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Dry Fly Purist
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fishing the beaches of Puget Sound I have come across a few no trespassing signs posted in front of homes with beach front property lines. My question is where does the private property turn into public property? I would look in the regs but I dont have a doctorate in deciphering what the hell this state is trying to say...Long story short, I figured that someone on this forum would be able to tell me exactly when I am trespassing. A seasoned fish wrangler told me once that low tide is the boundary, any truth to that? If so, does that mean I can walk in front of these homes only when the tide is at the extreme low point?Thanks in advance.

In Wyoming, trespassers are shot on the spot!


Fish ON!!
 

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Language, its a virus
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This subject has been beat to death....If it says no trespassing
I would not hike on that beach. Some tidelands are owned privately,
some are not, and some are leased to shellfish companies. Do a search
on this site and you'll get the scoop.

Beachfront owner,
Dave
 

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Do a search on this sites forum. The topic has come up more than once. Unfortunetly, there is A LOT of private beach around the state. Washington unlike Oregon, is one of the few states where the land owner also owns the tidal lands, for us that means that you aren't allowed to walk past those signs, regardless of the tide. If there is beach you want to fish on private land I suggest you get a boat. Sucks right? With that being said, there are several locations around the sound where the home owners don't care as long as you aren't acting like an idiot. Finding them will require knocking on some doors..... or taking your chances. Good luck out there.
 

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Blind hog fisherman
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Welcome to fishing the beaches in Washington. I'm glad you are taking the time to research the issue. It's best to stay on public beaches unless you have permission to trespass. It can get ugly (no recent experience, there was a bad one as a kid in the early 1960's, though).
 

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dirty dog
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Seems like I read something about wet feet, like if your wading your O.K.
I personally would be knocking on doors before I waded past a "No, No" sign.
I have found most folks are nice if asked, even if the answer is "No you can't fish off my beach"
That takes me back to "I think all shore lines should be public" but that's just me "Dreaming"
 

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I happen to live on the saltwater and own my tide lands. I have always been under the impression that anyone can walk on my beach, they just do not have the right to sit there or harvest from the beach. I have had SRC fishermen out front and it has not been a problem
 

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One way to contact the various property owners whose beach you may want to access is to look them up using that county's GIS system. Knocking on their door can work too, peering onto their back deck repeatedly to hope for a glimpse of the owner may not be so welcome. Fresh fish doesn't hurt.

JR
 

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I believe there's public access along the WA coastal beaches but the real access questions arise as you move into the Sound. With increased coastal development public access to beaches is a hot topic nationally. Here's an interesting article describing legal issues around beach access, primarily as it relates to FL but also referencing efforts nationwide.

Interesting stuff even just to skim.

JR
 

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I happen to live on the saltwater and own my tide lands. I have always been under the impression that anyone can walk on my beach, they just do not have the right to sit there or harvest from the beach. I have had SRC fishermen out front and it has not been a problem
:beathead: We'll probably beat this to death one more time but some tidal lands are owned privately, others are owned by county and state. I will always write on such a post as I am a tidal land owner in Dash Point. It lies between State and County Parks so it gets traveled by walkers and fishermen on a regular basis. My family pays taxes to the County every year for the right to own the land. It isn't posted but property on both sides is. Most people are under the impression that when the tide is out, they can walk or when it is up, they can anchor. The land I own is to the mean (average) low tide line. It's a flat and goes out several hundred feet from my bulkhead. That means I own about 200 feet out. All that being said for a third or fourth time, we allow people to walk and fish it and will until it gets trashed. Then I will close it and take steps to enforce the posting. The idea is to ask before you walk. People should not assume the right to trespass because it is a tidal beach. The land is like any other except that water comes and goes on a regular basis. It's no different than if you owned farmland. I have used the analogy of owning a corn field and having a bunch of roudy pheasant hunters hunting on it without permission. If you owned it, how would you feel? Check your deed. You may be giving up the rights that you are paying for and if your taxes are like mine, it's a bundle.
 

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Dry Fly Purist
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
REPORT: To go along with the nontrespassing outing yesterday-- Sporadic hits and a couple of lands on decent sized SRC in the mid to south sound over a few hours of casting. The fish seemed to be about 30-50 ft. out on a low low tide and very unpredictable (go figure) Popper worked well, no interest in anything else...I was fishing a beach in front of a house that had signage posted, just on the other side of an imaginary line I drew that was on the SAFE side of his property and I turn around to find the guy standing at the edge of the water yelling out to me to go up 'his' beach because there are fish on the pt. 9 times out of ten. Considering the nature of this post, I had to let the masses know that human is capable of being friendly and hospitable and my faith has been restored in the never ending sportsman's journey. Sure enough, fish were exactly where he said they would be and I look foorward to returning to that imaginary line and hoping that the same beach owner will again appear and offer 'his' fish to my rod and line. It was a truly pleasurable day on the water...Damn, I need to fish more.
 

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Fly Guy Eat Pie
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REPORT: To go along with the nontrespassing outing yesterday-- Sporadic hits and a couple of lands on decent sized SRC in the mid to south sound over a few hours of casting. The fish seemed to be about 30-50 ft. out on a low low tide and very unpredictable (go figure) Popper worked well, no interest in anything else...I was fishing a beach in front of a house that had signage posted, just on the other side of an imaginary line I drew that was on the SAFE side of his property and I turn around to find the guy standing at the edge of the water yelling out to me to go up 'his' beach because there are fish on the pt. 9 times out of ten. Considering the nature of this post, I had to let the masses know that human is capable of being friendly and hospitable and my faith has been restored in the never ending sportsman's journey. Sure enough, fish were exactly where he said they would be and I look foorward to returning to that imaginary line and hoping that the same beach owner will again appear and offer 'his' fish to my rod and line. It was a truly pleasurable day on the water...Damn, I need to fish more.
Great story. I share a similar experience. I was fishing a beach down in south sound and was cautiously making sure I don't go past the private property sign that clearly states no trespassing. A guy walks out his home and I'm thinking "ah shit, he's gonna give me hell for fishing TOO close to his beach." Turns out the opposite. He invited me over to his beach and told me he fishes his beach often and is quite successful. He also gave me some tips on what flies have worked for him. I hooked two that morning thanks to him.

With that said, i try to keep things as simple as possible. If it says no trespassing, then no trespassing. If there is no sign and i'm trespassing, the property owner tells me to get out, no problem, I'll fish a different area.

Man, if you guys think this is bad, I used to fish for bass on western wa lakes and some home owners REALLY flip out if you try to fish under their docks. I've heard of guys throwing rocks at your boat, grabbing their fishing rods and throwing heavy jigs at your boat...its a mess out there. I try to stay out of trouble. Typically I've found people are actually nicer to fly fisherman.
 

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"Chasing Riseforms"
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I would say people are more sensitive about urban type beaches because of nearby public access sites where people wander beyond quite often I'm sure. I fish in rural areas with no problem, although I was asked to leave once in 50 years. If I wander in front of someones home, I NEVER look into there windows or turn around, I just fish. I think most people don't mind a fly fisherman on their beach and rather think it is a cool thing. "Wow, look at that guy fly fishing out there. I wonder if he's catching anything." "Oh look, he's got one on!" When I find the opportunity, I will ask for permission, but don't generally go knocking on doors. There is one place I want to fish badly, but I need to go knock on there door! Maybe this next week!
 
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