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I'm admitedly new to the floating community. I'm into float fishing, and respect that we all have to share the water, and so appreciate that we are lucky to have so much great water to share. But last weekend I got aft-boned by what in my view is an irresponsible raft guide (put mildly). My client (READ: dude who paid $300 + to fish via drift boat) was out in front, casting away (READ: very sharp fish hooks flying thru the air!). Raft guide boy decides, right before the Eye of the Needle on the Upper C, that he wants to pass me, only his crew is no where near strong or sync'd up enough to pull it off. So he smashes right up alongside my boat. I never heard him coming, nor did my client who remained oblivious, still casting away because this is a great section in which to catch larger browns. Soon my oar is half way across the raft, threatening to puncture someone's soft underbelly. The guide yells, "keep paddling everyone!" But half of the boat has no where to go because they are all up in me and my boat. Question: Being downstream, don't I have the right of way? Why wouldn't the guide just hold up, instead of attempting an impossible pass and flailing and failing miserably? I've come across this before, ego-trippin' poser guides who want to try to pass, and fail. I understand we all have to share the river, and there will be the occasional, "oops, sorry for bumping in to you dude," but some of these folks need to be more aware of those of us out their fishing. If I saw someonoe casting a fish rod, I'd stay the hell away. And I'm not talking about scaring fish, that's the least of my concern. Rather there is a very real possibility of someone getting a fish hook in the eyeball, or lip, or gut, etc. Like all activities, places and things, 95 percent of folks are spot on responsible. And then there is the other 10 percent to whom I say, watch out and stay clear of flying razor sharp fish hooks!
 

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Sounds more than a little irresponsible (bone-headed) to me. Waiting for a more appropriate time to pass should have been fairly easy. You fisherman folk (I'm one too).....tend to take on the river a little more slowly, carefully, diligently....in an effort to NOT miss good holes. I would imagine there would have been plenty of time before or after to make an acceptable pass.
 

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Not an indicator of the rafting community you unfortunately ran into a clueless and incompetent guide. imo
 

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I witnessed the same thing at Eye of the needle this Saturday...Just as one rafter was getting ready to straighten out and float by the big rock...some idiot rammed him from behind...spun him sideways and partially wrapped him on the rock...they did wave as they passed him and shouted 'Sorry Brah!!'

Don't the few bad apples spoil the bunch...and keep an eye out for those stealthy ram boats.
 

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I agree the downstream boat has the right of way. However, I have seen fishermen ferrying or in an eddy, then pull into the current without looking up stream. In fact it's happened to me. I was nearly to the wave train at the South Canyon rapid and fishermen in a drift boat pulled right out in front of me. With my momentum I couldn't do anything to slow down. I hit him and snapped a rod tip off. Of course, I got my ass chewed by the guide. My opinion is the guide was covering his ass in front of the customer. He should have looked to see if anyone was coming before pulling out.

Another thing that some drift boat pilots don't always realize is that they can go WAY slower in current than rafts. It's one of the advantages of a flat hulled boat. If the drift boat pilot is ferrying, most likely the raft pilot can not slow down enough to stay up stream.

Edit: In fairness to drift boaters, this is something that a lot of rafters/kayakers don't realize either. Besides the incident mentioned above, I have learned the lesson more than once to give the slower moving drift boats some extra distance while running rapids.
 

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I was in a pontoon with 4 flyrods pointing off the back just above Needle's Eye when I was rear ended by 2 duckies... I yelled, "back off, control your boats" and they replied, "sorry, we don't know what we're doing!" It's just not that hard to check upstream and take your turn going thru the rapid... Wasn't that a subject in Kindergarten? Taking turns? Not a good place to be screwing up or screwing around. If fishing craft are going slowly (as they should) they should be easy to pass at the right time.

SH
 

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This shouldn't be a complicated issue. As a newby on the river in kayaks, rafts and duckies I sometimes don't know all the "rules of engagement" so what I do is I put myself in the other persons boat and ask myself what I would like if I was in that persons shoes. Rafting several weekends ago on the upper C with a group of 5 in my private boat I came across a log jam of rafters and fly fishing boats. I couldn't tell who was in line to enter the Eye of the Needle, if they were hangin out fishing or waiting in line. I simply used common sense and said "hello, I don't want to cut in line but are you guys waiting to enter the rapids, or holding up while fishing" the guy in the other boats politely said I could go around and one said they were waiting in line. While we floated and waited our turn, we ended up chatting about how the fishing was etc and making some river friends.
Point I'm trying to make, is you have to be considerate of other people........put yourself in their shoes and ask what would I want if I was in their boat. BUT some people only think of themselves and fail to see that others on the river want to have just as much fun as them.
The raft guide should have had the courtesy to give your fishing trip the consideration that you all where fishing and to stay away as to not disturb your trip and client. When he did goof up, polite apologize with humility and move on as quick as possible as to not disturb any longer.
Its not that hard, people just don't stop and think about anyone else but themselvs.
 

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I have to ask...did the river guide have a scraggy goatee? I ask because I twice floated the upper C last weekend, once on Friday with my family, then the next day with a family who bid/won the float in an auction where I donated the float for my daughter's school.

Both days the same guide was rude and acted like he owned the river. He had his crew paddle around us, cutting us off without so much as a word, once just so he could beat us to Island for a good lunch spot. I've learned just to pull over in those situations, but he could have handled it better.

I joke about my disdain for fishing and river guides quite often...that said, all it takes is one out of 20 to be rude and it gives the whole industry a bad name. The pressure fishing guides must feel to get their "sports" into fish must be difficult. That said, being river bullies with a complete disregard for fellow floaters/fishermen is pathetic. Teaching river/fishing etiquette should be part of both jobs. I won't even start with how a smile and a few kind words to other floaters would help change the public perception of guides.
 

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I have to ask...did the river guide have a scraggy goatee? I ask because I twice floated the upper C last weekend, once on Friday with my family, then the next day with a family who bid/won the float in an auction where I donated the float for my daughter's school.

Both days the same guide was rude and acted like he owned the river. He had his crew paddle around us, cutting us off without so much as a word, once just so he could beat us to Island for a good lunch spot. I've learned just to pull over in those situations, but he could have handled it better.

I joke about my disdain for fishing and river guides quite often...that said, all it takes is one out of 20 to be rude and it gives the whole industry a bad name. The pressure fishing guides must feel to get their "sports" into fish must be difficult. That said, being river bullies with a complete disregard for fellow floaters/fishermen is pathetic. Teaching river/fishing etiquette should be part of both jobs. I won't even start with how a smile and a few kind words to other floaters would help change the public perception of guides.
You have distain for fishing? Please elaborate as I think you could hate something more worthy like mountain top removal or dams or.....
 

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LOL...once again my poor writing skills bites me on the ass. I'm an avid flyfisher. I was trying to make the point of how fishing guides are perceived due to some problems in thier on river behavior. Just float the Roaring Fork, A and B section of the Green, the Upper Raddy, or the Reef and you'll likely see what I mean.
 

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Nols - I'd add to that the San Juan "quality waters" section. Guides down there (often) act like they own the place and (often) show contempt for private waders or floaters who get in the way of their (often) inept sports. I've had more than one guided driftboat bull through my drift and act like I'm the one who's the dick.

Bottom line? All river users need to be aware of others around them and treat others the way they would like to be treated. It's that "golden rule" thing that keeps the peace. Seems simple, doesn't it?
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Yes, dude did have a scraggly goatee (as do so many), and i'm sure he was part of a larger group of boats but I'd hate to pin any blame on any one company....I've done dozens of raft trips and have the upmost respect for these operations and how professional they are run. Quality folks in this "community". Thanks for the great commentary and suggestions y'all!
 

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not so quick

I agree the downstream boat has the right of way.
if two boats are running, the boat downstream has the right of way. it makes sense, right? because the guy facing downstream can't see the guy closing in on him. So the guy upstream has to control his boat so as to avoid the fellow downstream.

once he eddies out, then boats making downstream progress have the right of way. so the boat in the eddy has to watch out for someone running the rapid. again: makes sense! the guy in the eddy is theoretically "still" and safe, while the other guy's momentum is harder to check and change course.

I've had both happen to me. I got run over by a raft from behind (I was in a kayak), and in another instance, a raft eddied out without looking upstream and I ran right under the raft. that sucked.

no sense getting pissed off. there's a reason we call rafts "barges". They aren't as maneuverable, so kayaks (when properly controlled) can usually run around them.

in the story that started this thread, the guy behind the guide was in the wrong. he made a mistake, friend. it happens.
 

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...that said, all it takes is one out of 20 to be rude and it gives the whole industry a bad name. The pressure fishing guides must feel to get their "sports" into fish must be difficult. That said, being river bullies with a complete disregard for fellow floaters/fishermen is pathetic. Teaching river/fishing etiquette should be part of both jobs. I won't even start with how a smile and a few kind words to other floaters would help change the public perception of guides.
EXACTLY Nolsguy! Teaching etiquette and being nice should be part of the job. It doesn't take much to be nice, it's a lot harder to be a jerk, but some of those guys are...I was on the Green with Gordon Thiret, a 1st class guide, we were pulled over doing something or other, he gets out of his boat, walks up to a guy struggling over some rising fish, gives him a fly and a couple of pointers and comes back to us...guy gets fish, reputation goes up, everyone is happy and smiling! What a difference compared to the guys who hog the ramp, cut you off, etc.!

Off to the Rady tomorrow, I'll watch out for scraggly paddle raft guides!

SH
 

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"It doesn't take much to be nice, it's a lot harder to be a jerk" that's not exactly true. it's harder for a jerk to be nice than for a nice person to act like a jerk. it kind of takes provocation for a nice person to turn sour...i'm not sure what can make an ass change his tune. hmmmm. not sure i explained that well, hopefully you understand.
but i agree that if i was a rafting company owner, I'd demand that my guides show good manners and be nice people; who's going to read the name of your company and recommend your business if they have had bad experiences with your guides?
if i got a report my guide was being an ass, i'd give him a desk job or let him clean rafts with a toothbrush for a week. see if that straightens his attitude out.
 
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