View Full Version : Etiquette

04-16-2008, 08:04 PM
First of all, did I spell "Etiquette" correctly?! Secondly, my question: If I go to a trout river/stream that is already being fished. What is the proper etiqutte(?) when others are around...In other words, who has the right of way (front and back) and why?

04-16-2008, 08:23 PM
First of all, did I spell "Etiquette" correctly?!

According to Bill Gates, you did...now, as for the question, since for the most part everyone is fishing and moving upstream, the trick is to give the fellow ahead of you plenty of room, while getting out from the "used" water. I don't think there's a set rule for how far - I've heard a couple hundred yards a few times, but the point is not to swoop down right on top of him. There's usually plenty of stream to go around.

David Knapp
04-16-2008, 08:52 PM
That really depends on what stream/river you are fishing. On a river like the SoHo, I'd be really happy if I had 100 yards of water to myself which probably won't happen in the areas with heavier traffic. In some of these places 100-150 feet is a lot. Same thing on my home river, the Caney Fork. Usually 100 feet of water is a lot. I've had people fish to just above, wade around behind me, and get in just below me and keep fishing down. However, if I'm fishing LR above Elkmont and see someone getting in the water 100 yards in front of me, I'll probably feel crowded and get out and walk a few miles...:rolleyes: Smaller streams, try to walk at least 10-15 minutes past someone before getting in and at the least, don't jump in just above them within sight... On a larger trout stream that is crowded, observe what everyone else seems to be doing and give a little extra...

04-16-2008, 09:15 PM
I had to post again - I just noticed my total posts - ugly number....not having sampled the tailwaters, I knew they were busy, but I didn't think THAT busy. I really haven't had any problems in the park at all - there are so many streams to pick from, and I tend to gravitate to the isolated corners of the park to begin with. It's a lot better than fishing the marsh down here on a weekend - if someone sees your rod doubled over, the armada will be there soon. I've seen some really disgusting behavior, most of it barley-fueled, no doubt. It's a little tough to hike, flyfish, and not spill your beer ;).

04-16-2008, 09:50 PM
Interesting...Another question...What's "SoHO" and how do you fish the Caney Fork. It's so deep. I've tried below Center Hill ****, but there doesn't seem to be a lot going on.

04-16-2008, 09:58 PM
Ahhh, yes - combat fishing at its finest...the Tailwater Two Step - the dance we all know well if you're a seasonal veteran of any tailwater and somehow forgot to bring your own rock...or the Clinch River Shuffle as I like to call it when you are finally in a nice hole and even though you are withing a double haul of the next angler - someone manages still to squeeze into the gap between and try to muscle you out...it happens way too much...I had someone last year drift his minnow from upstream into the run I was fishing only to drag out a feeding brown I was after...

but I think most people work thier way upstream and so if see people, I'll move well way up to give them plenty of space to begin with so that by time they get to where I've put in I'm long gone and the waters been rested. Normally though in the Park, I'll just move on to a new location - on a Tailwater, it can be an operation in tactical wading maneuvers, but being civil and having basic manners should apply even if the other anger doesn't...often if a space is open near someone else and options are limited for whatever reason, I'll politely ask to fish that spot...if not I'll move on till I can wet my fly...

David Knapp
04-16-2008, 10:01 PM
BlueRaiderFan, SoHo is short for South Holston River in Upper East Tennessee. The Caney is an excellent river but they've been generating heavily for awhile now...:mad: Usual game on that river is midges... If you ever want to meet up I'd be glad to show you some spots on the Caney if they ever stop generating...

04-16-2008, 10:41 PM

Are you fishing the park this weekend? If you are, and you see a raggedy band of 3 girls and a harried middle-aged guy with a 2wt, you will have found us. Not sure exactly where we're fishing, although I'm sure we'll hit Straight Fork at some point.

David Knapp
04-16-2008, 10:54 PM
IJsouth, I am but I'm not sure of the details yet, probably staying at Cades Cove or Elkmont but may end up packing in. I may head over to the NC side as well for a day to check things out. Shoot me an email and let me know what you're driving. Also, if you'll be fishing LR any and want company let me know...

04-16-2008, 11:09 PM
Sounds like there's gonna be quite a few out and about this weekend, I'll be out and about somewhere as we're staying in G-burg this weekend...don't know exact plan yet, but will probably run into some of ya...if you see some goober in a camo shirt with a goofy grin sittin' on a greyback staring at a the water's edge with rod in hand, havin' the time of his life,...we'll that be me 'cuz I'm finally able to be out in the elements where I belong...

04-16-2008, 11:09 PM
I would think it would be best to watch anyone already fishing before assuming they are fishing one direction or another.

Three weeks ago I was fishing one of my favorite roadside Little River spots with a dry and a nymph dropper. I had just rigged up and began to fish with the intention of actually fishing downstream or with the current. No sooner did I begin to fish and move that way only to have another car pull up, the driver and his son get out and move about 20 to 30 yards ahead of me in the direction I was heading. I have to admit I was tempted to be quite angry, but tried to extend mercy and just didn't say anything. I later spoke with the fellow and discovered he evidently knew enough about fishing that he should've known and done better so at this point I figured it would be useless to complain.

Now as a result of this interruption, I decided to fish upstream and caught a nice, nearly foot long Brown. On top of that as I released the Brown that I caught, an Otter appeared to afford me a bit of impromptu entertainment. All in all things worked out, but it would be nice if folks asked before stepping in or at least observed a few minutes before they made an assumption and irritated or frustrated other folks.


04-16-2008, 11:13 PM
Mail on the way....

04-16-2008, 11:22 PM
I may dust off the trout fly boxes this weekend also. I hiked up Lynn camp prong last weekend with my son to check out the water. I feel the need to throw some dries to brookies , so you may see me (red jeep cherokee) somewhere in the park also.

I don't usually spend much time on the trout tailwaters anymore due to the combat fishing. Too many other places to spend the day casting a line and relaxing than to get worked up over having enough space. I went up to the SoHo last fall and fished with several fishermen from the CFF below the grates.
At one point, there must have been 100 people up and down the river. The big browns were really being pressured by constant wading and casting while they were trying to spawn. Fishermen were wading through each others areas and tangling lines on backcast. I haven't been back since.

04-17-2008, 12:40 AM
We might hit Lynn Camp too...we caught some nice fish there last time, and if there's ever a stream where one can have no qualms about keeping a few fish, it's there - at least until they close it later this year.

04-17-2008, 01:44 AM
No reason to go to Straight Fork this weekend, at all...no fish anywhere...none:rolleyes:

04-17-2008, 05:29 AM
I have found that one of the best, most polite things you can do is just ask the other angler. Usually you will work out a nice compromise. Then you can also find out what water he has fished and when, which will help determine where you want to start fishing.

04-17-2008, 06:04 AM
Asking probably is the best way to do it as, like the poster above said, most anglers will come to a compromise with you. I don't really come across too many other anglers while fishing, but i generally just try and do the old saying "treat others like you would want to be treated." So whatever i think is a good distance for someone to fish from me is the distance i give them, which is a pretty good ways.


04-17-2008, 07:46 AM
Several times when I've asked whether a person is going down or up, and how far, I get some info on what's going on insect-wise. I've even traded some flies & info and met some fishing buddies this way.

04-17-2008, 08:35 AM
Hey Gary, check your email...

04-17-2008, 09:15 AM
BlueRaiderFan, SoHo is short for South Holston River in Upper East Tennessee. The Caney is an excellent river but they've been generating heavily for awhile now...:mad: Usual game on that river is midges... If you ever want to meet up I'd be glad to show you some spots on the Caney if they ever stop generating...

Absolutely, I live in Nashville, so I am close to the CF, but don't really know where to go other than the ****. At th is point, I plan on fishing about 4-5 times a year (With gas and campig/cabin fees etc I can't go much more), but the CF is so close, I can do a day trip.

04-17-2008, 09:37 AM
I hate to sound like the @$$ of the group, but if I can see you or even sense your presence, you're too close for me. I will get out and move at least 15-20 minutes away. However, I always assume that I have caught-up to you and not that you have jumped in in-front of me. I like to cover alot of water and move upstream fast. I have never had anyone get in the stream within sight of me. Most of the places I go, are places where people go to get away from other fishermen.

David Knapp
04-17-2008, 10:06 AM
BlueRaiderFan, just send me an email and whenever they stop running a lot of water we'll try to work something out...

04-17-2008, 07:54 PM
I put my time in walking when I go fishing, so when I see someone jump in within sight, it gets kinda frustrating....I usually give at least a 20 minute walk if I see someone in the creek, usually more...

04-17-2008, 10:36 PM
I guess I'm the outcast here. As long as the guy isn't "pay laking" me by fishing the same pool, I don't really mind. He paid his license the same as me. If he goes in a couple or so runs above me, I'll fish to where he went in and leap frog on up the stream. I've met some pretty decent folks along the streams and just don't see any good reason to get all upset about something while I'm out fishing.

My job and life is stressful enough. I don't need to let myself get stressed out fishing.


04-18-2008, 01:27 PM
BlueRaiderFan, just send me an email and whenever they stop running a lot of water we'll try to work something out...

I sent you an e mail.


David Knapp
04-18-2008, 03:48 PM
Blueraider, for whatever reason your email was in my junk folder...I got it and replied so if you haven't got it, you might want to check the junk/spam folder...

04-18-2008, 09:07 PM
Everyone has experienced, and yes, a large number of my fellow fly fishers have written about what is and what should be proper fly fishing edict on our (sometimes over crowded ) streams.

There is always a caveat, that when I fish the Salmon River in Upstate New York it is an excepted practice to jump in on someone, where in Pennsylvania (or the Smokies) it would be an out rage and not tolerated in the least.

Not long ago while working a small section of a New Jersey stream, I happened to notice a young man working his way up stream while I was working my way down stream, as we continued to fish I kept an eye on him and I assume he did the same to me. It wasnít long before we got closer and closer to each other, when we were approximately 50 meters away from each other I decided to change flies. While changing my fly I happened to lose track of this man and after a few casts I noticed he was gone. A few casts later he appeared up stream 30 meters away. I waited till he was at the end of his first cast and drift and raise my hand for attention, when he noticed my signal I gave the young man a salute of thanks and received a wave in return.

Fishing etiquette prescribes that the fly fisher moving up stream has the right of way. If he had not exited the stream, I was about to and walk around him down stream to continue fishing.

You always find people that are rude on the stream, so when you meet up with someone that is as polite as you, you tend to remember it more than the other's.

AK Skim

04-19-2008, 03:55 PM
Sometimes this space is dependent on the angler. I swear that I was far enough away from this one guy not to effect fishing, but he kept moving any time he could see another angler. Sometimes I think as long as you scare the fish down my way it will be fine. The fish really own the waters, they learn where the danger is and where the food is. The bit of deception that angler provides is really matched with a fair anount of luck. But some people still like to feel sneaky and articulate when hunting a catch, or just simply need total quiet to do their thinking.

04-20-2008, 03:48 PM
2 thursdays ago I was asking myself this exact question. I fished the middle prong and was "cut" off 3 different times in 2 and 1/2 hours of fishing. All three times I watched the person pass on the road and pull off within sight of me.It was starting to get alittle annoying but I figured everyone else was out enjoying the day just like I was but I prefer to be alone. Not exactly possible when you are fishing easy access places. That's why I work hard to find places that are harder to get to.