In my May 10, 2014 Trip Report, I extolled the virtues of fishing municipal, county and state parks. This report gives the other side of the coin, the cloud surrounding the silver lining.
On Sunday, Coach and I fished a state park in New Jersey. Our friend Klags had fished there the previous week and had had a wonderful day. In addition to the fresh air, exercise and beautiful scenery, he caught lots of fish.
I don't know if Coach felt bad about telling Klags about the spot but never having taken me there. On Sunday he rectified it. We went. We'll never go back.
I had never considered fishing to be a group activity, and certainly not a spectator sport, but I was surprised by the sheer number of people (and dogs!) in the park. I was surprised by the number of people who watched me fish. I was surprised by the number of dog walkers who thought nothing of tossing a stick into the water for their dog to fetch - which wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't so close to where I was fishing. (They don't seem to care that they are scaring the fish. They would care a lot if I was scaring their dog.) I was surprised by the people who walked right up to the side of the stream within a few feet of where I was casting.
I've had more privacy when fishing in Central Park!
I had to abandon one pool before making even one cast because an overly friendly person walked right up to the very edge of the pool as I was extending the rod to make my first cast. In response to a cheerful "catch any?" I had to bite my tongue to keep from saying "well, I would have if you hadn't just scared every damn fish in the pool!"
One guy walked right into the pool where I was going to make my next cast. Disgusted, I turned to leave, and then turned back for the photo.
Yes, I know that fishermen don't own the stream, but I would never walk right in front of a guy who was going to take a photo.
I guess Klags is still too young to be a curmudgeon. He loved it and will go back. I hated it and won't.
I've never had any interest in the shoulder to shoulder combat fishing in New York's Salmon River during the salmon and steelhead runs. I've never had any interest in the party boat salt water fishing along the New York and New Jersey shore. I now have to say I don't have any interest in fishing parks that are full of hikers and dog walkers.
The next time I go fishing, I'm going to go alone. I'm going to go where there is no streamside trail, where I have never seen a dog walker. Maybe the next several times!
I didn't get skunked, but I can now say in all honesty,
a bad day fishing is most certainly NOT better than a good day at work!