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Some Old Guy

Stream/River Etiquette

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Some Old Guy

Submitted by spindilla1

Respect an Angler's Space

This is probably the most violated rule on the river. Many popular sections of a river can be very crowded during the spawning run. Crowding another angler is inconsiderate. If you approach him or her, make sure to ask before moving into the area. Give the angler enough space so the two of you can fish without interference.

Don't Walk into a Run

Nothing aggrevates a veteran steelheader more than another angler walking into a run of fish. Most of the time it's because the person is not familiar with the stream. Most new steelheader's are not yet accustomed to reading water. A common rule I use is "don't go past your knees". Once again, watch where people are fishing. If you're not sure, ask.

Don't Jump into Another Person's Spot

When an angler is fighting a fish, more than often they may have to move from their spot to land the fish. This doesn't mean the space is available, because more than likely the person is coming back.

Don't Play a Foul Hooked Fish

If you foul hook (accidentally snag) a steelhead, snap the line. Tackle is cheap. Most foul hooked steelhead are very difficult to control, resulting in injury or unnecessary stress to the fish. Once foul hooked, they will leap from the water and thrash about, spooking the other fish. If you repeatedly fight foul hooked fish in a crowded section, you'll become very unpopular. Also, you will find most game wardens look at this practice unfavorably.

Tolerate Other Forms of Fishing

This is a never ending debate on the local rivers: fly fishermen Vs bait fishermen. To some anglers, fly fishing is the only way to catch steelhead, because they are a trout. I use both fly and spinning gear. One day, I may use minnows - another day I'll drift nymphs. Nothing gets my blood boiling faster than a loudmouth elitist. There is no better or worse style of fishing for steelhead.

Respect People's Property

This has become a major problem on Lake Erie's tributaries. Every year more and more landowners have posted "No Trespassing" signs on their property because they're fed up with garbage left behind and a general lack of respect. If you come upon a posted property don't trespass. If you want to fish there, ask the landowner. If they say "no" respect their wishes. If they allow you, do something nice in return such as cleaning up garbage along the shore.

Don't Litter

Often when I'm fishing I see garbage everywhere. First of all it's pollutes the environment and it's an eyesore. Some sections of streams have been closed to fishing because landowners were fed up with garbage along their property. Make it a habit to pick up discarded monofilament, cans and other trash, and dispose of them properly.

Questioning Anglers that Keep or Release Fish

There is nothing wrong with keeping a fish. Likewise, there is nothing wrong with releasing your catch. If you see an angler release a nice size fish, it is considered rude to say "Aren't you going to keep that?" or "You should keep that one!".

Give Others Space When Fighting A Fish

Give other anglers enough room to land their catch. If it's necessary, take your line out of the water to give them some space. This may happen when you're fishing down river and another angler has to move down river to land a fish.

Walk Quietly Around Others

Be courteous to those already on the streams. Walk behind other anglers and out of the water if possible. If you must stay in the water, walk with minimum surface disturbance.


R.T.R. Respect the resource!

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