Fly Fishing Forum - View Single Post - Angler Abuse of Rivers & Private Property
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Old 10-14-2002, 11:42 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
Pullin' Thread
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346

To the littering and property distruction problems mentioned in this article, there is the problem of a fisherman who has spent the last 30 or more years living in a large city that did not have trout or steelhead fishing nearby. Upon beingable to retire and make a handsome profit on the house he has owned for 20 or more years, he moves north to trout or steelhead country, buys a piece of river front property, posts it, then starts harassins fishermen who gain access to these prime runs and holes through boating, or walking through adjacent property unposted timber lands.

He does this because he wants "private water" and even claims he owns the riverbed! What was the fishemen's sin, nothing more than he wants it to himself and resents others being able to access it.

Don't laugh, I have seen this happen here in Washington and have been the recipient of threats to call the shreiff and have me arrested for trespasing because I was standing in the river or on the gravel bar below the usually high water mark, whjich is the legal definition of where you can be legally on a navigable stream in WAshinton State. It is a most unpleasant experience; however, it has not stopped me from fishing in these places. It has stopped most from doing so though because it is such a pain to deal with nearly every time you go there.

I have even seen this locally here on the Skagit after a very well- known steelheader bought a peice of property where access was granted by the prior owner and the neighbors for years. He purchased the property, posted his section, got his neighbors to let him post their adjacent property, and in effect turned a rather nice run into private water.

He was rather mean and nasty to several of us who asked him for permission to fish including threatening us with the sheriff. Took me and a very good friend by surprise when he came out to tell us that we couldn't park and fish there like we had just one week before because he owned it now and he doesn't allow anyone to fish. He has even harrassed folks who accessed the run by boat because the were wading and casting to "his water".
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