Selway fishing license checks - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 09-28-2018   #1
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 5
Selway fishing license checks

I have done the Selway twice in the last 5 years. Both times during permit season. Both trips I had my fishing licence checked, which is a bit of a bummer on a wilderness float, but not a problem if handled professionally by game and fish folks. The first time the game and fish warden was very respectful and professional, he was on the pack trail below Wolf Creek, tied his horse up and walked down to our group while we had lunch, checked licences and moved on. The second trip I was approached by a group of 3 rafts at our camp with the classic line"How's the fishing?". I had lost my vest with my licence in it in Ladle rapid (for anyone who fly-fishes you know just how serious a bummer that was) and I told the group of game and fish folks the story. One of the guys jumped up in my face (literally 2" from my nose) and shouted "Oh you LOST your license?!" Among other things. I calmly responded, yes as I told you not only did I lose my licence but my vest as well. I provided my drivers license, gave them a business card and suggested they check online when they got off the river my fishing license status, and to cite me if I was in violation, which of course I wasn't. This encounter was unfortunate and definitely detracted from my otherwise idyllic Selway wilderness experience. Sharing this experience to caution folks to be sure to carry a valid license on Idaho wilderness floats and to encourage game and fish wardens to act professionally. In no circumstance should a professional law enforcement officer be responsible for unnecessary escalation of an encounter with the public they are sworn to protect.

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Old 09-28-2018   #2
 
GOTY2011's Avatar
 
Ellensburg, Washington
Paddling Since: 1982
Join Date: Mar 2018
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Good advice, both ways. Last time I floated the Selway, the permit holder was an Idaho Sheriff. Also a DA, PA, couple of HS Principals, and a DEA Agent. Boy, do I have stories.
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Old 09-30-2018   #3
 
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Evergreen, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1991
Join Date: Jan 2009
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I recently returned from a camping and fly fishing trip with my son to the Lochsa and Selway Rivers. One morning while camped in a dispersed site a few miles above Paradise we were greeted by some ID Fish and Game folks that were out making their rounds talking to the many hunters in the area. When asked if we were hunting I said no, just camping and fishing, and we proceeded to chat about fishing, whitewater rafting, the beautiful area and the fantastic weather we were all enjoying. I asked if they wanted to see our licenses and they said no, not necessary, which was somewhat surprising given the out-of-state license plate on my truck. After our discussion they said have a nice trip and went on to visit with others in the area. They were very pleasant and I enjoyed speaking with them and I give them kudos for doing their job in a professional and friendly manner.

In all of my years of fishing I have been licensed checked only a few times and each time was a pleasant encounter, although I did have my license on me in each occasion. Maybe I'll start taking a picture of my license with my phone for a backup in case I do ever lose the physical version.

Given all of the people out recreating these days, I don't mind a bit of official oversight to help keep the mayhem at bay and from my experience I think that the vast majority of the outdoor enforcement personnel are doing a good job (yes there are exceptions to this).

Behowell, I am sorry to hear about your unfortunate encounter that compelled your first post to the Buzz to be about this.
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Old 09-30-2018   #4
 
Golden, Colorado
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 197
Honestly, not a whole lot of sympathy for you and it "detracting from your idyllic wilderness experience".

In such a remote setting, not being able to present a license, even if you purchased one already is the same as not having one at all until proven otherwise. So you get a ticket and either pay it or show up to court and dispute it.

In the future, if you don't want your idyllic wilderness experience buzz ruined and you've lost your license...be a proper sportsman and hang it up until you are legal again.

If not then don't come on here to bitch and moan about it.
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Old 10-01-2018   #5
 
MT4Runner's Avatar
 
Kalispell, Montana
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Were you fishing after your lost your vest/license, or were you not fishing after you lost your vest/license?
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Old 10-01-2018   #6
 
Denver, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2014
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Iíve been there. You never know what type of person youíre going to get, take a pic of it on your phone, keep it with your first aid kit (theoretically wonít lose that) or whatever. Just create a redundancy moving forward for stuff like that so you can disarm the situation. Like it or not them the rules and it gets put on you to have the documents and plan for mishaps. Sorry for the lost gear, that does suck.
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Old 10-01-2018   #7
 
Hood River, Oregon
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 10
Maybe you should consider yourself lucky they didn't just write you a ticket? I would have expected one...

I always take a screen shot on my phone of any licenses/permits. Its not the same as having the original but being able to show them a digital copy can make the difference between a ticket and a warning.
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Old 10-02-2018   #8
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
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Wow, Griz. Your angry response reminds me why I generally do not post stuff online. Ever been on the Selway? Pretty idyllic wilderness experience, not sure why you took issue with that. My complaint is not with a warden doing their job. In fact I would have happily accepted a citation as I did have a fishing rod and was not in possession of a licence, even though I had a current licence sitting in the pool below Ladle. The reason for the post was to share the fact that, out there in the wilderness, this guy jumped in my face and shouted at me, unnecessarily escalating what should have been a routine encounter. Fortunately I responded calmly and the guy who jumped in my face was subdued by his colleagues and the situation deescalated. The warden acted in a manner that was not by any definition professional. I do not consider my post to be whining and moaning as you suggest but simply sharing facts- hopefully encouraging more positive encounters with law enforcement folks in the wilderness. I have not read a ton of posts on Mtn. Buzz but what I have read led me to believe this was a friendly place to share river info and not a troll/slam the guy sharing info site.

It had not occurred to me to carry a pic of the licence on my phone, though that is sound advice from those that posted it. Heading out now for a late season Middle Fork trip, assuming the road to the put in opens.. Will take a pic of my licence just in case. Thanks for that tip.
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Old 10-02-2018   #9
 
Walterville, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1977
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behowell View Post
Heading out now for a late season Middle Fork trip, assuming the road to the put in opens.
You will be flying if you want to get on the MFS anytime soon. Prospect fire.
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Old 10-02-2018   #10
 
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Kalispell, Montana
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Apr 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Behowell
Sharing this experience to caution folks to be sure to carry a valid license on Idaho wilderness floats and to encourage game and fish wardens to act professionally. In no circumstance should a professional law enforcement officer be responsible for unnecessary escalation of an encounter with the public they are sworn to protect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Behowell View Post
The reason for the post was to share the fact that, out there in the wilderness, this guy jumped in my face and shouted at me, unnecessarily escalating what should have been a routine encounter.

Behowell, a few other thoughts:

  • Your second post came off a lot more reasonable than your first one..and the tone of your first post may have led griz to respond in the manner they did
  • You can preach calm citizen boater/LEO encounters all you want on here, this is a good audience to reach the citizen boaters
  • I'm 99% certain the LEO in question is probably not lurking this site
  • You might want to call in to their headquarters and lodge a complaint--especially if the other officers had to restrain him.
  • I hate phones and I'd hate to have a dead battery derail my backup plan..maybe a photocopy in a safe/separate place from your original fishing license?
I hope you have an awesome MFS trip.
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