What We Miss When We Have To Go To Work [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: What We Miss When We Have To Go To Work

Leland Miyawaki
05-02-2003, 01:43 PM
I went out to get in a little tai-chi, aka speycasting practice, this morning at Lake Meridian, a small put-and-take lake near my home in Kent. As I crested a small grassy knoll that overlooks the lake I saw a father and his young son baitfishing near where I usually cast. This wouldn't pass as unusual except for the fact that there was a Great Blue Heron on the beach not more than 20 feet away from them. The heron appeared to be stalking them. I stopped dead in my tracks and watched. The heron exhibited none of the normal skittishness that I have seen from other herons on rivers. I couldn't believe my eyes when it brazenly tiptoed towards the young boy and grabbed a small trout lying on the beach and swallowed it before flying off. The heron flew about 30 feet away before landing on the beach where it stood as if waiting for another trout to be tossed it's way. This was a suburban heron used to getting easy meals.

Later, as I was taking a cigar break, the young boy stopped to talk as he was collecting colored powerbait balls that littered the beach. I asked him about the heron, which, in the meantime, had perched in a large spruce tree overlooking the water off to our left. I'm almost sure it was waiting for me to catch something. The boy told me that when he catches his limit, he feeds the heron a couple small ones.

Then he told me about the bald eagle last week that swooped down and grabbed his stringer of trout when he had wandered away looking for powerbait balls.


05-02-2003, 01:57 PM
A case of parasitism if ever I heard one! :hehe: It's amazing the way wild animals interact with people when they're not feeling endangered... or perhaps more specifically, when they know there's an easy meal to be had. Cool!

05-02-2003, 02:08 PM

I trust you will not be leaving a trail of small trout from Lake Meridian back to your garage in hopes of acquiring some spey tying materials. :tsk_tsk:

And don't tell me it didn't cross your mind. ;)

Leland Miyawaki
05-02-2003, 02:51 PM
I was actually thinking about how I can get the heron to come to a small trout in my hand. Then while it's distracted, I'll simply liberate a few feathers. Anybody know which ones I should go for first?


05-02-2003, 05:07 PM
If I did, I would never admit it.

05-02-2003, 05:49 PM
one cool kid. Not only to feed the heron and clean up the beach but I would imagine he did not get too shook up seeing his catch of the day being stolen by the eagle. What a sight that must have been.

05-02-2003, 11:39 PM
I know which feathers you would want; however, I'll never tell since possessing the feathers is highly illegal and I don't want to contribute to the delinquency of anyone.

Leland Miyawaki
05-03-2003, 12:48 AM
I'll put them back when I'm finished with 'em.


05-03-2003, 01:10 AM
Yeah, right!:devil:

05-04-2003, 01:00 AM

I didn't know putting them on the bottom of the river was equated with putting them back once removed from the bird.:rolleyes:

05-04-2003, 03:55 AM
I'm sure most know, but I'm a UPS driver. I deliver out on the Key Peninsula, tons of heron out there. Heck, they even have an island named after them out there. Well, was making a delivery to the Civic Center and guess what I saw? A dead heron sitting in middle of road. No marks or anything. I approached and was definitely dead. I was SOOOOOOOOOOO tempted to liberate it from it's certain unkindly fate in middle of the road (squashed heron is a waste). Well, went in to make my delivery and came back out and heron was gone. Figured it was a dog. Hopefully. I'd be ticked if I missed out on a find like that, though I would NEVER had really picked it up. :D

Yeah, a federal offense isn't something I'd like.

Hey Flytyer, have you seen some guy on ebay that sells heron feathers. Supposed legal? I was curious about that. Was gonna email him and ask him how he obtained it and ask if he knew some legality behind what he has. I've seen some flies tied with it, and the look great. But getting it legal is the hard part.

05-04-2003, 11:41 PM
You just sneak up behind them and sprinkle some salt on there tails, and the feathers, well they just fall off.....right?
As for putting them back......Super glue....when your done using them, I mean.
Hey, you dont suppose the Heron's feel pain when there feathers fall out and are used for........nah,forget I brought it up:chuckle:

05-06-2003, 03:05 PM

That reminds me of once fishing the Kalama. I was swinging a muddler add caught a small squawfish. Having a hatred for them, I tossed it to the bank. A couple of minutes later a Heron landed and eat the swuawfish. I tossed two or three his direction as he followed me down the run.

OTOH, anything going on for the sea runs? send me a PM

05-08-2003, 10:44 PM

It is possible to get legal heron in the U.S.; however, it is not the wild heron that you saw on the road. The heron that is sold legally must come into the U.S. with documentation that it was from a domestically raised bird. There is a very limited supply of this heron brought into to states each year, but the price is rather high, about $3.00 or more per feather in lots of 4 feathers per package. Also, this is European heron and it has a different feather on it back than the North American heron. And it is these back (or saddle) feathers that are available in limited numbers. The North American heron does not have saddle feathers with the same feather structure.

Also, if you buy some of the legal heron, you are to get a copy of the certification of domestic origin to go with the feathers, or you can still get in trouble with the feds. It just is not worth the trouble when blue eared pheasant is an entirely acceptable substitute that is legal, and cheaper.

05-23-2003, 12:16 AM
in response to steelheader's comments about the dead heron....The Cumberland River is dammed by a hydroelectric plant. Just adjacent to the external plant is a massive substation. A couple of winters ago, while freezing my ass off for a few stocked rainbows, a large heron landed on the substation and exploded like the fourth of July!! Men came running out of the dam as sparks flew everywhere. They called a park ranger and a game officer. the plant crew shut down the substation and removed what was left of this beautiful bird. The game warden was talking to the ranger when i approached and asked about the bird, just out of curiosity...the warden fussed about having to discard it and i asked if i may have a feather, just to sick in my hat( wasn't tying yet). He made a few phone calls then told me that if i would take the whole carcass, i could have the bird for personal comsumption, i.e. feathers, etc. After taking pictures and filing out a report he took my name, checked my i.d., and put the bird in the back of my truck. I was told that if the bird is killed accidently, or by predators and the death has been investigated the the satisfaction of the investigating officer, he may , at his discretion, allow the bird to be properly harvested for private consumption or for religious rites....Check with your local officers and see if this is the norm in your area...and for all your salmon tyers, no i don't have the bird anymore....:devil:

05-24-2003, 11:11 PM

Yes, this is correct. However, there are several things you must keep in mind or the federal wildlife folks will not be kind to you. !) it must be documented by a fish & game officer (either state or federal) that the heron died through accidental means (such as electocution or getting caught in a hatchery net); 2) you MUST HAVE a written statement of some sort from the officer (like the one you received) that includes his badge number, name, the cause of death, and the date he gave it to you; 3) you cannot sell its feathers, or give even give them to anyone else (it was for your use only) or you subject yourself to the federal wildlife law violation and fines; 4) you are not to go about telling others that you got the bird's feathers.

The chances of something like you described happening to someone are pretty remote. And we all need to keep in mind that even if someone we know has gotten heron this way, s/he cannot give us even one feather or s/he is in violation of the federal law on possessing heron.

Therefore, the best policy regarding heron is to not mess with it unless you have proof that you received it from a fish & game officer for personal use, or the person you got it from can provide you with a certificate of domesticity. It is still far better to use Blue-eared Pheasant since it is legal and you don't have to worry.

05-27-2003, 11:58 PM
you are very correct.....almost to the point of being redundant to my last post concrening the matter, and the chances are not that remote as you say. i spend a great amount of time in the mountains and the forests and things like this happen more than you think....i just tanned a ky elk hide that was a legally harvested and tagged road kill in perry county...you just have to know how to protect yourself from prosecution.