Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Landowners and Courtesy

Sorry, rant time. Yesterday I got out on some water that I only fish a couple times a year at the most. It is situated next to a river with homes and near the bank. Most of which cleared all the timber that was on the banks of the river and placed grass for their view extending into the high water mark on the riverbank. These homes are located on a great run ideal for swinging flies.

So yesterday while floating to this spot I ran into an acquaintance that hiked into there. After setting up into the run and swinging flies, I noticed that one of the land owners talking to him downstream. The body language did not seem too pleasant and after making my first pass through the run I got to talk to him. Apparently there had been several boats that have been fishing that run over the last few weeks and the fishermen have not been pleasant or courteous to the landowners, walking in the yard and urinating on the banks in open view of their homes.

Now I do not know the full story and did not get to talk to any of the landowners, even the ones that were standing by my raft while I worked down the run, but it was obvious when one of the landowners in a boat asked us to stay off the grass that they were not happy.

At this time I do not know or understand the property line and what equates the legal boundary of the high water mark on this river. I will soon, but was pissed that a few asshats can make fishing one of my favorite spots I have been fishing for a decade uncomfortable. Sure the property owners are upset there are guys on the water in their backyard, but if they had some manners it would not be a big deal. I continued to fish the run until almost dusk and know one in the homes approached me.

Please take a moment to think about what you are doing when around private property. Many years ago I lost the privilege to camp on some prime water East of the Cascades due to a similar issue. Luckily the landowner does not mind us fishing said spot, just cannot camp on his property anymore. Also it is not a bad idea to find out the legalities of the rivers you fish on a day to day basis so that if you are confronted landowners, you can have a more productive conversation with them. This problem is only going to get worse with everyone breeding and moving to the Pacific Northwest. At the end of the day the memory of a screaming Hardy was well worth the bullshit.

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