River etiquette is something that often drives anglers crazy. A lot of anglers have forgotten or don’t know proper river etiquette at all. It’s pretty elementary, treat people the way you want to be treated. If you don’t want someone walking up on the run you’re fishing, you shouldn’t do it either. Now we understand that sometimes you have to share the water with other anglers. There’s a ton of fishermen and only an x amount of water.
The best way to approach the water with other anglers is starting off with friendly conversation. It doesn’t have to be long, but a little goes a long way. From there it’s always good to establish where they plan on fishing, whether it’s the runs or what direction they’ll be going. If they say they plan on working their way upstream, it’s good to ask if you can hop in below them and work the water below them. Most anglers in this situation will say yes because they’ve either already worked the water or didn’t plan to at all.
If you get a yes, don’t fish close to them. Close is relative to the water you’re fishing, but in general an entire run is ample room.
If you get a no, no problem! Just say “no problem I just thought I’d ask, have a good day.” There are far too many negative verbal interactions on the water these days and almost all of them are avoidable. Don’t let this deter you though, the majority of people are super friendly and just want to enjoy a day on the water. There’s always just a few folks who know how to screw things up for everyone no matter what the activity is.
Other things would be handling fish properly, not leaving trash behind, not blasting music, being mindful when parking, etc. There are a lot of what if situations we could go over, but like we mentioned before it’s best to treat others the way you want to be treated. This is often the only etiquette you need to keep in mind when out on the water.