For All Those Who Think Ed Ward is a God... [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: For All Those Who Think Ed Ward is a God...

06-28-2002, 12:34 AM
...and think that indicator fishing is evil, please visit his letter as posted on The Speypages.

Ed Ward & Indicators (

I wish I could just copy and paste what Ed had to say in regards to indicators but it was published in a .pdf file and how one could do that is above my realm of computer knowledge.

All he had to say is that indicator ('bobber') fishing is flyfishing as long as a few simples guidelines are followed and he sees no problem with it as long as certain ethics are followed.

Yes, yes, I know this subject has been beaten to a bloody death, the funeral has been attended and the burial has taken place...Hell, the 'subject' is probally worm food at this moment but I figured that since so many look up to Ed as a true steelhead bum, his arguement would be an excellent addition to the ongoing discussion.


06-28-2002, 06:14 AM
It was as though I wrote it with my own hand.............:hehe:

Well...... except for the fact that I use a single hand rod.:razz:


06-28-2002, 07:21 AM
Nice commentary by Ed, I agree with just about all of his comments.

Dana thanks for obtaining the article.

Ryan, don't think you will ever get me to indicator fish. Growing up a trout fisherman on the holy waters of the Beaverkill Valley rivers in New York State Catskill mountain region starting in the 1960s I would feel much to guilty to know some of the old fly fisherman who are now in FF heaven would be looking down at me saying. look how Hal has digressed in his FF career from where he started in the birth place of American fly fishing. I guess we cannot let him into FF heaven fellows.

Nah, just can't do it, would have to watch you perhaps out fish me Ryan while I stick with the traditional wet fly and nymph sink tip drift techniques which are now instilled in me.

Good article though lots of good insights there.

Fylfishar, are you an indicator trout fisherman ?


06-28-2002, 11:25 AM
As long as you are not dumping shrimp oil on your fly go at it. For some reason I have ran into 4 guys in the last 2 weeks who only "flyfish" for steelhead by soaking thier flies in some kind of scent. All of them were surprised to hear that is illegal on fly fishing only waters like the Stilly. That is definitley crossing the lines in my opinion.

As far as indicators go at it. I have never done it but have no problem with others who do. It is a very effective way to fish and sometimes the best way to present a fly in some conditions. I will admit I use em for chronomid fishing and have used em in rivers for trout. Would like to one day be adept enough to go without em by my fishing skills just aint there yet.


06-28-2002, 12:23 PM

If you try hard enough you can justify anything you want.


06-28-2002, 01:59 PM
"...[T]hey don't seem able to muster up the spirit of adventure to break away from it's blanket of security...", "...[A]nglers incapable of wean[ing] themselves from bobber fishing to learn how to take steelhead on a swung fly..." - page 6, a letter from Ed Ward.

Hmmm, security blanket; akin to flyfishing with training wheels?:devil:

Linus with his blanket comes to mind here, Ryan.:D


06-28-2002, 02:45 PM
If only my fellow fly-fishermen on the N. Umpqua who favor indicator fishing had read and heeded such a letter years ago the current regs that they so despise would likely not have been necessary. I have no issue with the method per se, itís the fact that many of its practitioners would never move and would target the same fish day in and day out. Like Ed said, such behavior throws a huge monkey wrench in the long-established fly-fishing tradition of sharing the water and is unduly hard on those fish that have ďdug inĒ for the summer and by all accounts should no longer be harassed by anglers.

Okay, Iíve said it, let the flaming beginÖ

06-28-2002, 07:07 PM
Indicators?? Never needed 'em! :hehe: :chuckle: :razz: :devil:

06-28-2002, 09:44 PM
Fylfishar, are you an indicator trout fisherman ?

Does the Pope wear a funny hat?

Ok I guess I should qualify that a little. First indicators are not allowed in competition. Second, unless you are fishing Crominids on still water you'll never really use them lake fishing. Lastly, I dont use them for just about anything except fussy brown trout sight fishing. I'll have a 15 foot leader off the fly line and a 6 foot tippet.

With all that, if I dont have a good view of the fish it is all but impossible to detect a take. Trust me you'll never "feel" one. Typically even with an indicator it dosn't just "pop under" like a bobber. It will usually only slide to one side or pause slightly when a fish turns of the fly headed down stream. Frankly I use just about every method on these fish that I know. From dry flies (I caught a 26" male last year on a #22 mothers day caddis), polish nymphing, swinging or bouncing a streamer, midges, emergers, and yes indicators with nymphs.

I'll give anyone the opportunity to try to catch one of these big browns with any means they care to. They can tell me if it will meet with a satisfactory degree of difficulty.

I did notice Ed's comments about camping out on a hole. We have tons of that going on here and I hate it. Some spots are better indicator holes. Thus people have a tendancy to "camp out" on them. That is very discourteous and it has probably given that style of fly fishing some what of a bad name.

gordonf......I've heard the problem of the Umpqua passed back and forth among the commercial fishing, the farm run off, the dams and impoundments, the weather, and just about every other environmental factor there is. Thats the first time I've ever heard it blamed on the fly fishermen. ;)

I have a Silver Medal hanging on the wall in my son's room from a Fly Fishing World Championship Event in 98. And I have "zero" moral delimma with using a strike indicator.


06-29-2002, 12:24 AM
gordonf......I've heard the problem of the Umpqua passed back and forth among the commercial fishing, the farm run off, the dams and impoundments, the weather, and just about every other environmental factor there is. Thats the first time I've ever heard it blamed on the fly fishermen.

What problem are you talking about?

06-29-2002, 02:41 AM
Ryan, et al,

Not that it matters, but I don't have any problem with whether or not someone else fishes with indicators; to each their own. I don't use them as a matter of personal preference (and I catch far fewer fish than those that do I'm sure).

Ed's letter did bring up a point, though, that some may wish to expand on, namely river/fishing etiquette. I for one would appreciate some sort of discussion as to what is and what isn't proper behavior in this regard beyond that which is inherent in the "Golden Rule".


06-29-2002, 06:11 AM

I may have assumed to much.

My next door neighbor was until recently a fish biologist for the US Forest Service in that very area. Without quoting him specifically, the recent regulations had been enacted by a panel that represented the interests of all parties involved. By that I mean, commercial fishing, impoundments, land owners, and recreational fishermen. The issue at hand was to improve the returning fish runs. The new regulations were apparently at the recommendations of the committee of recreational fishermen.

Have I totally missed the boat on this one? I am getting most of this 3rd party, but he seemed a fairly reliable source. You are obviously the authority in the area. What is going on with the new regs?


06-29-2002, 08:56 AM

Don't worry those that use Indicators are fine with me it is just that at this point in my life I don't see me going in that direction, I like the sunk fly/nymph on a sink tip and floating line dry fly to much. If we ever fish together just let me have "First Water" advantage on each run please, I mean you may have an advantage over me.

BTW, lost two brute summer runs yesterday on my day off in Michigan. Broke 10 pound maxima just like that :whoa:


06-29-2002, 09:12 AM

Right now about the only way you "can" fish the White is with either a sink tip or full sink line. The White is 38 feet above power pool and they are running an average of around 20,000 cfs. The guys that "have" to fish indicators are out in the cold. the really great news is that when all this water clears out by fall we will have the best fishing we have EVER had. Consider the White is one of the best brown trout fisheries in the world, the high water has tripled the flooded areas thus the food supply, the water temperatures have remained constant in lieu of the high temps we get every summer, and the fishing pressure has been 1/20 that of usual. All that adds up to a fantastic fall season. I expect to see lots of 20-30 pound fish caught over the winter months. Bring your sink tips and we'll wear them out if the water is high. And, if you're up for a little night fishing.......Look out:smokin:


06-29-2002, 12:11 PM

The regulations regarding the use of weight on the fly-only section of the N. Umpqua were enacted by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Commission. How well the Commission represents the varied interests of all parties who have a stake in fish and wildlife issues is a subject of much debate in its own right so I wonít get into that here. The current regulations were advocated by a local group called the Steamboaters who have historically represented the interests of fly-angers/conservationists on the N. Umpqua River. Iíve heard differing accounts of the motives attributed to the Steamboaters for promoting this regulation change ranging from genuine concern for wild fish to an elitist desire to exclude from the river all those but themselves. Since I wasnít personally involved in this issue and I donít presume to understand the reasoning of each of the Commission members when they cast their vote, I wonít try to speculate on what were the real reasons that drove this outcome. What I will say is that when I learned the result of the vote, I was ecstatic. Not because I thought this was a victory for wild fish conservation Ė I have a hard time believing that indicator fishing on the N. Umpqua is a significant contributor to the decline of the riverís wild fish populations given all the other environmental issues that you correctly pointed out. I was ecstatic because of the dislike that I had developed for this particular group of anglers who would, during the height of the season, camp on the best runs day in and day out with little or no regard for the long established fly-angling tradition of sharing the water. I also found the fact that many of these individuals would pound the same fish for hours and days at a time ethically repugnant Ė equivalent in my mind to shooting ducks on the water. Therefore when the decision came down and this group of users howled that they were unfairly treated (and they probably were), they garnered little sympathy from the scores of traditional NU anglers like myself. My point is that this change would have never likely stood had this group of anglers in general conducted themselves on the river in a more sportsman-like and ethical manner and had thus developed a sympathetic contingency outside their own ranks. As I said earlier, I have no issues with indicator fishing as a method; Iíve used the technique on occasion myself. It was the culture of selfishness and disrespect for the fish that had developed on the NU around this method that ultimately resulted in the loss of my support and sympathy for this group in general.


06-29-2002, 07:55 PM
It would appear that there is no excuse for bad manners. I really hate that rude behavior has now been associated with a particular method of fly fishing in the northern parts of the country. I have noticed that that by some of my friends in the northern latitudes, indicators are considered a "classless" method of fishing. Maybe some European influence since they are purely forbidden on the Test and most of the well known rivers of the UK. As they have been for a hundred years.

We have a similar argument here as well. Except it is with the Catch and Kill vs the Catch and Release anglers (aka Corn dunking rednecks vs the Fly fishing elitest snobs). The debates are heated to say the least. Often bordering on physical harm to one or more of the "alleged" sportsmen. A fly fisher has to duck for cover as a boat almost takes him out, or a bait guide has to listen to a barrage of explicatives from a fly fisher irritated because he just drifted through his run.

It is usually only 1% of the people that can give the entire group a bad name. This last season I had scouted for a month prior to opening day. I knew every fish on every hold. I was pumped for the first day so much I could barely sleep the days prior. The Corps of Engineers had let 6000cfs go for a few hours that morning letting some of the boat guys have access to the Trophy C&R shallows close to the dam.

As the water began to drop out several bait boats from one of the local resorts joined bow to stern. They gunned their motors as they slowly drifted over the pods of fish. They drove 95% of the hoards of fish out of the C&R area in a cloud. What they did was totally illegal but the damage had been done. I assume that once they got them into the Catch and Kill area it was just a matter of time before they picked them up on corn or a skinned sculpin. Seeing all those fish leaving the area they had been in just moments ago was heart breaking.

Gordon, I can tell you that if AGFC ever treats our river like the trophy waters that they really are. I like you, will have a really hard time feeling much sympathy for the guys that get locked out for that sort of behavior.


06-30-2002, 01:22 AM
1. fishing an indicator and a weighted fly is exactly the same method fishing a bobber and jig there is no difference but the rod and reel. They are exactly the same method. Jig and bobber fishing is not fly fishing therefore nymph and indicatror fishing is also not fly fishing. There is nothing wrong with it. It's just not fly fishing.

Same goes for fishing with weights added to the line. That is drift fishing and not fly fishing.

The Umpqua...

People are only excluded from the fishery by their own personal choice. Those that love the river will continue to go there. Those that do not love the river will not go there and the river will be a better place for it...

06-30-2002, 02:33 AM
Hey Rob, Brad and I will be camped at Susan Creek this 4th of July weekend. Will we be seeing your mug out there by any chance?


06-30-2002, 11:07 AM
For all the guys defending shooting heads/shorter belly lines as legitimate speycasting (as opposed to spin fishing) but objecting to this, a question?

Why do you choose to draw the line on indicator fishing as "not fly fishing"?? They're casting a flyline, after all.

Seems a lot of people have decided that flyfishing is "However they like to fish with a flyrod".

I would humbly suggest that anyone using a flyrod, casting a flyline, and with an artificial fly on the end is flyfishing. Any finer distinctions are the perogative of the individual (or Fish & Game depts when deciding regs).

I've only fished indicatiors for trout (so far :devil: ), as I prefer to swing my flys for steelhead. But I see no reason why other methods aren't equally as valid, if that's how others choose to fish with their flyrods.

Then again, if you asked me if slinkies and monofilament line fished on a flyrod is flyfishing my answer would be "No". Ditto for those using bait.

I guess we all adopt the traditions and standards that suit us, eh?

my .02,


06-30-2002, 09:03 PM
Double spey.. as I have mentioned the difference between fly fishing and gear fishing ( both of which are good healthy activities) is the method of delivery. (the cast)
Fly fishing uses theweight of the line to deliver the fly
gear fishing used the weight of the lure or gear as the means of delivery.
When a fly or the gear attatched to the line becomes the means by which that the lure is delivered it ceases to be fly fishing and is in fact gear fishing.
When the weight of the fly or other attatchment pulls the line out instead of the line pulling the fly out it is no longer fly fishing.

None of this really matters but we seem to enjoy discussing it anyway :)

06-30-2002, 09:08 PM
Hi Rob, just wondering what you would call casting a section of fly line attached to mono from a gear rod. :devil:

06-30-2002, 09:09 PM
I beg to differ...the weight of the fly is not what delivers the line but it is actually the line that delivers the line/fly. I dare 'ya to spool up straight running line such as an .027 or .031 and come close to getting the amount of distance you do with a WF (or in my case, a long bellied wf)...especially with a large indicator attached. It is just not possible!!!

...therefore, it is flyfishing!!! :)

06-30-2002, 10:40 PM
I have to side with Sparkey on this one. Indicator fishing is certainly fly fishing. It might not be what I prefer to do, and yes I have tried it and even hooked a few steelhead this way, but it is certainly flyfishing.

I prefer the swung fly though and I have about perfected my hot new pattern. I call it the Fourth of July Fly. Now if I can just figure out a way to keep the fuse lit.

06-30-2002, 11:04 PM
Woohoo...I've got Duggan on my side!! :)

I think we should name that fly the Stilly Poacher Special...sure hope it is a joke and you have not turned your back on ethical and legal ways of angling. :hehe:

I also hope that picture was taken on an Indian Reservation as we all know firecrackers are illegal everywhere except reservations!! :tsk_tsk: :tsk_tsk:


06-30-2002, 11:06 PM
I feel as long as you're using a fly line, and not using scents, then go for it. I have heard over the years people slamming other forms of fishing, whether it be fly vs gear or dries vs wets. I myself can say I've used SI's. I'm not modest. I don't hardcore flyfish, so there are times I will put one on as a "warmup". Once I'm back into swing it'll come back off. Now, as long as you tie your offering on some sort of fly hook, use fly line to throw it, no scents, then you're fly fishing. I know we used to use shooting heads and mono running line when I first started fly fishing around late 70's, early 80's. But there was NO way we could throw those weighted offerings with straight mono. We actually tried doing it with our drift rods. Wouldn't pull off reel. Then, we'd strip out line and try throwing it that way (with our conventional rods that is) and still no luck. Wouldn't come even close to where we were throwing with our fly rods. Now, adding extra weight to the line is a bit out of wack for me.

I will add this. Alot of the "sinktip" lines are full of lead or tungsten I do believe. So basically a sinking/sinktip line is nothing more then driftfishing (I say this as just a fomality, not saying it IS driftfishing, just making a point). Your flyline acts as weight while your offering stays in zone. It's just not CONDENSED weight. But we'd special splice our sinktips. We'd add a very fast sink section next to floating main flyline (usually super fast sink, class V/VI I believe) then at end of that add a class II sinking section or a short floating section. I know this sounds odd, but worked well for us. The super fast would drop to bottom really fast, then forward section would either slowly sink or drift at a certain level thanks to pull of super fast sink. I had lots of guys say I'm not fly fishing because of my set up, but I was able to cast it and produced fish.

Sparkey, I'm sorry, will get around to making those SI's I've used and get them your way. Much better then the ones you're using. You probably won't use yours again. :devil: Not sure if you know who has tried them yet.

07-01-2002, 12:15 AM
While indi fishing is not flyfishing in the traditional sense, it is flyfishing. Even if you are using a gear rod with a shooting head attached to running line, with a fly, it is still flyfishing (the old Eagle Claw spin/fly combo comes to mind). Even throwing the lead headed egg sucking jig, it is still flyfishing.

Now that this discussion has turned into the "is/is not" BS, I think that Ryan needs to admit his understanding that Ed was really calling out anybody's manhood who relies on fishing with indicators/nymphs. :devil: Kind of like bringing a pistol to a knife fight. Ed stated his points very politically but he should have used stronger language so this thread would never have started due to sheer embarassment.

While it is a legitimate method, as Ed states, it should be used under conditions that specifically warrant such actions not the primary rigging technique.

Time to take the training wheels off and ride with the big boys. It means going fishless, it means that you have enough character to not listen to Angie and her moronic ideas that those who catch fish (at any cost) must be the best. It generally means to stop being competetive, get rid of the "gotta catch fish or I am a lessor man mentality".

The point that needs mentioning is the best traditional steelheaders out there will generally catch fish day in and day out provided there are fish to be caught. The best of the best will still catch fish under dismal conditions. They probably don't catch as many as a good nympher, but they STILL CATCH THEIR SHARE. That shows true skill through the vast amount of river(s) knowledge that has been acquired through good old fashioned trial and error.

I guess it's just evolution as an angler, and sometimes individuals within a population don't have the genetic material to advance to the next level. :devil:

Tight lines,

Worm Fodder

07-01-2002, 06:38 AM
Good points being made. It's all about opinions and preferences and staying within the bounds of the laws.

Is a multi-dropper rig gang-hook fishing? I think so, but it's practiced by flyfishermen all the time who are fine with it.

A nymph on a dry is both a gang hook and float and sinker fishing in disguise, with the slight exception that both are operative parts of the equation whereas the SI and lead approach often has extraneous bobber and weights involved for the sole purpose of flotation and sinkage. You can actually catch fish with the dry or the nymph and often do in the dropper rig.

Is a barbell eye jig fishing? Well, if you use the eyes to jig the fly, absolutely. But if you're bonefishing and just keeping the point up out of the coral and turtle grass, I think you're OK.

Big foam poppers with gangly rubber legs? Plug fishing for sure, but no one contests it. I guess because many of us are weaned on poppers and sunfish. Besides they are a blast!

SI fishing may be fly-fishing by "majority opinion", but it is also without a doubt float and sinker fishing as well.

We all fish for our own reasons. I fish for satisfaction, and it's just not there for me while steelheading if I were to use a float and sinker method - even if it is "flyfishing".


07-01-2002, 02:39 PM
I didn't know Ed could write this well................

No comment on the jigflybobber issue. Except yesterday I was watching a couple of guys on the Stilly trying to cast a jigflybobber setup with spey rods. It was good for a laugh if nothing else.

07-02-2002, 01:22 AM
I have seen the guya on the Stilly use their so-called 'indicators' (really what they are using are foam floats and marabou jigs) and 'nymphs' (these nymphs are actully heavy lead eye, or cone head lures) and claiming it was fly fishing. What they are really doing is float fishing with a fly rod. And has been stated, this is not fly fishing.

I have also seen these same 'fly fishers with indicators' targeting threatened Chinook salmon in the Stilly. And when told about the illegality of it simply say that they can't help it if a chinook attaches itself to their 'fly'! Give me a break. Let's call a spade a spade and get our fish and game departments to ban the use of floats. Allow the use of yarn srike indicators but ban foats. The yarn indicator will work with the smaller and not so heavily weighted flies used for trout and yet a yarn indicator will not float a jig or heavy lead eye or cone head 'nymph or streamer'. Seems like a simple solution to me.

07-02-2002, 06:37 AM
I say lets ban it nation wide, unless you can prove your eye site is so bad that you cannot see the line move on the strike and you should be classified "disabled angler" and thus considered by the state DNR to be able to use "float fishing technologies" in restricted zones away from other fly fisherman .:devil:

Even though my eyesite is deterioting I don't think I will be induced to go with indicator technology.

07-02-2002, 07:50 AM
Hal that is a great idea!!!!..........Maybe even some others too. We could have a special "Two Hand Rod Area" for the casting impaired, a "Streamer Area" for the drifting impaired, maybe even a "Heavy Tippet Zone" for those with "Light Tippet Deficiency Syndrome".:razz:


07-02-2002, 08:34 AM
Indicator Fly fishermen are here to stay, anyway for as long as fly fishing is over commericialized!

Inland had it down on what Ed was most likely saying. "take the training wheels off". Most of us will say, "Stop being a whimp".
Would love to hear an honest reason why those who indicator fish do so. I don't think there will be too many who respond. Has anyone else ever noticed how embarrassed these fly fishing bobberites get when you ask them why they need a bobber to nymph fish?

Nothing against those who can or try to perfectly dead drift a heavy nymph through a run without a bobber. That is an art form that should be admired by all. It is also a skill in this era that many don't want to take the time to learn because it's, not taught at the fly fishing school they went to, the how to book they just read or the guide who now a days feels pressured into making sure his learning client catches fish.

Indicator fly fishing through evolution is now a part of the sport, so let's live with it. But that don't mean we can't take the opp to have a good laugh over this pathetic practice.
With Love

07-02-2002, 09:29 AM

Think your right on the guide impact, many of them out here have there fly fisherman throwing Indicators as they point them to the exact drift line to run the flies through the "sweet spot", "bucket", holding lies, pool after pool, run after run, etc....
its a no brainer for the angler, eventually the guide puts them into the fish as they drift down the river.


We could also have specified FF sections for egg flies, drys, nymphs, streamers, speys, etc.. then you could fish against fly fisherman of your preference, go to head to head with others who are specialize in that method. I think we are going way to far here but this is America. BTW, I like the N. Umpqua new rules with no weighted flies and no indicators.

In golf (another passion) we have lots of traditional precise rules and established etiquettes, perhaps fly fishing should be as ordered ?


P.S. When the heck is the hot spell going the end is ruining our summer run steelhead fishing ! They are still out in the lake deep in the cool Lake Michigan waters. :mad:

07-02-2002, 10:23 AM
Training wheels? Ok we are obviously talking about two different kinds of indicator fishing. I have several methods to employ in the fly fishing pursuit of game fish. Some of those include polish/czech nymphing, swinging streamers or emergers, traditional European loch style drifting, dry flies, sinking chorominids, pulling tube flies, and indicator or traditional nymphing.

Truly mastering indicator fishing is FAR from easy. While sight fishing you are attempting to visually track a size #18 fly tied to the end of a 25' fluorocarbon leader, at a distance often over 75 feet. In this case an indicator does not indicate a strike, it indicates a 12 foot circle that your fly is in. The "take" is when the gills flare. While fishing slow waters the takes are so subtle that the indicator will not submerge. It will slide or dance on the surface and never go under.

These are not the "freight train" takes that some of you are used to. This is a technique that a "diverse" fly fisher should have some experience with. It is not a technique that is "common" or "beneath you". It is just a technique, not a lifestyle.


Hal....I think we got all of your water here. Right now the White River reservoir is 35 feet above normal levels. We are looking at 15-20 thousand cfs well into the fall. I am so pumped for the fall season I can hardly stand it. The two world records that I have been tracking for the last couple of years will be very heavy now. They were in the 45lb+ range the last time I saw them. With all the high water they may be in the 50+ range by now. After we have suffered 3 years of drought I am glad to see some relief. Of course it has put a major damper on the fly fishing.

07-02-2002, 10:28 AM

Please, 50 LB river brown trout are beyond my comprehension, actually 20 lbers are. 50lbs are way out there in cyber fly fishing space some wheres.

What month should I come down ? :smokin:


07-02-2002, 11:39 AM

Depends on the water now. I'll keep you on the "hot sheet" though. They have had a couple of 40+ pounders wash up this year already. One on the Little Red River they recently found weighed 42+ when they found it. It had been dead a couple of days and had a chunk out of its side. another on Lake Taney was at 38 by the time they found it.

If I'm not the one fishing for them I at least want to be the one guiding it. ;)

I've laid off them in the past until I got permission from the IGFA and AGFC on what the proper procedure for a record would be. They indicated that the fish over here on the left would have been a line class record. I may not be "into" line class records but I wouldnt let you miss an "all tackle" due to a paperwork glitch.


07-02-2002, 02:11 PM

Let me know when "the window" for big brown prime hunting time is coming. Can pack up the trail blazer and be there over night I think from Chicago.

Was over at the local outdoor store at lunch time to pick up some leader tippets and look at some outdoor clothes. Need a new fishing shirt. They had this stuff there what do you think, maybe needed for stalking those big Arkansas browns ? Kind of like deer archery hunting right ? :confused:


07-02-2002, 03:12 PM
ROTFL :hehe:


07-02-2002, 03:41 PM
like my normal saturday, "you have to work in the yard" cloths. Never could figure out why a woman thinks you should be dressed to kill to pull weeds?

Must be a "go figure" thing.

07-02-2002, 04:31 PM
You should see this 3d-camo stuff, its pretty cool. With some wind you like a real bush as the fabric flutters. You cannot see it in the picture well.

You sure would be stealthy and unique on your home waters, heck they may have a 3d camo covering for your spey rod.

BTW, I was thinking a while back why no one has come out with a camoflage rod design ?

I guess I should not think so much sometimes.:razz:

07-02-2002, 05:31 PM
Hal, I wouldn't touch that line with either your, or my, "10 foot pole.':smokin:


07-02-2002, 05:48 PM
Hal if you really want to be in full camo gear here you'll have to blend in.


07-02-2002, 06:27 PM

If a large brownie saw any one like that trying to catch them I am sure they would roll over and die laughing at them. Then the Billy Bobs could just go down stream and net them.

BTW, is that one of the "White Water" shell companies Bill and Hillary funded ?:chuckle:

I would wear that outfit and teeth if I could catch a 20 lb + brownie !:smokin:


07-02-2002, 07:52 PM
I love the "Buy 3 get 1 free"..........ROTFL

"Pick up a set for the Wife"..........:whoa:

Marketing guys are a different breed huh?

Hal is the water ever drops out, you just bring your happy rear down here and we'll go looking for them. I've had good luck mid October to Halloween in the last few years. It's hard to guess with all the water this year though. Just pack your Bronco about October 1st and wait on the phone call.


PS: Bring your strike indicators :hehe:

07-02-2002, 08:57 PM

It will be a hard choice between the "Cletus" "Deliverance" and "Fishing & Hunting" models. Man I can't believe this is a going concern business model ! Only in America.

Maybe I should get a pair for my next status meeting with the senior executives, they think I have lost it on this mission impossible project they gave me this time any way. They would probably just say Hal, just head on over to HR and they will take care of you on your way out the door, you poor soul. :hehe:

Might be a good disguise on the river though, let every one think you do not know what you are doing, etc...

Bet my boys would get a laugh out of these.

Maybe I will order the three pair and get one free, then me and the three boys could really drive my wife crazy. Wait till you have teenage boys.


07-03-2002, 03:15 PM
I leave for a trout break in Montana and a provacative thread starts here, BTW I like Sink's fly.

First of all who's Ed Ward and why is he an authority on the subject?

All I ask of those who choose to bobber fish is to move through the run and don't camp out on top of stacked fish. But if a river is truly designated as "flyfishing only" I do like the tighter regulation placed on the N. Umpqua.

After all the only two steelhead rivers designated as such are the N. Umpqua and the N. Stilly, and the Stilly is only half the year. My question is it really so bad to make the fly only regulation tighter, if your going to have a fly only regulation?:confused:

07-03-2002, 03:57 PM
This subject hits me close to the heart because my first love is the North Umpqua river and have been tainted by everythign that has gone on down there.

I would say that indicator nymph fishing for steelhead is a form of fly fish but in the same breath it is bobber and jig fishing at the same time when you do what happened down there for years. So take your pick of what you want to call it. I choose bobber and jig.

I would say that it is also more effective method of hooking fish. At one point a guy when through camp water and hooked 26 steelhead in a couple of hours. Is this good for the resource? No way. they woudl have never been hooked without indicators or on more traditional methods.

The guys down there don't move and hog water. They will camp in water and never move. Is that the sporting way to do it. No Way.

Guys want to hook steelhead no matter what and lots of them. I can understand that but there is a cost and it could be harm to the run and a lot of animosity amoungst anglers that know the harm that they are doing not because just because they are jealous.

I have hooked fish on ugly bugs down there (never with an indicator) but one one was hooked for the day different methods were employed.

OK sorry it is just something that hits close to home. 25 days until I am on the NFU and by my post I assume I need it.

have a good 4th.


07-03-2002, 05:01 PM
Now you guys really have me wondering what really does go on at the NU ?

I have such a distant pristine perspective of ethical and orderly fly fishing for magnifcent wild steelhead in a beautiful river gorge. Never been there, always been on my list, but now I wonder.


Whiskey Dick
07-03-2002, 05:50 PM
There is nothing wrong with using an indicator, Its just an other variation of fly fishing and there are many. The biggest problem i have seen with indicator fishing for Steelhead is that the people do not move, That is not the fault of the indicator, it is the fault of the person on the other end of the rod becouse they do not know or care about the etiquette of Steelhead fishing. And for all of you folks harping on about indicator fishermen not moving through the run next time you are on the river open your eyes, it is like a disease and it is spreading. I will give you just 2 examples of what i am talking about, Last year on the N. Umpqua i parked my rig and i went down to fish the camp water, as i got close to that strech of water 2 anglers with spey rods came off the path a little lower down than me and seeing me the ran to get in the pool first. I thought no problem as i will fish the run above and after they move through i will follow them down the pool. Well was i wrong about that, they never moved, they both stayed in the pool casting across the river and never taking a step down stream, They where there for over 3 hours and did not move. Last sept on the Deschutes i floated down to a run i knew was a good holding spot for Steelhead, we got there before the sun went off the water and pulled in at the bottom of the run as that was the only place to beach the boat, I decided to give it 10 min to let the sun go off the water and have a last bite of food before starting to fish. After about 5 mins there is an all mighty splash from the middle of the run and as the trees over hang we could not see what was making all the comotion so we walked up river to see what was going on. There in the middle of the run was a "Gentleman" that we had passed at least 1 mile up stream, he must have run as fast as he could to beat us in to the run(he was out of breath and could hardly talk or breath). Now this run is long and 3 people could rotate and fish it very easy but by him jumping in the middle and not moving(he was still in the same place when we left 45 mins later) he spoiled the whole run and cut us out of it. Oh by the way he was swinging not indicator fishing. I spend a lot of time on the water and i am seeing this kind of behavior happening a lot, not just with Steelhead fishermen but trout fishermen as well. What the hell is happening to our sport?, Where is the common courtesy that every one used to abide by?, the friendly greeting when you met some one on the water?,giving the angler some room?, Hell now you hook a fish and the next thing you know people are standing on your shoulder trying to fish the same water as you. Don't blame it on the"Movie", don't blame it on"too many fly shops" Don't blame it on "over population", Don't blame it on the "guides" all though some of them can be a**holes on the water but then so can some of you!!, Look in the Mirror, We are all stewards of our sport and it is up to us to teach and lead by example. When i started this post it was in defence of indicator fishing but as i wrote it i realised there is a lot bigger problems in our sport. I am sorry for rambling on. I am in my 40's and i hope to still be guiding for at least 10 more years and fishing in to my 70's and i hope when i finish that this sport will be treating other people as well as it has treated me,tight lines and have a great 4th of July, brian

07-03-2002, 06:37 PM

Discussing such is simply a waste of bandwidth on this forum. We would all rather discuss our latest catch figures...


07-03-2002, 07:41 PM
I bet Ed Ward never thought that mentioning Indicator fishing was fly fishing would elicit such responses, and now he is a God I guess. :devil:

07-03-2002, 08:03 PM
Notice Ryan has not been back to post, Hit and run man. He is having a great laugh once again.

Hey Brian,
Your right about it all, rude people, good people, all fishing all over the place just read that rag called fish & fly. No wonder we have such cazy stuff going on. One question for you and it's not a rag on ya just a real question. I got nothing against you dead drifting a nymph through a run. Hell to be honest it's a more real way to fish than me swinging some ugly purple and orange patten that looks like nothing I know in the river for steelhead. But why in the heck do you have to use a bobber to do it. Can't you figure out how to get a good dead drift and figure out when a steelhead takes. I know, soft takes and all. Hell there are far softer takes than any steelhead, just nymph the Missouri without or with a bobber.
I think you mentioned your a guide maybe you set up your clients to bobber fish because they don't have the skill yet to figure out how to nymph without a bobber? Maybe they demand fish on every trip. I guided long ago in Montana and it got so every beginer wanted a 20" rainbow on the fork and they couldn't even cast yet. Took me 2 years of fishing the fork twice a week to feel like I was getting somewhat good at it and I'd been fly fishing before I moved near the ranch for about 16 years. Any idea what I'm trying to get to here, Brian?
Most of us here fly fish because it's a way to challenge oneself in fishing to the max. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn to be somewhat good at it and isn't bobber fishing just a sad short cut for the sole purpose of catching fish easier without the effort? (gear). This is not a rag on you just want to know why you can't challenge yourself and your clients to take the long road, you know sometimes the rewards are pretty interesting.

Bobbers & Worms
Bobbers & worms
Some time ya got to wonder if some fly fishermen would be happier fishing with,
Bobber & worms
Because there is nothing wrong with:
Bobbers & worms.

Whiskey Dick
07-03-2002, 10:46 PM
Hi OC, why use an indicator?, re-read what you wrote about guiding in Montana and i think you half answered your own question. Now what was it every beginner wanted to catch on the Fork?. A couple more reasons i set up my beginner's with indicator's when trout fishing is that it helps me to teach them some basic skills. I use the indicator as a point of reference for casting directions, mending, flow directions, it's a tool as simple as that may seem. I do think that the indicator becomes like Linus's blanket to a lot of people, they will not let go of it. From a guide's point of view, yes we use it a lot becouse people want to catch fish and what is that figure? 80% of trout food is taken subsurface. When i am guiding, before we even get to the river i try and find out what experience and what level of fisherperson i will have with me on the river that day. Most days i will set up 2 rods per client, one for basic nymphing and one for dry fly fishing. Within an hour things change, you see first hand what kind of fly fisher you have and you change the set up's to fit the client, you can handle 2 flies, lets try a little more wieght, and you don't need the indicator. With other's it's the opposite, you need 2 indicators, no wieght, 1 fly and let's make it a bead head. Now that's trout fishing, lets talk about Steelhead fishing, I do not use an indicator or dead drift for Steelhead, I prefer to swing for Steelhead and enjoy doing it, How ever it is in the arsenal but i just have not used it. So i teach the traditional way to fish for Steelhead and that is my decision.

"Most of us here fly fish because it's a way to challenge oneself in fishing to the max. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn to be somewhat good at it and isn't bobber fishing just a sad short cut for the sole purpose of catching fish easier without the effort? (gear). This is not a rag on you just want to know why you can't challenge yourself and your clients to take the long road, you know sometimes the rewards are pretty interesting".

An interesting paragraph to say the least,yes indicator fishing is a short cut, sad? i do not think so but hey thats my opinion and yes it does help catch fish. As i said above if i think my client's can handle no indicator then off it comes, As for challenging my self, well i started fly fishing over 30 years ago and i can not remember seeing any indicators back then and i learnt how to fish a dry, wet and the up stream nymph and you are right it is a long road and you do not know what is around the next corner so it can get pretty interesting, but like you i do not rag on people, i let them make up there own minds.
pmflyfisher, i have not read Ed Wards thoughts but i will after this,
Watersprite, Dare i say it Ethics can be discussed here, I believe there are some really good Stewards on this board, tight lines,brian

Bobbers & Worms
Bobbers & worms
Some time ya got to wonder if some fly fishermen would be happier fishing with,
Bobber & worms
Because there is nothing wrong with:
Bobbers & worms:hehe:

07-04-2002, 02:53 AM
I don't buy the mindset that the easiest way to get clients into fish has to be nymphing.

Hands down the easiest method, to get a complete newbie into trout, is the good old wet fly swing. Get them to cast 15' to 20' in any decent spot that is conducive to swinging and tie on a good soft hackle pattern and let them at it. All they have to do is let the fly go in the current, keep the rod tip right on the water and let the fish hook themselves. No watching the bobber and setting. No split shot wrapped around the rod tip.

If my 12 year old daughter can go out and catch numerous fish this way, being only able to cast 10', I have a hard time understanding why the mentality that guides have to teach drift fishing to earn a tip. One of my good buddies guides trout locally and he has no problem getting his clients to fish traditional tactics. His repeat client list is quite long, and I think it is due to his teaching the art of flyfishing- he will due anything to dissuade indicators. Taking the time to get people to really understand the magic of trout fishing, the simple nuances of paying attention to the stream, and not just chasing numbers or size of fish caught.

In my mind, nymph and bobber fishing has nothing to do with the traditions of flyfishing. While I do recognize the method as "flyfishing", that is only by default. It is just drift fishing with a flyrod.

My whole reason for not fishing nymphs anymore (at all under any circumstance, with/without a bobber) is that there is much more sport to be had in moving a fish vertically in the water column. There is that tug at the end of the line that sends nerve impulses straight to the brain. In fact the only way I even fish trout anymore is swinging flies. Won't adjust my tactics, maybe a fly pattern or two. If that does not work, OH WELL, I have caught enough trout to last three lifetimes. Fishing this way will actually make you earn large trout and not just have them as gimmies because of being force fed. And I will tell you what, catching a wild bow or brown over 20" on the swing, just under the surface, is quite a rare pleasure that ALMOST makes me want to go trout fishing again. I guess steelhead/atlantic salmon will do that to you.


07-04-2002, 02:15 PM
Well put, William.

At first I thought guides putting clients onto fish using a SI is akin to guides putting clients onto a stump-tied stag at a hunting preserve, yet later realized it is far more insidious. The hunting client, on his own, will find few oportunities to hunt as his guide has taught him whereas the flyfishing client will have many miles in which to fish his newly acquired fishing style. Shameful with regards the newly taught offender and especially unethical and corrupt for the guide compromised by greed. No possible defense and, in a perfect world, guilty as charged; sentenced to revocation of his guide license with the offending client ordered to do 20 Hail-Marys and 120 hours of community service (cleaning up bubba's worm containers and beer cans at the flyfishing areas).:devil:

Whiskey Dude, you need a better job. One where you are less likely to lead to the Dark Side those you guide/teach.


07-04-2002, 02:54 PM
Come on people, lets get off our moral high horses! This dead horse is beaten to a pulp. As it has been stated before, this is not a question of tackle but one of ethics.

There is nothing inherently wrong in fishing an indicator. Or at least nothing more evil than in fishing a sinktip. They both have the same function in steelheading and that is to get the fly to the fish. With tips, you change the sinkrate and the mend until you get it "near" the bottom. With an SI, you change the position of the SI to achieve the same result. Despite all the impassioned assualts on the evils of the indicators, I have yet to see any of you forego sinktips.

If you are camped in a spot and constantly casting over dour fish while at the same time holding up the next person, it is an ethics issue. There is much room for discussion on ethics and I would welcome seeing it happen here. However, this constant pissing about who is actually fly fishing and who isn't has gotten very old.

My god people, it is a sport (and yes a business for some). Let's leave the elitest BS out of it.


07-05-2002, 12:40 AM
I apologize that this turned into such a pissing match...excuse my language.

I never meant for this thread to turn into another debate as we all know this topic has been beaten to death, like I mentioned in my original post. I was just more or less trying to make a joke out of the whole subject/debate...some took it as joke and others took it more serious.

I fish whatever technique suits my fancy at the moment or suits the water...somedays I will only employ one technique whether it be swinging tips, dead-drifting weighted flies, fishing indicators, grease line etc. etc. and other days I will fish more then one technique, sometimes through the same just all boils down to my mood and the water I am fishing.

07-05-2002, 01:50 AM
SI fishing IS NOT the same as driftfishing. NOR is jig/bobber fishing the same as DRIFT fishing. I've read a few posts, and they are not even CLOSE to the same. To make true comparisons, drift fishing is the same as the "wetfly/sinktip" swing. Your sinktip acts as the weight while your driftlure is same as fly. Fishing with jigs is a totally different beast.

Now with that clarity done. :devil: It's fly fishing, enough said. Who is going to say WHO is a flyfisher and WHO is not. If you're using a conventional fly line, on a fly rod, using a FLY, then you're fly fishing. Just because you have a SI on may be a crutch, but that's IT. It's a learning aid. And with trout, they may hook themselves with a wetfly swing, but steelhead rarely do. Usually a steelhead with mouth it then spit. At least with an indicator you can see that subtle stop/pause that novices miss. I feel if someone is trying to flyfish and uses this as a way to break the ice, so be it.

Now, onto the "hole crowding" issue. I haven't been fishing as long as most of you. I'll admit that. I started fishing for trout back in 73', salmon/steelhead around 75/76'. Now, I've fished almost ANY gear you can think of. Some that alot of you will go ????? to. But, in every, and I say EVERY river I've ever fished in the PNW, noone fishes and then moves downstream working a hole. I fish the OlyPen mostly, and southern Puget Sound Rivers, but not once have I seen this method of fishing. I've seen it on beats in Europe when I fished. I've even fished some fly only water, and haven't seen that. All the streams I've fished in oregon (that's with gear mind you) most guys fished a slot until they were done. Is it right? Well, it's the way I was raised, and the majority of fishermen too that I know. Hmmmmm, but I never did alot of trout fishing flywise. Had the gear, but prefered to target steelhead. Played too many steelhead on 4wts that I went up in gearsize. LOL

07-05-2002, 07:22 AM
I can only guess you've never fished the NUmpqua. Fishing a spot and then moving on is how this river has always been fished. It's been my "home" steelhead river for 30 years.

07-05-2002, 01:27 PM
First, thanks Sinktip and Ryan!! It's one thing to offer why we each fish the way we do, but if it's legal and flyfishing there's (IMNSHO) no cause to insult another's chosen technique.

Unless, of course, it's Sparky (Ryan's Flame-Inducing alter ego)! :devil:

Some guys actually fish floating lines for spring steelhead. And not with heavy irons like Bill McMillan is famous for, but flies on or near the surface. I tease one of 'em for being a Pre-Migrant Abuser (he hooks a lot of smolt), but that's just in fun. If that's how he wants to fish, more power to him.

ST69 - I think there may be some misunderstanding as to what "fishing down a run" means, as I'm guessing you do this while both drift and fly fishing.

Most anglers that aren't parking in the "hatchery hole" realize that steelhead move around and can occupy a number of different lies in a given run. So, if they have the run to themselves, they'll start at the uppermost fishable water and work their way progressively down to the tailout.

If someone's waiting to fish the run, this allow the new arrival to chill till the angler already fishing is a comfortable distance downstream and fish the run him/herself. This works best when the angler already in the run takes 2-3 steps between swings. ;)

If you really don't do this in your fishing, I'd be curious as to how you manage to share the water with other anglers. This isn't just flyfishermen - the better driftfishermen I know also fish thru a run this way. The "problem" is that bobber/jig and indicator/fly anglers don't have this same down and across approach - more a "spot to spot" approach.

Instead of technique bashing (and if indicator fishing equates to Bobber and Jig, I can only assume that swinging the fly on a sinktip is comparable to driftfishing :whoa: ), how about some suggestions for how to ease the tensions between these two different styles of working a run? Should the swingers just work around them? Should the Indicator fishermen just stay out of the Swinger's runs (since they can fish water the swinger can't even hope to cover effectively)?



07-05-2002, 01:33 PM

I've lived on the OP in Port Angeles and fished the west end rivers a lot. I almost never saw a person simply park in a hole or run regardless of the type of gear they were using. I fished many times with people fly fishing, using the Candadian style float fishing as well as gear, spinner and drift fishermen. And I very rarely saw any of them simply park. The people move through the hole. The only exception to this that I saw on the OP was at the infamous BArk hole ofn the Sol Duc or the even more infamous North Ponds hole on the Calawa. Every other place on the West end and nort OP rivers fishermen started at the top and moved through regardless of type of gear they were using.

A fly being fished with a SI is very different than the lead headed jigs that I have seen being fished uder 3 to 4 inch foam bobbers. This is not a SI with a weighted nymph, it is Canadian style foat fishing with a float and jig. Granted the ones doing so are using a fly rod, but it is the same as saying that a person using a bobber with a dry fly attached is fly fishing. Why do we have such a hard time calling it what it is? My grandfather used to say, "If is looks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and walks like a dcuck, it is a duck."

07-05-2002, 09:38 PM
I've been fishing the OP for 25 years. When I talk about CAMPING in one spot, I mean those who come in and bankfish. Those drifting by boat of course work through a run and move through (I LOVE to boondog, and this is REALLY working a drift thoroughly). But in all the years I've fished (and up until my first child was born at age 25, I was putting almost 200 days of fishing a year in per my log books). If you know a river intimately (which I fish a few rivers religiously) the fish will hole up in certain holes, and certain drifts are the most productive. I hate to say this for the onslaught of hits I may get, but my multiple punchcards per year prove this fact (not including the ones I had released). Of the few hundred fishing pictures I have, most of them have come from about 8 different slots on a few different rivers. I've only fish Oregon occasionally, and the Umpqua only once or twice. But I have fished the Hoh, Duc, Chehalis, Nooch, Sop, Hump, and a few zippers I won't list RELIGIOUSLY. I know most productive holes and go there. Most of them that are accesible by bank anglers are line up in a spot and stay. I must also say I don't use fly gear all the time. When I do, I will work a slot as described. I will start at the head and work my way to tailout, if possible. But some gear anglers will stop that style of fishing. But, fishing from a boat I can work the slots completely and move on through. I'm not a novice, I have quite a bit of rivertime in. Most of it was from about 75'-95' with alot of success. Maybe 10% of my success was flyfishing. I'm slowly using fly rod more and more. But I fish most effective method for river conditions. I'm out to fish, and have fun doing it. It's not a method that makes me have fun or enjoy myself, it's just being out fishing and at least working the river effectively. I grew up a meat fisherman, because it helped feed our family (along with hunting). Now I do it for enjoyment, but also love to use the gear I grew up fishing with, as barbaric as some may think it is. At least I'm not using the meatlines in puget sound anymore.

Just me, and thought I'd add my experiences. :devil: :hehe:

Whiskey Dick
07-05-2002, 10:48 PM
Wow, I go down the river for a couple of days and when i get back i am being shot at!!!!LOL. waterspite, What happened to you? get out of bed on the wrong side to day? that time of the month? " Not that it matters, but i don't have a problem with whether or not someone else fishes with indicators; to each their own."waterspite those are your words not mine.LOL My computer still will not down load Ed Ward's letter but i got my hand's on a copy this evening and finally read it. I do not know Ed Ward, never met him but he make's a lot of sense to me. I think Trey Combs in his book SteelHead FlyFishing said it best; "My friends may see Steelhead differently. Some are dry-fly specialists who refuse any other approach. A few will not fish a fly with a hook beyond a certain size. Others refuse to deal with any fly line that does not float. An increasing number of friends only fish two-handed rods. Seeing who can fish the shortest sink tip in the winter is a game that appeals to some. Trying to fish the smallest possible fly and usually a dry at that commands the attention of a handful of anglers. I have friends who will not fish tippets above a certain diameter. Other friends successfully fish little spring creek rods, but disdain light tippets. A half dozen friends communicate in hushed tones about the glories of their cane rods, and they will tell you that Steelhead deserve nothing else. They are related to Steelheading's master tyers, who present extraordinarily crafted flies to Steelhead, their fishing but a fine excuse to tie.
I do not argue with the opinions and methods of these fly fishers, because they do not necessarily represent somthing better so much as somthing different. When they make a rule for themselves and raise a Steelhead because of it or in spite of it. I want them to settle in with the pleasure. I like to hear about the joy of their fishing life, not about the rightness of their discoveries".

It all come's down to ethics,tight lines,brian:devil:

07-05-2002, 11:47 PM
After further reflection, I realize that I do have some objections towards those who consistently fish in this manner. Live and let live to a point - My objections are not towards the occasional indicator fisher but those individuals that can not progress beyond this style. I believe it is inherently unfair and detrimental to the fishery. I see absolutely no sport in this stlye of fishing.

I never paid all that much attention to the so called "slot hogs", I simply fished around them. Now that others have pointed out this tendency for SI fishers to camp out on a spot, I find myself in agreement; many often do. A non-sporting fly-fisher is no better in my book than a bait fisher and I fervently take exception to those who perpetuate this behavior through ignorance or design.


Whiskey Dick
07-06-2002, 03:43 AM
waterspout, we finally get there, the reason you do not like indicator fisherpeople, Their "Slot Hogs" and you have to fish around them!!!!:rolleyes: Do you think you are the only one?. LOL . So how do we change this?, Ban them off the river, Might have a little problem with that as even Ed Ward say's that it is fly fishing, Contain them to a couple of rivers(like the Skagit or Sauk rivers LOL)no waterspout would not like that, Educate them, Now how do we do that?, I know lets talk to them about the ETHICS of fly fishing, You know when a guide take's them down the river and shows them how to and where to look for fish he could explain about the ETHICAL ways of fly fishing and how not to be a "Slot Hog" and keep moving down stream, how not to crowd other anglers, how to give othe anglers room, wait a minute i do that when i am with client's, I know go on a fly fishing Forum on the internet and talk about ETHICS in fly fishing and have every one talk about it and spread the word, but what was it waterspout said? Ed's letter did bring up a point, though, that some may wish to expand on, namely river/fishing etiquette. I for one would appreciate some sort of discussion as to what is and what isn't proper behavior in this regard beyond that which is inherent in the "Golden Rule". but then waterspout said;
Discussing such is simply a waste of bandwidth on this forum. We would all rather discuss our latest catch figures... " :rolleyes: .
Waterspout maybe you need to reflect about that one as well, An Ignorant fly-fisher is no better than a non sporting fly-fisher and i would rather fish with a sporting bait-fisher than those two!!!!! Time to go Guiding and talk ETHICS,tight lines,brian :devil:

07-06-2002, 08:47 AM
The Guides use them with their clients more often than not. But with this in mind (and referrence back to a wonderful post months ago on 'client expectations') I can fully understand why.

As was noted then (poster was an active guide) the folks in the front seats have paid somewhere around $150 to $200 per day and have 'expectations.' The Guide, short of instructions to the contrary, is expected to "produce." How high this level of expectation may be probably has the experience level of the client fully stamped thereon.

An 'some what' accomplished fisherman/woman brings skill levels to the table; the casual fisherman, probably not. If using a site indicator helps increase their level of 'experience' during the first hour or two of the trip (with some it's probably the whole trip) I suspect a guide would be well advised to use them.

Guides have a short season in which to make their living; and repeat business/referrals probably account for a lot of that income. Or to borrow an old phrase: 'new customers are silver, old customers are gold.' Like everywhere, we have good guides (98% are very cognizent of bank/wading fishermen; the other 2% generate letters to the Oregon Marine Board who really do follow up in a 'nasty way.' Wrote my first letter in 6 years last week; amazing display, which I hope to never see repeated.) and a few 'bad apples.'

However, one thing that's become somewhat 'popular' down here is the use of the moldable putty indicator materials. Fellows will put a couple of small corkies at the top of their leader and then form a wad of this stuff the size of a golf ball. Pain to cast, pain to watch them cast ..... but a real river sweeper in it's effectiveness. (You don't cast this stuff, you "fling it.")

These folks do show a great tendency to pick a spot on a run and park there; probability of them moving down stream is slim to none. They're standing on "their rock." "You" could ask them to move through the run, but most would give you a blank stare, so you just fish around them. On the rare occation you get a real twit, the long lines of a spey rod get their attention.

My point I guess, with site indicators, is it being used as an aid to keep track of what's going on (the small castable ones), or is it the primary focus of how you feel you have to fish (the 'golf balls') to get "results?".

Are these wads effective???? Oh God yes. Last night I hooked one small fish; fellow with the 'wad' must have hooked 6 working exactly the same water, just across from each other. By the way he handled the rod/wad he was obviously a very handy with his 'equipment." But a short spinning rod and a float/jig would have been just as effective ... and a heck of a lot easier to use. IMHO is it fly fishing .... well, other than it's pretty tough to 'mend' mono line, I'd have to say "no."

07-06-2002, 10:43 AM
If you want to remove the indicator fishermen have the designation of FF only revised to indicate nothing other than a fly attached to the leader (single fly), non weighted fly, single hook.... I don't run into to many guys disturbing my fising by fishing with SI's. Fly fishing well yes if the line is used to propel the offering to the fish. I have on "educated" folks by asking if I can fish above then and then indicated glad to see they are working through the run as many don't. No one have every told me they aren't working through (haven't used it that much). Otherwise I am slowly learning that there are really only two things that should happen either you get out and are prepared to kick some A$$ or go on with your day.

Fred effective yes, if that is all people want to do is catch fish yes. One of the things that many of us have "grown" to point where catching fish is not the most important thing about fishing. It catching fish in the manner tht we want to catch them. Well some people just want to catch fish... some people just want to post on the internet and talk at the water cooler about how many fish they caught over the weekend...

I remember my old pre C&R days the feeling of smacking a fish. Today I re live my releases on a regular basis, I get more from fishing, catching and releasing. What happened around 20 years ago that enlightened me? I'm not sure, if I could bottle it up and spread it like grape cool aid (Sparky, you might have to look up a guy named Jim Jones) I would.

Bottom line whining on the web on a site where most people fish the sameway really isn't going to do much.

07-07-2002, 10:59 AM
Good morning,

Wiskey Dick, to say you use a bobber to teach people how to nymph fish just does not cut it. What you are teaching is bobber fishing. That is ok if you want the easy way out and your clients purpose first is to catch as many fish as they can on that day. But in that case why don't you suggest they use a nice spinning rod and reel. It's cheaper equipment by far, it's easier to cast and control the line, it's less tiresome and you still can use a bobber and fly. For the life of me can't understand why someone would take the time to learn how to cast a fly rod with all it's beauty only to turn around and use that very same rod to lob, I repeat lob a bobber and fly. Even if you are using just a simple piece of yarn 3 or 4 feet up a leader we all know that casting is no longer a graceful act. Isn't that gracefulness and beauty one of the reasons why we took up fly fishing instead of gear fishing because we enjoy casting a fly line. If as a guide you are into teaching why not just start them into learning a dead drift of a nymph and start the learning process in something that more resembles what has been called fly fishing in America in the past.
Fly fishing is supposed to challenge. The challenge is to hopefully learn something everytime out being it to improve your cast, your mend, your presentation, and on and on and on. The end result is the beauty of getting a fish to take a fly due to the fact that you the fly fisherman developed his skill level to a point where one feels satisfied with the effort. With fly fishing the end result truely is the challenge not the fish. If it were the fish then we would all be gear fishermen. Bobber fishing fits into the gear tackle box period.
As a guide you are part of an industry that has forgotten so much of what fly fishing was about. Now it is a money game made to keep as many people who never would have gone beyond a few times out before giving it up for the most part. Hopefully there will always be new folks coming into the art of fly fishing and less into the sport of fly fishing which the entire industry wants to promote. When one looks deeply into the bottom line of how fly fishing is being sold by the industry it's the same way the gear industry sells. Bottom line; you can catch fish easier than ever now.
Wiskey Dick I'm not ragging on you, I know you are in a tough sport,(job) but you like the rest of us have to use peer pressure to get our art form of fly fishing away from the dictates of what the industry is making of fly fishing.

Note: Sinktip, shame on you, your post above was not in the spirit of the 4th of July. You republicans want to put a stop to debate in the worst way. Why did you use that fire cracker fly on Bucky the Beaver he has a tooth missing and a hanging lip, he wont even fetch a green leafed branch anymore. More shame on you!

07-07-2002, 10:50 PM
OC et al,

I totally agree with Sinktip, and it's not about stifling debate at all.

This issue is just the form of Elitism many gear fisherman accuse flyfishermen of - looking down on other techniques as somehow "lower" than the one's they choose. It also serves to divide anglers when we need to be standing together on issues that affect us all (like Wild Steelhead release, etc)

I don't have a problem with anyone saying "I don't fish indicators because (1) I don't think it's flyfishing or (2) I hate throwing that big bobber thang or whatever. We're all entitled to our personal choices - right??

What I do have a problem with is lecturing others as to their use of said techniques and waving thier opinions around (remember - like certain posterior body parts we all have 'em) like they are some objective standard.

You want putdowns? They're EASY!! I'll be happy to start with your waders, work onward to your casting style and choice of lines, and end with your fly and the knot you tied it on with!! Once they start, tho, putdown wars are hard to stop. And I for one don't want the Forum to turn into another Rec.Outdoors.Fishing flame-fest.

My point is not that I have a problem with people stating their opinions, just the manner in which they state them. Keeping criticisms directed to the techniques and not the Forum members using them would be a start. We all make choices - lets allow people to make the ones that work for them. America is, after all, a country that prides itself on freedom of choice! :devil:

Anyone who has negative comments for another member, please keep it in private emails. No need to air our dirty laundry on a public forum devoted to fishing, eh?

Anyone who wants to discuss Policy on this board, please privately email either myself or Sinktip. Juro's busy enough as it is and either of us will be happy to forward messages along as necessary.

I think most of us would vote for the Forum being a friendly Clubhouse as opposed to a Boxing Rink. I hope you agree.

Thanks for your time, sorry for the Rant, and hope y'all had a nice 4th of July weekend!


07-08-2002, 09:28 AM
Double Spey,

Going through every single post on this subject I've not seen one single put down of any one person on this board, not one. There have been opinions and tough but honest questions asked of those who have different opinions on the same subject. And as for me, my respect for those that have answered my questions to them like Fly Fish AR and Whiskey Dick have increased 10 fold. Respect is what it's all about and you can't get respect of other peoples ideas without asking questions and being asked questions back. Yes we don't need down right dirty name calling here it will do no good and won't be much fun to any of us here who I consider like fishing family. What we don't need is touchy feely skirt the issue type of political correct crap that as Angie would say fly fishermen are famous for. If that's what you want send me a personal e-mail and let me know so I can get some new dainty undies. We are grown men and women and we can challenge with healthy debate as we have always done here.
As for the personal e-mail crap that goes on around here, that can destroy this forum more than anything that is said in the open. It is much like 2 or 3, 10 year old girls ripping into each other behind each others backs.

My issues with bobber fishing are not with the fishermen themselves but with how fly fishing has come to what it is today. Not once have I run into rude bobber fly fishermen as some of you have and that includes living in Montana where bobber fly fishermen are the crowed norm. We steelhead folks don't know what over crowded fishing is. My concern and many others here are about the health of fly fishing which bobbers are one symptom of many of the current health of fly fishing.

PM Flyfisher posted on Ted Williams over in world wide section, read it if you have not. Some in this world feel Ted may have been the greatest fly fisherman ever. He certainly is my hero in fly fishing. If you know what Ted tried to achieve in baseball and fly fishing then you can ask yourself honestly about the health of fly fishing today and the ever creeping mediocrity that's taking place.

So Double Spey I can only say to you, your intentions from what I've read of your post is to touchy feelly us all away from healthy debate. We eitheir debate, ask each other tough question, be opinionated so we can get some responses or we go back to "oh what flies do you use" situations, Your the moderator Let us know?

07-09-2002, 12:56 AM
Justice Douglas, in the first 'environmental case' before the Supreme Court said: "No one else here speaks for the trees, I shall speak for the trees." So for the "trees:"

Stong opinions stated on the Board if fine with me, but to put in writing objecting to my, or anyone elses, option of talking/corresponding with another board member on a topic, or a comment thereon, 'goes beyond the pale' in my opinion.

Do I 'object' to some of the more strongly stated stuff on this board, without question. Do I think 'stong verbage' has taken the place of well thought out commentary by specific individuals, without question. Do I think some members of this board (to use someone elses term) are 'trolling' for a strong responce, without question. Do these 'strong' interjects come in the form of a new thread or a sharp turn in an existing one, without question.

Would a large percentage of us prefer to see the 'shift in topic' be in the form of a new thread, without question.

Do I see a strong reduction in posts by long time members of this board, without question. Do I think I have a reasonable grasp on "why," without question.

Do I think 'individuals,' on occation, may have missed the major point(s) of strength, and "why," of this board, without question.

Do I want you to respond to my comments, no; and again, without question.

07-22-2002, 12:46 AM
Way to Go Spark...I'm gone to Alaska for 6 weeks and you incite a riot amongst the purest of the sport!!! Ah well, 95% of Alaska flyfishers would be on the bad side of the tracks if they had to draw a line. Rather be singing about the fight I had with a fish the day I fished than reconoitering the details of the lovely trees I drifted by. To each their own. Personally I love flogging a creek with a cheap spey rod and a "bobber". Not like I have a sand shrimp on the other end.

BTW do I send the $150 dues for Indicators Anonymous directly to you? Whens the first IA Clave on the Russian? Is the Def Leppard concert tee still mandatory apparel? How much Keystone Beer do I have to bring and is it still OK (as according to the IA constitution) to show up in my blown 454 sandrail (it still has the "Gamagatsu Pro-Team" and "In memory of #3 NASCAR" stickers on it). My girlfriend from PeEll says she can still kick anyones arse at chew spittin'! Woo-Hoo!!! Can't wait to break out the bug-rod again!!!

old man
07-23-2002, 04:30 PM
Now that this thread is winding down,who is this guy that you all are talking about Ed Ward. I never heard of him.

07-23-2002, 05:02 PM
Don't know the answer, but up in the Skagit River area I think he can almost walk on water.;)

07-23-2002, 05:18 PM
I don't think Ed can walk on water. Matter of fact I have fished behind Ed before and know he can't. Ed is a spey fishing guide that guides on the Skagit during winter/spring steelhead season. He is currently in Russia guiding. He also guides in Alaska and BC. Ed is one of the best steelhead fly anglers around today. I don't think he has reach god status. Yet.

07-25-2002, 01:04 AM
I have a entertaining question; Just what are the qualities that a steelhead fisher have to be "one of the best steelhead fly fishers around today"? Would it be the total skills and nothing more? How well a fisher markets themselves? guide? Write a book? or is it more encompassing than that such as what they have given back to fly fishing or to the fish?

I guess I really don't care, it just seems to be a interesting question. I have met and had the opportunity to fish with many marvelous anglers in my life and many of them are just everyday guys who someone wouldn't know from adam, so what's in a name?:whoa:

Scott K
07-25-2002, 01:36 AM
I think the Best Steelhead fly fishers are the guys who will do anything, anytime, anywhere to target Steelhead. They are very versatile guys, who fish for 12 monthes of the year, wherever possible, for Steelhead, on the fly. They don't let conditions affect them, they don't make excuses, and they don't put away the rod from November to March. Hardcore is their middle name. They may have some money to travel to some extravagant places such as the Dean, but if they don't have the time, or money, or ability to, it doesn't make them any less of a STeelhead fly fisherman. There is so such thing as "fly water" to them, for they will adapt to conditions. If they know a Steelhead is there, they will find a way to put a fly in front of it. If there's a will there's a way is an expression they often use when cataloguing and fishing water that may turn other Steelhead fly fishers off. They always have confidence in themselves and it's all a matter of time to them...

These guys, on the way to the river, are envisioning themselves mending line, fishing certain water types. Their muscles still recall the feeling of the load of the rod as they set the anchor on their snake roll. They are remembering the take from their last Steelhead and how awesome it was. The first solid pull, and then the chrome flash 50 feet below them as the fly finishes it's swing. They can feel the swing of the fly and the texture of their cork on their hands without having to hold a rod. They picture the fly and how it reacts in the water to various current types.

They think about the race of Steelhead they are targetting and what makes it special, it's life history adaptions. They can remember the feeling of robustness of the last Steelhead's caudal peduncle in their hand as they pull the Steelhead toward shore to remove the fly and appreciate the Wild Steelhead for it's beauty...something about the robust spotted square tail that drives them to want to hold it in their hand...again, and again...they notice the spots on the Steelheads lateral line in the transition zone from a dark spotted blue green back to nickel bright silver sides. This contrast is like chocolate to the eyes.

They are always on the river, searching for their hearts, in their hands, in their minds.......

I love Fly fishing for Steelhead....

07-25-2002, 02:48 PM

Great observation. Some of the best I know have no name recognition outside the other hardcore addicts who share their addiction. I know you and I have been lucky to work and fish with a couple of them.

As for those that have the wide-spread name recognition, some deserve it and some don't. Some have earned their standing and some are simply products of good marketing.

My guess is those that are truly the real deal would never admit it and would be embarrassed to be acknolwedged as such. Their satisfaction comes in the fishing and the constant learning which makes one better.


Damn fine post. That got me all jazzed just reading it and I suspect you have described yourself in attempting to list the qualities of others.

07-25-2002, 06:38 PM
and rimmed in gold. Excellent writing Gentlemen!

07-26-2002, 02:03 PM
Sheesh, I guess is should have said "In my humble opinion Mr. Ward is one of the best".

blaw blaw blaw

07-26-2002, 03:29 PM

My apologies if my post came off as against Ed in any way. Ed is without a doubt a true steelhead bum. To be honest, I was just responding to Rich and Scott's posts and had forgotten that this longgggggggggg thread was linked to Ed. I was speaking in general about who gets recognition in the sport and my belief that it is often more a matter of marketing than skill. In Ed's case, I think his skill speaks for itself.