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gjcordray 04-02-2009 06:49 PM

How close is too close?
We have all experienced the joy of having a river to oursleves, and we have all probably had a close encounter with another fisherman who crowded us just a bit too much. The question is, what do you feel is the appropriate amount of space to keep between you and other fly fishers? What is proper etiquette in this case?

Lambster 04-02-2009 08:14 PM

Re: How close is too close?
We do alot of guiding on our home waters with a Driftboat as well as wading, we like to give the other Anglers a good 75 to 100ft. I think common sense should be used in most cases but some folks don't know how to be kind or respectful! I see this all the time!

Jackster 04-02-2009 11:14 PM

Re: How close is too close?
It depends, I've gotten the evil eye when I came within sight of another angler out west yet stood shoulder-to-shoulder during steelhead runs in the midwest.
My rule of thumb is to treat others as you would like to be treated.

rag 04-03-2009 09:22 AM

Re: How close is too close?
Space should be where 2 fihing do not cast into each others area. But if a hundred anglers descend on a stream, then it will be elbow to elbow. That's why I avoid 'opening days.
A friend told me in England, you fish a pool and move through it while the next fellow waits to follow you. Then after exiting, you return along the bank to re-enter the pool for another pass. Kind of cool.

swirlchaser 04-03-2009 02:16 PM

Re: How close is too close?
I don't really have a set distance. I've fished shoulder to shoulder with total strangers on some days and chased away some of my best fishing buddies with "accidental" casts on other days. One of the benefits of being bi-polar I guess:D

Rip Tide 04-03-2009 02:41 PM

Re: How close is too close?
Normally, I don't like to even see anyone else.
On small streams, if I drive up and there's an other car... I keep going.

On the other hand, if I'm fishing a blitz on the beach, I'll call others over to join in on the fun

Frank Whiton 04-04-2009 10:16 AM

Re: How close is too close?
Hi to all,

I think it has a lot to do with where you are fishing. Years ago I can remember fishing the Eel River in Northern California. It was shoulder to shoulder and only one or two fly fishers if any. There was a code that everyone fished. If you hooked up other anglers below you would wind in and you worked you fish below them. If you moved through it just happened. If you were slow moving through you might get a comment or two. After you passed below the line everyone went back to fishing. Your spot would be gone and when someone else hooked up the line would move down and you got back in line.

On other waters like Wyoming were there isn't as many anglers everyone just keeps clear of other anglers. I have a few rules I follow when fishing where there are others.

1. Always be cordial and friendly. Other anglers may be idiots but I don't have to be.

2. Always say hi and ask how they are doing.

3. Never get into the back cast area as you pass by. If there is not room then advise the person fishing you want to pass.

4. When passing a person exit the water and pass on the shore. I never wade up to or behind a person who is fishing.

5. If you pass by a person don't fish the next good looking spot. Save him some water to fish and move further up or down stream.

6. If you are catching fish and someone ask what you are using? Show him the fly and give them a couple.

7. If you find a great pool and someone is sitting on a rock smoking or just relaxing. Assume he is fishing that spot. Don't think it is open just because he is not fishing. He may be resting the spot or watching the fish.

7. If you meet an idiot just move on and don't engage them.

Doing these things has made my fishing more enjoyable. When you fish water elbow to elbow then then the best thing you can do is follow number 1.

glassroddr 04-05-2009 05:45 AM

Re: How close is too close?
Great words of wisdom Frank. Treat everyone with respect. Even when they are being a*&holes. I guess I am very lucky; in all the years I have fished my favorite spots, I only encountered another fisherman and he floated down by me in a canoe. One thing I do is choose which day of the week is best to find solitude. If I go,say on a Monday, I make sure to bring a garbage bag to clean up after the weekend crowd.


jimw 04-05-2009 08:34 AM

Re: How close is too close?
I would say it all depends on the other fisherman, some people a mile is too close, and others shoulder to shoulder is fine!! the salt is a little different from a stream there is usually alot more space on a beach!!

gjcordray 04-05-2009 11:04 AM

Re: How close is too close?
Most of the water I fish in Colorado is, fortunately, excellent water. People schedule their precious vacation time to come sample our rivers and lakes. Unfortunately, that means having to get used to large crowds, and the occasional jerk that can ruin your day if you let him. The great news is, I only encounter about one jerk fisherman a year, and I do tend to let Karma do its trick and choose not engage them. If I am in a high mountain stream, some place that you have to hike into and earn your keep, I will give any other fisherman I come across a very wide berth - I respect their desire for solitutde. If I am fishing the Dream Stream on a Saturday in September, I expect one person about every 50 feet. In those cases, I try not to disturb the water as much, walk well away from the edge of the river when changing holes, and keep my voice way down (unless I catch a hog, then it is hard to contain the joy!).

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