As the sport of fly fishing continues to grow, our waterbodies will see more and more anglers. Some famous rivers during productive times are becoming downright crowded. Working together with other anglers is crucial to ensure everybody has a good day and that the resource remains healthy. Here are some points to consider when fishing crowded rivers.
- Everybody has a right to be there. Just because you may have been fishing a river longer than someone else does not give you more of a right to enjoy a piece of public land. Keep that attitude off the water.
- Crowded is a relative term based on the waterbody. If you are fishing a remote canyon that required a long hike to get in. You want to give fellow anglers more space on the river than say a popular tailwater with a parking lot right next to it.
- When in doubt always ask. If it is crowded out to the point where you have to fish close to someone, reach out to them first. Ask what direction they are moving so that you don’t jump ahead of them. If they are swinging flies, you don’t want to low hole them. If they are fishing dry flies upstream, you don’t want to high hole them. Best way to avoid any confusion is to ask the person who was there first.
- Don’t hog a hole. Early bird does get the worm and right to fish a pool first. That being said, don’t just sit there all day. Thoroughly fish the water you want but then move around so that other people have a chance as well. If someone got to that pool before you, you would appreciate it if they didn’t sit there all day.
- Don’t be afraid to walk away. Unfortunately there are always going to be some people who believe they own the river. I see it more and more every year. If you politely ask to fish above or below someone and they make it clear they do not want you there, I simply find another pool. Time on the water is too precious to be filled with drama. You don’t want that person’s bad juju getting close to you.
Are you frustrated with the amount of crowds on your local river? Reach out to us and we can take you out fishing in some of the most remote and pristine fisheries on the planet 🙂
Previous Timeless Tips:
Great advice! I drove up to my favorite little brookie stream last year. It’s about a two hour drive plus a 30 minute trek up some steep rocky canyon trails. When I got to my favorite spot, there was a couple camping there. I asked if they were fishing the pool and got a nasty reply, even though clearly they were having their morning coffee, not dressed for wading, and no fly rods anywhere in sight.
It put me off a bit, and after telling them I could fish up or down, and getting an even nastier snarky comment from them, I decided f*** it, I can fish another stretch that day. So I walked down to my second favorite spot on that stream, and then proceeded to have the best day ever on that river!
I honestly can’t say I thanked them, but if they ever poach my spot again, maybe I’ll have an even better day.