What waters are you fishing in Utah ? to the Forum.
Thanks Paul! I live in Northern Utah and there are a couple rivers close to me. I primarily spend my time on the Ogden, South Fork of the Ogden and the Weber. When I can get further from home I like the Green, Greys, Hamms fork and everything in the greater Yellowstone area. I also do a lot of backpacking/Flyfishing. Love those solitary high country lakes and streams.
In Colorado I have been taught that the water belongs to everyone, but the land on both sides and the river bottom belongs to the land owner. You can float through private property and fish so long as you or your craft do not touch the stream bed or the stream banks.
If I had some private water, I would allow fellow fishermen to use my land - flies and lures only and C&R would be mandatory.
"By the time I was a teenager I fit the standard profile of a lifelong angler. I was lazy, shiftless, unambitious and willing to work hard only at things that were widely considered useless." ~John Gierach
Location: beside the AuSable River in northern Michigan
Re: Am I a hypocrite, a little selfish maybe?
A little over 35 years ago, Michigan faced a similar problem. As "clubs" with huge tracts of land began selling off fringe parcels of their properties, the new riverfront property holders didn't quite get the whole "fly-fishing" crowd and the "violating" of their stretch of this or that river. The premise of high-water marks, "public waters equals public access" that had long been the norm in the state was put to the test in a number of court battles. Always, the accessibility issue was upheld by the legal system, and Michigan continues to have outstanding public access to its waterways.
That said, I'll qualify it a bit more with the fact that I could understand some of the frustrations of a few of the "new" landowners. Even some 30+ years ago, the "common sense/common courtesy rules" began to erode. A handful of anglers would march through somebody's property to access the river without taking the time to knock on the door and ask... just because they'd always had permission from the old landowners. Then, to add insult to injury, "discards" such as tippet wrappers, cans and the like were left laying around. The "thoughtless few" cast a bad light on all us fly anglers, and the landowners struck back.
Fortunately-- and I'm talking more about my beloved AuSable River than anywhere else --angling groups like the local Trout Unlimited chapters, the Michigan Fly Fishing Club and the Anglers of the AuSable came to be-- the latter spear-headed and driven for years by the late Calvin R. "Rusty" Gates, Jr. --and changes started taking place. The groups were instrumental in changing the opinions held by some landowners through efforts like annual river clean-ups, bank stabilizations and the like. And, the general consensus that we had to "police" our own ranks astream became more of a reality, thereby smoothing out things in many areas and shrinking more than a few court dockets.
Group involvement and cooperative efforts between all parties are almost always positive things. At times, whether we like it or not, keeping the relationship channels open between anglers and landowners is akin to a good bit of PR work. While the acess laws of the state are on our side, it never hurts to cultivate a little good will along the way...
Even though I believe that everyone is entitled to have access to water to fish we must ALL obey the law and rights of land owners when it comes down to "posted" land. There are a number of sportsmen both in fishing and hunting who have ignored these laws and rights and give the sport a bad name. A simple knock on the door to ask permission and another knock when leaving to say thank you has never hurt my relationship with the valley landowners and farmers. I have always supported organizations like Trout Unlimited and The Salmon Federation with a membership. It's in your best interest to do so. JMHO
Even though I believe that everyone is entitled to have access to water to fish
A simple knock on the door to ask permission
But what if the landowner says "Get off my private property now, or I will shoot you!" "I want to catch all the fish myself ...... I'm a rich guy, and we have capitalism in the US, are you a socialist or something?"
Hi all, my name is Kelly and I am new to the site. I'm 36 from northern Utah and I have been fly fishing since that day in Boy Scouts when I picked up my dads fly rod with the automatic reel and began my life long obsession. As some of you may know, there is a stream access battle going on here in the sometimes fine state of Utah. Since the beginning I have been a strong supporter of stream access in this state. From Utah's beginning it has been said that the rivers and streams in Utah will always belong to the public. A lot of river miles have been taken away from me and my fellow Utah fly fishermen. Sometimes I find myself being a little philosophical. I often ask myself, "if I owned some property that had a few miles of blue ribbon trout stream running through it, would I allow everyone and anyone to come fish?" I think it's quite possible that I would have a problem with that. But as a non-property owning fly fisherman, I feel I have the right to fish the public waters and public fish that my tax dollars and license fees pay for, no matter who ownes the substrate beneath. Selfish, hypocritical..... maybe. I guess for now I will follow my belief that the waters should be public. Chances are i will never be faced with the decision to allow fishermen on my land.
IMO it depends on which side of the fence you are on. As a non land owner, you want access, as a land owner, you want to keep it all to yourself or allow access to some friends. Allowing open/public access to your property is a good thing but someone or several would eventually abuse your generosity and you would then be forced to close your property to the public.
There is an ongoing debate here in E TN about TVA easements on the lakes created by TVA dams. Some lake front property owners that have docks don't mind you fishing around their docks, but some will come and make noise to scare the fish off. There are some who believe that a boater/pubic also has the right to use the first xx feet of the shoreline as well, whether for camping or having a picnic, etc.(part of the TVA easement), and then the property owners don't wont anyone on their docks/property. I fish around the docks and shoreline, but don't tie up to a dock or go ashore either. I would not be pleased if anyone camped out on my lake front lot with manicured yard and million $$ home if I had one LOL. You can't please all the people all the time.