|As summer arrives the number of fishermen on public waters
rises dramatically. Unfortunately, some anglers have never been taught basic
One aspect of fishing most of us enjoy is the peace, quiet and solitude the sport offers. It should be obvious that you need to give fellow anglers as much space as possible. If you see someone fishing a pool and there is no one else in sight, keep looking for an unoccupied stretch of water. Try to work a section of stream as far from the nearest angler as possible. For example, if someone's at the head of the pool, then try the working the foot. If you can't find room on the best runs, get creative by searching for water that other anglers might overlook.
The first person in a given location has the right to fish that spot. If you want to fish it you'll simply have to wait. Trying to nudge him or her out by getting within casting distance is a serious breach of etiquette. If the individual is not fishing (they may be resting the hole) you must ask permission to fish. On the other hand, don't hog a good spot. I've all seen anglers camp out on a particularly good hole for hours at a time - very bad form. Even worse, are guides with clients that tag team holes as they work their way down river.
If someone is working up-stream towards a good lie never ever step in front of the angler. I've had this happen and it's the height of rudeness. If an angler is working upstream and you're working downstream he or she has the right of way. Retire from the water and circle around him. If you're not sure which direction the angler intends to fish, ask. Most people won't mind if you fish the water that they already covered.
Never wade or maneuver a boat through a spot other fishermen are working.
Circle around them, get behind them, move to the far side of the river,
or wait. I've seen this happen numerous times. There is no excuse for
such behavior. Several years ago on the Bighorn River I was floating down
a side channel when I encountered a guide and his clients. There was no
good way get around them without disturbing their fishing so I pulled
over and walked down the bank to speak to the guide. He informed me that
they would be done in about 15 minutes. I waited and then floated through
the lie when they signaled it was ok. Later in the day, the guide stopped
while I was having lunch and thanked me for my courtesy and suggested
a spot I should try later in the day.