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· Retired Mod
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Etiquette is everything

Usually I try never to wade in right next to someone. But, alot of times I fish near guys who are pretty locked into where they are fishing. So, if I'm going to cover the whole slot, I'll start well on top of him, then work my way around him. If there are guys already fishing by time I get there, I observe for a bit before I walk down. You can tell if they work a hole, or work the whole slot. I've never heard of working upstream. If you're stealthy enough, you should be fine working downstream if water is clear. But, in normal water conditions I fish I don't need to be too stealthy (and yes I do catch my share of fish just walking down lol).

Onto boats. I use driftboats and pontoon/catarafts. If I'm in a DB and pulling plugs, when I hit a piece of water I'd like to run through, I'll usually stop near anglers and ask if I can work through. If they say yes, I'll row back up and go on. If they say now I go through. With a cataraft, I rarely pull plugs in them. Too hard compared to a DB. But I do alot of backbouncing/sidedrifting/flydogging. So I'll cover alot of water with the boat. Same scenerio. I ask to go through. The ONLY time I don't ask is if there's a ton of people on the bank. Then, if I am told "No" or there's too many people, I simply float out near shore in front of them. Rarely is there ever enough room to go behind. Plus, you won't spook fish either way (Have caught alot of fish after a plug puller went through slot and even after sleds have went through). I prefer to be in front, that way the angler can easily see me. Easier alot of times for them to backup into shallower areas then move forward into deeper areas.

I think I've been a hole hog only a few times. Usually, it's when certain anglers' come into the hole who have been extremely rude. Plus, a good majority of the gear guys will plant in one spot anyways. Some move. But not in a system. They will just pull up and head a mile downstream. LOL.

I do have one more story. Really good one on etiquette. Several years ago my Dad and I went on our yearly salmon/steelhead trip on our favorite river system. Was fishing the slot in front of his property. There is a guide who is a real piece of work. Well, my Dad and I had a really good week. Just slaying the kings. Had limits everyday (on fly and gear). Well, had a closure on chums that year. Well, we were in the slot around mid week when this guide comes around the bend in his DB. He has 2 clients in his boat. Guess what? He has them put out their plugs as he turns the bend heading into the top of the hole. We were fishing about mid hole. He started pulling through. You won't believe what happened next. He STOPS right out in front of us and drops anchor. Leaving his plugs running just downstream from us. Literally clogging the slot. We politely asked him to move when he yells "I saw you guys keeping chums yesterday, I'll stay whereever I want". Well, that only sparked my Dad and I. Why in the world would we want to keep chums when we were easily catching kings and silvers??? Heck, we both had a couple king jacks on the bank by that time in the morning (sun had been up for only half an hour). We at that point had a "heated" discussion and offered for this guy to see our coolers for any "chums". He said some course words. We responded in kind. Then, he REFUSED to pull anchor and move. Thinking "what could we do?". Well, moron had no idea I had my small cataraft at the property. I asked him one more time to move, or he'd be sorry. He shrugged and said "Yeah, whatever". So, went back, grabbed my boat, and headed upstream a bit. Came in and lowholed him. Well, should I say, I anchored ON his plugs. LOL. I normally wouldn't do this, but he drew the line. Plus, didn't have a cell phone then, and no phones on property. He asked me to move, and I refused. He even had nerve to try and cast towards me (usually they'll drop plugs in water and let them ease into slot). I was so mad (I know, I should've let it go, but he had no right to do what he had done, and we were on private property fishing a spot that he could've easily passed through once with plugs if he would've asked). He got pissy when one of the plug rods went off. Why you may ask? Because my anchor line was probably right near his plugs, or a bit upstream of them. LOL. At that point I pulled my anchor up so my boat would free float and kept boat oared in position and moved to closest bank and back towards our property side. Guess what happened? I snagged up his plug w/o a fish and snapped off the big king near me (I got a chance to see it). He said more curse words. I told him "Man, that was a nice king, you should've seen it". He pulled anchor and moved. Shall I add, his clients weren't happy with his behavior when we first came into the slot. They had that head down look to them. I will also add this. I can't say for sure he was a guide. But had appearance. He had no markings on boat (guide license) but he had new people everyday in his boat. Plus, normally if they're friends they'll BS and have some fun. These people all seemed to just be sitting there. I know some guys guide "under the table". With his mentality, I wouldn't doubt he was one as well.
 

· Retired Mod
Joined
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10,990 Posts
Actually, I know alot about guiding. Almost went into the business. But, opted for a more secure and better paying job at UPS. Know at 50 I can retire with enough money to easily pay for fishing until I die.

But, I do know alot of guides. Some through my job, some through my side job in fishing industry, and some that are friends. So I am good about dealing with them. But some guides think they are GOD because they have a license on their boat and clients in the boat. Though, it is their job, it does not mean they have any more right to fish then the rest of us do. If by chance someone is in a slot before them and working it, they have two choices. Go around, or wait and work behind them. Too many expect you to pull aside and let them have the right of way. I know I don't own the rivers I fish. But on some rivers, I've easily put more riverdays on some then the guides (since some I know usually fish Cow tribs unless they blow and head to the Chehalis system). This guy was one of the Cow regs. I was there first. I was working the slot. And he camped in hole slot. I don't give any leeway. If you show me respect, you get respect. You slam me, you get slammed back. His arrogance cost his client their fish. I know after that slot in front of my Dad's place, you have to work the next two holes hard before you hit sled alley. He was SOL after that.

Myself, I give the bankers the choice. Since I do both. If they say I can fish through, I do. If they say I can't, I smile and float through. Rarely go behind, unless guys won't move and going in front will get me in firing range of bankers (there are bankers who will cast as you go by, a hook in a cataraft isn't a good thing). I give them the option. I'm very courteous on the river, but I've found more in other end. Especially new guys who think they own the world. I know years on a river doesn't make you own it any more then someone new. But there is a respect issue. Especially when they are screwing up a slot for other. Prime example. End of winter run last March had a good run on the Nooch. Some moron had to launch quick, and give me a dirty look when I came in behind him and had my cataraft in the water as quick and setup as fast as him (I do alot of prep work BEFORE I get to the river). He ran down from truck and headed down to the first good slot (awesome plug slot, and good side drift slot). What does guy do? He anchors IN the slot and casts onto the opposite bank (where it shallows up where most people would pull their boat out). Was no fish there, since it was shallow gravel. He ruined a good slot by his ignorance. Then, he had nerve to look at my friends as they cast under his DB as we drifted by. We even pulled out a nice fish under him (since he was parked in the slot). He actually got mad, though he wasn't even fishing the slot. They were casting on the bank, and not getting much of a drift at that since it was OUT of the current. Not first time I've seen stuff like this. Especially guys working slots that are bad producers. Just tiring to be given the evil eye when you're doing things right, and they're not.
 
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