I've just about had it!!!!!!! [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: I've just about had it!!!!!!!

12-08-2001, 03:37 AM
What I'm about to say may not please some of you out there. Some of you might laugh, and some of you may nod your head in approval. I've HAD IT!!!!!!!!!!

Well, I visit a few different BB's. Most of them are soley PNW fishing sites. One is a Michigan site, and then this one that's kind of a mixture. Well, as I'm sure all of you know there's a big steelhead debate going on here in WA state (how could you not if you're truly a fisherman/woman here). Well, let me first say a bit about myself for those of you who don't know me. I'm not a full time fly enthusiast. I doubt I'll ever be. I truly love the feel of a baitcaster in my hand and casting hardware and whatever gear I use. It does take alot of talent to use some sorts of driftgear. I know quite a few guys who have had more trouble using a baitcaster as I have had learning my spey. But that's another debate all together. I do enjoy fly fishing and fly tying. I probably use my fly gear 65% of the time now. But I doubt it will go up from there. Here's my dilema. I was born and raised here in WA state. Grew up just a walk down the road from the Puyallup River. I fished it in the last of it's haydays for steelhead. Remember throwing back 15lb'ers looking for a 20+ (God I miss those days). I watched the river deteriote down to nothing. Mostly small brats now. Sheesh, I remember when the norm was a 12-15lb silver, and you only get cookie cutter 5lb hatchery fish now. On rare occasions you may pull up a 10lb, but that's a whopper :rolleyes: . I know Sparkey, I shouldn't rub it in the way it used to be. LOL

Here's the problem. On one BB in particular I've run into the most ignorant SOB's I've ever seen. It makes me sick to think that they are part of the steelheading bretheren. Makes me even sicker to think all these guys use conventional gear. Makes us gearheads look bad. Some of us do look for the greater good in life and look at what's best. Worse thing of all, his moniker is the same as my favorite sportfish (This may give sparkey an idea on what BB I'm talking about). You know, I see where all these guys are coming from. I grew up in a CnK steelhead society. I have MANY a times bonked native steelhead. I've bonked a 15-22lb native steelhead on almost every Major river from the Green west to the Duc. Mind you, this was between the years of 1976 to around the early 90's. I haven't killed a wild steelhead in years. I do like to eat fish to I will keep a fish that's legal and a brat. But I will make a confession. I have fished CnK nearly 2/3's of my fishing career. It's like alcoholism, it's hard to give it up coldturkey. Basically saying on my part, when I cradle a fish, my mindset from years of fishing is to bonk (we used to subsidize our diets in my house with fish because my parents weren't the wealthiest, we also did alot of hunting also). For me that fish is a bottle, and at times deep in my mind I hear "bonk, bonk" when I want to release it. For the most part I have no problems doing it. But when I do hit that occasional 20+ steelhead I get ansy. I guess it was the years of having a fish as a trophy and having proof of catch is why I still yearn deep down to keep it. I've had recently on the Hoh catching a 21lb nate that I kind of stuttered releasing it. Mostly because in my subconscious I was yelling "it's legal to keep it, BONK BONK BONK" when my conscious was saying "let it spawn". Now, I nail a brat and out it comes. I find no problem pulling brats out and keeping them. I love eating fish so don't find problem at all with it. It just disheartens me that there are so many of my gearhead bretheren that would stick to their guns and would rather clean out a river of Nates in the defense that "If the Indians are doing, I'm gonna take my share too". It just sickens me.

Ok, I'm through. I could keep going, but don't want you guys to ban me for my longwindeness. I'm done bantering.

12-08-2001, 10:03 AM
I know I kid around a lot but honestly I'm fully aware that those who really care about the nates do so regardless of how they fish for them. One morning at buck island I was with my kid and dog having a nice day on the river when the flotilla of drift boats came down the upper pool. The first boat hooked up with a giant buck in the tail out and fought it down the rapids and into Buck Island pool. My first instinct was - here's a fish that is going to die. I couldn't have been more wrong. The gentleman came out of the boat to land it as we watched, and was about the most careful angler I've ever seen handle a fish which took off like a rocket after a nice photo op. He apologized about the fish running over the rapids into the pool too as if he could help it. Really nice guy.

I must admit I was thinking I might lecture my kid on poor fish handling with him as an example and instead ended up saying how much anglers care about the majestic native steelhead instead, citing him as a perfect example.

There are good and bad anglers and it's not because of the gear used. I do feel that terminal tackle does affect injury rates to fish, but a barbless siwash on a spoon doesn't do any more damage than a big fly in the lip. People who use under-rated fly gear can fight fish too long especially 3/4 thru the summer in low oxygen flows and that's no good either.

I agree with you, the core issue lies with the mentality of killing wild fish. Last time I heard, we have reduced the number of salmonids in the Columbia system down to 13% of what ran in 1930, at which time natives were plentiful including the B runs. I don't know the stats elsewhere off hand but the recent news on state of returns and closures speak for themselves.

Fishery management is an contradiction in terms the way it's been done up to this point. The only thing we can do right about it is let them do what only they know how to do right and fish in ways that allow them to succeed on their mission. If we are careful about how we fish and resolved about which ones we can kill, it will make a huge difference. It's obvious that selective gear and C&R helps the fish. If only one native fish can survive out of a hundred hatchlings, every fish on the redd counts. They say hatchery fish have ten times the survival, who the heck wants ten Chambers creek rags in the river for every native? Not, me that's for sure.

This is a challenge to all sportsmen to see if we can bring the historic native runs back into the rivers. We've allowed ourselves to get into this hole, now we have to work to get out of it. When it comes to native steelhead in the 21st century you can't have your cake and eat it too - unless we all work now to restore the runs and make it a non-issue.

I pray for the success of those headed to Vancouver today, make some history on behalf of the wild steelhead!

12-08-2001, 01:20 PM
Boards 'initials' are "PP?''

Most interesting collection of misfits I've ever read; I'm sure there are 'worse' (Ryan pointed one out to me that just stopped me cold in my tracts), but don't think I'll spend my time to proof the issue.

Keep the faith; that's why you're here.

12-08-2001, 11:55 PM
Piscatorial Pursuits (PP) was the board that provided the catalyst for the Wild Steelhead Coalition and if wild steelhead release passes, we may a owe a toast and thanks to Bob and the members of the board for fighting for wild steelhead release.

Because the board is so large, there are a certain number of unelightened folks (I guess that is being nice) but they are in the majority-they do tend to stick out like a sore thumb.

Now if you want a good laugh and truly see some unelightened folks, feel free to visit Steelheader.net.

Just had to correct you on that one...


12-09-2001, 12:37 AM

take a look at www.nwfishing.com or www.gamefishin.com my money goes to one of these sites.


12-10-2001, 03:49 AM
If you have a problem on Bob's board, you might have to watch the postings for awhile to get a feel for everyone. There are some bad apples, but everyboard has them. I officially claim that title since I'm a harcore gearguy who loves to fly fish too I'll be the bad guy. LOL

But, Sparkey hit the nail on the head with the page you should go to. Funny thing is, I know some of those guys, and really makes it hard to go into their zipcodes to fish. But can't resist, been fishing those rivers all my life and can't go without. I very fond memories of catching steelhead in the Hamma Hamma, Duckabush, and a few other small streams that have been closed, hmmm, say 15 years or so. They don't realize that the river closures are slowly creeping their way. The only thing saving those rivers are availability. Most people live at least 3 hours away from the Hoh/Duc/Calawah/Bogie/Queets yada yada yada. When I go to fish there, it's a weekend trip. I don't go for one day. I don't like putting 6 hours driving a day, especially when I like being on the water with my boat by sunup. But I've slowly watched all the metropolis rivers slowly go downhill. Then watched the eastside OlyPen rivers go downhill. Then started creeping into the Chehalis Watershed and up north through the PA area, hitting the Elwha (which dams helped with) and the dungeness. Those westside rivers are the last rivers, and the most remote. If you live in PA or Aberdeen it's not bad, but still a drive anyways. Live in Beaver or Forks then it isn't bad. LOL

Oh well, we'll see what happens now.