(NFR) Do you carry a gun while fishing?


Active Member
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

As a spey fisher I go by the adage "walk quitely but carry a big stick". I am reminded of a George Carlin quote "don't get in a fight with an ugly person, they have nothing to lose". So what do I do when I see what budda saw across the river? I mutter under my breath to myself, and go somewhere else.

I have a 4 and a 5 year old, and I'm not about to pick a fight with anyone uglier, dumber, and possibly hopped up on goof-balls as seargeant Friday used to say. These people respect nothing, least of all a "f#cking rich boy f#ggot fly fisher" like us. Yes I have had that screamed at me by a foaming at the mouth chuckle head. I'm not rich, but I am smart enough to know that most of these people break so many laws every day, they believe that it's normal and that when they or one of their friends get busted it's bad luck, or the freakin' cop had it in for them.

Call the authorities and call it a day.


the Menehune stole my beer
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

No gun...sold my last one a couple years ago. Just a SOG lockblade serrated folding hunter in a convenient place in my tackle pack. I hear too many stories about people shooting themselves in the ballsack by accident.

The knife would be for an allout emergency with someone's hands at my throat.....or a cougar trying to take out my innards...or cleaning a hatchery brat for the grill. If someone is out of their mind and trying to really make me leave this world against my will and I absolutely am trapped with zero chance for retreat and escape, I'll do my best to defend myself and take him out first. For anything else "weird".......99.9% of all things odd that I see....I use my cell phone and my feet. I'd outrun anyone after me when the adrenaline kicks in. I had a guy unload a clip from an AK on the Greenwater once not 50 yards from me and I bet Carl Lewis could not have covered the ground from where I was fishing to my rig faster than I did.

I love my wife, my family and flyfishing far too much to unneccessarily take any chances. that's why I switched to waist-hi waders....they keep me from being stupid and taking risks when I wade. Kind of like Huggies for flyfishermen......they keep me dry!!! :clown:
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

ok, i'm starting to have trouble sorting out the references to bhudda vs bubba. it sure would be an interesting name for a court case though; or a prize fight. let's refer to the meth head as jethro please.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

I can respect your opinion about rationalizing with some drunk running at you with a broken bottle in one hand. It may work and who really knows what any of us will do when we live out this scenario. In that instant, I’m not going to be concerned with how the courts will deal with my guilt or innocence as the victim just trying to get in some fishing. After eight years in the Army, I could exercise a little judgment during the process of defending myself. Instead of aiming center of mass, I might aim at his legs. After emptying a clip, one piece of lead might hit an extremity. More than likely, even a drunk would associate the loud bangs with the ten foot high water spray directly in front him and realize attacking with a broken bottle isn’t going to be Jethro’s best option. But like I said, if you have never been under fire, attacked by a knife wielding drunk or just cornered by several outraged mechanics with large clenched fists from motor pool who didn’t like what you said, then how the hell do you know how you will react in a situation like that. At 45, my head and hands are not going heal up to many more times. I think a CPL (Concealed Pistol License) would be more prudent than relying on the sheriff showing up in a timely manor or relying on my aging testosterone packed prowess. http://www.metrokc.gov/sheriff/services/gun_permits/


Active Member
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

I am just glad it worked out and your allright Matt. Like many and and you have said- who knows how each and everyone of us would react in any given scenario, armed or not.


Active Member
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Just quick clarification (atleast from an Idaho Fish & Game officer)....you do not need a CPL if the gun is not concelaed....and I believe this is true for Washington as well.

Personally...I pack a Springfield XD 40 all the time....I'd rather have it than not. To each his own ;)


Lucky if I get out anymore!
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Gosh, this is a hard one to comment on. I know there are a lot of crazies out there and I would hate to tell a guy that he shouldn't protect himself, but I personally don't carry a weapon when I fish local streams. Here are a few reasons why...

For one, if a guy starts carrying a gun he has to be aware of it at all times. That is a big responsibility, and it sometimes can make one feel more insecure than safe when people are around. That is because anyone, not just you, can grab that thing and use it for the same purpose you want to use it. I wear a top-of-the-line Safariland Level III holster everyday on the job, and I can tell you that during a struggle that gun can still come out. And if some drunk or tweaker disarms you with it, you can bet that he won't use the same judgement as you, a reasonable person. Just knowing that can happen forces me to be aware of it and on guard at all times - and this defeats the purpose of my fishing trip. I go out on the stream to relax, get away and unwind. When I carry a sidearm, I just can't do that. I can't relax the way I want to. I have to be thinking about weapon retention all the time.

Here's another reason I don't carry on local waters. What I am about say may seem like apples and oranges, but just bare with me and try and see the point I am trying to make. Remember the last few shootings in your area where some unarmed drunk or crazy was killed by police? Now think about what happened after the incident. Were police judgements questioned and second guessed? Was there a criminal investigation? Was there an internal affairs investigation? Was the officer hailed by the public or were his actions scrutinized? Did the officer face a civil suit by the family of the deceased? If we are being fair here, I think we can say "yes" to some, if not all, of the these questions. Now think of it this way. If a public law enforcement official, certified by the state and trained at an approved academy, faces possible criminal or civil charges each time he shoots an unarmed crazy fool, how much more scrutinized will a civilian be for shooting the same fool during a fight on the river? A guy may say to himself, "Well, at least I lived to see another day" - and that's true - but he's just got to keep in mind that its gonna be messy for a long time and its gonna cost a lot of money, perhaps all he's got, before the dust settles.

If you've read this far, you might be asking yourself, "Okay, I see. But how am I supposed to protect myself if there's trouble?" Well, I'm not going to tell a guy to be a wimp, but sometimes it is better to just bite your lip and walk away. I wasn't creekside with Bhudda on the Cedar, so I am not gonna say what he did was right or wrong. It was his choice. He talked and he had to fight, and hopefully his bumps and bruises weren't in vain. I hope he did send a message to the bastards that dirtied the river that day.

I'm running out of time so I will just leave you brothers with this last thing. If you do find yourself in a jam on the river, remember this - a sense of humor is the best defense. I am a c#p. I was responding to a domestic disturbance once where a lady called 911 and said that her boyfriend was pointing a gun at her. I was the first one at the apartment complex so I parked at the entrance and started walking around back of one of the buildings to get a visual on the front door of the residence. Well, to my surprise, here comes her boyfriend running around the same back corner with a shotgun in his hand. We almost ran into eachother and he had the draw up on me. At the last second before I thought he was gonna blast me, I laughed with the biggest grin I could muster and said, "Having some troubles with yer old lady are ya?" He smiled along with me, put the shotgun against the wall and we started talking like human beings. He's was eventually arrested and is probably still in prison. Me? I am sitting at home on my computer.

Be safe.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Yes, I carry a gun when fishing (a Glock .45, which rides unobtrusively in a shoulder holster during cooler weather, or a soft little belt holster, from which it tends to fall down inside my wader leg during hot weather). Why? Because our society includes the kind of people who appear on "Cops" and Jerry Springer, and it's a matter of random chance when and where one of us will encounter one or more of them. Because the practical application of "rights," as in my right to live (the basic right which encompasses all lesser rights), means having the right to defend it with force.

A handgun is not an offensive weapon. If you know that you're going to encounter someone dangerously hostile, the proper basic response is to not go there. But it's always possible to find ourselves cornered or outflanked. I agree: retreat and speak softly if possible. Don't stand your ground on principle. John Wayne would have, but he was a role model for another age. Even a creep's life has human value. But yours and mine is worth more.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

First, I legally carry a gun on me about 90% of the time because of my profession (read between the lines). But, I did not not always carried it while fishing until an incident last August at a small Bellingham lake. Two other co-workers and I were fishing late into the evening. We all worked together and none of us had our "friend" with us. Well these two shady looking dudes approached us and one of them made some small talk about fishing. Niether of them had rods or gear. I responded to the one doing the talking but he did not not seem to be interested in fishing. The other knucklehead kept his hands in his pocket and walked back towrds the road where I had parked my truck. Keep in mind it was now dark. Something did not feel right about this situation. I made eye contact with my friends and we all had the same feeling. Not knowing what the other one was doing we packed up and started to leave. Man I was nervous. The talkative one seemed to be trying to distract us. We finally saw the other one a few yards from my truck. We drove off and so did they. I have no doubt in my mind, and due to my training and experience, they two were plannig to rob someone or prowl the truck. I don't think they expected three physically fit over six feet tall men to be there. I was the biggest at 230lbs. The whole sitiuation was eerie. We all wished we had our "friends" with us.

The law in the state of Washington does allow someone to use "reasonable" to protect themselves. Of course reasonable is interpreted in alot of different ways. What Pwoens said about WA allowing someone to carry a pistol on your hip without a CWP is true. However, if you do that, you only invite trouble-not only from some concerned citizen but some crazy could challange you and want trouble because you are wearing a gun. Plus, if I was to see you with a gun starpped to your hip during the course of my official duties, I might be inclined to talk with you about it (read between the lines). Sometimes displaying a gun, whether it's holstered or pointed at someone, is not always a deterent, but could open a bigger can of worms.

Do not get dismayed about carrying weapons on your outings. If you do carry a gun, you need to be level headed and like someone else mentioned, it's better to walk away if you have the oppurtunity. But, do not hesitate to defended you life and the life of your friends and family if neccessary.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Wow, would never have guessed so many are packing heat.

I don't carry a gun, never even thought about it. If a bear or cougar comes to get me, it's my time unless I can run really fast that day. I suppose I see a gun as more of a risk than not having one.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Yes. Ever since I heard of a guy on the EFL walking up to fly fishermen, poking a pistol of his own in their faces and demanding their rod, reel and wallet. A Kimber 3.5" fits perfectly in the pocket in my waders.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

A lot of interesting comments. A gun is not the answer to every questoin or problem, but it can provide some moral support and a final option. Just don't let it swell your head to the point you think you have the ultimate solution to every porblem. Common sense is still the best answer most of the time. To answer the questioin, yes I carry a stainless steel 3inch .358 mag. It rides in a concealed carry rig that is pretty easy to get to. I have had to show the grip one time in over 20 years. The problem was sober enough to realize what it was and changed his mind. It has been used on a few critters over the years, a few rattle snakes and a cyote or two, as well as plinked a few cans on a hot summer afternoon during a break from fishing.
Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Always. I travel light on the water so I leave the Glock at home and tuck a S&W .38 in the chest pocket of my waders. It’s not much but it’s convenient. Through work I get to see some of the people you wouldn’t want to meet anywhere. There are plenty of them out there.
For carry in a vest pocket I'd stick with a revolver. Too much lint, dirt, sand, and other miscellaneous junk in pockets for an auto. I also don’t see much use for a .380 now that many 9’s come in the same size package.


Do you carry a gun while fishing?

Hopefully I'm in the silent minority when I say I don't carry a gun and wont carry one, and I'd hope that no one else does, nothing good can come out of an encouter where a gun is involved. I'm of the mindset that I can communicate with other humans and avoid a situation where a gun would be necessary.

As for defending myself from wildlife, I think the chances of me falling in and dying are a lot higher then getting jumped by a cougar or bear or something else. I'm just willing to take that risk!

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