The Rats Nest

Friday, November 20, 2009

Fishing Solitude, A Thing Of The Past

The title of this blog pretty much sums up an age old reason why we fish, and one that has shifted thoughts by many anglers in our sport. I can say with great certainty that communal gatherings of anglers has become more commonplace on my home waters, and is something that is considered the norm on various regions of the great lakes in the fall and winter, as well as the banks of many watersheds in Alaska at the onset of migratory fish runs. Is fishing amongst a group of others a real problem? Not really, as long as everyone remains friendly to one another and understands that you may actually have to help your neighbor land his fish, no problems should arise. This type of atmosphere has become pretty standard on all of our more popular fishing locales.

I remember coming back from the Bighorn this past spring, and even though the weather wasn't ideal, and it wasn't the peak of the season, we had to share some major holes with several other anglers and boats. The picture of me in the boat should depict this rather nicely, but it only paints about half of the picture as below us there were about 10 boats within a 30 foot cast after we appeared to be having the hot spot. Truth is there aren't any secret hot spots on that river, it's a fish factory. Although a bit crowded, everyone played nice. I think fishing etiquette should be rewritten as the numbers of anglers has gone through the roof and communal fishing has become common place. On my home waters of the Farmington, anglers gather at the Church Pool everyday to chat and fish amongst each other. During periods of heavy insect activity it isn't unheard of to see from 30-50 anglers packed into that pool, some fishing to the same pod of fish. Everything is usually happy go lucky, and only once in a blue moon do you hear any banter about the tight quartered fishing. Most people who fish the river regularly understand that this is accepted behavior for this particular pool that can accommodate many anglers, and the same can be said for a few others. Easy access equates to many anglers, so I guess if you want solitude, you better had be ready to do some walking. Is solitude on the water an exception these days? Sure, on some waters, but even on the most heavily fished rivers, an open stretch of water can always be found. It may not always be the type of water you were hoping for, but don't give up, adapt and conquer, and branch out your skills, any water is good water.

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