Monday, August 20, 2012

Common Courtesy on the River

Am I getting old? Wait a minute...don't answer that! What I mean is, have angling courtesy and ethics passed me by? What happened to the days of drift boats not fishing over your water? What happened to fishermen asking if it's okay to fish below you? What happened to fishing a run by casting and working your way down through the run in order to let the guy above you work the water? Finally what happened to leaving your dog at home and not playing "fetch" with him by having him swim right through where I am fishing or letting him take a dump right in the middle of the path along the river.  Are we so competitive that in order to have a successful day on the river one must have double-digit hookups. In recent years  I have seen a noticeable lack of courtesy among my fellow anglers and I find it disturbing. Some may say that I should take it upon myself to teach ethics and courtesy to these anglers and instruct them on what is acceptable on the river. Perhaps I should, but I am more likely than not to have an obscenity filled response hurled my direction. So when I encounter this type of behavior I just move on. I am not ready, especially at this stage of my life, to have a physical confrontation with some testosterone poisoned "man-child" on the river bank.
I feel the intense competition to catch a dwindling supply of fish and along with the myriad of chest thumping fish photos on the internet have added to this trend. I am not necessarily singling out gear guys either. With a lot of inexpensive fly gear available it's pretty easy to get on the river with a rod, reel and fly line it's just too bad good fishing manners lessons don't come along with it. I've  have also seen too many times the trampling of chum salmon redds by anglers with the latest Sage Z-Axis rod.
If you are a courteous and ethical angler then good for you! If you think that it's every man for himself then why are you even reading this blog!  Face it sport, the world does not revolve around you!
I found this comment on a popular fishing website awhile sadly says it all 

"I could care less about the science; I could care less about research; I could care less about studies. I wish the wild fish would hurry up and go extinct so we can get back to fishing"

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