Driftless Trout Anglers

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#11 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2018 4:06:10 PM(UTC)
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If anyone listens to podcasts, Steven Rinella from Meateater has a recent episode discussing the topic of obtaining permission. He attacks it from a hunter’s perspective, but it’s still useful for a fisherman. Plus, I’m sure many of you also hunt.
#12 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2018 6:18:45 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: mbchilton Go to Quoted Post
If anyone listens to podcasts, Steven Rinella from Meateater has a recent episode discussing the topic of obtaining permission. He attacks it from a hunter’s perspective, but it’s still useful for a fisherman. Plus, I’m sure many of you also hunt.

I heard this one also gave me a good perspective on how to ask about access on private land. Great podcast also.
William Schlafer  
#13 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2018 7:38:03 PM(UTC)
William Schlafer
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Good topic.

I grew up in SW Wisconsin and still have family there. So you would think it would be easy for me to go knocking on doors - but I rarely do it.

When I have asked for permission, I do little homework first. Find out who the landowner is (county land records websites) and check the name on the mailbox. Always best to greet a landowner by name. I never bother with out of state or vacation home owners - they rarely want anyone on their property.

Never interrupt a farmer while he's working, that will get you off on the wrong foot every time. Park on the road and walk up the driveway, don't block it with your vehicle. If I see neighbors out in the yard, I might stop and inquire about who owns that property with the stream running through it. I always avoid properties with dogs tied up outside. There's a reason they're tied up and setting the dogs into a barking fit won't work in your favor.

I also usually make a point when talking with people that I'm only interested in getting stream access and that I have no interest in scouting for hunting or camping spots. I've found that most DA land owners are more concerned with people poaching deer on their property than they are someone crossing a fence to get to a stream. Always check with the owner where the best place to park and access the stream is. Stick to the stream bank and never short cut across fields and fences. Exit the way you came in, unless given permission to exit at another point. Ask if the cattle are friendly and don't interact with the herd, go around them, or go the opposite direction (that's the safest policy).

A gift of some caught Trout or some beer can go a long ways to keeping the door open for you. A followup visit after you're done fishing to thank the owner is appreciated too. Anytime I see a fence down, an open gate, or loose cattle, let the landowner know. That will engender a ton of good will. When fishing creeks with stream bank easements, I'll often make a point of looking up the property owner and leaving them a note of thanks.

Another important point: just because you were given access, don't assume that permission is also for your fishing buddies and online friends. Always ask if you can bring a friend or two along if it's OK for them to be there too.


“You'll never look back on your life and wish you had spent more time in the office." -- Brian Trautman, Captain SV Delos
#14 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2018 8:11:16 PM(UTC)
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Originally Posted by: draik11 Go to Quoted Post
If you do get access, I'd recommend having a thank you note with a $20 gas card or something like that to give them after you fish. I've heard from multiple people that little things like that go a long way. Leave them your phone number on the note and they may give you a call and tell you to come back and fish anytime.

Great idea. I got the addresses of each of the places I asked for permission this past year and sent them thank you Christmas Cards.
Bob Williams, "Weiliwen"
#15 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2018 9:38:14 PM(UTC)
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This has been a good discussion to read. I agree with the advice to ask permission face to face. Leaving a note of thanks is also a class move.
Curt Rees
Coulee Region Trout Unlimited
Catch fish, have a good time, protect the resource.
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stan b  
#16 Posted : Thursday, January 18, 2018 9:52:20 PM(UTC)
stan b
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Agreed, look someone in the eye, shake their hand, yes ma'am/sir, no ma'am/ sir, please and thank you.
The basics.

Pretty old school.

I am starting to understand some things.

Edited by user Thursday, January 18, 2018 10:32:07 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

"So what is big is not always the Trout nor the Deer but the chance, the being there. And what is full is not necessarily the creel nor the freezer, but the memory." ~ Aldo Leopold
#17 Posted : Friday, January 19, 2018 9:27:59 PM(UTC)
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Agreed, ask nicely when they don’t appear to be busy and the odds will be in your favor.
"I fish because I love to: Because only in the woods can I find solitude without loneliness."
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