Legitimately sketchy access areas?

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
Hey all!
Occasionally threads here mention places that fishermen avoid because of "gang activity" or high probability of break-ins. Since a common response to "where should I fish" questions is go explore for yourself, this seems like the kind of information it would be really, really valuable to share on this site, for obvious safety reasons!
Like many of you, I fish alone often, and it would be great to know where NOT to go to avoid that kind of trouble.

To keep this actually useful, please, please heed the following requests:

1) Please refrain from being an asshat by posting scary horsesh*t just to protect your favorite areas. If you don't want people to go there, you're better off not mentioning it at all.

2) Please don't post about bears, wolves, coyotes, snakes, ticks, or murder hornets. It's the outdoors. I'm asking about dangerous human activity.

3) Please don't offer advice on which gun to use to deal with it. Period.
If this devolves into yet another gun thread, I'll ask the mods to lock it!

So - info on sketchy water access places to avoid, anyone?

Thanks!
 

Brian Miller

Be vewy vewy qwiet, I'm hunting Cutthwoat Twout
WFF Supporter
The extremely popular Greenwater Lakes trailhead had the permit box ripped completely out of the ground leaving a gaping three foot hole, presumably by someone hoping to get any money that might have been deposited for recreation passes, but are sold online and not at the trailhead. Also, every car parked overnight in the parking lot had windows broken out and property stolen. Sad, the lakes and river above the lakes have offered up some nice Brookies to me, but I likely won't be going back.
 
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troutpocket

Active Member
Generally, good weather brings out the sketch balls. Vehicle Break-ins are common along the Yakima from top to bottom. Many spots I fish in the Columbia Basin have spray painted gang tags in the parking lot. But so far I haven’t encountered sketchy people. I assume it’s because I am there during the day in relatively chilly weather.
 

Ian Horning

Powerbait Entomologist
Not a particular access, but just general insight, especially for newer anglers- when parking anywhere along the major river systems of Puget Sound, be vigilant and park within easy line of sight of major roadways, houses, etc. to deter break-ins. Don't store anything in your rig in plain sight- anything! I've had a bag of jumper cables stolen, to let y'all know where the "bar" is. And use common sense. If it feels sketchy to the point of worry, find somewhere else to park.
 

Lue Taylor

Lue Taylor/dbfly
Not a particular access, but just general insight, especially for newer anglers- when parking anywhere along the major river systems of Puget Sound, be vigilant and park within easy line of sight of major roadways, houses, etc. to deter break-ins. Don't store anything in your rig in plain sight- anything! I've had a bag of jumper cables stolen, to let y'all know where the "bar" is. And use common sense. If it feels sketchy to the point of worry, find somewhere else to park.
Also check out the grounds where you plan to park check for broken glass a good sign not to park there.
 

Joe H

Active Member
I live less than 2 minutes from the Cedar and less than 10 minutes from the Green and have only fished the Green twice in the past 2 years and the Cedar twice since it reopened a number of years back.
The only anybody or anything I'm fearful of are repair bills for broken windows and stolen catalytic converters. (If someone else is driving me in their rig I'll go anytime, anywhere.)
 

Old Man

A very Old Man
WFF Supporter
I was broken into at the mouth of Pilchuck Creek. I was right alongside the road. They got everything except my fly rods. My cell phone, my Radio, a backpack which they stuffed all the small items in. A digital camera. Yeah, they cleaned me out. I used to fish the forks of the Stilly and I never locked up my auto. I park at the Pilchuck and they steal me blind.
 

Jake

Active Member
WFF Supporter
The Cedar river is sketchy for sure.
Agreed. The second, and last, time I fished went there a rather belligerant lackwit asked me, as I was getting out of my car, whether "that" (pointing to another car) was mine. I replied, "no" because, duh, my car was the one I just drove up in. As I proceeded to rig my fly rod the fellow picked up a rock and smashed the back window of the car he'd wondered about, and proceeded to rummage through it as I got in my car, locked it, got ready to drive away, and called 911. They came, which was a pleasant surprise, and hauled him off.
 

MGTom

Active Member
WFF Supporter
The only real problem in the Walla Walla area seem to be the pullouts along the rivers, especially the snake, away from the organized spots. I've never had a problem but know someone who did have a prowler. Car unlocked.
 

Josh

dead in the water
WFF Moderator
Any urban-ish waterway with green buffer space around it is likely to have homeless camps in it these days. Opinions on the homelessness problems aside, you're likely gonna have to navigate around those. I've never felt personally threatened, most folks seem more interested in talking to you about fishing and telling you about how they used to fish. Had an obviously fiending mess of a tweaker walk with me down a trail last fall and tell me all about how strongly he feels about the "steak n eggs" fly for trout fishing behind spawning salmon. Didn't give me any trouble, just wanted someone to talk to I guess. But then again, you never know what you are going to get with the transient population. Mental health problems and drug addiction are tough demons and make people do unpredictable things. So I work to avoid interactions if possible and be as friendly and polite as I can if I have to walk too near someone's camp.

Mostly, for me, it's about not leaving stuff in your car. Of course the worse places are those with high traffic (Cedar, Green, Yakima, Snohomish Co generally, etc). But even some of the more remote trailheads and pulloffs are also in prime rural meth-head zones and are well known to the kind of folks who would happily break your window for a $10 phone charger if they thought they could make a buck off it.

Nothing you can do to totally prevent it, but not leaving stuff in your car is the #1 way to discourage break-ins. If you've got nothing visible and the car next to you has a nice gore-tex jacket sitting on the seat, which window is going to get broken?
 

Northern

It's all good.
WFF Supporter
Thanks for the replies, all. The possibility of break-ins is pretty much everywhere now, sadly, as are homeless folks. Caution, and common sense in not making your vehicle look profitable, are a given.
I was more looking for specific, dangerous places to avoid because theft is almost guaranteed there. Or, of more concern, places known for gang activity.
I do not want to find a lake on a map, pull into an empty lot when I arrive to fish at 5 am, and return in the evening to find a lot full of sketchy characters in beaters conducting drug deals.
You know... and then have someone on here say "oh, yeah - I would never go there!"
 

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