Follow These Simple Steps to be a Great Fishing Neighbor

In this month’s issue, I’m going to talk about river etiquette when fishing, both on shore and when operating a boat. You may ask, “Why is etiquette so important on a river or stream?” Etiquette teaches us how to behave appropriately in a given situation. It also sets an example, not only for the parties involved in the activity, but also for future generations that may be watching, particularly children.

A good angler respects both the resource he fishes and fellow anglers. This, in turn, provides a safe and enjoyable day on the water. Below is a short list of river etiquette, not necessarily in order of importance:

  • Don’t low-hole. Low-holing is when you, either from shore or in a boat, drop below someone in close proximity that is fishing a run. The correct thing to do is go to the top of the run, and work down. Give your fellow anglers some space.
  • Have your boat ready to launch. Do not make others sit at a boat ramp waiting while you take off straps on the boat, get your rods ready, and the like. Your boat should be ready to launch when you move onto the boat ramp. It is a courtesy your fellow boaters will appreciate.
  • Don’t be a gomer. A gomer is someone who is typically inept at fishing, a person who immediately pulls up on another fisherman with a bent rod, assuming it is the only place the fish are biting. Instead, give other fishermen space. Do not navigate your boat too close to other anglers or walk in below them. (See low-holing).
  • Do not create wakes. Try to be conscious of people on the shore. Likewise, give a wide berth to other vessels on the water. Do not accidentally knock someone overboard with the wake you created. 
  • Last, but certainly not least, clean up after yourself. No one wants to see dirty diapers, toilet paper, beer cans, or any trash left along the riverbank or in the woods. If you pack it in, please pack it out. Remember, common courtesy and a little etiquette are what we should all strive for.

Tight Lines! 

Dan Hardy is the owner of D-Ray Personal Guide Service

Anchorage, Alaska



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