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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read an article recently about river etiquette. I was particularly interested in the unspoken rules for a drift boat passing a wader. They advised that the drift boat go behind the wader if poosible. They even stated that you should land the boat and drag it behind the fisherman if necessary.

I had to laugh out loud. I don't own a drift boat or any other fishing craft. I wade fish 100% of the time. I have had just one person in any craft ask me where I would like to be passed in about a decade of fishing. So many just float on through the hole. Most don't even bother to stop fishing.

Sometimes it is annoying, but most times it doesn't seem to change much. I have never felt the need to say anything. It's not the end of the world.

Actually, the only time I have ever gotten really pissed was with other wading fisherman. I was fishing upstream through a section of river with three great pools in about 60 yards. Two dudes showed up out of nowhere while I was in the lower pool. They got ready as I moved upstream from the lower to the middle. They then proceeded to box me in. One in the pool I just fished and one in the pool I was heading towards. I could have thrown a rock to either of them.

I didn't even have to raise my voice when I said, "are you guys fucking kidding me?" They both heard and shot me a glance. A nasty glance. I couldn't believe it.
 

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When i'm passing a bank angler I usually try to give them as much room as possible, After all I have a boat I can own any spot on the river there stuck. I've never gone behind bank angler or anything like that usually I try to give them as much room as possible, we stop fishing and start again fishing at the maximum cast distance of the bank angler. Right or wrong that's how I've done it for years.
 

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On smaller rivers, wading anglers are sometimes well out in the middle of the river, and fishing toward the opposite bank. The same thing might also be true on larger rivers. In that case, it may be desirable to float behind them, or even to get out of the boat and carefully lead it around behind them. I think the proper eticuette is to ask waders where they would like you to pass them.

If anglers are fishing near the shore, you should stay as far away as practical. I don't want to interfere with their fishing, or have the boat or anyone fishing in it interfere with their fishing.

I think Drifting Man Grann nailed it in his reply. There is nothing that irritates me more than to see drift boats floating close to wading anglers, and then fish right in front of them as they float by. And, I see this happening regularly (perhaps 10% of the time) - including by guides and their clients on the Yellowstone River - where I stay all summer.
 

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Make my day
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I will go behind the waders if they are out far enough, in deep water. I will not risk hitting bottom. Getting out and dragging, no fing way!

How can dragging my boat over rocks be less intrusive than quietly floating thru?

I had one asshat that continued to cast over our heads as we floated behind him. Not cool.

And no fishing as passing.
 
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I also wade and I would say I am usually asked about 90 % of the time by drift boats which side to drift by. I also don't think it has a great effect on the fishing or if it does it is only a temporary condition. I have had a couple of instants where guys in boats have fished right in front of me which I think is rather CS since they have much more water than I, but I usually don't get upset because it is fishing which is a fun thing and nothing more. I just consider they are either uninformed or rude.
 

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I think NCL nailed the proper etiquette: Communication! The fact that a drift boat oarsman would ask a wader seems like good courtesy, and good common sense. At least he can say, "I need to use this or that slot to get this boat through, do you mind?" And of course, no fishing on the way through, get in and out of the wader's way as soon as possible.

And you're also right about not getting upset - it's supposed to be fun.
 

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I think the going behind or asking was way more common in the days before every angler had their own pontoon, raft or drift boat. In my experience, the guides of yesterday asked and anglers indicated their preference. I've had guides row behind me (if it was safe to do so) but I most often tell people to float in front of me. I also try to be aware of what is safe for the boat and if they need to go in front, I often take a few steps back if needed. This etiquette also seemed to rub off on the few anglers who ran their own boats before the proliferation of personal watercraft. I never saw people fish through water in front of an angler, guide or DIY angler.

Nowadays, it seems to be more of a free-for-all. I've been nearly run over by careless and/or incompetent oarsmen, I've had people fish through my water so close I could have almost whacked the boat, been yelled at for 'blocking their way' in a wide-open river (50 yds) and even been told that I was fishing the wrong spot and was standing in the slot they wanted to fish (by idiots who had no clue what they were talking about). If I am on the oars and ask anglers where they want me to go, these days, I am often met by blank stares as they have no clue why I am asking. I would love to see better etiquette and cooperation on our crowded rivers.
 

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My thought...

If you are in a river that is large enough to be floated, EXPECT the boats to float on by, the fish don't mind.
Now, if they fish through or drop anchor in your spot...

THROW ROCKS AT 'EM. :D
 

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Triploid, Humpy & Seaplane Hater....Know Grizzler
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If you've fished as you've said for over a decade, you'd think you have it figured out by now that there are no etiquette rules these days.
As Freestone said, it is a free for all and don't be surprised by anything you encounter.

Also,what the hell does guys trying to fish above and below you while wade fishing have anything to do with drift boat etiquette?
SF
 

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I don't often get angry with a rod in hand but I was wading near Umptanum, working my way down to a really promising spot. When I was about one cast away a guide came in, dropped anchor 50 feet in front of me and spent a half hour showing his blokes where and how to cast. I was shocked and close to throwing rocks. Very disappointing.

I have always read (& practiced in my DB) go behind if there is room, on the far bank if not, and exit the immediate area before resuming fishing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
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If you've fished as you've said for over a decade, you'd think you have it figured out by now that there are no etiquette rules these days.
As Freestone said, it is a free for all and don't be surprised by anything you encounter.

Also,what the hell does guys trying to fish above and below you while wade fishing have anything to do with drift boat etiquette?
SF
 

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Feckin eejit
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I like to take a step back and wave them through as if we're all always cooperating. Last year I waved a well-known local guide past and he dropped anchor exactly mid-drift of my casts and stayed there. That's the only time "waving them past" didn't work out for everyone.
 

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Make my day
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I like to take a step back and wave them through as if we're all always cooperating. Last year I waved a well-known local guide past and he dropped anchor exactly mid-drift of my casts and stayed there. That's the only time "waving them past" didn't work out for everyone.
Skipping stones is a lost art.;)
 
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Generally speaking I like all boats to go right through the chunk of water I'm trying to fish...as long as they keep going and don't fish any of it because I was there first. I do believe the boats might wake up a fish or two but I don't like them fishing for those fish because "i was there first" and will be moving through it just like them. But I was there first! Seems selfish but it is what it is.
 
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