Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Jpfish, Mar 2, 2014.
Hey Joel. What prompted you to want to carry a Glock while fishing?
Jason: I was curious where you fish while carrying.
Keeping Glocks out out of psychos' hands. Not a bad policy.
Im planning on doing a lot of hiking/fishing in fairly remote areas this summer and fall. Ill be doing a lot of this solo. I feel as long as I own a pistol id prefer tohave it and not need it rather than need it and not have it. You never know who or what you will run into in the woods.
And thanks everybody for some good suggestions.
While shooting pictures at a remote section of a S river I had two gentlemen join me in an old beat up truck. When they got out of the truck I could see from their physical appearance (profiling is legal for me) and dress these two were not people I wanted to be friends with. One walked over towards my pickup and the other started slowly walking towards me. When he got to within about 30 feet I turned toward him, put my right hand on my hip, pulling back my coat and displaying a .357 mag on my hip (open carried in a Mr. Mike's nylon holster). I made no move for the weapon only made it visible with my hand a couple of inches away. I heartedly said good morning and mentioned what a beautiful day it was. The guy stopped dead in his tracks stumbled out the words good morning and somewhat agreed on the type of day it was. For a brief moment of time we stared at each other. His gaze seemed more focused on the revolver on my side. After this brief moment of uncomfortableness he turned and went back to the vehicle meeting up with his friend who by the way I was also very aware of and had stopped his walked towards my truck while watching the interaction between myself and his friend. They talked briefly amongst each other then left. I gathered up my gear and moved out of the area. I can carry as much as 8 or 9 grand worth of equipment with me when I venture out to shoot. I don't know what these two had in mind but I am positive the fact I was armed and openly displayed to them I was armed changed any immediate plans they had.
If I go to those places in order to find reduced fishing pressure, and to avoid people, why would I post them on a public forum?
I fish all kinds of water but my favorite is small streams and creeks. I pore over USGS hydrology maps and satellite images. I find roads I can 4x4 on and trails I can MTB on and I bushwhack in for miles to spots that look good or I may scramble down into rocky canyons. Those are the trips where I carry in Washington.
Then don't. You made your point in a respectful manner and I'm not attacking you. Other's do want to carry for whatever reason and I have no problem with their choice either.
People who legally carry are everywhere. And you'll never know it, as it should be.
And lets not forget man's best friend. Just because a four-legged creature is his owner's best friend doesn't mean he is yours. There are 4.5m Dog attacks per year. Its still pretty rare. Only 1.5% of Americans get bit by a dog each year. But people are often more comfortable letting their big dogs off leash in the back woods or on a more remote trail. Personally I have 23 stitches in my leg from a dog attack.
To respond to your question, the reason to post them here on this forum is to share your experience, so others can learn from you, and to contribute. I doubt anyone would retrace your exact footsteps by 4x4, mountain bike and bushwacking to hit a little mountain stream, but it might give them ideas for adventures of their own. If you don't want to give up any of your hard earned, productive secret spots, then you could post about places you have been where the fishing was lousy. You could post pictures and stories without divulging exact locations.
One good resource I have found to learn about fishing in remote, reduced pressure spots is the WTA's hiking reports where I search for "fish". Many times, hikers will share their observations about fish and wildlife in trip reports. I rarely hear of hikers on WTA carrying or running into situations suggesting a need to carry. There must be 50,000 trip reports there.
For me, the best reason to pack while in the woods is to go shooting, but I have heard nobody on this thread talk about that. The discussion is about protection. I can understand the argument for carrying to protect oneself from animals. I can respect the fear reflected in the argument for carrying in order to protect oneself from bad people. However, given the overwhelmingly safe nature of our WA wilderness, I believe it's reasonable also to weigh the probability of you ever actually being able to use your gun for protection against the risk and discomfort that your carrying causes others.
Nobody has asked for my opinion, but i have one anyway.
I spent 13 months in Vietnam, sagging with weapons of all types 24/7. I only needed them occasionally, and then it was really obvious when to use them.
I've been back here for 45 years, alone for days in deserts, canyons, mountains rivers, cities... So far I've never seen the need for lethal force. I don't own anything designed to kill humans.
A. Either I'm a lucky SOB.
B. I'm missing something.
Once in a blue moon, I get a wild hair and decide to go steelhead fishing far afield in the Oregon coast range.
When fishing solo... in the middle of nowhere and the sound of banjoes dueling is not all that uncommon... I do carry a handgun.
However, instead of trying to figure out the best holster for carrying a fairly large weapon, I take a different approach. I can't hit the broadside of an aircraft carrier with a handgun so it makes no difference if it is a 45 or a 22. So, I do carry a small size, small caliber handgun that fits quite comfortably within the inner pocket of my wading jacket. I may not be able to hit someone I'm shooting at but at least I can return fire and even small caliber guns with short barrels make a hell of a lot of noise.
And noise is sometimes all it takes.
If it gets to the point where I need to decide on a holster for carrying a larger handgun, I'll probably give up on the solo trips.
Good plan. Those coastal bears, cougars, and sasquatches all play banjoes and dislike gun noises. You're covered.
That's how I have it figured....
Seriously, over the years there's been instances of guys going fishing alone on remote rivers and later showing up dead along the river. Either they walked into a drug deal, a serial killer got them or a bear with a gun.
Whatever the case, even if there really is nothing to fear from the banjo playing humans, I may feel the need to scare off a cougar if I run into one that looks especially hungry.
I grew up in a hunting and fishing family so carrying a handgun into the far outdoors is nothing new for me.
GSpot, Looking only at statistical averages, we are also very unlikely to die from lightning strikes, yet I still get off the water or off of the ridge in a thunder storm. Why is that? Fisherman are amongst the highest risk group for lightning strikes. Because my unique exposure to these risks is greater than the average. Holding a rod up in the air, standing in water, during a storm, puts you at a different risk. The same is true going to remote places, alone and off the beaten path. So in my view its less about the averages and more about making judgements about reducing your own personal risks given unique levels of exposure. My compulsion to get out frequently to remote areas, off of beaten paths substantially increases my risk exposure to objective hazards beyond the average person. I have chosen to offset that by a carrying firearm.
As for hikers not needing to carry firearms, most hikers stay on the trails. Fortunately for them, most animals will tend to avoid places regularly travelled by groups of humans, unless they are being regularly fed by them. Thats why you don't see as much wildlife interaction with hikers. They aren't off the beaten path following a river for miles, for example where humans don't regularly travel. Most hikers also hike with others most of the time, which automatically reduces their likelihood of becoming prey. With two cougar run ins in my immediate family, and having been tracked myself by one in addition to having been bitten by a dog while on public lands, I have a sense of what my exposure is relative to others. I have weighed these things for myself and I've come up with the "carry when going remote AND alone and off the beaten path" rule of thumb.
Its unfortunate that you are discomforted knowing that I and others on this thread will carry when we feel it necessary. I have some degree of sympathy for the fear-of-guns mindset that someone not experienced with them may have. I'm also in no way suggesting that you should carry a gun if you are not comfortable, legally eligible and also committed to becoming competent in safe use. Also not a fan of the open-carry-at-starbucks mindset. I only open carry when I fully expect to see no people at all. I certainly don't want to unnecessarily discomfort people, but I am less interested in their emotional comfort than I am in being able to stop the dog attack next time or happening into another cougar interaction experiment and preventing a different outcome. Bottom line is for now, we are still constitutionally protected to make this choice and, most likely, you will never even see our guns unless, giant spaghetti monster forbid, you to decided to become a violent criminal or were to we happen upon you getting mauled by a pair of pit bulls.
Just like this site, most people don't broadcast that they carry. They don't usually wear an "I'm packing" flag when hiking, either.
Those folks on WTA probably know their audience also. Knowing it would turn into a flame fest.
I am not afraid or uncomfortable with guns. However, I am susceptible to discomfort around guns in the hands of people with a bad attitude, for example, bullies, people overly adamant about their beliefs or fisherman who hold on to their secrets a little too tightly. I think if you are going to track up alone into remote places like the ones you described, for example a jaunt up the Pratt River, it might make sense or even be advisable to carry. I have no problem with that.
No one ever knows I'm armed. That's the point of a canceled firearm permit. I don't want to make someone feel uncomfortable.
But we do live in The West. And I do hike into the Wilds.
Therefore, at times I'm living in The Wild West so I need to arm myself accordingly
jason and Gspot
2 good post with some forward thinking. Its nice to read a post about guns without any nutjob responses. I dont carry, my guns are dusty and in need of some tlc. I do agree about being up in "nowhere land" and the sidearm is a great tool if needed for wild animals etc.
As for sharing information. I guess I don't have hard and fast rule for public sharing. Generally I think sharing is good but I believe we also need to be cognizant of the ability of any particular resource absorb the attention we will bring to it. Fish in the thin headwaters of river tributaries and smaller streams in alpine settings have short feeding seasons and a tough life. Living under ice much of the year and then spending the summer in small, shallow pools, they don't get very big or grow that fast. Some of these fish are cut off from the rest of their species by big drops and falls and are not as renewable as other areas. But boy are they beautiful! I feel as if I have stolen a glimpse of fishing heaven when I fish these places. I have hit 35-40 fish in a matter of hours. As if they had never seen a fly before. If I go with friends, I take only one. No offense intended, I but I am not posting these locations on a public forum. These are the kind of places where I typically would go once or twice a year each so as not to impact the fish too much. I have explained how I locate my spots, i would invite anyone else to use the same approach and find their own small water heaven, if that is their thing.
On the other hand, I am happy to share what I have learned about fishing the Yak, the snoqualmie, the skagit, the saulk, the deschutes, or for shad, for salmon, ling cod, or trolling on lakes--if any of that is useful. I think those fisheries can sustain a bit more attention.