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Old 06-10-2002, 05:45 PM
RandyJones RandyJones is offline
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Need your opionion

What is a respectful distance for anglers to keep from you, when you are obviuosly sight fishing?

I say 100 yards. Not feet, but yards. What do you think?

When some see's you hook a fish on a flat and then decides to pick your pocket, What do you do?

I try to politly ask the person if they could give us a lil space. (Normally this is followed by a blank stare.) Wha, you talk'n to me? Then they wade out waist deep or deeper and start to thrash the water madly turning it into a frothy foam. ( Blowing the fish out)

When there used to be an area that you could walk out too and be the only one there, and now there are 50 people casting to spooked stripers running for cover. What do you do?

I would suggest that we all make an effort to not name names. Or give directions. Im sure most of you who fish some of these area's would agree that they can NOT handle the pressure.

Does the word "CRIB" come to mind?

Randy
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  #2  
Old 06-10-2002, 06:19 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Randy, as you know I also shore guide around the cape and a large percentage is flats oriented. I completely disagree, when I see you I feel like I have the right to be right next to you, in fact can I use your ladder?

Seriously: To answer this question fully would reveal things that would make the situation worse, so I will not do that.

But I am not sure we can set 'hard rules'.

In some spots it's critical; other spots it's not a big deal. IMHO, 100 yards is a generalization that can work for or against, in fact:
  • 100 yards is not enough if they do the wrong thing with respect to that flat's nuances (wade into a 'sensitive' area)
  • 100 yards is way more than necessary if they are in a fishless void 10 yards away from you and they just don't know it

Rules would have to apply to boats, kayakers, jet skis as well as fellow waders. I had a boat anchor in front of me every time I landed a fish one day last year. As I would move and hook up, they would motor over - in a flats channel nonetheless! Finally, I walked as far as I could up flat and hooped up a fish as I hooked it. They motored up, sure as heck, and I immediately went back to the original spot where they just pulled anchor come where I was. They finally got the hint.

Per the crib, I was astounded at the crowd of people who had waded as deep as they could to blind cast yesterday. I stood (ironically) 100-200 yards away and waited to see if the fish would recover from seeing that conga line and come back on the flat - I stood there without making a single cast for a solid 30 minutes in a prime tide phase straining my eyes in the lousy light and chop - and didn't see a single fish. Finally Bill waded over as if to say "give it up" and we waded far away. The whole structure was hosed by their actions.

BTW - the folks over at Reeltime.com had their Monomoy Conclave and there were a lot of extra anglers in attendance over the weekend. Of course everyone's got the right and we were all new to the flats at one point but of the people we met, Bill and I were the only two who had fished the area before and Bill learned the ropes from YOU so you know he's cool. (BTW - some great guys from R/T were out there this weekend).

Sorry to ramble but to summarize - I like the idea of a general sense of courtesy among anglers on an area as sensitive as a sight fishing flat, but I am not sure the 100 yard rule is the way to go. It's not a distance thing so much as a knowledge thing. Of course they could hire you or I and we'll get them squared away in a hurry
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Old 06-10-2002, 07:50 PM
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...One shot, one kill...

I especially like when Mr Bagadonutz wades way out just upstream to blind cast into the deep abyss...lots of line slapping the water in front and behind...
My cousin graduated tops in his Army Ranger sniper class...I'll see if he has any leave planned...
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Old 06-10-2002, 08:03 PM
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As a relative newcomer to the Flats Game, I find your comments very informative. I always try to stay as far away as possible, I was thinking more in the neighborhood of 200 yds, especially if I can tell the person is stalking fish, not just wailing away.

I hope that I don't piss people off when I'm there. I don't think I do, but if any of you out there see a guy with a red backpack and I'm in the hot lane, lemme know!

I learned a great deal about the underwater highways this weekend. Sean and I stood at two places where others went fishless less than 100 yds away, while we spotted fish after fish come right along a depression for a solid 45 mins.

Randy, keep up the great reports. I hope to meet you in person out there sometime. I'll try and make sure that it happens on dry land away from the fishes.

Nick
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Old 06-10-2002, 10:54 PM
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ssully ssully is offline
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Why not a mile...

RJ,

Without being a total WA are you for real? A hundred yds. of free space, yeah maybe in outer space. Hello McFly...

Don't offer your sports some shore isolated striper FF Nirvana that you can't deliver. Even if you owned your own private beach there's still a water mark law on the books for fishing & fowling.

As for your comment,"When some see's you hook a fish on a flat and then decides to pick your pocket, What do you do"? Excuse me but guess what those aren't your's or your sports fish exculsively OK! Those guys paid the same fare to get there. Maybe they're rookies, morons or pigs get used to it. Or don't go there yourself! Or say I'm already in your prime time drop dead spot are you gonna give me a 100 yards? You don't have to and because I don't care.

"When there used to be an area that you could walk out too and be the only one there, and now there are 50 people casting to spooked stripers running for cover. What do you do"? Seriously how much are you charging sports for this shore trip? I've never paid for one, I usually figure it out on my own. That's part of the challenge.

Backing off I've heard nothing but good things about you and your service. That your a good guy and a helluva guide but PLEASE don't whine about fishing pressure as it belittles your reputation.

Signed,
A Veteran Close Combat Fisherman.

Last edited by ssully; 06-10-2002 at 11:08 PM.
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  #6  
Old 06-10-2002, 11:25 PM
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juro juro is offline
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Spoken like a true PI guy

J/K - I am always amused by your political incorrectness especially when I am in a rowdy mood myself. For what it's worth, my personal belief is that there is something between 100 yards and DILLIGAF that is good for all parties involved. This topic comes up a lot on salmon rivers and steelhead streams, frankly the only times I care about getting "low-holed" is when that person is an exceptional fisherman and I haven't got a prayer following them, the person wades so far out and the fish are tight to the bank, or the person doesn't move fast enough. These rarely happen, but they do happen - and it is worthy of some common sense of ettiquette to be discussed or established on these rivers.

But back to SWFF in the NE... Ssully's right 100 yards is quite a lot and it's only as good as the majority rule. We aren't the ones you have to convince, it's everyone else who couldn't care less.

Here's a little different spin - with all due respect to all Monomoy visitors, the vast majority are still untangling the intricacies of the area while the few have enough to rely on for consistency. If someone comes close to me it doesn't bother me at all unless they stand in the approach lane or stand close enough to spook fish where they won't get comfy again by the time they reach me.

Randy, as highly respected as you are, you should feel very comfortable about simply introducing yourself and offering advice about what's going on. Only a fool wouldn't listen!
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Old 06-11-2002, 07:22 AM
MikeF MikeF is offline
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Question

Randy
Aw come on ... are you for real? One Hundred yards!!?? The last time I looked this was a free country and I guess that pertains to the flats as well.

If you are fishing the middle of a featureless flat then maybe 100' might be a reasonable cushion. If however you are fishing a cut or dropoff on the flat ... well. That might be the only spot for a long distance that will hold fish. I wouldn't expect other anglers to shun the spot just because I happen to be there. I'd probably even encourage them to move closer to be able to fish the productive spot. Sometimes its more fun watching other catch fish than it is to do it yourself.

If you feel you are being crowded you can say something or move.

Usually if fishermen are using similar methods, they can fish very close together without interferring with one another. Its easy for 5 or 6 FFermen or eelers or pluggers to fish a single ocean bowl. One bait fisherman with a couple of rods can stake out the majority of fishable water in the bowl.

Maybe a couple of years of guiding on the Canal would desensitize you to the crowding issue.

By the way would this 100 yard guideline you propose apply to the salmon/steelhead rivers of upstate NY as well??
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Old 06-11-2002, 07:57 AM
Roop Roop is offline
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My $.02.

A 100 yards is a lot, especially where all anyone talks about on the internet & on TV & in magazines, radio, newspapers is how great Monomoy is, anybody you talk to about saltwater fly fishing asks you about Monomoy, Monomoy, Monomoy!!!

Think about how the Big Girl bar got ruined. While it is a place people have fished for years, board members here fished it, posted about their success and then the next weekend there's 40 people out there. People have no concept of the number of lurkers who just blow through these web sites looking for info to feed their need to catch stripers.

.I'll say it again for effect: People have no concept of the number of lurkers who just blow through these web sites!!

So what do you do? Not post? Then you aren't helping others and probably won't learn from others yourself. Randy's posts are entertaining & educational but I think they also are going to lead to the demise of the quality of Monomoy - just like all of our posting is.

There's a lot of people out there, it's growing & becoming more crowded. I'm sick of fishing an area & being stalked by boats, have plugs land next to me, have someone hike through a lane fish were travelling through, being cut off by guides who see that I'm working/ wading my way up to a productive spot and then they give me crap for "crowding them" - (not Randy by the way)
How about the other night on the Vineyard, we're fishing an area, I'm turned towards the beach tying on a new fly, I see flashlights heading towards us, the guys keep coming, right at me, to the point that they shine their light right in my face, they were no more that 10 yards away, I say" Hey, hows it going?" - silence, no response, the move up the beach 10 yards & start casting, I move around the corner, 50 yards away, 5 minutes later I look to my right and there they are 20 yards away.

Anyone remember the ass last year out on South Beach who tried to tell the commercial clammer, a guy out there making a living, to move because he was in the way of his casting? I wouldn't have blamed that clammer for giving that guy more than the berbal beating he dished out.

Common courtesy is dead in today's world, I think that's all Randy is looking for.

Personally, I think combat fishing is coming and I'm not looking forward to it.
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Old 06-11-2002, 08:25 AM
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Adrian Adrian is offline
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My personal solution is to just hoof it away to some quieter spot. I love sight fishing the flats but when it gets like Times Square I'd rather cross the dunes and fish the surf.

If you are shore guiding and have paying clients then its a difficult situation and a polite request for some elbow room is about all you have.

From experience of making several death marches this season - some intentional, some not if you're prepared to walk 60 mins + more often than not you can find yourself alone.

Juro makes some very valid points on the increasing numbers of people coming onto the flats to fish - many of whom rely on seeing someone hook-up or just go where most anglers are - that must be a good spot mustn't it?

On Salmon rivers, at least back across the pond, the rule of etiquette is make a cast, fish it out then take three paces downstream. The hight of bad manners is "taking root" immediately above a prime holding spot "

Down in the Bahamas the guides literally guard "their" flats and woe betide if they catch you out there with a fly rod. Forget your constitutional or civil rights and due process - chances are they will offer to re-arange a sensitive part of your anatomy with a rusty knife

[Edit: Roop got here just ahead of me]

I hate to be the one to say this but its almost innevitable that as time progresses, the areas being refered to will decline just like they have everywhere else where the pressure gets to be too much.

Then as Yogi Beara would say ....
"Monomoy? Nobody goes there any more, it's too crowded!"
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Last edited by Adrian; 06-11-2002 at 08:30 AM.
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  #10  
Old 06-11-2002, 08:53 AM
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Lefty Lefty is offline
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100 yards is for beach hogs.
But there is plenty of water. You should see the unfished rocky No. Shore. You can have plenty of spots to yourself. Fishing is tougher though. You have to learn to appreciate deep empty water and smaller fish. Then there's the few rivers and estuaries. Lots of boat traffic.
Increasingly, much of the discourse here has been about Cape Cod flats by a small group of semi professionals. There's little to pick up about cliff fishing rocky shorelines for instance.
The Cape is superior for fishing in so many ways, but the White Mts. are closer to me than Cape Cod. It's just not reasonable. The costs of staying there are very high too. So basically my twist (whine) to this is I'm sick of hearing about flats fishing by 6 guys who live on or near the Cape. Let's collectively develop more variety of shore structure elswhere in New England. I could use some help up heah.

Lefty
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Old 06-11-2002, 09:05 AM
steelheadmike steelheadmike is offline
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Randy

Randy,

I think a hundred yards is a not a bad request but its also subjective to the current conditions. I think the burden of what distance another angler should keep from you should be determined by both parties( yourself and the other angler ). How do you deal with the beer swilling yokels up on the Salmon who think because they live in the area they have every right to stomp through the hole and wade out as far as they can all the while sneering and snickering and muttering insults? This is a common occurance up there, how do you deal with them?

In my experience if I see another guy hooking up in close proximity or there is a good pod working regularly in front of the angler, I politely ask if I could squeeze in? Believe it or not 7 out of 10 times most don't have a problem if I get a little closer. But if the angler feels I will spook the fish or push them farther out and he voices his concern I certainly stay put and mind my P's & Q's. I may not like it but one does need to be respectful of anothers space and good fortune. Perhaps a better approach would be if the angler does not ask if he can "push" in, tell him ahead of time where he can / should wade by giving a little positive reinforcement ( most guys would certainly listen to a well respected guide like yourself ). A good example would be if you see a guy plundering towards "the honey hole" tell him politelely that the fish are close and if he wades any further he may chase them off and make "his" chances a little more difficult. Note that I said "his" chances, not yours. Honestly most people could give a hoot about you, all they care about is themselves. By wording your warning in a way that they think that if they go any further it will cause "them" to go fishless, most guys would stop dead in their tracks especially if its coming from a Top Guide in the area.

All in all 100 yards is not a crazy request but 50-70 should be appropriate barring the instance that the wader is not charging through the water like a crazed Water Buffalo inwich some friendly advice and instruction could really help the situation. Not only for your paying client but to the other angler who will now have some valuable knowledge that he could apply to future situations. The best part of it is that he learned something from one the best and did not have to pay for the tip.
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  #12  
Old 06-11-2002, 02:07 PM
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Doublespey Doublespey is offline
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Talking I Love This!

It gives me some perspective in that it's happening to all flyfishermen - EVERYWHERE (except for those that fish for Carp or other non-mainstream sportsfish).

This same argument has raged on the PNW rivers for the last several years and, as Juro pointed out, there are definitely similarities.

Some people like crowds and seem to view fishing as a "social" sport. The just LOVE to come up and talk to you -fish beside you- ask you what you're using. If you enjoy it as well, fine and dandy. There's absolutely nothing wrong with this - in fact, it's probably the most adaptive attitude to have these days.

But if that's not your speed ???

Others (myself included) view fishing as an essentially solitary activity - myself, nature, and the fish. Not that I don't enjoy company (some of my best friends are my fishing buds), it's just that it's not a necessary part of my fishing. I can have a fabulous day on an isolated river or beach catching fish after fish with nobody in sight!

When I get crowded, I usually leave. Very simply, I've had too many negative interactions (even when I've gone out of my way to be accomodating) to want to ruin the rest of a potentially enjoyable day on the water arguing with some jerk. I want my flyfishing time to be relaxing (with moments of exhiliration), not frustrating (with moments of violent anger)!

And the rare times I venture into the Combat Zone, I know what I'm in for and act accordingly!

Guides have the toughest time. Most started fishing these rivers-beaches-flats when the *weren't* crowded. They have an expectation of providing their clients a quality experience, but the crowds (and seemingly inescapable eroding of Fishing Space and competetive tendencies they bring with them) can make this difficult. Of all the guides (and clients) I know, I can't think of one that likes combat situations while doing their guide/client thang.

Randy - my advice is to adapt. The guides I've talked to out here either (1) find new (less popular) places to fish or (2) adapted their times (only fishing on weekdays, etc) to avoid the worst crowds.

The one Bright Light at the end of the Tunnel?? Eventually, the hordes make it so unpleasant to fish these spots that large #s will leave. There will then be a window when the guy at the flyshop says, "Oh yeah . . . I remember when I used to fish Monomoy. But I don't go there anymore because of X . Y . Z " Fishing will be good - till the word gets out.

Best of Luck!

Brian aka Doublespey
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  #13  
Old 06-11-2002, 03:00 PM
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Brian - Well stated

Yep I am with you Brian, as you state below, that is genereally what I do. Most of my best days have been all by myself with no witnesses.

"Others (myself included) view fishing as an essentially solitary activity - myself, nature, and the fish. Not that I don't enjoy company (some of my best friends are my fishing buds), it's just that it's not a necessary part of my fishing. I can have a fabulous day on an isolated river or beach catching fish after fish with nobody in sight!

When I get crowded, I usually leave. Very simply, I've had too many negative interactions (even when I've gone out of my way to be accomodating) to want to ruin the rest of a potentially enjoyable day on the water arguing with some jerk. I want my flyfishing time to be relaxing (with moments of exhiliration), not frustrating (with moments of violent anger)!

And the rare times I venture into the Combat Zone, I know what I'm in for and act accordingly! "
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Old 06-11-2002, 04:27 PM
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Quentin Quentin is offline
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My thoughts on the 100 yd rule? It really depends on the situation. No crowds? Great! A few people around? Maybe 50yds is enough. Then again, sometimes even 30 ft isn't possible unless people take turns. I prefer to stay far away from other anglers if possible. I think many other fishermen feel the same way. If it's crowded, I either deal with it or go elsewhere. If I "have" to crowd someone I talk to them and make sure I'm not messing them up.

If the influx of fishermen is primarily due to people reading the reports on the internet, then those fishermen will most likely read the messages about having a little courtesy, not wading too deep, standing in travel lanes, etc, etc. If they don't already know these things, then maybe they will learn from the messages and become better fishermen as a result. If I'm screwing things up, I would want someone to tell me! And I'd hope that they would explain what I'm doing wrong and not just tell me to move!

I just had my first adventure on the flats. At first, I was definitely one of those guys who was trying to ruin the fishing for myself and possibly others. I wasn't crowding anybody but I was wading out too far and thrashing the water with my fly line. I quickly discovered that I was too deep (mid thigh) when I started seeing fish behind me, so I backed up. Still, even after I knew that I should stay shallow, I'd head for the deep water if I didn't see any fish for a while. Then they'd appear beside or behind me again. I've read about it, had people tell me about it, and even seen it for myself, but I still kept thinking "they must be in deeper water". It's a tough habit to break!

As for the thrashing line, well, lets just say that I'm working on it! :hehe:

Q
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Old 06-11-2002, 04:46 PM
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Q said it all...I suspect the folks who have not sight fished these flats don't have this particular "big picture"...One visit is worth 1000 words...and each return is an ongoing education.
Randy...I feel your pain and it stinks...(next time I won't stand so close)...
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