etiquette? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: etiquette?

10-17-2002, 01:37 AM
is it just me or are there more and more fly anglers cutting in below other fly anglers on the river these days? I thought that one was #2 in the rule book, right below (haha) "10 o'clock and 2 o'clock." Worst part is that they walk in and hesitate, so you know they know it's a no-no.

Willie Gunn
10-17-2002, 03:31 AM
I was brought up on the Inverness Angling Association water and you would not try that trick more than once, even as an innocent ? youth.

Now if people come in below me I put on the biggest fly I have and cast as far as I can. People get very nervous as a 3" tube with a huge treble whizzes past their waders. Subtle Scottish approach.


10-17-2002, 02:14 PM

I think this is becoming the rule rather than the exception. These days as people have less time and are traveling farther they are justify many practices. I find this particularly frustrating on long runs. I believe these long runs create a dilemma they know they should not cut in but, the upstream angler may be 200yrd away. How much space is too much? I play by the old rules ask and gauge situations as to what I would think.


Leland Miyawaki
10-17-2002, 03:04 PM

The other day, Brian and I were fishing when two flyfishers in a driftboat dropped down into the run we were in, anchored across from us and began casting into our water. We could tell they knew what they were doing because they kept glancing over at us, not quiltily but with a screw you look.

After they left, we both agreed that: gearchuckers lowhole and don't know or simply don't give a damn (cause they never look over at you); newbie flyfishers (you can tell by their casting strokes and fishing technique) usually don't know and additionally, their numbers are too few to sweat; but experienced flyfishers DO know what they're doing and REALLY don't care.

I'm afraid it's another sign of the times competitive, aggressive, win at all costs, me first, behavior.


10-17-2002, 03:30 PM
Gee, any surprise here...?

When myself and a few others wished to establish an ongoing dialog on Flyfishing Ethics (of which etiquette is a part) we were summarily shouted down. Does it now hit too close to home here? Why let's pretend it doesn't exist and go our merry way but, me first in the run, dude.

You have all spoken clearly that it's not important enough to bother with - So stop complaining!


10-17-2002, 03:42 PM
I just don't see it. I don't run into that many rude fisherman. Yeah sure once in a great while and usually if I mention that I think they are crowding me and they apologize.

Example: Sunday I was fishing the lower Skagit for silvers. Two guys were floating down river towards me casting into shore. First off one guy got on the sticks and moved the boat out so as not to float over my water. Pretty cool. I start up a conversation about "how's the fishing?". Normal lies. Their reply was no fish. My reply was the lie "Just got here". (jetsled should like that) Then one of them casts to within 5 feet of me. I simply say "Hey buddy, lots of river here". He apologizes and that was that. End of problem.

10-17-2002, 04:21 PM
Hey Dana,

Yes, there is a lot more of it happening. IMHO frustration from lack of fish in the rivers, cancelled seasons, crowded runs, etc. have combined to lead to this.

Not pretty, and something I think worthy of discussing to determine how to deal with it best.

As with poachers, I'm not an advocate of the "Go down there and kick some a$$" approach. Too many guns/crazies running around these days. But there are in-between solutions (like Kerry's) that work some of the time.

What's worked for the rest of you? Stay and fish thru? Find new water? Ask him if he's "new" and hasn't learned about etiquitte yet?

I usually watch to see if they're fishing the water effectively. If so, I fish down to where they started and head off to find new water. If not, I'll wait and fish thru. Don't usually offer suggestions because everyone I ever talked to knew what they were doing and just didn't care.

Don't know about you, but it's not worth it to me to get in a fight over a fishing spot.



10-17-2002, 04:33 PM

I do not think this is a fly fishing ethics problem at all. Personal ethics , yes. That is something none of us can fix. In most of the cases all these guys know what they are not supposed to be low holing anyone but they make a personal choice to not do the right thing.

In my view there is nothing that can be done about this. What are we going to go after thier parents for not bringing them up correctly? Aint going to happen.

My approach is to tell myself that these guys are most likley not very good fishermen and the fish are safe until I follow them through:devil:


10-17-2002, 04:46 PM
When it comes to gear guys there is no rule about starting down behind the first guy. Its understood, and has been for a long time that you got in line anywhere there was an opening. So dont expect them to follow the fly rules around fly fishers. And when it comes to boats even the old gear rules about following down river the boat ahead of you has now been replace with lets race to the next best hole, first to get there gets the fish (sad).
I do agree with following behind first guy in the drift when it comes to the fly gear.;)

10-17-2002, 05:42 PM

It's apples and oranges yielding up a tainted fruit salad. It is personal ethics AND fly angler ethics. They are inseparable. Just take the Enron fiasco as an example - Is it only personal ethics? Or is it just business ethics? I say it is both.

And to shrug it off with, "That is nothing we can fix", is a total cop out. Doing and saying nothing will effect nothing but, speaking up at least puts the offending party on notice that his peers DO hold him accountable for such transgression(s). If enough speak up the average offender will change if only to find some peace. Sticking ones head in the sand simply states that you don't care enough. Silence and inaction simply condones such behavior.


10-17-2002, 06:26 PM
Interesting enough (I use a spey rod 99% of the time) most gear guys will give someone with a spey rod all the room in the world or we both (frequently they're right across the river from you) just pay attention and time our casts. I've got a fly line working, he's got 2-3 oz of lead.

Very rare that we will get our lines crossed as, with the spey rod, you can make some pretty radical adjustments to keep out of 'his' way. Most of the gear guys watch you work for a few minutes and get in sink with the casting flow (being able to see the fly line really helps here). Looks like we're going to get at cross purposes I just throw a huge upstream mend and stop the line or give a sharp upstream tug on the rod (same effect as it pops my line up and out of the way). So it blows my drift, big deal.

In the very few times I've crossed with a bankie (with one huge exception: a guide who has a reputation that would even make Satan blush) they're the ones who usually appoligize. Tell guy no sweat, I can control my line and I know he can't, so no big deal. Top this off with a huge smile and we all go back to business.


The 'guide' mentioned above actually called the OSP and reported I was 'snagging fish.' When I walked out and the TWO officers saw the fly rods (and I knew one of them quite well from the river) they were both very unhappy campers to be put on a wild goose chase. Understand they had a "heart to heart" chat with the fellow.

10-17-2002, 06:49 PM
with you on confronting these ignorant S.O.B's. The unethical fisherfolks we are discussing here already know they are exhibting rude behavior and no amount of preaching will change their practices. IMO Sean has it right. These people aren't worth the time it takes to tell them they are out of line. They already know that and do not care. Again IMO, to talk about ethics on this board is like Eddie said in the thread P M started on this same subject above. It is preaching to the choir.

10-17-2002, 07:54 PM
It's most certain that what we don't do or say is as meaningful as what we do. In my opinion, confrontation does not improve etiquette and moving to a new pool is just as reasonable an option as any other. Another option is to continue through the pool and hit a fish under his nose. :smokin:

50% of the ettiquette equation is resolved when we ourselves arrive at an occupied pool. Maybe we can solve that half first and go from there.

See you on the river, my friends and fellow anglers!

Scott K
10-17-2002, 08:34 PM
Maybe start carrying copies or pamphlets containing information on Steelheading etiquette. When someone cuts below you, calmly walk below to them and hand them this little pamphlet or piece of paper and then walk back up river and resume fishing.

Some people might do it out of ignorance, they just don't know Steelheading etiquette. Particularly on the rivers where all the really hardcore steelheaders go, where this etiquette is quite important, where as on other rivers, there is no etiquette.

You know, doing something like I mentioned, might act in sort of a "peer pressure" type of way. They get this pamphlet handed to them, you walk away, they read it, and figure if this pamphlet is handed to them, they will feel as if every other Steelheader is following this policy, and they will be under close observation with every place they choose to start, as if every other Steelheader is watching them to see if they follow the etiquette.

Personally, I would be pretty pissed off if I'm covering the water and someone steps below me, but aside from the above mentioned Idea, I have confidence in myself, and I won't let thinking that maybe this guy will steal what is "my fish" get in the way of continuing on. Now if this guy wants to stand there all day and hog that spot while I fish down, he probably won't figure it out. This is the time when some type of etiquette talk is neccessary, or handing him/her a slip/pamphlet, which details etiquette. Or maybe posting laminated posters contiaining etquiette and putting them in places and put "Attention Steelheaders" in big bold letters to get their attention while they walk to their fishing spot.

Just an idea. A bit of effort, but might work on some of the more hardcore rivers where etiquette IMHO is neccessary.

10-17-2002, 09:27 PM
Thats a good idea. Will print perhaps ten bullet points up and put on the cars at the access points. Thats a start who knows they may at least think before they low hole you or camp on a pool or run. Oh yes ensure you give them to the DBs and Jet Sledders going by also.

Why can't our state DNRs do something ? Post signs at the major access points and print some ethics on the licenses perhaps.

Just some ideas.

10-17-2002, 10:04 PM
Guys, Watersprite got it right IMHO. If we say nothing to them, it only give tacit approval to their behavior. I almost always say something to the offender(s), otherwise I'm contributing to the problem of poor ethics by giving tacit approval.

This is part of the same lack of ethics that Watersprite brought up about poachers on the Skagit. Yes, I have had the pleasure of sharing a run or hole with ethical and courteous gear fishers like Fred. But the last 7 or so years I have seen a great increase in the unethical behaviors spoken of herein.

I have had fly fishing guides park the boat and proceed to tell their dudes to fish right below me. I have spoken up and told them loud enough for their dudes to hear that if I did that to him he would be fighting mad, so why did he do it to me without asking if it was OK first. I've had the same thing (cutting into the run below me) done by guides when they were fishing with wives and friends. I spoke up then as well.

If we are not willing to speak up, we are part of the problem by giving permission for this poor behavior.

10-17-2002, 10:48 PM
nailed it.

If no ones "taught" you the rules of the road, how would you know? (Good mannors really don't count for squat on the river)

Would be interesting to pass these out ... remember my guide post above. Would have loved to hand these out to the fellows in this clown's boat.

Life would have been better.

10-17-2002, 11:45 PM
OK, we all cherish our time on the water, right?
Is a confrontation with a bone-head going to do anything to lower your blood pressure, not!
We have all agreed that this is something that could use an answer, and there have been several good ones in this thread, however....say you are "low-holed" and decide to educate the perpatrater, either by having a calm or not so calm word or two or by handing this fisher a list, do you suppose that everyone or even some of these offenders will actually respond favorably?
If so, my friends, you are much more of an optomist than I.

10-18-2002, 10:46 AM
Just got back from a week on the Snake. Did not get low holed all week though sinktip did once. I even had a newbie spey fisherman ask if he could come in at top of run. Poor guy had his spey line around his neck on every other cast. I asked him if he had learned to cast with a single hander first and he said no.

Our chances of getting low hole by ignorance increase with the number of fishermen on the river as competition for runs increase, the odds just keep going up as each year of over commercialization of fly fishing increases. We have guides now bringing large classes of newbies to rivers and letting them loose. Even if they are taught good maners it's just a matter of time before the crowd factor comes into play with limited number of runs to fish.

We the fly fisherman are also to blame like the guides who bring classes to our sacred water we bring a friend along to enjoy. After a couple of years that friend feels he is part of the river group and invites one or two of his friends along. Mind you this happens at every camp along the Snake River. Soon the river is just out of control and in order to fish one must get up 3 hours before light drive to a run and park at the run fully dressed in waders and geared up just to protect that run for first fish through. By 0730 or an hour or two at the run it's time to go back to camp because every other run is being fished heavily along twenty five miles of river. I'm as much to blame as I've invited friends to camp in the past who now come on thier own and bring friends along who now bring thier friends along. This year we had 15 people in our camp at one time and many more who came and went all in some way related to a good friend of mine or my self who set up camp just the two of us in 1980. Even in a crowded camp amongst friends tensions were there, sort of like rats in a confined camp.

There are just too many of us my friends I not only blame the industry, the guides and the teachers who make profits by teaching and making life a little too easy for newbies they have no bond with except the money they take from them for servouses rendered I blame myself and most of us for sharing something we love and in the end we destroy what we love.

I have seen the enemey and he is me.
Fly fishing has become like a cheap Saturday Night Disco Club. Keep on dancing!

Willie Gunn
10-18-2002, 01:38 PM
Perhaps it is time the colonies fell in line with the mother country and started charging for fishing and restricting numbers.

Head down and prepared receive flak.


10-18-2002, 02:07 PM
Even as a financial poor a colonist I'm begining to think that way.
I don't think you will get too much flak from this board but it is an uneasy subject to talk about at this time.

Maybe you could give us some history about the way fishing is in the mother country. Though I'm sure a lot of it started with Dukes and Kings protecting their little play ground I wonder if now in our era if it is not more so to protect the limited resourses than it is to just let the old and new money folks from being the only ones to have fun. Over here on this side of the Alantic we used to think that resourses were unlimited we are a big country that now has become smaller in every way including fly fishing. Some will argue that the popularity in fly fishing has been good to the resourses and I would have agreeded for the 1st 10 years or so of this increased popularity. But now the increases in fly fishermen fishing an improved resourse is no different that what we see on our Seattle roads. We work hard to build an inferstructure by improving our roads only then allow more people to move in to the surrounding towns and that improved infustucture now is no better than before the improvement. For those who know Rocky Ford spring creek and it's large fish and selective fish and beautiful cat tailed banks from years ago to the trampled banks and pet fish of today one can see the beginings of a need to look at other alternatives before we totally love fly fishing to death.
Willie why are your blue ribbon streams private in this day and age?

10-18-2002, 02:26 PM
Mr. G,

Maybe we are ALREADY headed there what with the states' enlightened licensing schemes (species stamps, tags, endorsements, etc.). Might a lottery system show it's ugly head soon?

Why not ask the commercial interests to shepard this thing. Let the manufacturers or their trade association take it on (it is in their best interest). Not unlike certain auto makers with their "Tread Lightly" ad theme designed to take the heat off them for aggressive 4-wheelers.

Let the association gather up the different user groups and write up a Ten Commandments of fishing etiquette. Print 'em up on the cards stapled with the hooks, hackles, leaders, etc. Print 'em up on shopping bags similar to the local sports schedule on the shopping bags we get at the local supermarkets. Distribute the bags to Ye Olde Fly Shoppe, and Hardware Joes, and Worm Barns for all to see. Be sure Wal-Mart and K-mart get their share.

Ideas. Leadership. We need ideas and leadership. Turning away will not spare any of us from this moral and ethical decay.


10-18-2002, 03:10 PM
Hmm where are you guys fishing? I have only been low holed once I think and that was a couple years ago. I fish about 70-80 days a year and can only think of one time in the last year where I felt crowded. That was at fortson where I shouldn't be wasting my time anyway.

I still think you guys are missing the point. Most all these people know the rules. They just choose to ignore them. Handing them a card is just going to get you in a fight. A good stare more than gets your point across to these guys.

Pay to play? God I hope not. One thing we do not need is a social cast system. I for one will never pay to fish my local waters other than license fees.

I follow the rules, my children will follow the rules, and so will the people I fish with. Other than that I really do not give a rip.

Also for the most part the more flyfishers practicing C'n'R the better. The best part about fly fishing is the widespread C'n'R ethic. Even by those folks who low hole you. The resource is what is important. Not some chump lowholing you.

I fish to get away from everday life. I would like to think that just because I choose to chase fish with a fly does not mean I have to be some fish nazi on the river.

This thread seems more 'ME ME ME' than anything else.

heading to the river,


10-18-2002, 03:31 PM
I agree with most of what you said Sean with the exception of pay to play. I believe I will see the day, in my lifetime and I'm on the down hill side, when we will pay to play on our rivers. It has already started in some ways. Montana has limited the number of boats that float certain sections of river. Here in wa you need to buy parking permits for certain areas. Some hunting is now done by lottery. It will happen to fishing also. What form it takes is the only thing we will have a say in. Hopefully.

10-18-2002, 03:51 PM
I agree with Sean's post 100%. In my opinion posting these rules on little cards will have about as much effect as posting the speed along side the highway. There will always be people that break the speed limit and there will always be morons that low hole and do other offensive fishing practices. As I said before a great majority of our population is SELFISH and GREEDY. I do not have much of a problem with discourteous people on the river but I do have the advantage to run to the river whenever I want when most people are working.
Watersprite, after having said the above and believing it, in the spirit of compormise I will print your 10 rules on my paper bags.
What would you like to see. Did you like the rules P M posted on the other thread we recently had on this?

10-18-2002, 04:44 PM

I don't even pretend to know what constitutes those Ten Commandments. This is one for all to decide, hence my recommendation that a group representative of all users decide. I do appreciate your spirit, as diluted as it is, towards activism.


Who is kidding who? Do you really believe that you will have a say, re: restricting numbers?


I do hope you teach your children well; sometimes easier said than done. Just look around you...

As to the, "I really do not give a rip", now that is a very sad commentary to our times and the issues being raised here.

Apathy is the well-worn path of losers. Please, don't all fall on your swords at once.

I don't have the answers to all you naysayers as much as I would like. I do know that nothing will change for the better if you do nothing. Hell, we might lose anyway, but at least we can stop bitching about it and be proactive for ourselves, our children and our friends. Such activism might also move us to effect positive change for our resource, our fisheries.

In a like manner, my dad used to say, "Don't bitch if you don't vote". Great similarities here.


10-18-2002, 05:05 PM

I am the ever optismistic one............................

Yes, I do believe we will have some say.................hopefully.............well maybe...........crap:confused:

10-18-2002, 05:12 PM
Watersprite, I didn't mean you had to have all the rules but since you suggested printing them on bags I addressed my post to you.
I thought I saw some rules P M posted but I can't find them now. As I'm getting ready to print some more bags I'd like to hear any suggestions for a set of 10 rules or so that address some of these problems we've been discussing. I could probably figure out some for myself but right now I need a nap so let's here some ideas.

10-18-2002, 05:31 PM
WS -

With all due respect... if you don't have suggestions, then all you have are complaints. You strengthen your argument when you provide definitive, measurable, achievable steps to the group. You dilute your position when you abandon ettiquette in the name of promoting it.

But I do admire your conviction and passion for the topic.


10-18-2002, 06:30 PM

I did make a suggestion - Become an active voice for change. Type an email, pen a letter, button-hole a bureaucrat, have a beer with a friend, better yet, have a beer with a protagonist. Speak to your concerns, listen to their's. Overcome your defeatism and take on these issues which cause so much distraction and dissatisfaction.

Granted it might be a hard road but will doing nothing be any better? And I never said to put oneself in jeopardy - a bloody nose means you lost even if your opponent fared worse.

Complaining? Okay, I'l give you that one. I am complaining about the complainers. It goes back to the old school, "Put up or shut up".

Discourteous? It's hard to smell like a rose when knee deep in crap. I have not resorted to name calling. I can't help it how others suddenly see themselves. And I would never turn a fellow member of this board from my door simply because his or her beliefs differed from mine.

Yeah, I graduated from Don Rickles' school of winning friends and influencing people. A cold splash in the face is never appreciated. Brrrrr but it's cold...

My sole purpose in posting to this thread has always been to engage my peers in conversation hoping that this issue, which troubles many, may find resolution.


10-18-2002, 06:42 PM
Yes, you're right.

I don't have anything concrete to offer at this point so I am going to give this some deep thought over the weekend and see if I can't propose something for both sides of the equation; our behavior as approaching anglers as well as our behavior being approached.

Definitely time well spent!

10-18-2002, 08:02 PM

As WAtersprite said, if you do nothing, as you comment re: "don't give a rip" implies, you become part of the problem since doing nothing give tacit approval to the offensive behavior. It befooves all of us to speak up when we encounter offensive behavior. Perhaps we will only reach 10% of those to whom we speak up; but that is 10% fewer offensive folks on the river.


You are correct. We are part of the problem if we remain apathetic or choose to do nothing about the unethical and unsportasmanlike conduct that may be witnessed astream.

Also, the resource is not the only thing of importance. Ethical fishing so that a person can enjoy his/her time on the river is of equal importance. What good is a well taken care of resource if you cannot enjoy your time afield? That is why ethics are so important. I have experienced guides dropping dudes off right where I was fishing and telling them to go below me. Yes, I have spoken up to these obviously ehtically defective individuals. And have done so here in Washington State, in Montana, in Pennsylvania, and in New York State. Adn I will contimue to do so.


Yes, greed is behind lots of this poor behavior we see on the river. But does that mean that we should do nothing and let it continue escalating? I would hope not!

Some rules that are just basic good manners would include: 1)Never go below a fisherman in a run/hole/pool who was there before you unless you ask permission first. 2) Never run a boat through the water that someone is already fishing. 3) Always help other anglers improve their casting, or at least ask them if it is OK for you to offer some tips on casting. 4) When fishing for Steelhead or Altlantic Salmon and there is a line up of people waiting to fish a run/hole/pool, leave the water after catching a fish and either go elswhere or wait at the end of the line to go through another time. 5) Never, park in a run/hole/pool. 6) Always work a run/hole/pool through from head to tail-out by making a step or more after each cast is fished out. 7) Never give a fish you have caught to someone else so that you can continue fishing after keeing your limit for the day. 8) Always be polite and civil to otheres on the river, even if you find it necesary to tell someone about their poor manners astream. 9) Always report poachers as soon as you possibly can.

This should be a good start for what constitutes ethical behavior astream

beau purvis
10-18-2002, 08:23 PM
i was on the deschutes 6 weeks quide and i decided to road fish. went down to windknot. there were two older[probably not as old as me] gentlemen in it. one down towards the end[ i consider it to be a long run,and a cast as far as you can run, as you descend its length;ie a lot of water]. my quide we nt down to the fisherman 60 yds down from where i was going to start and said we were going to start at the beginning[actually higher to be generous]. whatever he said ,it was not no. i went down the bank and started with a leader cast.before i got out enough line to take a step his buddy at the lower end[not" the end"] moved up and stepped in 20 yds in front of me[the real beginning, where i would have started if alone]. i pulled out .my guide went down to inform them that we thought normal etiquette was to talk to them before starting above them and that normal course was to rotate from bottom to top always starting behind people.he stated that he got up a 5 to get the area and had been fishing 19or 29 yrs and did not need to be told how to do things.they were fly jocks.we went elsewhere. talking was going nowhere.if we would have handed them anything about rules of the road it would have been litter. nonfly guys already hate us to the point of having nasty bumper stickers.if we try to impose our rules of the road on them they will really think we are arrogant.hell, even some of you fly guys on this clave think so about some fly fishers["cowboy hats and red bandanas"].if we look that way to our own, what do we look like to the backbouncers?

10-18-2002, 09:14 PM
Beau Parvis,

There is no excuse for the behavior these two "gentlemen" ( I use the term very loosely indeed) exhibited. Unfortunately, this is exactly what several of us are speaking about. Despite you and your guide getting nowhere with these yahoos, in my opinion, it is still better to speak up and say something to them than to say nothing.

10-18-2002, 10:21 PM
Flytyer, you make some good suggestions about how we might behave... half the battle but indeed preaching to the choir... but other than to say we should "say something" or "do something" I am at a loss to understand exactly you (not just you of course) propose we should do/say?

In other words, I believe Sean has proposed doing something, moving on. I agree with that. It's concrete, clear, decisive. I see nothing wrong with that as an option at the right time and circumstance.

Yet I hear a lot of this criticism, preaching a need to do something but still nothing about what this mysterious "something" is? Can you or anyone explain?

10-18-2002, 10:43 PM
In my view Sean has it right in moving on and not wasting time confronting rude stream behavior. However, I'm going to print some bags with some suggestions on stream etiquitte along the lines of flytyer's and see what kind of response I receive from the anglers that visit me.

10-18-2002, 11:11 PM

The one thing that all of us can do is open our mouth and say something to the Neanderthals we have the displeasure to meet. If we say nothing as Sean and MJC suggest and just move on, we have given our tacit approval to the behavior.

There were many who learned the hard way during Hitler's rule and in our cities that if a good man says nothing, pretty soon there is nothing left to stop the dispots. The same thing is true of fishing. If we say nothing to the offensive folks, not only will they continue this ill-mannered crap, others will start doing it as well simply because they see others doing it and see no one saying anything bout the unethical and offensive behavior.

So what if the offenders don't immediately stop. Those who have seen you say something to the offender about it (note this doesn't mean to call them out and offer to fight, that's just as stupid and moronic as the behavior that is so detestable) will see that there are those who care about fair play and ethics. They will then be less likely to follow the footsteps of the offensive folks. This is nothing more than applying what social psychologist have found about how people behave.

And this is something concrete, an action that can be taken by anyone.

10-18-2002, 11:20 PM
So let's take an inventory of the positives so far (ignoring the negatives) in this thread:

#1 - we can agree to be courteous to each other, which puts thousands of viewers into good company.

Positive action item: recruit more people into the community :)

#2 - we can spread the word in favor of being courteous on the river through various media - printed bags were mentioned, a great start although the reach would be more effective if we can get lots of shops to do it. I had the same thought as PMflyfisher in the F&W handouts and licenses area (authority figure approach) which I think is a winner. If there is a good sales pitch on the river from one angler to offending anglers I am all ears, although none has been clarified thus far.

Positive Action Items:

Look into getting a well-written ethics insert into licenses and F&W documents.

Think of a good way to tell an angler who cuts you off what you think without worsening the situation.

#3 - moving on to new water may not solve the problems of the world but it does avoid confrontations and preserve the reasons many of us fish - peace of mind etc. It is in fact doing something to keep fishing the great pastime that it is in many of our opinions anyway because the net effect is no conflict, which is the root of our debate.

I dunno I still like my original idea.... hit a fish right under the guys nose coming down behind him :devil:

Have we even defined what the code of ethics is supposed to be, at least to a point of general agreement in this community? How much distance is a reasonable distance? What constitutes an angler's right to water? What qualifies as 'parking' in a hole? How to mix gear, plunkers, and fly guys? Boaters, Yakkers, and pontooners? When does one 'spot' end and the next begin?

How can we say what is in violation or not if we do not have something objective to go by?

Moving on is looking better to me suddenly...

10-18-2002, 11:33 PM

Hitting as fish under his nose is a nasty thing to do. But I like it.

I do think that if the license agents had a card with stream etiquet on them that were given out at the time a license was purchased or if the license itself had basic stream etiquet printed on it there would be a difference made. This because the license buyer would be reminded of them anytime he took out the license or purchased a license. Eventually, it would start rubbing off.
Same with the shopping bags.

10-18-2002, 11:39 PM

Just to be clear, that would be a fish under the guy who cut you off's nose from your disadvantaged position. Not so much nasty as righteous but I know what you mean.

How 'bout this, you stay up top, hit a fish. He gets frustrated. He moves up, you move down. You hit another just where he was! :chuckle:

Not likely but if I could do that consistently I'd want to be low holed! J/K

10-18-2002, 11:53 PM

I only was able to do that once on the Elwha River 10 years ago on Thanksgiving Day. The moron had the nerve to come down to me and ask me if he could have the second fish since I was probably going to release it like the first one and he hated to see a fish "go to waste". I released the second fish and he said some choice cuss words about my ancerstry. I decided it was time to leave after the second fish, and as I left, he continued muttering about that ungrateful SOB (me) who wouldn't let him have a hatchery fish to take home.

It would be fun to do this again some time.

10-19-2002, 01:52 AM
There are "rules" cards already printed up for the North Umpqua. I picked one up my first trip there in '93. Did this stop people from mis-behaving? Maybe yes, maybe no.

The CGRMP offices on the Matapedia have rules printed up for etiquette. They do outline what is acceptable for the river, and for the certain high profile pools to help the rotations go through. One thing is for sure, this river logs 6000+ fishing days (roughly a 90 day season-an average of 67 anglers/day) on approx. 18 miles of river, 2/3 of those days are on the unlimited sector that is approx. 12 miles long. Do the cards help? Not sure, but there are quite a few people fishing in cramped quarters that seem to get along OK.

I guess it all comes down to how hell bent you are on HAVING to catch a steelhead. Fighting the crowds by sitting on a run for 2 to 3 hours, ready to jump if headlights show up, is a recipe to find another river, another time to fish, or another pastime.
I agree with Juro, the best way to teach somebody a lesson is to pull a fish out of their boots. Even better so if it's water they already covered. I especially love doing that to gear guys (boats are all the better). :devil:

I guess one way to look at it, if you are fishing a high profile river during 'prime' time on an ultra-popular run, expect company. If somebody shows up, be friendly enough to offer a portion of the run BEFORE they cut you off. Tell them you will slide down and give them some untouched water. Or, if the bucket is higher up, offer for them to take a spot down from there leaving you the sweet spot. DONT expect the Graveyard or Coyote to yourself, you are only being greedy if you do. Be proactive, it has worked for me for years on busy rivers during peak usage times. You never know, it may earn you a good tip for some holding spots in runs that you have never fished.

If what you are doing falls on deaf ears, hey, at least you tried to help the situation before it turns ugly. Either fish down to them, or leave. Don't get to that point of ruining your day, not worth it. If you know the river at all, you also know that there are other places to catch fish.

With the last couple of bumper runs for summer fish, there is going to be another meteoric rise in steelhead popularity. Probably will far exceed the mid- 80's explosion in overall numbers. Crowded rivers are the future, and it would be wise to get along with your fellow fisherman to make the experience that much more pleasurable for all.

Tight lines,


10-19-2002, 01:52 AM
Alright, another voice from the choir.

With these days of reduced budgets in Fish and Wildlife, State Police and any other "authority figures" you might suggest, where will the money come from to cover the additional printing costs on licenses and the like? And I ask this: how many of you have bothered to read your license since you began paying for the "right to fish"? Not many, I'd bet.

Personally, I object to any more additional fees being charged for the enjoyment of a natural resourse.

Our esteemed friend from the Clearwater is obviously going to cover the printing on his bags out of pocket, but where does that originate, your pockets, gentlemen.

Quite frankly, it's a rare day on my favorite steelhead water when there isn't fierce competition for the runs, especially this time of year, with both salmon and steelhead in the water.

And I will not be involved in a urinating contest as to who gets to fish a favorite water, let the ingrates go to it, my turn will come. I can and have found fish where the crowd failed to look, keep that as an option.

Scott K
10-19-2002, 02:22 AM
Who is the guy who cuts in below you? What is he most likely to be?

My two guesses are the following

1) An ignorant A-hole who doesn't care about etiquette, although he is aware that it exists

2) And I'll be this is more times than not, someone who is new to the sport, or not as versed in the sport to know of etiquette.

Well my advice is the following

1) The Ignorant A-hole has it coming to him. Karma alone will see that he doesn't catch fish

2) The new guy, not knowing etiquette, probably isn't as versed in the sport as you, knowing etiquette are.

Both ways, I say just continue fishing and don't worry about him.

Why do people get pissed off when someone cuts below you?

1) It ruins the etiquette set up by you and 90 percent of the other anglers who are following it

2) Some people think they might steal your fish. I would say this is especially true if a Bait guy cuts below you

3) They have no respect for you, or the fact that you are covering water and that you've worked to that point of water where they step below what you are going to cover.

I thought my idea was reasonable, but that's my personal bias of course. Might take a bit more work than the other ideas though, and we're too busy fishing anyways, so drop it.

So my next advice, and I am kinda in agreement with Juro's thinking is, and this is the best way I can put it to get the point accross "F*ck em." Who cares about him. Don't let this person get in the way of your fishing day. You're doing it properly. You're covering water and working hard. This guy must be dropping out of line for some reason. Maybe he sees a piece of water he thinks is "honey water" that he thinks holds fish, but he is ignoring all the other water that you should be covering which could hold fish at any one time anyway. Again "F*ck em." The Shortcutters have it coming to them, and rely on Karma alone to send this bum packing.

And when you sting a nice fish above him, you can smile knowing that you worked for that fish.

10-19-2002, 02:30 AM
Originally posted by inland
I guess one way to look at it, if you are fishing a high profile river during 'prime' time on an ultra-popular run, expect company. If somebody shows up, be friendly enough to offer a portion of the run BEFORE they cut you off. Tell them you will slide down and give them some untouched water. Or, if the bucket is higher up, offer for them to take a spot down from there leaving you the sweet spot. DONT expect the Graveyard or Coyote to yourself, you are only being greedy if you do. Be proactive, it has worked for me for years on busy rivers during peak usage times. You never know, it may earn you a good tip for some holding spots in runs that you have never fished.

A real gem! Often my approach on my better days :chuckle: . The key is to offer it up before any question of etiquette surfaces. Such a move gives me time to size up my new companion. Who knows, maybe he is as ethical or more.


10-19-2002, 07:55 AM
Flybob, You are right, someone will pay for the printing cost. It will not be the tackle manufacturers or the state agencies that enforce the rules we already have printed. It will be the sports-
men. I am also reluctant to see additional fees charged to cover these cost. A lot of the things we are talking about are already printed in the regulations. A person that wants to snag a salmon, take more fish then he should, litter the bank, or exhibit rude behavior on the stream cares not that there is a sign on the bank or something printed on the back of his license (if he has one) that tells him he shouldn't. I do not think the state I live in will ever print anything on the license or in the regs about rotating through a pool because a lot of people that spend money for licenses do not fish that way.
As for my printing cost they will not be passed on to my customers. I'm already stealing the ink from my wife.:hehe: I personally do not think printing some rules on my bags will have any great effect. I'm just curious to see if there is a positive response. Maybe I will be forced to change my mind.

10-19-2002, 11:59 PM
Allow me to apologize to you for my mis-assumption, Since I work in a profit oriented industry, where charge-backs and overruns are passed along, I jumped to a wrong conclusion.

It will be interesting to see if your bag experiment does make a difference, I certainly hope so, but I do have a somewhat dour outlook.

My hat is off to for trying.