Dukes Creek Nightmare - A True Story About Bad Ettiquette

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Posted by TC on August 10, 1998 at 07:54:43:

This is a true story. This is a long post, but what
happened disturbed me greatly and I must get it out of
my system.

Saturday August 8 I was fishing on Dukes Creek and was
having a great time fishing this stream I had heard
so much about. A buddy and I had been fishing the
best pool we had found for about a half hour when it
happened. This fellow appears from above us, coming
around the bend looking right at us. He comes to
within 60 feet of us, above us looking down at our pool.
He stops and sits down for a while, so we think that
although he might have spooked some of the fish at the
very head of the pool, at least the rising fish hadn't
been put down yet. Then after 3 minutes, it was as if
he got tired of waiting for us to leave. He got up and
walked right to the edge of the water at the head of
the pool. He was 30 feet above us standing over the
best pool of the day. This idiot stood over our pool
for about 5 minutes pacing around. Then, content that
he had ruined the pool, he left.

My buddy and I were too stunned to say anything, and
by then it was no use. The pool was ruined. The fish
that were rising stopped. I just stood there with my
mouth open in shock. Although I felt like screaming at
the guy, I was so shocked all I could do was raise my
arms (as in "what the hell?") and hold them there until
this bumpkin had the nerve to look me in the eye, which
he never did.

I guess I took it for granted that anyone who would
take the time and effort to get a slot on Dukes Creek
would surely know the basics of fishing ettiquette.
You know, those basics such as respecting another
fisherman's space. I'm talking about the rule that
says when someone else is in a pool you don't walk
your dumb a$$ right up on top of them to check out
the pool, look at the fisherman, pick berries, whatever.
I have no idea how to correct this problem aside from
hollering at the idiot when you first see him coming
toward you. Keeping a distance and respecting another
fisherman's water is especially critical at a place like
Dukes Creek. I enjoyed the fishery and had fun, but
this was the worst display of fishing ettiquette I've ever

I regret not telling this boat ramp transplant that he
was out of line. People let's repect our fellow
fisherman and let people know when they cross the
line. As flyfishing becomes more popular there will be
an ever-increasing number of people who think the rules
of the boat ramp apply to trophy trout water as well.
And since this was my first trip to Dukes, I'll have to
hope that this type of thing is a rare exception rather
than the norm there. From my first trip there I could
tell that this piece of water was too nice and well
managed to let something like this ruin the experience.
I had been looking forward to this for a month, drove
2 hours in the middle of the night and got 3 hours of
sleep only to have it all stained by bait shop behaviour.

I'd like to hear any feedback on similar encounters at Dukes
there if there are any. If this happens even occasionally,
the folks at Smithgall Woods should know about it so
measures could be taken to educate people to respect
another person's water.

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