NC Angler Forums banner
1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I just moved to NC a couple years ago, but have mostly done fly fishing in Washington state and Montana/Wyoming and am just starting to do some fishing around the mountains in NC this summer around Avery and Wautauga counties.

So I was fishing a little stream that runs just below grandfather mountain in Linville, avery county today - I parked at the gas station and got in at the bridge, and got about 30 mins of fishing in before I hear this guy yell "hey, hows it going?"

To which I reply "good, how about you?"

He says "are you a member"

I say "of what"

Then he abruptly says "get the **** out, you aint got a right to be here"


Now I've been fishing for a long time now, and every where I've been fishing, and as far as I've always been told, streams and rivers are state owned and are legal for fishing and recreation regardless if they run through private property or not. We just always parked somewhere that was legal to park and get in at the bridge.

Well this guy was telling me I was going to jail, sheriff was on his way to arrest me for fishing a privately owned river that members had to pay $1500 a year to fish in. People had told me the resorts and "fishing clubs" around here would run you out like that, but I never believed it, up till now I've just fished wherever as long as I wasn't trespassing on private property. I'm gonna try to find the local game commissioner next week and talk to him about it.

Anybody know the specific laws or any references to them?

I was always told that the right to fish a state river or stream was a part of the Bill of Rights or federal law or whatever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
442 Posts
Sounds like you were fishing on the upper Nantahala river on the Rainbow Springs Fishing Club stretch. NC has raparian laws that give landowners a lot of rights. Run a search on the internet and you will get some more specific information.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,031 Posts
rg Rainbow springs club is near Franklin/Murphy more than likely he was on the elk river club. Stream laws are funny here in WNC, you have some streams like the Tuckaseegee, Little T, the New, French broad, Watauga etc etc... which when you gain legal access to, you can wade and boat as long as you stay in the water. Most likely, they were used for commerce in the past, and were deemed navigable. Some are open to access because they are power supply tailwaters and access is allowed for dam liscencing. Most smaller streams are not like that, it takes landowner permission to fish. There are quite a few private clubs in the area, and they are very protective of their property. I avoid streams like that, more trouble than they are worth. I stick with streams on N.F. land or the park waters. Wyoming and MT are as different as night and day, wy says landowner owns stream bottom and you can float, BUT you cannot wade OR anchor. MT laws are awesome. The stream bottom is a common trust, IF there is a public right of way on it....bridge for example, and you must stay below the high water mark.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,040 Posts
Caseywan, looks like you got what you needed. Sorry your intro to NC stream fishing was so negative.

You mentioned fishing in Washington state, mind if I ask for some pointers one of these days for fishing around the gorge area? Portland, Vancouver, to Hood River, White Salmon.

via Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
If one party owns land on both sides of the stream so that the stream runs through the property ,generally they can keep you out of the stream whether you are wading ,floating ,whatever, unless it is a large river. If someone owns land only on one side and even if their property line is the center of the stream they can not keep you out of the stream and it doesn't matter if the other side is private property also as long as it is not one continous property. Some western states have recreational navigation standards .Most eastern states only recognize a commercial navigation standard that basically means barge traffic. It is not uncommon for prime trout streams in NC to be privately owned . It is also not uncommon throughout the southeast for someone to buy a half acre stream front lot and then try to keep people from fishing any where in sight of their property. If you are in doubt about an area you want to fish ,call the WRC .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
301 Posts
I know hounds ears has gotten on people for fishing near their golf course in the watauga. But I've not heard off access issues like that. Just find a new spot. There's alot of good ones out there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
24 Posts
Way I figure, you may know the laws, and the guy that ran you off may as well, he may have been wrong or the law may have been on his side, but in the end if he's cussing at you (and possibly got a gun) it doesn't matter at that moment what the law says, because he has made up his mind you shouldn't be there. That is why I side with slickrocktom and go where I know beyond a shout of a doubt that I'm okay being there.

Sorry you had the bad experience though, hope the fishing was good up until then.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,417 Posts
this in not always true but generally in nc if it is big enough to canoe you are fine......but most of those little trout streams in the mountains are private..........if its in the mountains , if you cant canoe it and the only praticly way to fish it is wade of crawl along the edges then its probaly private......this is not etched in stone but a good guide,,,

I am surprised that if he was that mad about it that there were no signs that u couldnt see as soon as u stepped out of the truck

this is a must rread for any fisherman in nc on water laws

http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/arep/waterlaw.html#Reasonable
 
G

·
Your best bet is to take time to find public lands online.........federal & state, and fish there. If it isn't public land, you don't want to bank fish there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey, sorry all, forgot to check this thread completely. Thanks for all the replies.

Also, I did want to clarify that the guy that was so abrupt and rude at first did turn out to be a nice guy after we talked for an hour or so, he was just doing his job.

Sounds like you were fishing on the upper Nantahala river on the Rainbow Springs Fishing Club stretch. NC has raparian laws that give landowners a lot of rights.
I was under the impression riparian laws give landowners rights to use streams and rivers that border or cross their property as a resource for water or irrigation, not give them ownership rights over the water or rights to run people off.

Wyoming and MT are as different as night and day, wy says landowner owns stream bottom and you can float, BUT you cannot wade OR anchor. MT laws are awesome. The stream bottom is a common trust, IF there is a public right of way on it....bridge for example, and you must stay below the high water mark.
Yep, gotta love MT fishing!

What you stated is correct, except in MT you CAN wade or anchor up the "ordinary high water mark". You are legal as long as you get in at a public right of way, and stay below the "ordinary high water mark".

I was always under the impression that the laws in MT were not really MT laws, but were Federal, and a lot of what I'm reading on the internet seems to point to that.

What do you guys make of this?

http://www.nationalrivers.org/

It's not an official gov't site or anything, but it seems to have some facts about it and seems pretty biased that stream access laws are Federal, not local.

this in not always true but generally in nc if it is big enough to canoe you are fine......but most of those little trout streams in the mountains are private..........if its in the mountains , if you cant canoe it and the only praticly way to fish it is wade of crawl along the edges then its probaly private......this is not etched in stone but a good guide,,,

I am surprised that if he was that mad about it that there were no signs that u couldnt see as soon as u stepped out of the truck

this is a must rread for any fisherman in nc on water laws

http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/publicat/arep/waterlaw.html#Reasonable

Yep, that's basically what I've always gone by - big enough to raft or canoe and your good as long as you get in at a bridge and dont tresspass on land. I have definitely canoed and rafted smaller streams than this one...

There were signs, spammed all over every tree in sight almost, lol, they just say 'No Tresspassing', which I never trespassed if I got in at the bridge, or so I thought.

Going by the NC Water Law link, my particular case is not clear. It states:

If the body of water that lies over privately owned submerged land can be navigated by any craft such as a canoe or a raft, then the public has a permanent right to use the water surface for all purposes of recreation and commerce, including fishing, whitewater canoeing, etc. It is not clearly settled whether the public's right to use such water bodies includes the right to wade on the privately owned stream bed for fishing or other recreation.

The river is definitely fully navigable by flat bottom, canoe, or raft. So I guess if I rafted there I would for sure be 100% legal. I guess I would have to look into more specific local laws about wading. Anybody know where I could find that? I really am not one to challenge the law, but coming from out West to here it annoys me a little to see all the possessiveness and materialism - All citizens should be able to enjoy natural resources like fishing. We stole it all from the Indians anyway, who were able to share resources for thousands of years before we came along.

I'm kinda a hippie if you can't tell, a 27yo hippie anyway, haha
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Caseywan, looks like you got what you needed. Sorry your intro to NC stream fishing was so negative.

You mentioned fishing in Washington state, mind if I ask for some pointers one of these days for fishing around the gorge area? Portland, Vancouver, to Hood River, White Salmon.

via Tapatalk
Take some BIG bright flashy stuff, most importantly TALK TO THE LOCALS, lol. Because the ecosystem there is so vast, the fishing changes so much, and is different year to year depending on how the winter was and what the run-off is doing, and where exactly into spawning they are and all. It's tricky for sure to get the groove there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,417 Posts
u willneed to go to the courthose and see if the propety line goes to the middle of the stream....if it does u cannot wade because u are standing on their land but the public owns the water if it is big enought to canoe, so u can fish out of canoe u just cant step on the bottom....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
So I just moved to NC a couple years ago, but have mostly done fly fishing in Washington state and Montana/Wyoming and am just starting to do some fishing around the mountains in NC this summer around Avery and Wautauga counties.

So I was fishing a little stream that runs just below grandfather mountain in Linville, avery county today - I parked at the gas station and got in at the bridge, and got about 30 mins of fishing in before I hear this guy yell "hey, hows it going?"

To which I reply "good, how about you?"

He says "are you a member"

I say "of what"

Then he abruptly says "get the **** out, you aint got a right to be here"


Now I've been fishing for a long time now, and every where I've been fishing, and as far as I've always been told, streams and rivers are state owned and are legal for fishing and recreation regardless if they run through private property or not. We just always parked somewhere that was legal to park and get in at the bridge.

Well this guy was telling me I was going to jail, sheriff was on his way to arrest me for fishing a privately owned river that members had to pay $1500 a year to fish in. People had told me the resorts and "fishing clubs" around here would run you out like that, but I never believed it, up till now I've just fished wherever as long as I wasn't trespassing on private property. I'm gonna try to find the local game commissioner next week and talk to him about it.

Anybody know the specific laws or any references to them?

I was always told that the right to fish a state river or stream was a part of the Bill of Rights or federal law or whatever.
So I just moved to NC a couple years ago, but have mostly done fly fishing in Washington state and Montana/Wyoming and am just starting to do some fishing around the mountains in NC this summer around Avery and Wautauga counties.

So I was fishing a little stream that runs just below grandfather mountain in Linville, avery county today - I parked at the gas station and got in at the bridge, and got about 30 mins of fishing in before I hear this guy yell "hey, hows it going?"

To which I reply "good, how about you?"

He says "are you a member"

I say "of what"

Then he abruptly says "get the **** out, you aint got a right to be here"


Now I've been fishing for a long time now, and every where I've been fishing, and as far as I've always been told, streams and rivers are state owned and are legal for fishing and recreation regardless if they run through private property or not. We just always parked somewhere that was legal to park and get in at the bridge.

Well this guy was telling me I was going to jail, sheriff was on his way to arrest me for fishing a privately owned river that members had to pay $1500 a year to fish in. People had told me the resorts and "fishing clubs" around here would run you out like that, but I never believed it, up till now I've just fished wherever as long as I wasn't trespassing on private property. I'm gonna try to find the local game commissioner next week and talk to him about it.

Anybody know the specific laws or any references to them?

I was always told that the right to fish a state river or stream was a part of the Bill of Rights or federal law or whatever.
It's public trust doctrine if it's navigable by useful vessel. Like kayak it's an issue here in the mountains Google North carolina general assembly review of submerged lands.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top