Jet sleds & fly fishing? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Jet sleds & fly fishing?

04-24-2002, 10:43 AM
Like to know how people feel about the esculation of jet boats used by fly fisherman on our NW rivers. Don't want to start a war over this issue just some thoughts on this subject.

I'm sure it was the guides who first started using them so they could get thier clients to the runs first but now I'm seeing more sleds with spey rods in the rod holders.

I will admit that I'm a bit bothered by this trend for many reasons. I see this as bit on the greedy side of steelhead fishing when the sleds are used to go back and forth on a river so as to fish the same run multiple times in a day. What happens to those that are coming down river and who would like the opportunity to fish that run also?

Will this esculate into a war of everyone having sleds. If so them we will be back to the same place we were when everyone had drift boats except the river will be a lot louder and a day on the river will be a lot more stressfull.

I'm interested what you all think about this trend and should I get rid of the drift boat and get a helicopter to fly fish the river?

04-24-2002, 11:24 AM
OC, Good question I felt the same way about drift boats and rubber rafts over forty years ago,they just kept coming though! I guess about all you can do is breathe deeply and watch out for the wake so you wont get knoced off your feet.
One thing I have noticed is that as seasons get shorter and crowds get bigger fishing seems to escalate into something that is differnt than what most anglers remeber. The rub comes from the fact that all of the sudden most of the anglers are new people who don't even know what you are refering to when you mention the traditionl way of operating on the rivers.
One reason for more boat traffic is the lack of access across private lands. The Game Department decided a long time back that it was easier to purchase launch ramps and parking lots than it was to accquire easements along the many miles of rivers in the State. This has dryed up alot of access for the non boated angler.
Personally I find very little difference between the two different styles of boats. In my perfect world you get what you deserve by hiking into the water you fish and nobody gets to fish with aid of a boat. But alas the world is not perfect and I am not King so boats are where its at, and I am certain that you will see more in the future.
This subject could incite some folks to "Flame" I would hope not it really is a simple matter there are too many people chasing to few fish in very limited areas.
By the way do you need a partner for your heleicopter?

04-24-2002, 12:44 PM
Talking rivers and streams here...

IMHO, sleds are all that and more. Just doesn't seem to fit with my image of flyfishing. It's kind of like hunting from a moving truck and unsportsman like; to both the quarry and fellow fishers. I've seen way too many fishermen driven from their run when the fish are put down by sleds powering upriver. Driftboats, rafts, etc., are okay as long as there is no motorized propulsion.

Ban all boats - nah. You know, I've been thinking lately about all the redds that are being trampled by the wading fishers - not too cool either. When the State closes down all but a few streams the pressure on those remaining open becomes extreme. Thankfully my homewaters, the Skagit, is large and not easily waded in many areas. I recall hearing somewhere that the middle reaches of this river was having problems with poor spawning success. This same stretch is also where most of the pressure is focused early in the runs. Coincidence? I don't know. Yeah, considering the alternatives, I can live with driftboats, I guess.

...just a couple pennies worth.

04-24-2002, 01:20 PM
I don't see sleds as a problem on the rivers as much as I see the sled operators as the problem. I hitch rides with friends that have sleds and enjoy the experience of being able to move freely about the river. I also drift the river in a pontoon boat and I hike in some times. Tonight I will be on foot except for the pickup truck I use to get to the trail head. I will use a not so well known dirt road to get that far. Maybe we should ban pickups and start using horses again. I would be in favor of that also if it keeps a lot of the non-locals away from my home waters.

Having said all of the above I see a time when motorized boat traffic will be banned or limited in some way on the Skagit. It won't happen because we as fishermen are complaining but, because of folks like the eagle watchers and perhaps other river user like canoeists and rafters. The main reason will be disturbing the eagles and inconsiderate operators disturbing the canoeists and rafters. I would be in favor of some restrictions or even a ban on motorized boat traffic on the Skagit.

04-24-2002, 02:29 PM
The question was not about jet boats on the river in general. But why fly fishermen of all people want to use one. We love to tout our pastime in a high and noble way, one that creates quality time for the user. It seems that this sport is becoming one of quantity instead of a quality experience. I guess I'm just getting old and even our sport must evole for better or worse. Moonlight said it well on his feelings about the subject.
Just want to know what those folks who use jet boats to reach thier destinations to fly fish think and if they feel that by doing so is it good for the tradition and what the sport used to be about.

04-24-2002, 02:35 PM

Good question. As you know, I have a jet-raft and I do feel a little guilty at times as I run around in front and behind drift boats and shore anglers! This is not a simple thing to address. As has already been mentioned, access is a key question. I bought a boat specifically to be able to access the Skagit, not being the priviledged "local" that Kerry is I don't know all the secret trails (nor should I have to).

Why the jet boat? That is easy, logic says mobiliy is better and why would I handicap myself when Farrar and the boys are zipping around? As well, I use my boat on the Bulkley/Morice and the Thompson where drifting requires extra vehicles and sometimes extremely limited access for pull-outs - the jet makes sense.

This said, I do understand the frustration of trying to compete with power boats. I have only run the boat on the Skagit this season (I got it last year but the closure delayed its debut) until now I have been on foot. I got on fine, but the boat is vastly superior, interestingly I caught more fish on foot though that is I think a function of exploring and learning the boat spots.

As a saltwater salmon guide in the Queen Charlottes I also know that too much mobility can also hamper your success - you run all over and miss the bite! I think Dec Hogan does just fine drifting down behind some of us running around in jets.

What is the answer? I don't know, probably common sense and courtesy. OC, as I said to you and Duggan at Larsons - I did feel a little awkward zipping in there after you guys decided not to stop on the Bar. I wasn't happy about the situation, so your raising this question here is a good thing.

04-24-2002, 02:52 PM

You posted your second question while I was pecking away at my response to the first, this is a different kettle of fish. I would not have a problem with "traditional roots" if all did it that way. What does it mean, silk lines and cat-gut leaders? Single handers only, maybe NO single handers - only double handers (greenheart ones at that)! Would you have caught that beautiful fish Sunday if you had been walking - and not in a high tech drift boat? I know I wouldn't have got to drink that much appreciated Corona (with a slice of lime no less) without the innovations of our boats. I know I love my new high tech Loop Evotec 8-12 ...

You can see where this kind of thing can lead. Once again, I DO see where you are coming from, traditions are important to what we fly fishermen do. However, so are innovations both in technique and in tackle - this includes transportation. It is difficult to have our cake and eat it too.

Again, a good question, we need to voice these concerns from time to time, so at least we are forced to think about what we do and how we do it.

04-24-2002, 03:01 PM
It was great to meet you last Sunday on the Skagit and have a beer with you and your friend who by the way looks more like Don Cherry than Don does except for the plaid suits. I had no trouble what so ever with you fishing larsons first but I understand your disconfort with using the jet boat for the same reasons I would have. I think you answered why you use one very well and that's exactly what the question was about. Would like more on your thoughts about by having the jet boat is it a quality or a quanity experience for you. By using the sled to you miss all the other things that go with a day on the river like having the time to watch the wild life, rowing a boat through tough water or walking in to your favorite spot enjoying the early morning walk. And by the way how long and how time did you put in to cast a spey line as well as you do.

04-24-2002, 03:39 PM
OC, My response to your question regarding how I view my use of boats on the river whether its quality or quantity. This is pretty subjective and given that I fish just about everywhere its hard to give a short answer. I will suffice to say that on the occasion that I do use powered boats when in pursuit of steelheads I always try and temper my usage with some type of restraint. Wether its not fishing anywhere near where someone might walk in to or fishing only with floating flys, do these types of restraint make up for some bad karma on my part? I guess they must in my mind.
Some places I fish have only minimal access as in completely roadless and only air or water access, some times between the rattle snakes and the Brown bears I would perfer to take the fast route over water. Of course crowds are seldom an issue in these few spots so one is not stepping on anybodys toes by using powered boats in these situations.
I guess to answer your question, I can cover up the guilt enough under most cases to still enjoy the fishing expierence while using a jet boat.
Like I said the world is not perfect but if we all treat each other as we would like to be treated it would be close enough for me.
By the way that was a lovely hen you caught the other day, hope you get another before the closeure.

04-24-2002, 04:08 PM

I hear what you are saying and I agree with you even though I like to use a sled for transportation. In reality you can't beat them for getting from one spot to another but, they are annoying as hell when they are flying by you while fishing. I see this only getting worse as time goes on. Certainly going to stay this way as long as there is only one river to fish.

Please excuse my rants about being local. I have never seen the Skagit this crowded before. Used to be you could head up to the river after work and not have to worry about finding a run to your self. Now, even during the week the river is crowded.


04-24-2002, 04:28 PM
I agree, good question!

Do jet-powered craft compromise the "esthetics" of flyfishing?? :confused:

Yes, in my opinion they do!! I much prefer to walk or float in. :)

That being said, I should list a few other things that mess with my flyfishing Fung Shui . . . :rolleyes:

1. Walking or floating a distance to get to a good run only to
have a jetboater beat me to it.

2. Lots of other anglers infesting all the holes I want to fish

3. Getting lowholed in a good run by another fisherperson

I personally fell that, if you're planning to fish the Pugetropolis rivers, you need to be ready to deal with the reality of fishing them (see above). A jetboat helps even the odds when fishing on crowded waters.

Many of the finer "esthetics" of flyfishing are already lost - you're going to deal with (other) jetboats, lowholers, and crowds anyway so it's reduced to determining what I want to get out of my fishing time. For me, it's the opportunity to fish as much quality water as possible. The jetboat's speed and mobility provide this.

If you want a wilderness experience, there are plenty of places to hike in. Head up into the upper Hoh in the park or other remote stretches and you won't have to deal with jetboats, driftboats, or (hardly) any other anglers. I like these excursions best, but they take time and I can't always invest a weekend to really get ~AWAY~. And, as Kush mentioned, there are also those wilderness rivers with minimal launches where the options are a multi-day float, a helicopter, or a jetboat. And Ol' Steelhead Bob explored some pretty wild BC headwaters for steelhead in his jetraft!

Fishing from jetboats are part of a compromise I make to achieve as "quality" a fishing experience as I can find on certain of our more crowded and accessible rivers. Not a perfect solution by any means.

My .02


04-24-2002, 04:44 PM
Kerry S,

It's alright to be frustrated about being a local and having your river over crowded. We all understand your feelings and I think you should voice them. I'm not against fly fisherman using sleds but the concern is that we are getting into place where we bypass a lot of what fly fishing or fishing in general is about. By using the sled we skip a lot of the total package of going fly fishing and in the end we get plenty of casting in and hopefully plenty of fish landed and released. Are we moving toward just getting results? Moonlight has good reason up in Alaska to use one I would too but how would the fishing trip be personaly if we took a week vacation walked in used our skill to be safe from bears and fished for the total experience. Are we going too fast and missing a lot in this difficult time where our enviro is stressed to the max where we at work and home are stressed to the max?

04-24-2002, 05:20 PM

Quality or quantity, hmmm? Again, this too is a tough question for me. Sometimes quality is tied very directly to quantity, othertimes it has nothing to do with it. Even though I have only hooked a few fish, I have enjoyed this spring on the Skagit far more than any I can remember, save the very first one when it was all so brand new. My jet-raft is the reason why. I'm seeing parts of the river I've only heard about, I'm getting into new water and discovering it for myself - this is truely a quality experience for me.

Am I missing the smell of the roses? Maybe, but right now that is not interfering with the quality of my experience. It does concern me that I may be interfering with the quality of someone else's experience though. Possibly after I've "made the aquaintence" of all this new stuff now available to me I will look to smell the roses again.

Back to the quantity as part of quality issue. I am a member of RCPA ("Recovering Competitive Persons Anonymous"). As such I still fall into the need to catch fish! Sometimes lots of fish! I'm usually pretty cool about it, but if for some reason I get into a bit of a drought I can get a little intense (just ask Doublespey or Dana). At times like these maybe I should restrict the use of my jet-raft - as I might not be safe to be around - but that is hard to do!

Anyway, this is obviously complicated stuff - I love it!

OC, thanks for the compliment on the casting. I am largely self-taught, in fact right where we met last Sunday is where I figured out the Spiral roll cast. I'd seen it on Derek Brown's video and thought I'd try it. Now I cannot fish the Lower end of the Mixer without fondly recalling the struggles - talk about where quality in a day comes from! I fish alot , therefore I cast alot. I did get some pointers from Derek Brown at a spey school on the Fraser a few years ago it was very helpful. As well, my primary fishing partner is Dana Sturn - "Mr Spey Instructor", though he is very circumspect about offering advice it is great to have him there if I want to ask for some help in trying to solve a hitch. As Dana would probably say, basically what I do is just chuck it out there!

04-24-2002, 06:19 PM
Kush, you're killin me!! :chuckle:

I'm here trying to get some work done and all I can visualize is you with your Psycho-Biker shades on and your raft adorned in chainmail and spikes!!

I see a post-apocalyptic river video in the making - maybe with a Road Warrior theme.

Steelhead Warrior?? :devil:



04-24-2002, 06:25 PM
I have no problems with sleds. I just think that some locations are not approtirat for sleds because the atmosphere of certain locations is destroyed by the sound and presence of sleds.

The Skagit and Skykomish are perfect rivers for sleds. The fish are activly moving and a sled going over or near your water doesn't matter because a new fish could move in at any time. However the Deschutes is just the opposite. The fish are holding and sleds spook them yet there are no new fish moving into the run.

The Skagit and the sky are big open rivers and there is already no sence of being in the wilderness. The Deschutes is very much a wildernes atmosphere and I feel that sleds detract form that atmosphere.

Some places sleds are appropriat some others they are not.

04-24-2002, 06:54 PM
Rob that is funny I was getting ready to say I don't have a problem with sleds on the Skagit but I have a big problem with sleds on the Sky. The Skagit is a big river and for the most part they can get to the other bank but up on the sky at places like Hershey, eagle's nest, etc there is no place for them to go except right over your water.

I don't like them for a couple of reason. Sleds don't understand what a fly fisherman is trying to do. They gear guys will free drift over and over the same water even if you are in it. You know what I hate the noise. I am on the river to relax and guess what that noise isn't relaxing to me at all. They are just annoying. Now maybe it is just because I have never been in one and have a drift boat.

As far as fly fisherman in them I guess I still get back to the noise portion. I don't have a problem with people beating me to the water. If they beat me to it so be it. I have taken fish behind people and people have taken fish behind me. It happens.

I will say I have a hard time saying that I would want to take away anyone right to use them though. But for the most part not me. I like the pace of fishing and floating that a sled would take away.


04-24-2002, 06:59 PM
Like snowmobiles and ATVs, jet boats are obnoxious as hell; unless I happen to be on one in which case they are a fun way to get around. :hehe:
I own none of them, which is more a result of very limited funds than a categorical opposition to motorized transportation in the boonies, yet I hate the way they sound.
I used to avoid the jet boat weekends on the lower Deschutes at all costs, but one weekend a few years ago I ended up down there with my mountain bike and found it much less crowded than the previous weekend. I strapped on my headlight at 4:00 a.m. and beat the guides to Wagonblast.

04-24-2002, 07:01 PM
Sandi says that we can make the video - so long as Mel Gibson gets to play me and she gets to play my wife!

04-24-2002, 07:19 PM
What a great topic and the replies are truly enlightening..
Another aspect of "motorized" traffic is the effect of waves on the shore line. I don't know enough about the WA steelie rivers to comment, but this is a long standing debate on the Bow. Waves erode the river bank! If part of our FF culture includes conservation of the environment, including "noise & wave" pollution, would it not stand to reason that this is part of the issue of motorized access?
Is this an issue on your rivers?
I recently bought a new Clacker to replace my older one for river fishing and I also have a "power" fishing boat that I use on big lakes. I often carry my pontoon or float tube when I get out to a larger lake and use the power to move around & deal with the windy conditions and then the pontoon/float tube to fish from. I prefer this approach because I feel more relaxed in them than I do in the 18 foot/100 HP machine.

04-24-2002, 09:41 PM's okay for us all to sled your favorite river but NOT mine.

...who care, everybody is doing it already.

...I am a "captain of industry" and my time is limited, so it's okay for me.'s today's technology, why not use it? [What about fish traps and dynamite?]

IMNSHO, just so much compost!

The single greatest reason I took up FF in the first place was to get AWAY from such thinking. Sled drivers are closet bass fishermen who can't give up their toys.

Take bow hunting as an example of the apex of the hunting sports and what some have done to assure THEIR quality time. I guess these same types after taking up bow hunting would purchase the newest compound (better penetration, surer kill - okay I'll buy that one). Then comes the pocket infra-red detector to see the quarry through the brush. Radios to communicate to your like minded minions, driving the prey to your lair. Sound detectors and remotely controlled cameras (they are out there, guys) to gain a fix on the trail system being used. Wearable scents to mask the human smell. BAITING. The travesty goes on and on... Crap, just get a job at the slaughter house and forego the need to buy the archery equipment.

Same goes for the techno Flyfisher. I date myself but, there was a time when flyfishing was the epitome of sportsmanship. The pursuit and associated esthetics were far more important than the taking. One fished the smallest of tippets as a means to give the prey a sporting chance (of course with C&R these tables turned, an exhausted fish is a dead fish). Now we have bobbers and jig heads, epoxies and jelly rope, side scanning fish finders and jet sleds.

And how many old flyfishers like myself are being driven to support an outright ban on motorized traffic on these rivers because of the callous few who disregard common courtesy and true sportsmanship.

Ethics, guys. Simple ethics.

...make it a nickel.

04-24-2002, 10:48 PM
Heck Steve, I leave you alone for one day and you open up this can of worms. Some peoples kids...

I can't resist loggiing in with a couple thoughts and opinions. First off, good question and some great answers. My initial reaction is to question if this is just another way to categorize fishing. We all do it but as flyfishers, I think we are the worst. We get all uppity about indicator vs. swing or floating line vs. sinktips, etc. What is authentic and traditional. Hell I don't know and I don't really care. It seems we should be trying to make fishing more inclusive rather than more exclusive.

Today was the first day I had been in a jetboat on a westside river. It didn't suck. Were the gains of quickly running up and downriver from hole to hole worth the noise and loss of tranquil float and conversation? Today it was, tomorrow maybe not. But it was nice to just pick up and run up to the next run after a well known fly fishing legend low holed us. (And no I will not say who it was but it was rude.) I guess in general I have no problem with using sleds on the large rivers to get around.

I will agree with Jeff that the Sky is not big enough for the 24' deep vee hulled monsters that some guys are running on it. Smaller sleds or boats like Dennis Dickson's, Kush's or Dan Reiffs, are probably fine. I wish I had one.

Finally, someone said the issue is not jetboats but the people running them. Like many things in our sport, it seems to me to be an issue of education. We are all out there for the same thing and in our own way are competitive to get it. If you are not, my hat is off to you and good luck fishing the bamboo rod and floating line :cool:

Oh, I almost forgot. Kush, you have nothing to feel sorry for about the Larson's incident. Well maybe your language but given the Canuck bashing earlier, OC and I earned it.:hehe:

04-24-2002, 11:27 PM
Before This thread makes juro and sinktip nervous that this will turn into one of those jet sled flames I'll say thankyou to all who gave some insight into why you fish the way you do. I know we all are being pushed into new ways to fish because of our enviroment that we fish and the amount of people fishing in it. Was just wondering if by using all the new technologies if we are cutting ourselves short of that good quality that we seek.
this said I'd like to anounce that Sinktip has just bought a sled with 10hp more than our good Canadian friends who do research on th eSkagit have.

04-25-2002, 02:29 AM
Wow, this is a great topic OC! With exceptionally respectful opinions I might add!. I have never met Sinktip, but my opinion would be quite similar. I am lucky enough to own a number of floatable craft, including pontoon boats, canoes, a 17 wooldridge, and a 22 tolly with a 460 ford and kodiac pump (BTW, i use it for fall kings...not generally flyfishing). IMHO it's not that we use these craft for fly fishing, it's as someone else said it's the manner and respect for the other fisherman in which we use sleds. I, Like Kush just got my wooldridge a year ago, and i can spend a whole day on the water just learning the water and seeing new things on the river that were never available to me before without the sled (kind of like watching beavers, osprey, or a water ousel as your walking into a favorite run) Although it's a different type of enjoyment than flyfishing, it sure is a lot of fun. INMHO, it's which craft we choose on the water we wish to fish. Pontoon boats and drift boats for small water where they are not likely to be offensive, the wooldridge on small to medium sized rivers, and the Tolly only in the lower columbia. I can remmeber very well when i dispized jet sleds, drift boats, etc...until I owned one..I really don't mind following people down through a good run of water, the sled allows me to run upstream after a drift boat or other craft has fished through a run...If every spey nut had to walk into their favorite hole carrying a 15' rod, i suspect the path created would look like a walmart parking lot. Sleds are kind of like fishing buddies...they're all a--holes, except for the ones your fishing with/in today! LOL! BTW, OC it would be a pleasure to take you for a ride anytime, or walk into a favorite run of water...there's a time and place for both....

Great topic!

04-25-2002, 02:56 PM
Given a choice, I'd rather fish a sled-less river but on some rivers the increase in sled activity pushes the fish to the gradual sloping side where the fly swings sweeter. The best fishing usually occurs at daybreak w/ fish laying in tight, late morning after the sled traffic pushes everything over to the near side, then in the evening when everyone is heading back to the ramp!

As far as what is and isn't flyfishing, etc - once again there is no point in comparisons, it's as subjective as anything in life. Some people see flyfishing as a tradition, near religion - but that doesn't make it exclusive or inclusive.

In the traditional angler's defense, what's equally "exclusive" to me is to have a flyfishing site that does not provide a place for people to express their passions and convictions for flyfishing no matter how hardcore that might be.

You should always feel free to express flyfishing as a form of religion here. You should also feel free to not have to agree to be welcome.

04-25-2002, 04:34 PM
Thanks Juro for the confidence in us to express our thoughts.
Th3e jet boat thing is not a bother to me at all except they are noisy but I can live with that. But I have a question for you, you have been around awhile and have seen things change. What I'm truely concerned about are we missing something in going fishing with all this new tech stuff. I know it's great stuff I have the best rods made in the world and they keep well broke. But a new example of what I'm trying to get across would be when you striper guys are on the Cape and your a few miles apart from each other. One group gets into fish the other group has none around at all. So being good guys the one that have fish call on the cell phone to come on over. That's nice to share an end result but what about the experience of having no fish around and figuring it out on your own why there are no fish in my area. Is the learning experience of figuring things out not a part of fishing and does it not give you some great stuff to think about before the next fishing trip? We seem to be wanting all the rewards of fishing and seem to makeing a learning day something not desired. If this true then we no longer are fishing. tech stuff has made way to easy to fish and this is hurting the total package of fishing.

04-25-2002, 04:38 PM
I'm plagued with self-doubt..

I've been thinking about buying a sled for a couple of years now, mainly in order to get at some places that are very difficult to get to without one -ie- Bulkley Canyon, the Skeena.

I currently own a raft, a pontoon boat, a canoe, and an inflatable kayak, which get me to most (but not all) of the places I want to fish. But every year, as I get older, it sometimes seems to be more work than enjoyment to get to some of "my" spots. For instance, bounding into the lower canyon on the thompson, given the state of my knees these days, is pretty much a thing of the past.

I reckon with a sled I'd have a little more energy and a little less back pain at the end of a long fishing day.

The down side is towing, launching, storing. and buying gas for the thing, plus the noise, pollution, and being part of what's turned into a rat race to catch at least "your" share of the fish..

However I don't want to be like those folks who drive me crazy by constantly riding their trail bikes through my campsite...

It's clearly about wanting to catch more fish (than you anyway). I wish I could move beyond that competitive desire into some sort of zen-like state, but it's not that easy, at least for me with steelhead.

Interestingly, I've learned to become much less competitive when it comes to trout fishing.. I'm happy to go out, catch a couple just to prove to myself that I still can, and spend the rest of the day hanging out at the campsite with a book or a beer.

Maybe one day my brain will click over and decide that I've caught enough steelhead and don't have to prove anything to those other anglers when they ask me "how many today?"

04-25-2002, 05:02 PM
Well said Poul. I can go trout fishing all day and never cast a line unless I see exactly what I want and if I never cast a line or if I do cast and catch that trout exactly on my terms it's been a great day. And your right about the steelhead thing it's intense and I'm addicted, The experience of steelhead fishing is to me a lot rougher learning curve.
Still having trouble with posting if I take more than one minute to write and i'm having to hurry way to fast. Problems arose when we went to flytalk 3 format. Can you help ? do I need to re register?

04-25-2002, 05:17 PM
Poul, I just assumed it was your zen-master status that was putting all those fish on your line. Competitive? I thought you liked getting out of bed at 4:30. Come to think of it maybe I'm the one wandering around in a zen-like state.Jet boat? is this the real Poul? BN

04-25-2002, 05:55 PM
OC - since I can start a reply, go to lunch, come back and finish it - I assume the time out is an individual browser-side thing. I know it has nothing to do with the server... but I will ask around.

04-25-2002, 07:17 PM
It would be great if you could look into it. Last night I used my home computer instead of my work computer and it still timed out. What happens is I will complete a post clik submit repley and I get you are not a member of flytalk. It is the same message i get when I sign in to post.

04-25-2002, 07:33 PM

Just made a change to your setup. Let me know if it works any better for you.


04-25-2002, 09:22 PM
Whistler: I actually Do like getting up early

Not only will the new jet be big and fast, I'm planning on mounting my camper on it so I can sleep right on the river.
Come to think of it, offering you a free bunk in such a boat-camper is probably the only way I could drag you out on the river before the sun hits... Dawn is the prettiest part of the day. I'm telling you this because you have no other way of knowing until you actually try it one day. On the other hand, if I shared a camp with some of your more ruffiate cohorts, I'd also be a little reluctant to open my eyes until they'd all left (kinda like playing dead).

04-25-2002, 09:58 PM
Thanks Sean,
Hope by fixing my setting you didn't create more of a monster.

04-26-2002, 12:59 AM
Had a long tough day. Body is sore, took some pain killers and am getting ready to hit the sack. But seeing this thread eased my mind but also ticked me off by some of the replies.

I had a big spiel ready. Luckily, I went and took my shower and eased myself down. (Was a bit peeved to put it lightly). But to put it shortly, we're all ANGLERS. No body is more pure or "elite" compared to others. In fact, we're in a never ending evolution gearwise. It's funny to read (and to hear first hand) how guys complain about throwing an 8/9 wt all day. But you give those same guys the 8/9 wts I grew up using (old huge diameter fiberglass) they'd wonder how I did it. Hell, I was even doing it while I was in my teens. Angling is a sport that has evolved. Every aspect has been affected. I remember when you didn't see (and I had never heard of then) graphite rods. My first driftrod was an F85C with an ABU 6001c. It's a club compared to a new G Loomis with a small ABU UC5601C. Hell, the whole loomis/reel combo weighs as much as reel of the other alone. None of us are traditionalists. I dare say that most have a synthetic this or a synthetic that (though some of us still wear barbour/filson style jackets). Sleds are just another form of evolution. Depending on what style sled you have really dictates if it's for fly fishing or not. My sled is. Mine is designed to shoot up river and driftboat it back down. Perfect 1-2 man boat. Getting gas isn't near as bad as having to run a DB with a chaser or scooter. You have to go through process of turning cars around, and leaving gear (if you don't have a few people or scooter) unprotected. Yes, there are stretches that sleds should be kept out of. But they should not be banned or considered "bass boats". These are NOT boats for the recovering bass fisherman as someone stated. You HAVE to have alot of power. These boats need to draft virtually NO water. That's what they're designed for. Only reason you can't run a skeg is that defeats the purpose. You have boat on top of water with still 12" under the surface. I have owned DB's, cats, lake boats, saltwater boats, and sleds. Still have a sled and a cat (and looking to build another cat and upgrade to a bigger sled). I will use my sled primarily for bigger water or mouths of rivers. I stay off the upper stretches. I've fly fished from my boat. No problems.

But, to get off my highhorse (or tired horse, not sure which). I don't mean to offend anyone. Just tired of some of the things I hear from "fly fishermen". That's one of the main reasons I don't think I've converted over 100%, and probably won't. I just don't like some of the attitudes I get from elitists. You have to remember, it's not just easy gravy train fishing for "bait" fishermen. We have to work on our techniques too. Hell, most of us don't use bait as often as most of you think. I use bait maybe 15% of my time running "conventional" gear. I use jigs, plugs, and hardware most of the time. Have you ever pulled plugs? Not as easy as one thinks. Plus, drifting lures is similar to flies. You have to know your depth, speed, and total presentation. If it was so easy, they'd call it catching instead of fishing. See, I've seriously seen both ends of the coin. I've hardcored "conventional" fished for most of my life. But I've also hardcored fly fished too. I'm just tired of anyone not flinging flies as being somewhat "lower" on the pole of fishing. We've evolved over the years. Bankies, to DB's, to sleds. Sleds have been around for years, just becoming more popular. I remember seeing more and more DB's coming down the rivers. People bitched, then it's sleds. What's next? I've seen the true "driftboat" sled. A supermodified DB with pump. We need to ALL get together and ACCEPT everyone with a rod/reel as ANGLERS and just say to HELL with the "I'm a fly fisherman" or "I'm a plugger" or "I'm a drifter". It's all BS. We all use rods and reels with some sort of line. Some are more expensive then others. But what gear you have doesn't mean squat. It's how you use them.

Ok, I'm off my highhorse. Didn't get any of my points across the way I wanted. Just a vague generalization (yes, I could REALLY expand upon this).

04-26-2002, 07:23 AM
SH69 - your hot water tank is too big - it didn't get cold before you came back to the 'puter :devil: Just kidding buddy ;)

to the general audience...

Seriously, I think we all might be placing more into this than is really there - from both directions. When people express their point of view or adopt guidelines for themselves it's called a free country. These are opinions and beliefs and we are all entitled to that when it comes to fishing.

Yet when people try to impose beliefs upon others, pro or con, one could consider this "elitism" and it clearly goes both ways. Saying people are wrong for having a 'traditional' philosophy for fishing with the fly is elitism in and of itself. In the 12 years I fished the PNW it was always the fly guy who took it on the chin - would anyone disagree?

I have a hard time understanding all the intolerance for those who only fish the fly by those who don't. Looking at the facts and numbers, the fly guy is the vast minority and I've always found it amusing how the majority seems threatened just because a few folks choose a different path to the river, perhaps because of fear that regulations would restrict bait or force catch and release (dear God no!), etc.

I could care less how others fish, but I choose to only flyfish and release every native. That's not elitism, even if I express my views freely on a flyfishing website. Even if I have to build a site so I can get away with it ;) (j/k)

Stepping back and looking at the whole picture - I agree with Sinktip's philosophy that solidarity among anglers of all types is the most important goal and stands head and shoulders above all of this BS, especially when wild steelhead and salmon so desperately need all of our help as a unified community of anglers.

Yet to reach this middle ground it takes acceptance of all angler philosophies within the bounds of the law from all directions including tolerance for the fly-only minority by the angling majority. Historically there has been a lot less of that then "elitsm" from fly guys going around. I would argue that the frequent use of that word itself is an example of that intolerance.



04-26-2002, 09:11 AM
I have no intolerance towards people who flyfish, for I flyfish myself. When I say "elitism" I say it to those who play "high and mighty" about fly fishing and snub all those others. I deliver in a very rich area of the state (in fact, come to find out, it's the 3rd richest city on the west coast besides two very predominant cities in California). There are ALOT of fly fishermen who live here, and once you see an open garage or put something into their house for them and see fishing gear/pictures you start to BS. Only the very few have kept a decent conversation after I said "I flyfish and conventional". Get the one up and down and they never really want to talk anymore. Some of these same guys fish some beats I know, and I've seen similar guys on rivers. Dressed to the T (which is nothing wrong with that, but I prefer to wear gear that looks comfortable as well as is comfortable). I had one guy CHASTISE me on the Satsop a few years ago because I was running a "sinktip" because it just doesn't belong in the fly fishing world. Funny thing, I was catching fish, and he wasn't. He had thousands of dollars in gear and I had my old Fenwick (use my 9-10wts for chum/kings). That is who I meant by "elitist". Those who truly believe in one way of doing things and that's it. They don't diversify, and do something because it's "tradition", though they themselves probably haven't been doing it very long themselves. I know after the infamous "movie" came out, there were TONS of these guys popping out of the woodwork buying fly gear. I remember going to the Morning Hatch buying some supplies and seeing guys buying complete setups (I mean everything from waders, vest, rods, reels, the WORKS!!!!) though they had no idea what they were fishing for nor did they have any idea what rivers to fish. I still vividly remember one guy (there were 3 different guys buying gear) saying "So where can I go fishing around here?".

Hey Juro, you think I was still hot? Oh man, you don't know my temper, that was HEAVILY laid back. I'd started blasting left and right. I actually was cooled down. If you read my post, I too want people to be ANGLERS, not this or that. Why do you think in WA state we can't get a damned thing done. It's a republican/democrat thing here. If the conventional guys try to do one thing, the fly guys ban it and say no, and vice versa. I'm in the middle road, since I truly do both. The reason there has always been a bit of disdain for flyguys is because of a lack of "compassion" on both sides. Fly fishing needs a little more room then a baitcaster. Plus it can swing in a slot alot longer due mending. You ever try drifting in a rotation when one guy slows it up? Trust me, I've been on both sides, I've come to slots I wanted to swing a fly, but only spot open was inbetween gear throwers. I just shrug it off and keep going. That's what we ALL need to do. Every time you turn around, something new is in marketplace. Be it good or bad, if it's embraced by a society in the fishing realm, then so be it. If we could all get along, then we'd probably have alot more "friendships" on the rivers.

04-26-2002, 09:12 AM
Steelheader 69,

Juro is right about what he said. Most of the guys I know that fly fish have real respect for the good gear fishermen. At the boat launch I'd rather talk fishing with them than I would with a lot of the guys that fly fish. Do me and my friends make fun of the buba gear guys that are slobs? Sure do and love doing it. Do me and the guys I fish with make fun of all the yuppy fly fishermen who are slobs in thier own way? Yup we do and even more so. And I'm sure when you are on the river and you see some pathetic soul be he buba or yuppy you just have to have a good laugh about it.
This thread started out just as a question to the guys who fly fish and use jet boats on how the use of the jet boat has effected the Quality of thier fishing. So I'd like your thoughts on it because you jet and fly fish.

04-26-2002, 10:59 AM
SH69 -

As noted my comments were to a general audience and not directed at you buddy. I agree there are anglers and there are a-holes and it doesn't matter what kind of gear they are using or what they are wearing.

That guy on the Satsop is a perfect example of unwelcomed imposition. I've never been lectured as such but I would've offered for him to lead through the hole and then hit a fish behind him :devil:

I've got a hundred stories of how some of my best days FF'ing were messed up but that's non-productive. I've spent a lot of days FF'ing where people thought I was smokin' crack out there. I guess I kinda enjoy these situations. Nothing like hooking up on a bugrod in front of a doubting crowd! It always seems to change the conversation to curious questions and a much friendlier tone.

I don't think most anglers understand flyfishing, statistically speaking. I would say that at any busy outdoor store, the ratio of anglers who understand flyfishing to those who understand fishing is 85% verses 15%. Just walk into any GI Joes, Fred Meyer, Big 5, etc.

Could be totally wrong, just my .02

04-26-2002, 11:00 AM
OC, thank you for starting this post I'm sure that your original intent was to gain "Insight" into the minds of your fellow board members. It appears on a few occasions you may have presented the ability to "Incite" some of us to jerk our knees a bit higher than normal hope no one received a soft tissue (or ego) injury in that action.
Personaly I have enjoyed this immensely and have through the remarks of some felt a kinship that before I did not know exsisted. My inability to befriend evryone who wanders through my world is based on well deserved case of Paranoia Pescalerosis while not fatal it has over the years made me very wary of other anglers of any ilk.
In my association with a varied and ignoble group of guys and gals that have been chasing fish up and down the west coast for the last forty years I have yey to fish with anyone who appeared to be "Elite". Except for that one guy I keep seeing in the mirror!

04-26-2002, 12:33 PM
Thanks for the good words and your right I do like to incite a bit But sometimes I need to do that to get some stuff out that's bugging me. I know a lot of the stuff that gets to me is getting to other folks out here in the NW and the Rockie mountain area too. And it's good to see all the good folks here voice there concerns. Hope that the next time I'm up in the Sitka area and your around we can get together, I would love to see that beautiful Trawler you have.
Steelheader 69,
Just read your 2nd post and you hit it on the nose about those folks in the new money rich area. But I can't call them elleitests I can only call them a sorry bunch of men who have no life but work and need to have some type of hobby. It's unfortunate that they picked the thing that we like to do but they have infiltrated just about all the other outdoor activities also. You should see then paddle out into the surf line up in surfing with an incredible ego and an unwillingness to learn the sport the right way and that is from the ground up. I don't want to say they don't have the right to do all these things but if I was God I would make life easy for the rest of us. I personaly blame the industry for all that has happened over the last 20 some odd years. Lets face it they need everyone they can get into fly and gear fishing and they do a good job of selling. In the old days before all the glitz of TV shows sponsored by the industry and how too books a guy would go out who thought he might be interested in fishing and he would buy a cheap rod and reel for himself and his kid and they went fishing. They would try and figure things out on thier own and in doing so some would sucseed most wouldn't and give it up or just go have fun on opening day. If the guy really liked fishing he evolved his skills by going out learning by observation by failing and then hopefully slowly getting the rewards. But now a days it's not that way the industry wants your and everyone elses money and quanity is the game. We got over egotistical guys who flaunt thier names and say read my book and I'll make you an instant fishing sucsess. These guys who write this how too trash don't give a dang about how the fisherman fares if they did they wouldn't share all the info that took them years themselves to learn. Money fame Money, Yuk. With all this how too out there, newbies are skipping a whole portion of the evolution of being a good fisherman and it's showing on our lakes, rivers and bays nation wide. That old time consuming learning process brought respect for all those others that work hard at being a good fisherman but that just is not the case today. With all the industry making sure that everyone who starts fishing stays with it we are not getting the natural weeding out process that used to take place.
Another thing I noticed is in the old days when you started out you fished for the easy types of fish first and gradually you worked your way up as your skill level increased to the more big game types of fish. God now we meet fisherman that all they have ever done in fishing is cast to steelhead.
Well I feel a little better now, thanks, hope you agree.

Green Butt
04-26-2002, 09:51 PM
This is a great thread and triggered a few thoughts in me.

As far as the rich with sorry lives that go out big all at once for FF, they ususally fall away just as fast, as they do in any endeavor. The ones who evolve and develop a love for FF and the resources [as in any endeavor] are among the ones who will benefit the sport and be among the ones who strive to guide things into some direction that looks to the future. These veterans are the ones who see the problems and will see possible solutions. The problems of fewer resources and more population have no solutions that most of us find pleasing.
One of my favorite runs is a spot on the Cowlitz where steelhead never seem to hold, one of those beautiful spots that should produce but never does. I walk a mile in the dark to get to this place before the boats drift through--a sled will sometimes shoot through. I love this spot. It's always mine. The water is beautiful. The backdrop is beautiful. I've never caught a steelhead there, but to fish this beautiful spot well is a morning well spent for me. I also like to catch a fish sometimes too and go other places.
We all have complaints but we gotta live with it and do the best we can. Change is a hard but unavoidable.

04-26-2002, 10:03 PM
I have been having a hell of a time at work, and reading some of the posts just flamed me more. I do apologize, but as I said before I DID NOT let anger rule my post. If you thought I was angry, you ain't seen nothing yet. :devil:

But seriously. When I say "elitist" I mean that the same as a "red neck" fisherman. The bait guys who have a big gob of chew in their mouths, chew stains on their shits and down their boats, snagging fish left and right. "Elitist" is my term for the guys who have top notch gear, never seem to catch anything, and instruct you how to fish. Juro, I do believe I said in one of my posts above. But that guy on the Sop who was letting me know I wasn't really fly fishing since I was using a sinktip. Well, I was pounding chum after chum. I think I landed about 12-15 while he was fishing to his 0. He had the nerve to tell me I wasn't fly fishing. That's where I get my stereotype from. Guys like that. And, most gear guys are same as flyfishermen. We'll shoot the sh*t and have a good time. It's those few who think they own the whole river (which there are a TON of them out there) that ruin it for everyone.

OC, I'll say it again. Jets belong as much in fishing/flyfishing as anything else. Is it the most desired? Probably not. But depends on what boat you're using and where you're fishing. Now, fishing salt flux you bet your ass they're great for fly fishing. I've spent many days on the mouths of the Puyallup and Chehalis anchored up and casting from the bow of my sled. Plus, my sled is designed to run up river, then driftboat back down with oars. Brian (aka Doublespey) has been in my sled. Not with the oars though. It's a great boat, and is perfect if you don't want to run a chaser. Trust me here, I've run motorless boats for years (first one I rowed was a homemade pram of 11' on the Kalama about 22 years ago). It's much easier to add some gas to sled then run a chaser. Mixing is no big deal and the gas will last you a long time if you run to a spot then drift back. I fill up my 13 gallon tank maybe every 4 trips. You have to realize, any of you who feel they are loud and obnoxious. I remember the days when catarafts were scorned upon during low summerflows since we could run the water and DB's couldn't. Now you see them all over the damn place. Hell, they're almost considered a "fly fishermen's" boat anymore. But I remember back in the mid 80's when people got pissy just seeing one come down the river. In fact, I don't really think I saw another big cat, and maybe only a few small pontoon style boats until the early 90's. Angling is an evolving sport. Once we all accept this, and try to work together to set rules together, it'll be nothing but a living hell. Similar to what it is now. I'm a very considerate sled owner. It's funny that if I run on plane, people bitch, but are ok if I run half throttle by them. You create less wake on plane then you do pushing tons of water with most of boat in.

I'd also like to dispell this myth. Sleds ARE your friends. They DO NOT spook a hole. You know how many fish I've caught after sleds have chopped up a hole? I've had many days that were gonna be skunked turn into a "fish-on!" because a sled went through the hole. Most fish will leave a hole for a matter of minutes, then return to rest where they were before. Very rarely do the run up to the next hole. Usually after they've been disturbed they seem to be a bit more aggressive. I make it a point to get my lure/fly into the hole that just got run through. Usually it'll create a hookup. Prime example, my Dad's property on the Nooch. The guy across the way drops his sled in all the time. Nice deep slot with a couple nice pockets of holding water. If I see him dropping in, I'll get ready, especially if the fish have been locked jawwed. You guys also have to remember that sleds need to be at almost full throttle to run/steer effectively. They are slugs at 1/2 power or lower. Plus with the weight of engine and heavy gauged aluminum hull, they draft a TON of water in zero power or slight power. That's why alot of them have big engines. Hell, my 14' sled has a 75hp pump. Runs great and comes on plane quick with two guys (ask Doublespey). But put a third and seriously dogs that boat down. And the engine is a runner. But you're talking a super heavy reinforced boat. They need to have power to get on plane. Personally, I love the sound of a jet. I think it's a cool sound, but I have an aviation degree so love the sounds of jet propulsion. Plus, the feel of a jet is different then a prop. Don't ask me to explain, but it's a feeling you get running one. Must be the mixture of sounds and running on top of the water.

I'm sorry if I had offended anyone above on previous posts. Just tired of sled bashing. It's a typicle "1 bad apple" scenerio. Most jet owners are considerate. You always hear about the a*$holes. Just like anything else. But I agree, there are certain stretches of rivers that should be motorless. Then there are stretches that should be BOATLESS!!!! Just my .02

04-26-2002, 10:39 PM
The "R" is one of the very, very few rivers in Oregon classified as "navigatable." (Sorry, spelling is the pits as I'm shot for the week).

Legally, the Rogue will allow motorized boats most of it's length; you may need a 'permit' for some sections but putt-putts are still allowed. But, and a big but, it's interesting how public pressure bends the 'allowed' to what's actually done.

Directly north of Medford is TouVille Park with its boat launch. Below this point in the upper river power craft are fairly common; above (although allowed by law) a boat with a motor is as rare as chompers in chickens. Guides who 'transend' this gentlemen's agreement are not treated with "kindness." Interesting to hear a guide (and his clients) get verbal 'rocks from hell.' Very few will 'go where men have never gone before.'

The local guides may know the law, but they also (few exceptions) 'know the rules.' Below TV I've had a few ("guides shall we say?") clients run 75-100 yards of line off the back of the boat into where bankie guys are fishing. At 59.99 years of age we've learned more than a few 'tricks' on how to cut this game off short.

One of the few times I'll walk back 3/4 of a mile back to the car and get a drift rod and very large sinker to sweep lines.

("Gee Golly ... we've tangled lines. Only way to free them up is to cut your's off. ... Can we all see the tear forming in the corner of my eye?..." Boat guys have 10'ish + miles of river to pound; they don't need my 60 yards. Forget .... and, with great provication, ... I'll remind them.

Life is good 99.9999% of the time down here. But a few folks, as with the exceptions in the English language, prove the "rule."

Rant over. Sorry guys.

04-27-2002, 12:46 AM
Here's my take on jets - I don't care for motorized stuff in natural areas. Yes, I do DRIVE to the river, but only to launch an canoe or driftboat or walk it. The river and its banks have a sound and beauty all their own. A deafening din, enveloping vistas, entrancing smells. The stench of a motor, and the sound thereof, breaks this trance and really puts me off.

04-27-2002, 01:27 PM
A good Saturday Morning to all. Hope some of you NW'ers got out for opening day of the trout season at your favorite local lake.
Steelheader 69, I'm on your side when it comes to sleds on rivers really I am. And I think you answered my question in a round about way honestly, as did everyone else here that owns one and uses it in some form or other to go fly fishing. 1st off you all mentioned that it gives you a lot more freedom on the river from being able to be on the river by yourself and not have to go through all that car transporting stuff. 2nd you all mentioned that it gives you the freedom to see more of the river and to fish more places on the river. 3rd, All of you voiced concern that your actions in a sled could have an affect on the fishermen that do not fish out of a sled. That is great that you all go out of your way to be thoughtful and considerate to others. So I have no problems with sleds whats so ever. You have answered and to me anyway, justified the use of a sled to flyfish out of and that indeed you have found a quality as well a quanity way to fish.
Now that being said, I would like to bring up some observations.
1) I only know a few of the flyfishers who have jet boats around the areas I fish and I know a bit about the others from friends. What is obvious for me is that these guys are part of that 10% who catch fish. Even before they had sleds they were looked on as good fishermen and some as good guides. ANYONE SEE WHERE I"M GOING? These are the guys that stay a head of the curve and they do so because they truely love what they do and are good at it, they put a lot of time and thought into thier fishing. Even if they do not like the term, Trend setter, that is what they are just from the fact they are good fishermen. If I'm wrong about this then let me know guys give me hell.
If I'm right then will history repeat it's self as it has in fly fishing and fishing in general forever. That is will a certain portion of the, (10% who catch) will they go out and get a sled for the same reason that those others in the 10% who have one now? Then what happens? Do a certain portion of the 90% who don't catch go out and get one too? I'll venture on many years of fishing experience that the answer is yes. I'll venture to say that many of those 90% will feel it is what they need to start catching fish. They will be wrong of course because it's not the sled catching fish.
Steelheader69 said it best when he said that not many years ago the pontoon boats were looked at in much the same light as jet boats are looked at now by many. I'm sure drift boats could fall under the same fire at one time.
The only reason this is important for me to know and for everyone who fly fishes to know, fly fishermen who use jet boats included. If this escalation does happen will you once again lose much of the quality that you gained by buying a jet boat? Think about it, When there are 5 or 10 times the fly fishermen on the rivers than there are now with jet boats those open runs that became open to you because of the freedom of a sled may not be open anymore. Does the quality we seek go on a downward spiral once again?
I know we fishermen are a crafty bunch and will find a way to achieve some form of a quality experience one more time, after all we have done it from Walton on. But with the excelleration in our sport over the last 20 some odd years are we running out of options for that quality experience? If you have not noticed please take a step back for a moment and think about it. Are we or are we not moving at an out of control pace. Is escalation the answer or should we be taking that step back and exploring some other alternatives? And I'm not talking about going back to gut leaders and silk lines.
Please Steelheader 69, this is not about sleds, I'm just using sleds as an example of many, many things happening in our sport. I could use a hundred different examples exactly the same as the sled one.
Everyone take a look at all the bitching going on out there at other fishing sites, it's about everything under the sun. Does this not point to something drasticly wrong. Ya, I know we can say there is not enough fish anymore, but guys that's a different problem and if there were more fish what would happen to the popularity of an increasingly popular sport then?
We sit on the river bank and on lakes and bays and quietly mention our alarm at the escalation in our sport. I have asked prominent well respected people in our sport why they have not really brought up this subject as they could really do a good job of expressing themselves and the answer is fear of being chastised for doing so.
For those who feel as I do is it time to step out of the closet take a deep breath and start a constructive diolog on how to save our sport from being loved to death?

04-27-2002, 05:52 PM

Sir, that was an outstanding post. Thank you.

Whether pro or con, re: sleds, your question and sentiments ring soundly to me. Your position that this question encompasses far more than sleds is right on point. I look forward to a new dialog addressing that which you pulled kicking and biting from nowhere (everywhere?).


04-28-2002, 02:29 AM

If the Thompson River was mine I would let my friends fish it with me and life would be good.

04-28-2002, 01:02 PM
If the goal is a constructive dialog, then consider the Deschutes plan. No fishing from a boat, jet boats on alternate weekends.

This provides multiple types of access (and I won't go near the river on the jet boat weekends because of the noise), as well as refugia for fish. Maybe there should be some places on the river where we Don't have a shot at the fish, where they can rest unmolested and check out the dating scene. These areas, for trout at least, can provide a "source" of big fish as they spread to other areas.

04-28-2002, 02:32 PM
There we go, flexibility. Great idea and one which should suit the flyfisher's flexible nature; like our wonder rods, flyfishers give to the particular pressures encountered.

In a variation to the theme: why not split the Skagit into two sections - the lower section, say Hamilton to the mouth, with its deeper and wider flow, for motorized river traffic while keeping the upper section, which is far less developed, free of such motorized activity while still allowing the pontoon craft and driftboats. I could support such flexibility.

I like this idea of flexibility in part because it cancels-out the exclusivity argument to a great degree.


04-28-2002, 07:50 PM

Very few jet sleds on Michigan rivers a couple of guides have them for the Big Rivers only - Big Manistee, Muskegon, Ausable, etc. Thats the way we like it here. We do have lots of drift boats, canoes, and some pontoons, and larger rivers have a lot of small 14 or 16 foot v hulls with motors.

Plus on some rivers like the PM you need a permit to launch which controls the number of craft on the water daily. Not all rivers have that control system though.

Personally, I cannot imagine fly fishing a river in which jet sleds are running up and down in front of me all day, and low holing me, etc... I would most likely not fish under that scenario.

I feel for you guys. Good luck, sounds like more controls are needed over motorized water craft at least.

My .02 cents

04-28-2002, 08:51 PM
loco and watersprite that's a start and we got long way to go on this.
Watersprite I respect your views and what your saying about the past and a lot of other things you say, I know I've been there. But sorry, I don't think you are going to get anywhere with it. Ya got to remember most of the folks here were not born in the 40's, 50's or even the 60's. These young guys/gals and understandably, have no concept of what it was like to fish back then. I wish they did because they would have loved it, not because there were more fish back then because you and I know that's not always the truth.
You have to remember that from the late 70's on the whole concept of fly fishing has changed. It has now become a modern day market driven industry. I don't know what you do to make a living but I do hope you understand a little of what moderen day mass marketing is. It is not based on supply and demand it is designed on create a demand and then supply. Tell me how many of the companies who make rods are still owned by the original owner? The majority have gone corporate. When it goes corporate what happens then? What do they have to do to make profits?
Watersprite there have been over 800 looks at this post and I have no doubt that I don't have the ability to make the good folks here on Juro's site, that there is something seriously wrong with our sport. I was hoping for more dialog more help. It's funny, we are all concerned what's wrong with our natural resourses and yet to get a discussion going on the health of what we love best is near impossible.
Hey Watersprite, You ever watched the movie called the "Matrix"? If not you should go and get it tonight. It's kind of wild and you may not enjoy it but there is a scene in it where they show into a room and explain what's going on in the world. Then you will understand some of my concerns. Enough.
Note; Hey Kush, I had a six pack, lime and killer sandwiches. Where were you? You were not fearfull we were going to keel haul you with your own sled were you? I don't think you missed much anyway but the day was beautiful. Fish were stale today, sitting deep in fast rock infested waters. No way to get to them but we tried. Expensive cigars and Coronas starting at 0710, god, I can't do it anymore, we ended up drinking our morning coffee on the drive home. And the sunburn.

04-28-2002, 09:43 PM

Don't sell your efforts short! You've got me and several others looking at the issue(s). ...and I have no trepidations on speaking my mind and engaging others. Think energetic snowball at the top of an inclined plane.:)

I recall an incident in college where a guest speaker/performer was lecturing on a specific topic and during the post performance question period a student asked just what was she doing, personally, to address the problem. The speaker paused briefly then said, "today I am speaking to a hundred plus students regarding this". One of the most profound lessons in my many years in school.

Hey, any day replete with a good friend, a good Dominican maduro cigar and a cold Corona is a good day in my book!:smokin:


04-29-2002, 01:23 AM
OC et al,

I was born in the 50's, I have fished since I was 5, I caught my first steelhead on the fly in 1970 I know what it was like then and I know what it is like now .

In many ways I understand where you are coming from. I learned to steelhead fish on a Fraser Valley river called the Vedder. I learned by watching some of the greats and trying to immitate their ways - it was a wonderful education. Today I refuse to fish the Vedder, at least for all intents and purposes. Why? It still has plenty of fish, it is still a beautiful river, no it doesn't have Jet boats, or driftboats and not even any pontoon boats! The problem is, as you lament OC, times and our sport on the Vedder have changed.

The ethics I grew up with and live by no longer exist on the Vedder. A new generation of fishermen exist there, they all gear fish - which is fine. However, they don't move at all, they don't like to fish with anything but roe and fights and uncouth behavior are common place! The Vedder of today is not a great experience. In many ways this makes me sad, however, the reality is that there is not much I can do about it.

My solution, such as it is, is to seek out the experiences that jive with my needs. I flyfish because I enjoy it. I speycast because it gives me a thrill - even if I don't find a fish. If it was just about the fish I would still gear fish - it's not, it is about the experience.

Yes, I realize that this sounds like a good case for your arguement. So let me explain. I don't like the ethos of the Vedder - so I choose not to go there. Instead I go to the Thompson, I go to the Skeena and yes I go to the Skagit, Sauk and the Sky (when it's open). Why, because they provide the atmosphere that turns my crank. OC, if you need solitude and opportunity to have a day without jets or other distractions, then walk into the upper reaches of an OP river, come up and spend a weekend with me in the fall. Find the places that fill your needs, they are out there - go get them.

On the other days, when you just need to fish, you just may have to hold your nose and fish (maybe you can imagine the smell of the roses) - I know it is not the same, but "if you try some time, you just might find ..." There are times when I just have to go to the Vedder, I know it won't be "like the old days" but I still go. I even catch the odd fish in the middle of a bunch of dazed and confused bubbas who evidently thought I waved the long stick around just keep my balance while I was wading. It is kind of a funky kick all on its own.

As much as we'd like them not to, times change. How much we change with them is a choice each of us has to make. Our personal enjoyment will not be based on wishing for the days of our youth, or grumbling at what we've lost, but rather by how well we can find within the reality of the day, enough to satisfy the personal needs that keep us going. I'm not saying that one has to give in to the bastards, just that it's up to each us to find for ourselves the way to get what we need from our sport or maybe life in general.

Yikes! I think I just scared the crap out of myself with all this philosophical drivel! It just seems to me that this whole discussion is more about personal issues than anything else. " That's all I have to say about that."

OC, I was out on the water Saturday, Doublespey and I suntanned as we ran around in my boat. While I had no Coronas, I thought about the ones we shared and on my way home I smoked a great Cuban Monte Cristo #4 (one of the advantages of living in Canada). Cheers and I look forward to our next meeting on the river.

04-29-2002, 04:29 AM
I know I'm going to piss you guys off, but-

Sounds like you are quitting before half-time in the season's home opener!

OC - I sense your torment.
Kush - I understand your resignation.

Still, both of you, whether individually or collectively, can effect change. All it takes is a determination to start, a willingness to work hard and strong perseverance. With these three traits and the help of friends and compatriots you could bring positive change to this arena. Remember where you heard this - Your flyfishing friends, these 5%'ers, are some of the most progressive thinking people on this planet. Likewise, their influence, when tapped, will amaze you.

If you were to try and facilitate a change this forum would be an immense help, probably the single best platform to reach your peers. I would be quick to ellicit Juro's agreement and help.

OC - You hinted as to an interest in my occupation/background. I am an ex-biker turned legal researcher (consumer law/minority rights advocate), retired. Hence my "in your face" style of engagement. Should you undertake this endeavor I would be most happy to assist [even on a leash].


04-29-2002, 10:02 AM
Now we are getting somewhere. It's a little early in the morning and there is no coffee in the house and I got a 6 hour drive over to the Snake River to work for a few days.
Kush thanks for responding and I'm sorry if at the start of this thread because you were the suject in the jet boat. I don't give a dam about the jet boat. Who knows maybe someday this will be called the Kush effect.
I know that we escape to rivers anywhere in the world now, after all it's so easy to do. Save up some money, pay the man and he or she will take care of all your needs,(see every issue of fish@fly magazine).
I know you have escaped from the Vedda for the same reason all of us have escaped many of rivers. What is the old saying "you can run but you can't hide". But you know it and I know it and a lot of people we now know it. "WE ARE NOW ESCAPING FROM OTHERS WHO CALL THEMSELVES FLY FISHERMEN".
Look, before I get done with this I'll most likely get thrown off this site and if not I'm going to get blasted for sure and that's ok. The very things we ran from in the gear scene are happening now in our loved fly fishing.
You know how we hate to see the bait cans, the rude people drinking beer and breaking the bottles along the rivers the crowds lined up shoulder to shoulder. Well take a good look at us fly fishermen. Our rivers in the Rocky Mountain West are being loved to death by fly fishermen and though the pollution is different from the bait cans and glass it's still just as bad if not worse. Take the Madison, the Henery's fork, Take our own Rocky Ford here in Eastern Washington, each and everyone of them are being ruined by fly fishermen. Not because of not carring but because there are just too many of us for the fly fishing infastructure. Go to the Madison and by mid July the bank is destroyed, the river has been waded to death and I do mean to death, many rivers are having a drastic crash in aquatic life. By Mid July the trout don't fight worth a damn anymore, sort of wallow, splash and give up. And take a look at thier lips, talk about rip a lip just about every fish has hooking scares. It's kind of sad, You see a young guy come out to West Yellowstone to fish, You know the Trout mecca of the USof A for fly fishermen. He gets all excited and at the bar at night the locals can here him explaining to all that will listen he caught a dozen wild trout and he C&R everyone of them. The locals who have been fly fishermen for years can only shake thier heads in agreement and say," ya son nice going you nailed them wild trout". They are not wild trout anymore, they may not be hatchery trout but they are now domestic trout and why because there are too many fly fishermen. And guys like I said," you can run but you can't hide". We fly fishermen have some serious problems on the horizon, it has nothing to do us Vs them it has nothing to do with if this is a sport for the rich or not. The problem we are going to need to deal with here is are we destroying the quality we seek by being fly fishermen by being fly fishermen. I know some of you out there don't care, your having fun, your enjoying the popularity of fly fishing it's become a great party, some are even making enough money off it to keep the kids fed and if lucky get them through college. But if we keep going the way the sport is going it will become just what we ran away from!

04-29-2002, 10:16 AM
Watersprite, sorry I left you out. Im not going to give up, maybe give out, but not give up. Just look on world wide website the suttle hackels are begining to be raised. This is good this is how we find out if we really have a problem or not or if we are just paranoid. Flytalk3 I believe is the place to do what we are doing. It will piss a lot of people off before this is done but I know this is the right place to do this. Just wish someone with more expertise on this troubling problem would step in.

04-29-2002, 10:47 AM
I've enjoyed this thread immensely. And although I've never encountered sleds (just because my fishing PNW rivers have been limited to the N Umpqua and a limited amount of time on the Deschutes) I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of "we've seen the enemy and it's us". I see it everywhere. We need to take some personal responsibility, both in our expectations and our consideration for others. I really have nothing to add, other than to say that I feel fortunate to read such great dialogue from you, Kush, sprite, etc. This is a great site.

04-29-2002, 11:14 AM
The "tragedy of the commons" is nothing new. The problem is that our population, and number of anglers, keeps increasing and the number of "quality" angling locations is finite or actually decreasing as we find new ways to screw them up. We're running out of secret spots.

I know I'm travelling further and for longer periods to try and find what I used to experience much closer to home. When I do fish locally, it's usually in a small stream so messed up by development that most other anglers ignore it as long-dead. (I'd rather fish by myself in a ditch than share a pristine stream with millions?). When lake fishing in the Kamloops area, I'll often go to a crummy lake rather than share a good lake with you and all your friends and competitors.

So what's the solution?

In other parts of the world, the problem was solved or avoided by essentially privatizing the best fisheries, and effectively preserving the experience for those rich enough to afford it. In a way, in N. America we've done the same thing by restricting remote streams to those rich enough to afford the helicopter. There's also a growing trend towards private fisheries (ie douglas lake ranch).

Simply letting the market sell the experience to the top bidder doesn't sit well with me (I'm struggling with why there's an individual or corporate right to own land, particularly waterfront, where it over-rides our collective right to access).

Perhaps one of the real problems is that the huge increase of available information (info or marketing?) through magazines, the net, etc., has not only done away with "secret" spots, but has also altered the expectations of angers so we now need to catch x number of fish at least this big in such and such a manner and location. By example, my local fishing exploits seem pretty drab compared to, say, Kamchatka or Alaska, but look pretty attractive compared to fishing for dace in a european ditch.

If I really want to fish by myself in a beautiful spot, maybe the solution is as simple as moving out of the city to someplace much more remote (why do I live in the big city anyway?). It would sure be nice to be able to wander down to a nice stream or lake for an hour or two when I felt like it or the water conditions looked particularly perfect..

Beyond that, the only practical solution I see is in changing, in our own minds, our personal expectations to something that can actually be achieved in this over-populated part of the world. Or is that some kind of cop-out?


04-29-2002, 02:51 PM
Great thread, guys. I know I'm coming to the party a bit late, but for what it's worth, here's my .02. First of all, though I am not against people driving sleds, I have to admit, I'm not exactly thrilled every time I have to back out of a run to avoid being swamped by a wake, hear the roar of horsepower, or have a sled see me coming on foot and light out to beat me to my intended destination. On the other hand, when I've been in sleds, I have to admit, it's pretty darn cool, and an unbelievable luxury for a guy who's normally in a driftboat or on foot. What's the solution? I don't know, but every time I'm quietly drifting down river, shooting the breeze with buddies and feeling the flow of the river, I feel that for me personally, that's the way to go.

The other thing I have to add to this discussion is that I don't believe the analogy of sleds being in the same evolutionary place as graphite, gore-tex and two-handers works. I want to state the fact that this isn't an anti-sled rant, I'm just responding to this analogy that was posted earlier. The difference between me using a graphite rod, wearing a gore-tex jacket or any other "modern" convenience to our sport, is that none of these things intrude in any way on another angler's experience. They do not create wakes, produce exhaust or rattle ear drums.

I think a lot of what is being discussed on this thread, beyond the sled issue is just the fact that we are now living in a much more crowded world. Whether it's the sleds, the crowds, the rich guys or whatever that upsets us on the river, it's mostly a factor of population explosion. Here in Seattle, we are no longer the sleepy little airplane making town. Until very recently, there were something like 30,000 people a year moving to Pugetropolis. And with Microsoft, Nintendo, Adobe, etc all on a crazy growth curve (again, until recently) the crowded conditions on our rivers merely mirrors our traffic congestion problems. So what do we hope for? A crashing economy? Victory in the law suits to break up Microsoft? Not likely.

I think the best we can hope for is that we all work as hard as possible to get along with each other. To resist the anger caused by finding someone in "your" spot. Sure, fly fishing is supposed to be about solitude and peace, but that just isn't the case around here anymore, at least not for fish as desirable as steelhead. So you can fish for bluegills in peace, or you can try to be as thoughtful and courteous as possible, do your part to teach ethics, and try to be as unintrusive as possible to other people's experience. Who knows, maybe they'll return the favor. It's doubtful, but you never know. As for the sled issue, well, without a doubt, they are loud, disruptive and intrusive. But like I said, I sure have enjoyed being in them from time to time, so I can't really give a clear opinion. I guess, since I don't own one, I'd rather not see them on the river, but that's not really keeping with the spirit of things, is it? Instead, I will just thank those who use 'em for being as courteous as possible, and for occasionally taking me along for a ride.



04-29-2002, 02:53 PM
My $0.02:

Let's face it we've made our own bed, and I'm as guilty as anyone. I remember as a kid sneaking down the dike to go fishing as all the cool kids partied on the other side of the river. Yes, I was a lonely fishing geek. I guess I still am, but now fishing is kind of cool to the general populus and I'm becoming more of a recluse.In fact a lot of those people that used to make fun of me and my flyrod have now taken up the SPORT. In fact I taught a fair number of them myself. Not to mention the countless starter setups sold through a couple of different stores and schools taught all over and guided trips. I shudder to think, but I'm still at it. Unfortunately I find myself rethinking a lot of what I used to believe, and a lot of what I'm seeing in this INDUSTRY ain't cool to me anymore.As mentioned by others in this thread the problem seems to be fishing's transition to SPORT status. All this techy gear and cool toys but where have we lost the soul of the whole thing? I remember reading my Dad's old Western fish Game(the one's with those great Grundle prints)and getting goosebumps hearing about the adventures of Jack Shaw, Earl Anderson, Clifford Conland et all.Nowdays I cringe as I pass the newstand. TV shows: well that's a whole other post. Suffice to say I've fixed the hole in the wall behind the set and replaced the remote.
(girlfriend doesn't think too much of _______'s ethics when it comes to catching Michigan steelhead(sic)on roe in their spawning creeks).
To me fishing has become more about preserving the experience and the whole culture of Steelheading and way less about the catching of numbers of fish. Happily there are still places where one can escape the crowds and enjoy the river in it's natural condition. Where we are missing the boat is not using our current swelled numbers to preserve these places. Some are more concerned with 'protecting our rights as anglers'and having fish in'catchable nubers' of course. If we are to continue to enjoy the unspoiled places that as Kush stated, still do exist, we need to find ways to increase the difficulty. Gear restrictions, poor catch rates and difficult access all tend to keep away the masses who are concerned with catching. Personally I love the Vedder,thank God for the Vedder, I never go there anymore but hopefully those that do like it enough to stay there. As for sleds I love them, perhaps the third funnest toy ever created, after the snowmobile and I assume the jet fighter. As much as I love jet boats I am starting to realize that steps should be taken to limit their use on rivers where they don't make sense. I don't think it's a huge deal now, I'm just looking ahead 5 years. For example in the Fraser Valley/Vancouver area there have been a huge number of boats sold in the last three years. Those people have cut their teeth on the swamp water of the Fraser and are now getting braver.Close by we will have a monster increase in their use on rivers like the Thompson and Squamish, not too mention up North. In fact, even yesterday I saw a well known employee of a local flyshop whipping around the upper Squamish in his boat. While entirely legal, this is something that regular anglers of the river realize doesn't go with the pristine environment of this river's upper reaches.I tend to feel that this type of activity can only increase as sleds become more commonplace. There still is an opportunity to shut the barn door, so to speak. The responsibility really is ours, and I think we all have an idea. Everytime I fish the Kispiox I think what a fun ride some sections would be, thank God someone had the foresite to ban this. Could you imagine, YUK.
Flyfishing is supposed to be difficult, that is why we've made the transition from gear. If I cared about numbers I suppose I could rig up with an indicator, and still claim ff'er status.To quote Haig-Brown:'the law of diminishing returns gives the river back to the flyfisher'.

04-29-2002, 03:44 PM
Or words to that effect.

Gentlemen, I feel privledged to know you all even if it's only 'electronicly.'


04-29-2002, 05:44 PM
Gentlemen, this is beginning to work for me. We seem to have reached past the ranting and moved to a more charitable and honest "discussion".

Kush, Steelheader69, I wasn't really ranting. Rather, I speak strongly about deeply held opinions. In a perfect world there wouldn't be a need for motorized traffic on our rivers, everyone would have the perfect fly and enough wild fish to meet our wildest expectations. Never was like that and never will.


A good democracy is majority ruled, thank god! This makes it all the more critical that minority groups make a strong and clear argument for their cause. Good dialog, such as recently demonstrated here, gives us a group identity and defines our purpose, needs and ethos. It also adds illumination to new ideas.

The current demands on our rivers are far too great. I wish all our rivers were pristine but they are not. Some will remain for the most part but not enough to suit my desires. I learned a long time ago that all desires can't be fulfilled (nor should they).

With a new found identity and a clearer understanding of the demands on our rivers, a plan of action to make necessary changes acceptable to the majority and in line with our goals is possible. [Examples will follow if necessary.]

Now personally - Aside from the obvious love, honor and obey, I hold fairness above all others. As a lifelong advocate of minority rights, fairness ignored still brings me to tears. It would be terribly hard to find peace within my soul were I to support a complete ban on motor-powered watercraft. In another post to this thread (several pages forward) a member mentioned flexibility. Could I be so blind! Of course, IT"S THE ONLY WAY TO EFFECT POSITIVE CHANGE.

The sled owners/users have rights as defined by law. So do we but not here (unless we hold the majority view). It's time to treaty, to parley. In total fairness. But both sides should expect a third party in any discussion - the river.

Short term wishes -

A place in this forum dedicated to these issues. I believe this forum could be the best "Round Table" for flyfishers to work for resolutions. Now having said that, is this too much of an imposition on Juro? This is such a good forum that I would not want to change to the worse what he has done for us.

It would be great if the "old timers" would act as mentors to the newbies. Respect, held warmly, is a great communicator and teacher.

A tolerance for opinion. One characteristic of opinion is its flexible nature. Who knows, maybe the opposition will change for the better; maybe you will.

Long term wishes -

A long term effort by all flyfishes to take the right road while endeavoring to find resolutions to their challenges. Perseverance to a cause that is fair and right.

A new ethos incompassing the best we have to offer. One held closely, but not so fervently that we blind ourselves to sound change, and one nurtured with respect for all, be it man or river or fish. Pipe dream? Perhaps..., but I am a believer in the human spirit and willingness to do good.

Thanks for the companionship.


04-29-2002, 08:58 PM
It occurs to me that with one simple change, rivers like the Vedder could be transformed from a zoo back into a place I'd be wont to fish: close the hatchery. I expect C&R regulations could do the same for many Washington streams.

Kush and others will likely remember what it was like to fish the Vedder in the spring of 1978 (or was it '77?) when the river first went C&R (and prior to the first hatchery returns by several years): hardly an angler in sight and some of the highest catch rates seen on that system ever, despite a small run size. Most anglers simply refused to fish if they couldn't bonk one, and missed out on some fantastic angling.

I'm not selfish enough, though, to think that my own desire for a quality fishing experience over-rides the much more numerous component of our population that likes the status quo just fine: keep those hatchery steelhead and salmon coming! But I wonder what these anglers would do if someone offered them a freezer full of fresh fish in return for not fishing for a year. Would they then figure out that fish aren't what they are actually angling for?

Hatchery production and the resulting increase in angling pressure has also created growth and dependency in the tackle/guiding industry. Most of those in the tackle industry will fight anything that might result in a decrease in angler-days and subsequent decrease in revenue.


05-01-2002, 01:29 AM
I'd have to say one thing "evolution". Though it has been said that jets don't follow in "fishing" evolution, I feel it does. Let me explain.

Though they are noisy and "smelly" (only if you have an older outboard smell wise) they do follow suit. Of course things started out having to wade in. Pretty simple. Then came along the skiffs/prams. Accessible to alot of places, but some stretches were a no no. Then came the driftboat. YES, they are loud. Not as loud as a sled, but nonetheless loud. Not as quiet as a pram or especially wading. But have spent many mornings wading in ice cold water waiting for the sun to come up to fish. Some holes my Dad and I fish we have bank access to and can be waiting on the river in the slot before the guides drop in. Especially in late fall when you have a mist on the water too. Can hear aluminum AND glass boats banging and clunking there way down the river in the dark. Then you hear the anchor release and know they are planning on holing up. Until they see the figures waiting in the slot near them. But I could hear them a mile away. But for most part, they are quiter then a jet. But then comes hassle of having to have a chaser rig to pickup trailer. Preferably you have a second person so you can leave your gear protected. Then comes the sled. Yes it's louder, but more maneuverable and easy to handle alone. Plus, you can have a boat that has oars and can DB your way downstream after shooting upstream. If you fish alone, and want to fish water that's only reacheable by boat, then a sled will get you there. Once you get there you can beach and fish the bank if need be. But can fish from boat if you want.

So, you have your bankers, they hate seeing the DB's and Sleds. Then, you have the driftboaters, they hate seeing a bankie in their slot and a sled running upriver. Then you have the Sleds, they hate seeing a bankie because they're drifting water they want to run/boondog or a DB that they'll have to maneuver around. There's always someone who's disatisified with the other. Yes, there are parts of a river that should be motorless, and parts that should be boatless. But where do you draw the line? I know this is about flyfishing, but when it gets down to it, we're all anglers. Plus, alot of this is "Boys with toys" mentality. Alot of the recent flux of sleds are guys who've seen them and think they're cool. They buy one, then let them sit. They find out they take upkeep you actually have to know how to drive one on a river. You need to be able to read a stretch quick, especially going 35+ mph up a river. Most guys wuss out and end up using them for salt flux/saltwater fishing only (basically were you could use a prop). I'd say as of right now you'll see a rise on sleds. But eventually the numbers will go down. Same thing happened with DB's. Became hot a few years ago, now you can pick them up pretty cheap. Well, unless you want a new top of line Hyde. Of course, you have guys who think they have a boat, they can go anywhere (like guys above 7400 on the Nooch in a sled, CRAZY!!!)

But, I digress. As I said, they've come out with a modified DB that runs on a prop that supposedly is similar to a sled, but built like a DB (not a DB with a motorwell/transom) but an actual modification of the back of boat. Pretty interesting looking.

05-01-2002, 04:06 PM
It seems our tone is becoming increasingly less edgy.

SH69 - Your post is reasonable and clearly explains the convenience and opportunity afforded sled owners. If catching fish is the overriding concern of the fisher then sleds are an answer - for them. Sleds can cover ALL the slots.

Then there are the driftboats, pontoons and rafts, somewhat less convenient but still offering great opportunity. These boats can cover ALL the slots.

Wading is not so convenient and limited by environment subleties and property ownership. Your brothers afoot have far less opportunity.

Is it a choice issue? Maybe not. Whether one wants to own any boat, be it sled or otherwise, is not always choice. Sometimes it's an issue of finance. Others - storage. Still others - marriage! And a few like me - aesthetics.[Before someone says that aeshetics is choice; not so. I am driven to prefer the natural sounds, the ambience. ...and my presence would not alter this.]

So the bait and gear guys have most of the river to fish. The boat owners have ALL the river to fish (dependent on their style). The wading flyfisher is left the scraps. Hopefully he won't be driven out by a discourteous legal boatowner.

This is but one side of the coin. The other, the ethos, is not so easily put to words or understood and at the heart of OC's initial post, IMHO. I believe that if we can define it perhaps the other side of the coin would cease to be a wall, becoming more like a mirror image seen on a backlit pool.


05-02-2002, 05:34 PM
Well just got back from the Snake River and Eastern Washington. For those of you who are not from the N.W. and have never been out that way you are missing some beautiful country to take your family on a long drive exploring back roads and a unique geological history like no where else in the United States.
I came back a little nervous about where this thread might have gone, almost did not want to turn the machine on to find out. But gentlemen you have brought tears to my eyes and a smile to a weary face. Thank you much for so many thoughtful ideas and opinions. I am begining to see that there are a lot of us out there who deeply care about the direction that our sport is going. As watersprite said that maybe Juro would see fit to put a place on his grand site for such discussions. In doing so there would be room for more folks here to get involved, seeing this was originaly posted under NW Salmon & Steelhead a lot of folks from the trout and salt water sections may not know about the discussion or feel this is just about NW fly fishing.
The problems are country wide, Yes in some places fly fishing is a new concept and only just really begining to grow in popularity like in the New England salt water areas or the deep south of our country for bass and other game fish. These issues maybe even more important to those areas than the ereas where proliferation of fly fishing has already taken place to the point where it has deeply effected the very quality of each and every one of our experiences. Wouldn't it be great to get more people who are new to the sport involved in discussing this issue and find out more about what they think and want out of fly fishing and where they think the sport should go. Wouldn't it be great to learn more about the past of fly fishing and to me the last 25 years or so would be so valuable a subject to discuss.
Now this is Juro's site and I don't know Juro well. I've enjoyed his posts and his tolerance in letting us talk about issues that may have the potential to disturb some in the fly fishing industry. Not knowing enough about how he is able to maintane this site be it just private funding or if there is some money from the industry would make a difference. But I really think Juro would go for such an area to talk about this subject and where all who visit his site can participate.

05-02-2002, 06:52 PM
I've noticed a lot of posting on this subject (though many multiple postings, many mine) and a heavy number of viewers. A lot of people are interested, even if only passively. Possibly adding a folder called "Issues" to the Worldwide... or ...Musings forums would sustain and engage these viewers. It would be nice while serving a very needed function - public debate on issues important to flyfishers.

Welcome back OC.


05-02-2002, 08:44 PM
This thread is worth 6 Stars on the rating system!
Perhaps the dialogue/issue also involves how we are dealing with the overwhelming success of our FF sport. We are more adept at dealing with " what to do if it goes wrong" than we seem to be with "what to do with overwhelming success".
Let ,e explain. I for one, and I suspect many others, some of you perhaps, has promoted the sport to many. I've been at FF for over 45 years now and I bet that I brought on at least 50? new comers, that's almost one a year, my latest convert is an older brother at age 60. Now if each of them did the same and it continued with others, no wonder there are so many FFshers!
There are many ways by which I did so, when I was younger, much of it was the mystique of fooling a trout to rise to my fly. now I'm older, it's still the same.
Here ar my new resolutions, inspired by this post AN many other posts and E-Friends, I have yet to meet..

STOP talking about the number & size of fish, concentrate on the benefits of "the experience" which to me is just as simple as being on the river, close to nature and trying to get in touch with some parts of my soul that I may not have visited lately.

START encouraging reflection on what feelings were experienced at the point of hooking and landing a fish. Take a 15 minute break and soak in the learnings, water shape, fly presentation, turn over a few rocks etc.

CONTINUE to help others who want to learn Fly Fishing, not Fish Catching, show them the ropes, encourage them to be private about the specific locations and allow other to discover the same spot through experience. AND when new visitors come to my home waters for only a few days, OPEN UP with all my secrets so they can have an overwhelming experience, and hopefully land a few fish while they are at it.

COMMIT to speaking out about issues, be they sleds or bank erosion or fishing pressure.

Thank you all for a renewed inspiration and if "we" is the enemy, let's do battle!

05-02-2002, 08:49 PM
Hi guys I want to respond to this request but I am swamped so I printed it out to read when I can... 32 pages and that's the printer freindly version.

It would help me if those of you who stand behind this idea email me with details and I will be happy to set this up.

05-02-2002, 10:31 PM
To bring or mentor future fishermen into our sport is a great responsibility and we all I hope are doing it from time to time. But to do it properly must be part of our responsibility. Maybe in all of our enthusiasim sometimes we do not let people new to the sport any room to breath and find out if fly fishing is for them. If you think a little about the way that most guys and gals get into the sport now you start to see where some of the problems we are facing arise. But more on that latter, we got plenty of time and it's important for more imput from those old and new to the sport.
Good work frenchcreek keep going. Do you fish the Bow? If so What are you seeing up there? I've heard that they are facing some of the same problems that our Rocky Mountain Rivers are.

05-02-2002, 10:52 PM
But I wanted to clarify. I didn't mean that sleds are a way to fish if you're only interested in "catching" fish. Hell, if this was truly a sport of "catching" fish it would be called catching instead of fishing. No one is hooking up everytime they go fishing. If they do, they're one lucky SOB.

Now, onto sleds again. I just want to clarify this. They are effective for fly fishing. But, they're mostly effective for the single fisherman. You can run two people, but they're more for moving up to a slot and then anchoring. (fly fishing wise that is). If you want to go fishing alone, and want to hit water only accesible by boat, then a sled is a great way to motor up to that spot. Then you can anchor or beach the boat and fish. I will add that they do work quite efficiently for the "conventional" fisherman. Great boondogging boats and plug pullers. When I said they are an evolution, they are a tool to get you where you want to fish. I prefer to get out and fish from shore. My sled has made it easier for me to fish, especially when I hurt my back. I couldn't run the oars on my cat do to the discs affected. I could get my sled in the water, then it's a quick choke and up she runs. Was able to get up into my slots and fish. Plus I had a chair to sit in on my boat (since I couldn't stand for more then a few minutes at a time).

Acceptance is a key. Sleds aren't going away, neither are DB's, cats, prams, etc etc. The better we ALL come together as ONE group, the quicker we can make this a better experience for everyone. You segregate one group, then who's next? It really doesn't matter to me, since the rivers I fish my sled are more "motorized boat" territory. Just some slots skegged boats can't go into. We all have to share the rivers, but it depends on who's willing to admit that we ALL own them, not just a few. I have watched the local rivers overgrow with people over the last 20+ years. But since I don't own deed to any riverbed, I can't complain about it.

05-03-2002, 01:25 AM
Being very serious about this subject, I emailed Juro this evening. The message included, in part, the following:

I propose that you allow two more folders be added to the "Open Forum" area of your web site [comprised of]:

1. The Flyfishing Ethos: It's character - past, present and future. Debating the fundamental values of flyfishers with the goal of forging a new philosophy in a changing world.

2. Current Issues: A discussion on things affecting our sport, pro and con, with the purpose of finding resolutions to contentious issues.

Many of the issues, etc., transcend national boundaries and may be suitable to the general worldwide membership.


I hope that others take this opportunity to speak up in support of this matter.


05-03-2002, 09:02 AM
Those two subjects will do it! They can even be combined if that makes things easy for an over worked Juro. We got to let Juro have some time for himself after all they just had a long winter and now it's the begining of striper season and I hope he will get time to walk in solitude on the Cape Cod flats.

05-03-2002, 03:14 PM
Juro, I warned you:

"If you build it they will come."

05-03-2002, 03:44 PM
Hey Fred,
And hopefully from all over the world.

05-03-2002, 06:33 PM
" Do you fish the Bow? If so What are you seeing up there? I've heard that they are facing some of the same problems that our Rocky Mountain Rivers are.

Yes, it seems that the same issues faced on the Montana and other rivers are slowly creeping northwards. Private and/or corporate river bank property ownership that inevatibly affects river access has been an issue. One outfit from Montana has been active on the Elk and less so on the Bow. There was a great debate on another board about this subject a few years ago. I called the "owner" of the Montana outfit and he assured me that any time I wanted access via land that his company owns, it would be granted. I tested this and was given access. His claim was (still is I presume) that private/corporate ownership was as much about "protecting" the resource form unemcumbered access and all the left over garbage, camping residues, riparian destruction etc. that comes with unrestricted access. The other side of the debate was about the "right to access" without constraint.
My view has been much more about the "responsibility of access" and the "obligation to sustain and enhance" our resources.
Ryan has another post going about the development of streamside property. Worth a look.
Maybe we could/should continue this topic when Juro sets up the new topic sections on the board. The issues of access, streamside preservation, private Vs. public lands will surely activate some responses.....

05-03-2002, 11:24 PM
The type of corparate land deals you talk about are for now the best we can do. At least the Paul Alans, Ted Turners and others are keeping the land from being subdivided into 5 acre plots. The Madison river has been divided into thousands of these little/big log homes where the owner has exercised his right to keep as many off the river as possible. Many times I can understand why a working ranch is forced to shut down acsess to thier property, but for folks to own 5 acres where no one should live in the first place and to fence off thier land for the sole purpose of discouraging people a way to the river, now that's a tough one for me. There are places now on the Madison River where one can drive at night for miles and see nothing but the house lights of people living the new fly fishing dream.
All have a good weekend

05-04-2002, 12:45 AM
If this thread goes on any longer maybe we should rename it "Flyfishing Pathos".:devil:

05-04-2002, 03:10 AM
Originally posted by kush
If this thread goes on any longer maybe we should rename it "Flyfishing Pathos".:devil:

Sorry for being so blunt but, is someone feeling so threatened that they need to ridicule? Please, save the pity for those oppressed souls living without any freedom of expression. IMHO, only those whose personal and/or commercial interests, supported by the status quo to the detriment of others, would object to such debate.:devil:

It always seems to come down to ethics...


05-04-2002, 09:52 AM
on the name for one of the new sites. Even thou. my input into this thread has been 'feather weight,' at best, this has been one of the most interesting to follow, todate.

Bravo Gentlemen!!!!!!!

05-04-2002, 02:12 PM
Pathos, Ah yes an ancient word, before Latin.
Hey anyone ever think about what ever hapened to the Haig- Browns in our sport?
Yes it is time to put this to rest for awhile. I'm glad so many of the good folks on Juros site came over to read it and many have participated. Hopefully by the time juro gets up a section for these discussions many will have had time to think more about the health of the sport they love and for those who think the sport is healthy some insight into, well we will see.
Time to mow the lawn but may need to rent a wheat conbiner to do it.

05-04-2002, 05:46 PM
OC, Watersprite, et al - thanks as well. To be continued - I'm sure.

05-04-2002, 06:07 PM
An interesting thread for sure and perhaps worthy of its own forum. May it be born again there and flourish. In the mean time, I will celebrate its passing from the Pacific Northwest Steelhead list with a toast of single malt.

I will save my ridicule not for intolerance of ideas or those who perceive such but for those poor souls that fail to understand the delicacy of peat nor the character the sea breezes of Islay impart to the amber nectar.

Any and all welcome to join in the wake.

Respectfully yours,

05-04-2002, 06:38 PM
I'd stongly recommend the Balvenie Doublewoods or the Macallan 18 year olds. Mothers Milk.:devil:

Think I'll have one now with a single 'cube' to dampen it just a bit. Given Joan's in Calif., maybe a small Cuban to go with it. (It's good to have a wife who spends as much time in Europe as she does - box comes back with every trip.) :smokin:

Another guy who REALLY knows his smokes if Jere E; Damn! those cigars he brough me for the SCCC are good. Even popped for a proper humidor.

05-04-2002, 08:43 PM

I enjoyed your prose yet believe any wake is a bit premature. This one is far from being dead...

To All,

Notwithstanding the above, I believe that it is time to put this thread to bed. Hopefully a new dawn, in a new location, will bring a fresh atmosphere and new clarity of purpose.

Thank you all for your participation and input. Hopefully our conversation will soon bear fruit.


05-05-2002, 02:27 PM
Don't worry about sinktip he will sleep easier now. You know how these republicans from Idaho can be. He has also been the hardest working man on the planet when it comes to saving steelhead in the last year or so. Sinktip and me have decided to take you on a float trip with us some time in the next year if you want to go. But boy if you go you better be ready for anything your gonna have to cast from your left and right both to keep up with us.
Have a good May

05-05-2002, 04:57 PM

I've been staring at this one for some time and for one who has no problem speaking his mind I am at a loss as to a response.

...but I'll try.

OC, it would be an honor and a pleasure to fish with you and Sinktip. I would enjoy, equally, an opportunity to sit and talk awhile with the two of you.

I am not one to kiss anyone's butt and when praise or words of endearment crosses my lips it has been earned many times over. With that said... I hold Sinktip in high regard for his levelheadedness and work with WSC and would use this organization under his leadership as a model for any group desiring to effect a positive change in the status quo. As for you, Sir, I was won over early by your sincerity and I feel a strong kinship of spirit. To me this is far more important than any fishing trip. I look forward to our (may I be so bold) strengthening friendship.

Steven Russell

P.S. My son (14 years old) says I'm kissing butt. I don't know what's more troubling, his impression or the possiblility that others will see it the same way. In any case, I'm going to press the submit button. I feel I spoke true.

05-06-2002, 10:16 PM
A wee dram of Holy Peat Water it is!
Thank's to all who openly shared their passion!
Hope to fish with you sometime...

05-08-2002, 09:14 PM
I just returned from a ten day trip to the "North Country" and managed to wade through the (completion) of this thread, good work. I thought it was headed in the direction it took when I left.
The great Drought of "02" has the entire State of Alaska in its grip and there are many casultys with more to come if rain and serious rain doesn't return soon. Word of weather travels slow in the North!
Most Spring time fishing revolves around fresh river flows and not snow runoff. The fry are having a seriously hard time getting out of the dry river beds and starting there return to the sea. While not a total disaster it will be a noticeable bump down in fish numbers.
In the relationship with this thread, the few fellows I was fishing with who are all old hands at Steelheading and Alaska in general we all agreed that we didn't want to "Harrass" what few steelheads were struggling to get by on most of the too low rivers.
Like I said in a few earlier post sport is all about a balance of Tradition Ethics and Restraint. We chose to not bother fish in these conditions a long time ago so I guess that makes it a tradition. I'm certain that it was ethical and obviously we restrained from bothering the fish except for stream walks and resident trout fishing. I would hope that Haig Brown would have approved (actually I know he would have )
There was one or two systems that had sufficent water for fishing but we found that even on these systems the runs were below the ten year average and certainly well below the last few years.
Hard to be negative about anything as beautiful as those Big Spruce Bottoms with blue skys and warm sunshine. Did seem strange though looking at Muskeg in May that was still as brown and dead looking as February.
The bird migration was in full swing and of course the five Planet line up was a nightly show at dusk. I don't think I have ever been on a week plus spring steelhead trip in the North and got skunked on steelheads but thats what took place in the "drought of 02".