Preachin’ to the choir…..   6 comments

Hey Folks,

The South Platte is being a bit cranky this week with a lot of shelf, anchor and sheet ice.  I stayed off it this week, but thankfully added another day guiding pheasant hunters. Won’t be long before we start seeing the “big midge”, then Blue Wings, then Caddis.

Can’t wait.  With good weather, plentiful bugs and good flows comes anglers.  Not just any anglers, all anglers.   The hard core guys will simply transisition from less crowds and skinny water, to hordes of river users and run-off.  We’ve all done it before.  Preachin’ to the choir.

Since we are all using the same hymnal, I gotta ask a favor.  Can we all make an effort to educate those around us on river ettiquette?  Anglers, guides, tubers, waders, kayakers, everyone needs to practice better ettiquette. 

I can’t begin to tell you how often I get high or low holed, pinched or proded to leave a run.  I also see anglers and other guide services setting up shop in one run all day.  Do that for a couple days in a row and it destroys the run.  I watched that happen all last year. People catching the same fish twice, foul hooking on purpose,  poaching, walking through runs after they fish it, smashing redds, leaving crap on willows (flies, tippet), trash, I could whine about it all evening.  I know you folks are adding to my list.  Thing is, we all see it, we can all do something about it.

Last fall, being careful to not throw my shadow on the water above a fly fisherman, I politely asked him which direction he planned to fish the river.  He responded, “Right here.”  Ok, I looked at my clients, mustered the politness up again, and said, “I understand, we are trying to determine which way you plan to fish so we give you plenty of room.  He said, “Right here.”  “Suit yourself”, I said as we walked down stream to my favorite run and proceeded to whack fish below this guy. Had he a hair of sense he would have overcome his arrogance and locked up the run he was in and the one below.

I try to give folks the entire run they’re in the straight above or below it (if I can discern which way they are going), and the next bend.  It’s river dependent, but that’s what I try to do.  I (and other guides I know) will do our best to rotate through runs, it’s not unusual to bypass a small seam or two every now and then to try to give the fish a break.  It’s common sense.

To promote common sense it starts with education, and it begins with us.  A few things to remind other anglers about are:

  • Proper fish handling (rubberized net, wet hands, quick, pinch barbs)
  • Pictures (quick, no gills, don’t put them on rocks,snow,ice,grass,etc)
  • Watch released fish swim away
  • Try to keep tangled leader, tippet, etc
  • Pack it out
  • Give folks a smile, and some damn room
  • Don’t cut-off,pinch, or high/low hole
  • Don’t “camp” in a run
  • Stay off redds
  • Don’t disturb fish habitat
  • Report poachers
  • Calm down, fly fishing is fun

Feel free to add some of your own, I’m sure I’ve missed something.  At the end of the day, we need to educate others on proper ettiquette, because nobody else is.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you get bored the next time the snow flies, check out my videos on youtube.  Just google search my name and youtube.  As always, let me know what you think, and share this with your friends!

Fear No Water!

Duane

Posted February 18, 2013 by duaneredford in Uncategorized

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6 responses to “Preachin’ to the choir…..

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  1. rite on D, as Ive only been fly fishing for over a year I’m still learning, thechniques, bugs, lots of stuff, at least I try to learn. It blows me away how frickin arrogant and just plain stupid people get when they put on a pair of waders and hold a fly rod. If u don’t know what a redd is or even a run, ask the guys that know what they’re doing, they’re more than happy to share, if ur not a tool, that’s how Ive learned so much in such a short period of time. Dougie

  2. Well said and well written Duane. Most of the time I try to mind my own business and remain silent. This does nothing to change the “Big Fish Photo at any cost!” mentality. The only way that anglers can change this corrosive behavior is through speaking out against it. I apologize for remaining silent. In the future I will advocate for a return to traditional riverside ethics.

  3. Great blog D! It’s amazing how uneducated most fishermen are to etiquette and simple respect for other fishermen on the river. It amazes me how well most of the F&L guides can handle it. Amazing patience! Could you please post the hymnal sometime. It should be read first thing before you ever get on the river.
    Thanks for making light of the situation. Love it when this stuff is gone through, keep hammering it home!
    Bubba

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