For All Those Who Think Ed Ward is a God... - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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Old 06-28-2002, 12:34 AM
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For All Those Who Think Ed Ward is a God...

...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.

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Ryan S. Petzold
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Last edited by NrthFrk16; 06-28-2002 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 06-28-2002, 06:14 AM
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It was as though I wrote it with my own hand.............:hehe:

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

John
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Old 06-28-2002, 07:21 AM
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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 ?


Hal
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Old 06-28-2002, 11:25 AM
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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.


-sean
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Old 06-28-2002, 12:23 PM
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Ryan,

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


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Old 06-28-2002, 01:59 PM
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"...[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?

Linus with his blanket comes to mind here, Ryan.

ws
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Old 06-28-2002, 02:45 PM
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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
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Old 06-28-2002, 07:07 PM
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Indicators?? Never needed 'em! :hehe:
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Old 06-28-2002, 09:44 PM
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Let me be perfectly clear

Quote:
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.

John
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Old 06-29-2002, 12:24 AM
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Quote:
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?
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Old 06-29-2002, 02:41 AM
watersprite watersprite is offline
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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".

ws
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Old 06-29-2002, 06:11 AM
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N Umpqua

gordonf:

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?

John
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Old 06-29-2002, 08:56 AM
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John,

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

Hal
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Old 06-29-2002, 09:12 AM
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Hal:

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

John
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Old 06-29-2002, 12:11 PM
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John,

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.

Gordon
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