give ground.

Finally, he left. At least three other fishermen came up to us and said the guy was notorious for this. Usually the sportsmen give in, but this time, we got the best of him!


02-22-2004, 01:07 AM

Kudus to you for not letting it slide and that you talked to him about how rude and inconsiderate his actions were. If we don't speak up to the offenders when this happens, it will never stop because the will always get away with it and think it is just fine to do. Interestingly, I've been low-holed more often by fly fishers in boats than gear and spin fishers.

02-22-2004, 07:14 AM

If this was a newer Clack and the "boys" were throughing indicators and egg patterns, I think I know where this is likely to find the correct audience. PM me for details.


02-22-2004, 11:05 AM
It is unfortunate that the type of behavior you experience has become far too common. It is just part of what I view as a declining angler ethic that Im seeing in the fly fishing community. I feel that is due in part to this new electronic age with the expectation of more or less instant gratification. As a result must anglers have not grown up in the sport under the tutelage of a mentor.

I applaud you stepping up and explaining what many of us consider ethical behavior with respect for our fellow anglers and the resource. The only chance we have to develop a more considerate angling community is if more of us are willing to do the same and set the standard by example.

Tight lines
S malma

02-22-2004, 11:50 AM
Leland, occasionally there is justice. Many years ago I was fishing bobbers and yarn below River Mill dam on the Clackamas. I had just netted a nice steely for a 14 year old (who fished like he was 50). While our back was turned a fisherman waded out and took the rock the kid was fishing from (a no no in bait fishing circles). I asked the kid if he wanted me to remove the jerk and he declined the offer. Right after the jerks first cast and while we were watching, he slipped and fell off the rock totally disapearing from sight.

The whole bank started to laugh, most of all young Mike. Well after the guy pulled himself out, Mike was still laughing uncontrolably. I told him to settle down and he said, "You don't understand. A split second before he fell, I thought to myself, "I wish that SOB would fall in.

A fitting end to the incident.


02-22-2004, 02:57 PM
Good job on letting them know Leland. Chances are reasonably good that they knew they were corking you but thought they could get away with it. If they did know, your speaking up will make them think twice about the next time. If they were just ignorant, your words ought to help educate them. Either way, I'd say they'll be less likely to cork another angler.

I remember being corked more than once in camp water on the Bulkley by a couple Germans a few years ago. They didn't speak English so it was difficult to communicate the concept about leaving space below a fisherman to fish through a run. Well, it almost happened again but I remembered just enough Deutsch that, when combined with a surly look and my finger pointing downstream, that he got the point when I growled "Achtung Fritz!! Zwei Hundert Meters!!!" ;)

02-22-2004, 07:10 PM

I also passed you in a white lavro ors in the air not to disturb your water. That is a long walk in. But i had trouble down river I was going to a good hole in the past and there was a spey guy in there so oar in the air no line in the water just passing through
he casted his line at me and said you have the hole river to fish. That was uncalled for so i got out to ask why . Why in your right mind would cast a fly with hook on it at me . All i received was i'm sorry. i still do'nt know why !

Leland Miyawaki
02-22-2004, 08:09 PM
There is a very good ending to my episode on saturday.

I also posted the same message on washingtonflyfishing.com. I received both a private mail and a posting. A man lent his driftboat to his three friends to use. When they returned and told him what had happened he explained why I was upset. He then emailed me an apology.

His friends learned something about stream etiquette that we both hope will be passed on and on and so on.

It also shows the power of the our net forums and bulletin boards. Instead of ranting and raving about getting lowholed, a very positive solution took place. That makes a pretty good day in my book.


02-22-2004, 08:35 PM
Yes, i agree - the best possible outcome given the situation. And another use of our online community - to help spread an understanding of angling (especially steelheading) etiquitte.

I'm glad they were just newbies who didn't know any better - as Smalma and others have commented it's really depressing to see the serial Low-Holers that know exactly what they're doing and continue with it year after year.

A couple years ago on a BC river a flyfisherman made a practice of sneaking into the tailout of a famous run below the lowest angler in the rotation right after first light. He knew there were anglers ahead of him in this run, just like he knew the tailout was one of the best sections to fish in early morning. His reasoning (i'm guessing here) was that the lowest angler wouldn't want to forfeit his place in line to come down there (about 200 - 300 yds) and confront him. He did it morning after morning, to a number of different anglers. Don't know whatever happened, but word had it that the Locals were planning to find out what he drove and dispense some appropriate reminder that his inconsiderate actions were not appreciated. :D

Rimmy - i've seen these examples of River Rage before. The previous drift boat probably ran right thru his water or pulled in and plugged his run. He was probably just waiting for you to come thru to take out his pent-up anger.

These inconsiderate actions, by boater and bankie alike, are fueling the "ME FIRST" attitude. The rivers are getting crowded too. It used to be that hatchery holes like Reiter were the Combat Zones - now it's the whole river!



02-23-2004, 01:01 PM

Mabye the reason that they guy yelled at you was that he didn't even have his full belly of the a short delta (54') out of the rod tip and I could have bounced it of the side of your boat. Most guys take that as a hint and say sorry and pull out of the way especially when there is bunch of river to the other side. You had a hundred 100 or more on the other side of the river and you choose to float right over my water, oars up or not you are still disturbing the water and going right over the soft seem I was working, and you had plenty of room to not float over the water that I was fishing.

So after you float over I shake my head at you and you all yell back "yah yah yah". I didn't and wasn't going to say anything until you yelled at me. So I said well you had the whole river and you choose my half to float over. At which point you stand up in your boat start yelling back at me "are you talking to me" or something along those lines. Froth the water to the bank and come steaming up the bank at me. At which time I said yes I yelled at you after you yelled at me. I said I was sorry if you didn't yell at me but you did.

Oars up doesn't give you an excuse to float on top of the water someone is fishing especially when you had a whole bunch of room to avoid them that has no fisherman or obsticles in it.

On a better note the fifth boat that came down, two guys throwing spoons, tucked really close to me and were good stewards of the river and I thanked them about three times for it.

two sides to every story huh.

PS: Old account not working right now so opened a new one.

02-23-2004, 01:20 PM
Interesting discussion. Mainly a bank guy but just starting to get out and float more often and discussions like this only help spread the word on acceptable behavior on the river.

I had a thing come up yesterday on the upper sky. Three guys were floating ahead of two of us and and spread out on a run. The run was maybe 120 feet wide at the top and 2 guys chose to fish about 100' feed apart on one side and one guy on the opposite bank.

They were spey casting and I did not have enough bank to go behind either of them. I chose to float straight down the middle and not row to cause minimal disturbance.

In this case should I have tucked in close to them? This is the first time I came up on this situation with anglers on both sides of the river as usally I will go tight to the opposite bank or behind the angler if his is wading deep.


ps. Jeff let me know the problem you are having and we can try and ressurect your old account and just merge this new one into it.

02-23-2004, 02:04 PM
A few years ago I was fishing the NF Stilly and a well known guide came floating down with 2 or 3 clients in pontoon boats. He yelled down and asked whether I wanted them to go behind me or in front. I told him go ahead in front being there was not much river to work with. After they floated by I figured the fishing in this section was done but no. A few casts after they had floated through my water a 6 or 7 lb. Deer Creek buck impaled itself on my fly.

While fishing a popular run on the Skagit last year I had 2 guys in a sled working the water with in my casting range. I was starting to get a little purterbed when right off the side of thier boat I hooked into a 12 lb. native buck.

Again last year while fishing with a friend on the Skagit a sled runs right through the run we were getting ready to fish. I was pissed. My friend simply said that this was his day off and nothing was going to ruin it. He started fishing the run and nailed a 15 pounder.

Because of the above stories and a few more i could tell and because I go fishing to recreate I don't get to upset anymore when boats float over my water. It isn't worth it.

02-23-2004, 02:21 PM
Kerry you were right. I had a talk with a buddy of mine that night and came to the conclusion that I went to the river to relax and from now on I was making the choice not to say anything anymore about poor river behavior and just enjoy my time there as I don't ever get enough of it. I can't control how people act just my reaction to it.

I will choose to enjoy my time on the river from now on. No more yelling no more head shaking just enjoyment and let my blood pressure drop.


02-23-2004, 02:32 PM
Each year it gets worse it seems. The pressure on the Sky now is unbeliveable. Brian is right, folks seem to take the Me First attitude. The point about it being the younger crowd seems to be on more often than not although I don't want to make blanket statements. I met a young Navy serviceman yesterday morning on the Sky who was a pleasure to talk with and to share runs with. Jeff's experience did hit home though.

Last week I had some bozo walk 200 yds down the bar, wade behind me, and then walk 80' below and start casting. Leland was much more diplomatic that I fear I was. His response was "were you fishing through here"? No, I was just standing up to my crotch in the water soaking my arthritic joints. And that bright chartreuse thing at your feet, that is a loose thread on my sweater. Please don't step on it on your way out of the run.

Still this pales in comparison to the guy this summer that pulled his pontoon in below me and got out and started casting. When I asked if he would start at the top of the run as was the custom, he replied "no, last time I never got to fish this run because there were too many guys in it so this time I am fishing it". He proceeded to fish through and then headed into the trees and made a big circle back to his Fish Cat where I happened to be waiting for him. I explained my views on etiquette and how I certainly hoped that he would not repeat his actions. He was silent until he was back in his boat and pulling away when suddenly he found his courage and yelled to tell me I was a number of things my mother would be disappointed to hear.

I have found that one of the unsung benefits of a spey rod is to allow you to place a cast across river to show an approaching boat the water you are fishing. Most often they see you can cast to that spot and they give you some room. I have never had to cast at one but I did see Kush almost hook a big blue raft of eagle watchers once. They didn't get it and were oohing and aweing over his casting. Or maybe it was the electrical tape on his cigar.

Willie Gunn
02-23-2004, 02:37 PM
I have been following this thread with interest as a foreigner. You are all probably aware that in Scotland there is little or no free fishing, there is a little association water where numbers can be a problem, but it is mostly private fishing. You pay your money and the section of the river is yours. No boats, sleds, whatever they are, or low holing. The downside some of fishing can be expensive. On this side of the pond there is often highly heated arguments about the rights of the common man to fish freely rather than have to pay money to the rich landowners. Today I had one mile of the Spey to myself, all to myself not even any fish.

02-23-2004, 03:58 PM
Willie Gunn,

I will take that type of expensive fishing any day rather than having to deal with the encounters described in this thread we are often subjected to here in the U.S. with our open public fishing and virtually no required fisherman ethics requirements of any type. I have been going to rivers that I know my chances are less of hooking a fish for over 25 years then dare try the crowded terminal fisheries where the steelhead and salmon stack up and the croweds of fisherman congregate.

The quality of the personal angling experience is more important to me than the number of fish hooked etc. I am over the number of fish and big fish days etc...

Sign me up for the fisherman ethics movement again.


02-23-2004, 08:05 PM
"I will take that type of expensive fishing any day rather than having to deal with the encounters described in this thread we are often subjected to here in the U.S. with our open public fishing and virtually no required fisherman ethics requirements of any type..." -- Interceptor

carefull... I respect the situtation Willie finds himself in - welcome to what I understand a significant chunk of Europe "has to offer" the sportsman. want to play--have to pay. yes, you have the opportunity to fish a large chunk of water, heavily regulated to the number of people present. quality of that experience is likely high. But such limits could, and in some places, have, limited the amount of people involved and opportunities to fish/recreate. In some/many/most cases - opportunities come to those who can afford to pay for them, often to the "highest bidder." I, for one, know I would rarely be in the class able to afford such opportunties, at least very often....

Here in the States, and regions of Canada, and elsewhere, large holdings of public land allow for the opportunity to "play" at no, or significanly reduced costs.... with exceptions. But that is the beauty, and at times the tragedy, of public lands and public access. As an individual, I have the right (Birth-right as described by many public lands advocates) to experience, fish, hunt, hike, view, photograph, camp, etc. literally MILLIONS of acres of public lands, from coastal marshes to the highest alpine peak, and everything in between. its amazing!! want to learn to appreciate it?? move to Texas, like my brother did. He, like me, grew up with National Forest and BLM ground, millions of acres, in our back yard, almost literally. all free to hunt and fish and roam around... now, if he wants to do much of that, particularly hunt, and often fish - it's an expensive lease or a daily fee, often in the hundreds to thousands of dollars... no thank you!!

The beauty - what an amazing variety of opportunities to do the things i love... and few things rank higher than running a quality steelhead drift.

The tragedy (to me...) - there's MILLIONS of OTHER people with the exact same rights and opportunities. and with increased standard of living, overall increase in populations, and a concerted effort to get these people involved in the out of doors (AND flyfishing!!!), there are more and more of them out there!! and they're a pain in my ass!!! :whoa: :hehe: well, sometimes:rolleyes: ok, most of the time! bottom line is, I'm running into more and more of them, which is reducing the amount of peace, quiet and solutude I value in that experience. and is leading to run-ins like this... and that sucks... but its also life...

exceptions - and i suspect i'll pluck a few strings with this one and get a bunch of hate mail.... but even in our world of public lands and public access, access to the last best places to go (alaska, interior BC, MONTANA, any place tropical) is quickly becoming a defacto pay to play, and one where the one who can pay the most, plays the most... alaska is a great example - want to fish the bristol bay fisheries and rivers that flow in? unless you have local connection/live there/are lucky as all beat hell, $4,000 (including airfare, etc.) minimum, $7-10,000 for the best... i'll likely NEVER experience that, but its public ground... best opportunity to fish public waters in montana/western wyoming/eastern idaho? if you have the connections, experience, etc. maybe not so bad, want your best chance to fish it (if you're from out of the area...and don't even get me started about "tourists"...), pay for a guide, and guide fees go up with demand and affluence of those who are choosing to pay/play... certainly, in some of these areas, you can free-lance, but in many, you can't. and i'll argue that in more and more cases, the lodge fees, guide fees, transportation fees, etc. that are going into the equation of how much it costs to go "play" is not the only thing driving the final price - what a person is willing to pay is. and for a small segment of the larger population/fishing community, that's a freakin' lot of money, it's increasing, and certainly out of my means.

i must admit, i struggle with fly fishing at times, from the aspect that a) its a constantly growing sport/pursuit/recreation activity, with more and more participants every day; b) one that is being marketed heavily to sell equipment (of which some support this forum - hey, Kush and Juro gotta eat to!!!) and c) has a movement to get more people involved so they have a stake and hopefully a positive say and influence on the resource. Yet many of us, myself included, wish there were fewer and fewer people, even at times other flyfisherman/women, out there, cause it takes away from the reasons we are out there ourselves. (and do we really want to talk about who has "more right" to be there than another, depending upon how long they've been wandering this earth/had a fly rod in their hand??? :rolleyes: )

Is all of this "wrong"? no, not really, other than there will likely be at least a few days a year (and the number increases every year) while fishing/hunting/what ever that i'm going to fry because of some knucklehead who screwed up and messed with my experience... but as jjohnson said, it something I'll have to let go so I can enjoy the experience I wanted to have.

it's a double edged sword - we need many many people to care, so that the resource is protected (as seen with the WSC activity and the ban on wild fish harvest !!!:D ) and that means people out fishing. but we've crossed over to the other blade, in that no NEW land will ever be made, space is finite, with increasing private ownership/no tresspassing ownership access is likely decreasing, and with all these new people that care, it's starting to get pretty damn crowded in our favorite places...

my long winded point -- too many people, particularly the rude, uninformed, and blatent a$$holes anger, frustrate and scare me; but loss of access and the right to recreate outdoors because loss of opportunities (ask Rep. Senator Larry Craig what he'd REALLY like to see happen to public lands in Idaho), degraded habitat conditions, and not being able to because i can't afford to scares me more.....

my $.02.... well, actually, with that rant, more like a buck and change.... :smokin: scotch and a cigar is calling, i'm outta here...

02-23-2004, 09:06 PM
Today I had one mile of the Spey to myself, all to myself not even any fish.

Well Malcom not all is chaos in the colonies. I had at least a mile of the Clearwater to myself today and find it like that at least 10 months a year. While meaning you nor anyone else that fishes in Europe or anywhere else where the water is private no disrespect I like our system much better, even with all the abuse by ignorant greedy anglers.

I will take that type of expensive fishing any day rather than having to deal with the encounters described in this thread we are often subjected to here in the U.S. with our open public fishing and virtually no required fisherman ethics requirements of any type.

Deja vu

Interceptor, If you really have a craving for that private water I will sell you a day ticket on Poppy's riffle, left bank for $200.00 a day. While you are fishing I will sit on the BIG rock with my 44 magnum and keep all the drift boats and rifraff toward the other side.[QUOTE]

02-23-2004, 10:25 PM

You are right, there are two sides to every story. I didn't know floating over fast water was a crime. I don't believe it disturbs the fish and that opinion is supported by others. We might all be wrong, but casting a hook at someone is uncalled for, and won't the make point that you want them to move. No hard feelings.

02-23-2004, 10:38 PM
Enough stupid idiots are allowed to buy licenses. I never expect to be treeted properly on a river anymore though i do my best and often go out of my way to not be rude to other anglers.

02-23-2004, 11:02 PM

The boat of eagle watchers were oohing and aawing because they realized that what they thought was a Big Foot casting a 2-hander was really just Kush.

02-24-2004, 02:21 AM
Probably why I stay (with a few exceptions to 're-give me' a life lesson) on the Rogue. Seattle/King County Washington has a population greater than all of the State of Oregon.... and most of "them" are within a 100 miles of the boarder of one State to another.

The rest is 'mine.' .... save for the spring king salmon run where every yaho with a 30-50 pound test rated rod comes out of the woodwork.

02-24-2004, 11:02 AM

Sounds good, I have heard the Clearwater gets quite crowded and they don't like out of towners. So the rental car will have to have ID plates also to complete my cover up. Let me know what on the proper on river apparel should be so I can blend in that way also. LOL

Anyway this is the price we pay for our 3.6 million miles of public rivers in the U.S. (Thats per the St. Croix add the 3.6 million miles)

I have been planning all of my fishing for probably the last 20 years around the peak run times before and after them and always manage to touch some fish in solitude. Thats enough for me I am not greedy for big fish or quantities of fish.

God bless the USA !



02-24-2004, 11:16 AM

There is a little soft seem out there that is easy to miss if you don't take a second to look for it. That water isn't near as fast as people think it is. You are right I probably shouldn't have cast the hook at you even though It was my normal casting length and was less the a 60' cast.

No hard feelings


02-24-2004, 02:16 PM
An alternative in the search for FF solitude is night fishing if your state allows it and you can handle it. Its not for everyone though.


02-24-2004, 04:02 PM
I have heard the Clearwater gets quite crowded and they don't like out of towners. So the rental car will have to have ID plates also to complete my cover up. Let me know what on the proper on river apparel should be so I can blend in that way also. LOL


The above makes good conversation around the stove, but I don't beleive it to be true.

The Clearwater is like most other rivers during "peak times". If you want to fish the "name" holes in the lower river expect company. I've fished the Clearwater since 1971 and I've never heard of a "courteous" angler having trouble. On the "hallowed water" anyone that is willing to wait their turn, start at the top of the run and move through, not crowd those below, ect... will do just fine. If a person wants to move around you can pretty much find less crowded fishing. It doesn't matter what your licensee plates say or what your angling attire consists of. If you follow common river courtesy the "locals" will leave you alone. If you want a chance to "skate one up" I'll see you in Oct.

02-24-2004, 05:09 PM

Don't worry they don't come more courteous then me I have been breed from the eastern holy waters of fly fishing.



02-24-2004, 06:00 PM
Don't worry they don't come more courteous then me I have been breed from the eastern holy waters of fly fishing.

As I said, deja vu.:smokin: PS, Don't forget your St. Croix.

02-25-2004, 08:34 AM
Nice its St. Croix country too I see.

Eventually I will get fired as the ad says.




02-25-2004, 12:16 PM
Which "Holy Water" did you fish when you were younger? I started on the West Canada and Oriskany Creek (Yeah, that's where the Revolutionary War battle was fought...), and later, the Beaverkill, Willowemoc, West Branch (Delaware River), etc.

But TODAY you can even get low-balled THERE! (And I can remember when fishermen used to bit.., uh, complain about fishermen using spinning rods there! Yeah, that was during the early '50s, when spinning was just being introduced to this country!)

Sort of fun looking back on this stuff... I was trained in fishing and stream etiquette from the first time I was allowed to pick up a rod!


Dr. Swing
02-26-2004, 03:56 PM
In reading this thread I can see a lot of the frustration is pretty universal. Every year it seems like the number of instances of really crappy behavior on the river increase. I have seen this sort of thing pretty much everywhere I have fished, from the midwest, the rocky mountains and even the Steelhead rivers of the West. It seems that several times a year, I will quit fishing, move, or just fish pissed off because of a big breach in what I consider proper. And it isn't always when the river is busy. (last week!) With the huge growth in fly fishing, and the number of new anglers around, this trend will continue. Back when I was taught to fly fish, my dad and grandfather taught me the how to act on the river, as much as how to fish. Now, that sort of thing just doesn't happen. Most people just don't know how to act around fellow anglers, and yes, there are a few true jerks out there who just don't give a hoot, they will catch fish at all costs. I lack the calm good nature to be polite when other fisherman piss me off. I am not the kind of person to get in somebodies face about it either, though I have a few buddies who aren't so shy. Normally I withdraw and stew about it for a while. It isn't the right thing to do.
I have the idea that everyone should be required to take a fishing edicate class to buy a fishing license, just like most states mandate that a hunter's saftey course. Well that isn't going to happen as much as I like the idea. If people aren't going to educate anglers, I guess it falls to me (or any other offended party) to do the educating. I just hope I can be as polite and positive as Leyland and have it be a helpful and cheerful part of my day, rather than ruining my day as most of these events do.

Sorry, but this one got me thinkin'

02-26-2004, 04:32 PM
if a few more hooks ended up in a few more "other people's" noses, perhaps they would see the value of a fishing ethics course and certification... best not to go there, i know... :devil:
it's unfortunate that we are loosing the tradition, often passed from parent to offspring, of ethical and courteous fishing... but the problem isn't confined to just us; hunting has its share of problems as well...
a lot of "newbies" in the sport who've not had the tutalage (sp) of a parent or relative... it's a let down, and yeah, it falls upon us to try and educate them... the honest mistakes are fairly easy, it's the pr**ks that are a PITA.....
yeah, this one got me thinking to, as you can see from my previous post!!!!:smokin:

02-26-2004, 05:10 PM
We had two gear guys yesterday ask if we were working through after answering yes they asked if they could drop in above.


02-27-2004, 07:31 AM
Wonder just how much of this is caused by the guides who keep holes to themselves and their cronies on the heavily fished rivers and also bust ass to row into a hole in front of you and act like they didn't even see you. I know they have an obligation to the paying client but think they need to be the ones to take on the teaching that used to be from the Dads and Granddads.