Jump to content
Maine Fly Fish
Sign in to follow this  
Dirck

Stream Fishing Etiquette

Recommended Posts

What approach is appropriate when entering a stream occupied by another fisherman? I stand on the bank for a few minutes to see which direction the fisherman is moving. If the fisherman is moving upstream I will ask if I can enter the water below him. If moving downstream I ask to enter the water above him. If the fisherman is stationary I ask where is it best for me to enter. 

    I have had success with this approach and hopefully have not pissed off too many fisherman. The key to me is verbal communication including a little fishing chitchat. If not able to verbally communicate I at least make an attempt at eye contact followed by hand signals. 

    If two moving fisherman are already in a stream and one is moving upstream and the other downstream who has the right of way? 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I use the same method you do. It works well and shows you don't want to or plan to invade or interfere with their fishing. 

I have read somewhere about the upstream downstream right of way issue and I believe it was the person going up stream due to the likely hood of the person going downstream kicking up silt etc.. I could be wrong but when in doubt on the water I usually defer to the person who thinks he or she is in the right even if I know better.  I'm not out there to get wound up, I'd rather avoid any conflicts.  I don't want to have a day spoiled by arguing with some stranger on a river.  I'd rather skirt ahead or behind and explore a quieter area

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I basically do as described above but with a couple of exceptions. On my home river I go where there is no one else. If that's not possible I give them about 100 yards or more. Then there's the stream in Maine where there are people on both sides of the stream and every few yards. There I see what the acceptable distance is and try to give the other  person that much and more but still ask if they or OK with me fishing here (pointing to a spot). So far this has worked very well. And as mentioned above, if someone is getting a little testy I say good luck and go else where. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some of the time I'll ask if he's going up or down stream and do the opposite from his answer.

The majority of the time, though, I just go somewhere else. There's always 'somewhere else'.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like you I'll try to avoid wading into the other guy's reacheable territory.   When it gets this hairy...I'll bow out and walk up or downstream wayyy out of the other guys's scheme of things OTHW I'll ask(ie plecain)...makes things a lot easier...but basically when a person is in the water I'd feel comfortable wading in ~30+yds, either upstream or down...but that's on a very, very packed stream/river like the Beaverkill's Cairn's Eddy around 3-4pm in early May(Hendrickson emergence/spinner falls), but I've exited that scene and have returned when everyone has left, after the spinner fall, to hookup with the largest browns around after ~2hrs after everybody has left..along with the sun.   I'll stretch it out further when possible...depending on the size of the stream/river, and then if he/she wants to move...it's a free country, they can move behind me and wade in past me or the other way, but I/you have just as much right to stay where you've waded in.  Just because someone has gotten to the stream at noon....they don't have any advanced reservations to any other part of the stream for 5-8pm.  All we humans are just visitors....any wildlife are the locals.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
57 minutes ago, plecain said:

Some of the time I'll ask if he's going up or down stream and do the opposite from his answer.

The majority of the time, though, I just go somewhere else. There's always 'somewhere else'.

I agree. The "somewhere else" philosophy generally works for me. I don't like to be crowded and don't like to do it to others. 

Ron

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, plecain said:

Some of the time I'll ask if he's going up or down stream and do the opposite from his answer.

The majority of the time, though, I just go somewhere else. There's always 'somewhere else'.

Agree 100%. There is nothing more frustrating then having a person or two come into your stretch and start crowding you. I remember on the Niagra in NY, there were no rules and it was terrible. The centerpinners were the absolute worst. I'd change a fly and they would drift down right to my feet! I'll say, we have it pretty good here in Maine. 1 Person asking if they can fish near you is rare compared to other states and I'm thankful for that. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×