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View Full Version : Tailwater etiquette


silvercreek
12-10-2009, 02:07 PM
Jeffnles1 brings up an interesting subject in another post. Just how close is too close to another angler when fishing some of the crowded tailwaters? What do you folks think?

Grannyknot
12-10-2009, 02:23 PM
I can't cast very far, but I always make sure I can't touch the nearest person with my best cast.

That being said....on the Clinch, I never fish the popular areas, so it's generally not an issue. The salmon run just below the weir dam is not my idea of a good time.

Something I would like to know is....what courtesies should be afforded to wading fishermen when you drift by in a boat, canoe, or kayak....and what courtesies should waders afford to a nearby boater?

fishingman62
12-10-2009, 03:05 PM
grannyknot if i'm drifting in a boat i usally look to see which way a wade fisherman is fishing then go the opposite side if the wayer level allows it...never fish a wade fishermans run as you drift through it ... if you have to drift through his run due to water level just be curtious and say we'll be out of her in a min and say your sorry ...drift through as quickly as possible and try not to disturb the run with boat noise...as mostly a wade fisherman i don't get upset if a boat drifts by as long as the do the things i talked about above....very curtious people in boats will ask which side you want them to go around you on and i will even tell them if the water depth is deep enoughto go around me ...as for motor boats they should cut there speed back and go by wade fisherman at an idle....nothing makes me more angry than a motor boat going by me at high speed creating a large wake and disturbing the run i am fishing...i belive a wade fisherman has the right of way so to speak as he was there before the boat came by..thats my two cents on the issue some wiil agree some may not...it really all boils down to being curtious of all people on the river ...
dan

GrouseMan77
12-10-2009, 03:06 PM
I find that most anglers do me the courtesy of crowding the tail waters and avoiding the freestone streams (at least the areas I fish). I very much appreciate this. ;)

I am with Grannyknot on not fishing the popular areas…can’t stand to have some idiot pouring corn out a few yards above me. I don’t mind the spin fishermen just the stupid spin fishermen.

Great question on the courtesies involving boats and waders. I hope some of the members who are guides answer this one... since they are the professionals.

Melvin_S
12-10-2009, 03:46 PM
Hello there! I've been reading this board for quite sometime but I've never posted. This is a pretty interesting topic. Personally, I think it's better to run at planing speed and give the wader or other boat as wide a berth as possible. In a lot of the tailwaters around TN there's too much current to idle and get anywhere. Most of the time I end up kicking out a bigger wake trying to idle past someone than I do if I were just to run around them. I hate making people upset but it's just my two cents. Nice to know you all!

waterwolf
12-10-2009, 03:46 PM
Depends on the water. Wading on the Clinch where you have ledges which run across the river, leave another fisherman the ledge they are fishing as well as the one above and below. If no ledges are present then give them 100 yard radius, but don't cut them off if they are fishing a trench, or pool.

If floating, always try to go behind wade fisherman, sometimes it is not possible. Do not fish 100 yards above or below, afterall you are floating and have miles to cover, while they only have what is around them to fish.

Other boats: and this is where I see the worst ettiquette.
-----DO NOT ROW DOWNSTREAM OF ANOTHER FLOATER, AND BEGIN FISHING WITHING SEVERAL HUNDERED YARDS. CALLED HOTHOLING, AND WILL GET YOU RIPPED BY THE OTHER BOAT MORE TIMES THEN NOT.
------ DO NOT WAIT UNTIL A DRIFTING BOAT APPROACHES TO WITHING 100 YARDS AND RIP THE ANCHOR UP JUST TO STAY IN FRONT. IF A BOAT GETS WITHIN 100 YARDS THEN LET THEM PASS, BUT DO NOT HOP SCOTCH DOWN THE RIVER, JUST STAYING IN FRONT.
-------DO NOT FISH WITHING 150 YARDS OF ANOTHER BOAT WHICH IS DRIFITING, IT IS JUST COMMON COURTESY.
-------DO NOT DILLY DALLY AT THE FREAKING BOAT RAMP-WIPING BOATS OFF OR JUST GENERALLY BEING SLOW. IF YOU CAN'T BACK A TRAILER WAIT TILL EVERYONE IS IN, THEN LAUNCH.
-------WHEN ROWING PAST ANOTHER BOAT WHICH IS ANCHORED, DO SO QUIETLY AND GIVE THE OTHER BOAT AS MUCH ROOM AS POSSIBLE. DO NOT FISH ALL AROUND ANOTHER BOAT, IT IS COMMON SENSE.

I could go on and on, but generally, think about what would agitate you, and use that as a general rule. One other thing, be friendly to others on the river. Even, I, who am an arrogant arsehole, generally wave and say high to others on the river. It isn't that hard and makes everything more fun and less tense between fellow anglers.

MadisonBoats
12-10-2009, 08:13 PM
Waterwolf, where have you been hiding?:biggrin:

I like most of your points. However, 100 yards is a tough radius to stay out of...even on the Clinch.

*One thing that I find funny is that I often get drift boats following me and I will get out of the way to let them pass. They slow down and hang around. Then, once I get going they are on my tail again. That bothers the heck out of me...:rolleyes:

Rick_in_AL
12-10-2009, 09:32 PM
When I'm wading, I don't mind any boat drifting through. I think walking on the bottom disturbs the fish more than a boat drifting by. I recently had a boat drift up and stop, in between me and the rising fish I was casting to. Just stopped with their backs to me and started throwing their spinner baits at the same fish. I stopped fishing and just held my rod to the side and watched them for a minute. When one of them finally had the nerve to look over his shoulder at me, they decided to mosey on past.

Lucky for them I'm a gentleman.

waterwolf
12-11-2009, 12:03 AM
Waterwolf, where have you been hiding?:biggrin:

I like most of your points. However, 100 yards is a tough radius to stay out of...even on the Clinch.

*One thing that I find funny is that I often get drift boats following me and I will get out of the way to let them pass. They slow down and hang around. Then, once I get going they are on my tail again. That bothers the heck out of me...:rolleyes:
It is a tough radius, but if you think about 3 fly line lengths it really isn't that far. There will always be times and places when it isn't possible, but if folks went to the river with that in mind life sure would be pleasant.

If you were to pull over for me, I assure you I would go by and not stop until the boat ramp. I will not ride someones tail, can't stand it. And know it does nothing to help me out, and is a pain for them as well.

DarrinG
12-11-2009, 02:30 AM
Go to the Watauga in mid-summer, down the Trophy Section....and you'll see some of the worst etiquette you'll ever see, from guides too.
I've actually had a guide with clients pass my anchored boat, go 30 yards below and drop anchor and tell his client in the back seat to cast up to the rising fish....the same fish we were targeting. I'm not kidding. The 2 fishermen in his boat seemed "green" and like they honestly didn't know any better, and since their guide told them to, I guess they thought it was normal and fine. I could not hold it against them, but felt like knocking the guide in the back of the head with an oar. Very poor etiquette, especially to be showing with clients on board, and seemingly new fishermen at that.

I float fish an average of 1-2 days a week in decent weather. A little etiquette goes a long way.

My opinions:
Wade fishermen always have the right-of-way. Always. They do not have the ability to drift over deep pools and cover water as efficiently as a fisherman in a boat. I always stop above them and wait until they reel in or stop to tie on a new fly, and then yell to them and ask if they mind if I pass them, and which side they would prefer me to pass. There are runs where the water is only deep enough to drift through in one particular spot and leaves no choice where to go through, and most wade fishermen understand that. Go through as quietly as possible and thank them for allowing you to go through their run. Drift downriver a decent way before restarting to fish, leaving them room to work down.

Approaching another drift boat...same etiquette. Always ask before passing them, and ask which side they would prefer you to pass...if possible.

Never anchor up at the bottom of a chute where other boats cannot pass by. I had a fella anchor down right smack in the only run deep enough to pass at the bottom of a rapid and he just sat there and would not move. I sat above the run for over 1/2 hour waiting on him to move. More than once, after 1/2 hour, I yelled to ask him if I could pass and he refused to answer me and refused to move. So I waited,....and waited. I finally had to yell to him I was coming through and if he didnt want our boats to collide, he needed to at least move to the side of the only run deep enough to make it through. He moved about 4 feet and when I came through, our boats lacked about 6 inches of scraping. Terrible stream etiquette.

Everyone is there on the river to enjoy what God has so graciously provided for us to enjoy. No one owns the rivers and waters, they belong to God. There's no sense in having bad manners on the river and to offend other fishermen and ruin someone's day. Life is too short, and the rivers are too big. A little kindness goes a long way. By speaking a kind word to someone else fishing, or simply just asking them if I can pass, has resulted in some great conversations with other fishermen, and ultimately, new friendships. More times than once, the conversations and fellowship with other fishermen has trumped the fishing anyday!

Just my $0.02

BlueRaiderFan
12-11-2009, 12:45 PM
Depends on where I am (wading). If I'm below the dam on the Caney, then it's shoulder to shoulder and I just cast across stream. If I'm down in Lancaster, I find the biggest gap and split the difference or if it's really crowded, I go to another spot. As far as boats, I always appreciate it if they give me a shout if I don't notice them (boats can sneak up on you if they aren't talking). If they can, I prefer them to go behind me, if possible. The only boating that bothers me is when a whole group of canoers go single file and about 50ft apart, or the guy that can go anywhere on the river in his boat, because it has a motor, and he chooses to drift down in front of me and others and then power back up and drift down again...over and over...gee thanks. :mad:

Carolina Boy
12-11-2009, 03:03 PM
Maybe i am wrong in doing this but if i am fishing (wade) a run and i see someone moving close i just fire out as long cast a cast as i can (D-haul) to where they can see my range, ususaly that will keep people from getting closer than i can cast. I will say this though when I am walking down stream and past others already fishing I do everything I can to stay out of the water and on the bank so not to disturb their run. Common sense, you would think.

waterwolf
12-11-2009, 03:54 PM
Common sense, you would think.

If people just used this on the river there would never be any run ins. However, too many people have zero common sense.

Grannyknot
12-11-2009, 05:08 PM
Looks like none of us will have the chance to display our good ettiquitte on the Clinch this weekend. :mad:

BlueRaiderFan
12-11-2009, 06:13 PM
Nor the Caney...C'mon Elk! Still haven't released the schedule for Normandy. :cool:

FlyFishingPastor
12-13-2009, 03:12 PM
Unless I have no choice and I mean NO choice, I will leave an area rather than fish even in a couple hundred yards of someone already fishing. I fish to relax. I fish to enjoy the outdoors and to get away from crowds. I'd rather not fish than fish in crowded water. Having said that; as has been mentioned on this thread, a little common sense can go a long way. Why anyone would walk in beside someone who is fishing and begin casting or if in a boat, fish through the hole someone else is already fishing is absolutely beyond me. If I come upon someone fishing a hole, I will get out of the water if at all possible and walk at least 200 yards above them before I get back in the water if I have that option. If not, whether in a boat or wading, I ask permission to float/wade through and ask where they prefer I pass? And, I've waited 30 minutes before fishing through a hole when floating when the fisherman was casting to a rising fish. It was nearly as much fun watching him catch the fish as it would have been to catch it myself. Nearly! :)

A little manners goes a long way when it comes to crowded streams.

Pat