Trout fishing became a souring ordeal for me about forty years ago when it seemed that more than half the fisherpeople encountered on a waterway were so incensed with getting their "fair share" of trout that they would stop at nothing short of manslaughter to fill their creels. Cussing each other out, cutting lines, throwing objects at each other...I just wanted no part of it and quit.
Retirement and acquisition of a lifetime license got me to thinking of trying for trout again on the assumption that times have changed. And they have!
In the big picture, one can look at the various sports in terms of how much area or square footage of space it takes for each participant. On the lower end, there is card playing where five or six participants can play in about 50 or 60 square feet. Bowling requires more space per participant, but not a whole lot, about the same as playing tennis. Playing football or baseball require much more space but a lot more people can participate at the same time. On the upper end is golf where acres and acres are required for each participant. There are exceptions of course but, generally, that open space tends to alleviate tension that can develop when people, or animals as the case may be, are jammed into tight quarters.
Fishing in streams doesn't require a tremendous amount of space, being limited to the width of the stream and the distance one can cast up or downstream. Many times, two or several people can fish that same area without interfering with each other if they are courteous. Fishing the bank of an impoundment allows an even bigger area for each participant amounting to the distance one can cast in about a 180 degree arc, but still doesn't require the participant to hog a large amount of space. If one has a boat and anchors somewhere to fish, he/she can cast around the vessel for 360 degrees, a larger area but still limited by the distance he/she can cast. The redeeming aspect of fishing from a boat is that it allows the courteous boater to leave the area fished by bank fisherpeople and spread the impact over areas of the waterway, which in itself can alleviate the tensions of overcrowding.
Now comes the difference between now and forty years ago. I don't recall that the practice of trolling for trout was at all popular. Not so today. It seems that everybody has a trolling motor and uses them to exhaustion on small impoundments that typically hold trout. I triedfishing one such impoundment yesterday in my canoe, which I paddle,only to be perpetually buzzed by trollers, many times only feet away from my anchored canoe. I fully expected one of them to snag my anchor rope with a trolled spinner. While the rest of the people fishing the impoundment were content to occupy a modicum of space, the trollers demand to utilize the entire impoundment with little, if any, consideration for other fishermen. I'll use the canoe for other purposes, but, from now on, I'll limit my trout fishing to streams.
Just one more observation: Every one of those trollers seemed to be well past average weight for their heights. I suppose cranking the handle of a reel to fish a spinner was just too much effort for them.