rattlers... what to do?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by mpirak, Feb 22, 2012.

  1. First, let me say that I REALLY do not like snakes, but i do want to take an opportunity to fish E. Wash this year.
    So, I'm at Rocky Ford and walk around a bend and three feet away there is a coiled rattler looking pissed off.
    I see my options as: 1) Faint and hope that fall and crush it first. Or: 2) Get bit and die a slow miserable painful death.

    What other options are available?

    FYI, I don't carry a gun.

  2. start carrying a gun
  3. Walk around him. Snakes are the least of your worries. Watch your feet and you should not have any problems.
  4. I grew up near there and got bit when I was 10yrs old. I'll tell you what NOT to do: try to pick it up.

    They're not going to attack you unless you come after it. The last thing it wants to do is come after you. You have nothing to worry about in the scenario you posted about.
  5. They are not dangerous if you leave them alone, but if you are worried grab a stick and as you give the snake a wide gap as you walk around it, keep the stick extended towards the snake. Don't poke it, just use the stick as a barrier. If for some extremely odd reason the snake does act aggressive it will attack the stick first, you canteen drop the stick and run away. Don't try using your fly rod for this purpose though because fangs can break a rod tip and most warranties won't cover it.
  6. I live in eastern WA and fish quite a bit in snakey areas. I get rattled at with some frequency. I'm usually walking to/from fishing areas when I encounter snakes and typically have a net and/or a fly rod in my hand. I have yet to do anything other than make sure the bastard isn't right in my path and keep moving. The are so well camouflaged that I rarely actually see them.
  7. Rod, tell them about the rattler study.
  8. My experience with rattlesnakes is most of them scurry away. I've only had one stand it's ground and rattle and strike. It was a little one less than 12 inches long. He just wanted to let me know he was a snake.

    Bull snakes look a lot like rattlesnakes and are very aggressive.
  9. Fish in the winter and you don't have to worry about them. Thats what I do
  10. I've lived in Eastern Wa for 37 years, fished a lot at Rocky Ford as well as many other lakes. I've run across my fair share of rattlers, but have never been bitten or even struck at. A friend of mine used to put on hip waders any time we were hiking through the seep lakes.
    Normally, if the snake is not cornered, if it has an escape route, it will not strike. I actually peed on one once. I heard a hiss, and looked down and the snake was about a foot away. I just froze and he slithered away. Just move slowly and watche your step!
  11. I have used a walking stick, and strike the ground in front of me as I walk.
    The snakes feel the vibration and move off.
  12. I'm disappointed, I have lived in Montana for almost 6 years now and have yet to see a live one.

    Of all the times I have fished over on the dry side when I lived in Washington, I never saw them there either. I must be lucky.
  13. Both of these made me laugh.
  14. They should move along, but it's best to keep an eye out for them, and if you spot one, walk around it. A pair of decent snake gaiters are nice as well
  15. Rockyford, was my introduction to Washington Rattlers. the first time i went there i observed the trail along the water was covered with sticks, then as i walked down the trail the sticks all moved off the trail so i could pass, never seen so many snakes and many were rattlers, but it seemed like they were trained or conditioned to people walking by, when i walked back, they were all out on the trail again, and again, moved so i could pass. crazy.
  16. I'm with Gary. I carry a wading staff with me and will tap the ground in front of me as I walk to either let them know I'm coming or maybe they will strike the stick first. I'm worried that they don't always rattle when you stumble upon them.
  17. No, they don't. And they rattle less frequently than they used to. My brother is in grad school at the U of AZ and told me about a research seminar he attended. The short story is that enough of the rattlesnakes that actually rattle at people have been removed from the population that the non-rattlers are more common. I don't know the details about exactly where the research was conducted but just something to consider.
  18. Be glad of that...they grow big there. The Walmart in Helena use to have a picture of one that looked to be 7 ft long and weigh 60 lbs...HUGE!
  19. I grew up (ages 10-18) in Yakima and never saw one, fished all over, too. Since then I've had up close and personal and professional interactions with a number of species of rattlesnakes, moccasins, copperheads, coral snakes, and, most recently, puff adders. Like others have said, they won't mess with you if you leave them ALONE. Carry a wading staff, push the snaket out of the way if there is no path around it, and don't put your hands in places you can't see clearly. Enjoy the snakes, they are actually a very beautiful, specialized animal, worthy of respect and admiration.

    And they taste good, too.

    By the way, you are in much greater danger from folks texting while driving their the cars passing you on the road than you will ever be with rattlesnakes.

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