towpath rage

Foul hooked

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Normally i am a pretty reasonable and responsible person, and respectful of the fact that, as anglers, we share the advantages, and responsibilities, of the countryside with all sorts of other users. However the other day i must admit that i very nearly lost it when fishing the local stretch of the river.
As i was intending to use my pole to fish close to the far bank, i selected a peg with a wide flat area beyond the towpath, so that should my pole be shipped there was plenty of room for other towpath users to go around, which the majority of people simply did.
One young lady, decided to step over my pole rather than going around, but that was nothing compared to the jogger who, instead of simply going around, stopped, jogging on the sot, kept fiddling with her stopwatch and harrumphing until i shipped out again, at which point she sped off. About half an hour later she came back the other way, and again i was just in the process of shipping in. Same accompaniment of tuts and watch fiddling, so i politely pointed out that she could go round. Her answer was that she was timing herself on a measured distance and that i should not be obstructing the towpath! Worse was to come, a cyclist, who was going like the clappers (dangerous considering the number of walkers, dogs etc around) screeched to a halt and started berating me for obstructing his way. Again, i pointed out that we all have to share and he could easily go round. He actually then threatened to report me to the council for obstructing a public right of way.
Being the totally fair and reasonable person that i am, i told him that i had as much right to the towpath as him, and that we all need to be respectful of other users and i would be out of the way in a minute. He continued to mutter and moan, until i asked him how much he had paid to cycle along the path, at which he looked perplexed and answered nothing of course, that it was a public right of way. I then pointed out, that in order to fish i had to pay for a ticket and also hold a licence, so he should think himself lucky that his activity was free.
The final straw was a bit later on, when i saw a dog (like the majority not on a lead) grab and then run off with my packed lunch. The owners of said mutt thought this was extremely funny, made a half hearted show of telling it that it was a "really naughty boy" whilst letting it run amok and then turned to watch their darling little toddler pick up stones from the path and chuck them into the water not ten yards from where i was sitting.
I packed up my gear, and thanked them politely, for ruining my afternoon and slightly sarcastically threatened to chuck said toddler and dog all into the cut should i ever come across them again.
 

Chervil

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I have a sneaking suspicion, that most tow paths are not 'public rights of way', but 'permissive rights of way', in that the owner, The Canal and River Trust? Allow the public to use them, but don't have to.
 

Godber

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Ok ok l own up, l did smirk a bit when you mentioned the dog nicking your lunch😊
Thats the downside of canals mate, every man and his dog wants to walk, jog, cycle along them☹️
 

squimp

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I was walking my dogs the other day and a friend came running in the opposite direction.

When he got level with me I tried to start a conversation as he’s a nice guy. He wasn’t interested as some running app was in progress and he didn’t want to upset the timer……

So it’s not just on the river bank that runners turn into idiots.
 

Dave

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I'm sure that cyclists need a permit to cycle on towpaths, or has that now been done away with?
 

Total

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I'm sure that cyclists need a permit to cycle on towpaths, or has that now been done away with?
Not any more apparently....They did when British Waterways ran/owned them...
 

JLK

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That used to be the case and if it still is it really needs to be enforced. In fact they should have to pay to buy one and if they get caught without one then it should be a criminal offence like not having a fishing licence.
 

Trogg

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They did used to have to get a licence which had to be fastened to the bike, then the councils started directing cycle 'traffic' down onto the towpaths
 

Browner

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It’s the same with the paddle boarders that have taken over the river locally. 30 at a time when the local club goes out. Using the bank as a common slipway. Not sure if they or any other “boaters” have to pay to use the river.
Problem is that locally the river is only a couple of feet deep in places and less than 16m wide. Wouldn’t be so bad if it was a big river like the Trent.
 

Zerkalo

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It sounds like you handled it well, being of a 'paranoid' mindset myself, I worry that a confrontation with the wrong cyclist could end up in a visit to Dr 'Rangan Chatterjee' or similar for myself. :LOL: On some towpaths anyway, people are generally more civil where I live now but the cyclists do zoom along there.
 

grumpy44

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i was fishing the Derwent once when a bloke came wading down the middle of the river. after a bit of exchange of words i asked if he had a licence he said he didn't need one as he was not on the bank.
 

Tristar

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I used to love canal fishing. Catching a few tiddlers, polite exchanges of pleasantries with boat owners and pedestrians. But nowadays where Iive its been ruined by the cycling lycra clad go-pro selfish brigade, no give and take that we are all enjoying the towpath and the beautiful countryside, they don't slow down when they see anyone as it will effect their times as they want to pedal the fastest, I stopped doing that in Primary School.

I really want to be on the Leeds Liverpool again but can't due to these lycra louts.

I will always remember a family walking along the towpath, we started talking, I joked that I'm catching tiddlers and keep being seen off by Pike close in, to make it worse I've left my flask and dinner at home so will be packing up soon as I'm hungry. Fifteen minutes later they came back with a meal deal and a coffee from the machine from a shop close by. They did this in return of their son having a go at fishing, I wasn't going to let him try the pole so I set a small whip up, he caught a few tiddlers too. That really made my day and gave me hope that there are still nice people on the towpaths.
 

Tristar

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i was fishing the Derwent once when a bloke came wading down the middle of the river. after a bit of exchange of words i asked if he had a licence he said he didn't need one as he was not on the bank.
Same happened to me on the Calder in Padiham last February.
 

OldTaff

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Really feel for you - apart from my feeder rod disaster a couple of weeks ago I find that the people I encounter as both river and towpath users are a really nice bunch where I lurk on a mostly daily basis and respectful of anglers gear.

I‘m on good terms with the owners of a few would be snaffling dogs, have regulars walkers who stop for a chat and rowing club members. The rowing coaches (on bikes) will always give an advance heads up of their boats rolling along gibing time to clear rigs out of the risky zones.

I don’t ship back across the path, far too narrow, but set up a pair of rollers parallel to the bank to lay sections on out of harms way.
 

warrington63

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Not any more apparently....They did when British Waterways ran/owned them...
I may be wrong but Peel Holdings who have the rights on the Bridgewater Canal in the north west issued 12 cycle permits a year, No permit and basically it was " illegal" to cycle on the towpath.
 

Rob F

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It's a local canal for local people! (Mostly)
I think that's why there isn't much towpath rage on my local cut. The vast majority of the users whether walkers, cyclists, anglers, twitchers are locals from the village. They expect other users, know when and where they'll encounter them and are tolerant of each other at least, generally even considerate.
It's not really that hard to do is it?
 
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