Hello friendly forum- I have a fishing etiquette topic I'd like to throw open.
Here is the situation:
Through a local forum I "met" a guy who fished locally and he and I decided to meet up and fish last week. So myself and a friend drove to the spot, and the "new" guy met us there in his own ride. We hiked a couple miles in and fished for a few hours, sometimes within eye/ear shot of each other sometimes not. I had a deadline I had to be back home for- and so at a given time I searched out and met up with my friend to leave. But alas we could not locate the guy who wanted to fish with us, who had driven himself and met us there. On the hike in he told us he had fished this area almost every day last year and knew it like the back of his hand.
We went up and downstream about 1/4 mile each way to no avail, could not locate him. We shouted, etc. Ultimately we left the river with no sign of the guy.
Should we have stayed until we found him? Leave a note on his truck windshield? We should have made a "separation" plan I suppose. I had a hard time mentally when we left: what if something happened to him, what if he needed help, what if he thought we were "missing" and went looking for us, who knows. It's fairly remote- dirt road, no cell service etc...
The next day we touched base via text and he apologized for getting separated and wondered how we did fishing- and I did the same. I suppose all is well that ends well.
What is the accepted etiquette on this? I'd love to hear opinions.
DM when fishing with me up-north would routinely wander off into some areas where you could get seriously hurt, let alone he has no sense of direction and was already turned around and lost....However, though we were supposed to fish together when I called to him and finally found him, he was nothing short of P.O.d that I bothered him.
There are many reasons to 'get to know your fishing buddy' first, your situation above just one of them. Rest assured however, the second you think they won't care they will, and the second you think they will they won't....Your thinking as to "a plan" the best you can do. Though know many will just go do their own thing no matter what.
Interesting scenario, and I'm sure it's played out time after time.
I think a note on the windshield would've been extremely nice, although NOT doing it would also be pretty normal as well.
That's one of the few idiosyncrasies that I found that I don't see when fishing with my bass fishing buds.
When fly fishing, you tend to get separated a lot more. I've been in situations where I used to see my fishing buddy once or twice an hour and never had them within eye sight or ear shot. But, we always made sure we had watched and met at pre-determined spots for lunch, and if we got separated, we always knew what 'checkout' time was, and we'd meet back up at the parking spot or trailhead out. I think the fact our bodies of water here in SoCal don't warrant fishing shoulder to shoulder.
I don't think it's a problem of etiquette...common sense and a bit of intelligence tell you what to do...it's really silly to leave people without warning.I would have been very worried (you never know what may happen on the water) and then very angry the next day...
I know just how you felt. Once you experience it the first time, you will then be the one who others think is the PITA, when you ask everyone, where and when we are meeting up again! Because we do backcountry stuff year round, it is really second nature to have plans in place but not everyone you will fish with thinks in those terms so it becomes even more of a priority to nail it down with someone you don't know well. The buds you fish/ ski with regularly you may be able to predict their actions, but it's never good to leave it to chance. I'm sure that I would have left a note on the windshield saying sorry to leave you , I had to go..but the fact that your vehicle was gone would have let him know that YOU made it out ok. You are still left to wonder if he did. My DH and I have waterproof Motorolas (you'll notice it in my albums) that we use. We don't always fish in earshot of each other and these have been really handy. Switched to waterproof ones after I dropped one in the river. The first day we ever carried them was the day I broke my leg in the stream 15 minutes after getting there (story told elsewhere). Nice in bear country too.
__________________ I think I fish, in part, because itís an anti-social, bohemian business that, when gone about properly, puts you forever outside the mainstream culture without actually landing you in an institution. ĖJohn Gierach
Never had an issue fishing.. hunting that's different .. generally it was no one goes home until EVERYONE goes home.. but understand hunting Lions and Bears in rough country is very different and we used two way radios to stay in contact.
For my peace of mind.. I would have text him as soon as I had service and said.. please text me back as soon as you get off the mountain so I know you're safe otherwise I will return with help to search for you.
Would have made me and I'm sure him feel better and make sure everyone understands that safety is MOST important
I don't ever remember going fishing when I had a time that I needed to leave. This was a contributing factor to my being single for over 4/5's of my life I do remember once when my buddy Steve went with me to fish back in the 1980's and in the late afternoon he informed me that he had to be home by 6 to help coach a little league team Now 6 is hatch time in the spring and I guess I made it pretty obvious that I wasn't happy seeing fish rising as I drove beside Big Pine Creek for much of the way home......
I left and drove him home and he never did that to me again Even now as a guide I take people anytime between 4:30 AM and 6:00 AM and there is no quitting time. I stay until they are too tired to continue fishing. My best advice would be to only go when there is nothing else on the radar for the next 20 hours.