Lower Elwha is closed to all fishing - Fly Fishing Forum
Pacific Northwest Sea Run Forum No such thing as rainbow trout, only landlocked steelhead

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  #1  
Old 07-21-2002, 02:55 PM
Moonlight Moonlight is offline
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Lower Elwha is closed to all fishing

below the One lane bridge. This is to ensure that no one prosecutes a catch and release fishery on the endangered Chinook! It was not the intent when it was left open to fly fishing only for this chinook C&R fishery to develop. It was left open for a way to access the few hatchery Plant Steelheads and few cutthroats that are around.
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  #2  
Old 07-21-2002, 09:00 PM
roballen roballen is offline
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sometimes all it takes is a few ******** thinking only of themselves to get a fishery closed. If guys are targeting endangered chinook CLOSE IT DOWN!!!!! Wish WDFW was willing to do that in other more popular areas
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  #3  
Old 07-21-2002, 09:46 PM
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NrthFrk16 NrthFrk16 is offline
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Maybe if a certain shop would keep their money grubbin' hands off these kings this great little summer steelie fishery would remain open...

...what I mean is that there is a certain shop guiding clients on these kings.

On a related note...something permenant is going to take place on the Stilly. Curt Kramer is fed up with certain flyfisherman targeting kings on the North Fork...some are targeting them with heavily weighted flies others are snagging them. There will either be another emergceny ban on weighted flies or the entire river will close all together.

Everyone knows I fish inidicators and heavily weighted flies and I would hate to see a permenant ban take place but if it is what is necassary to keep the river from being closed, I am all for it.

And if anyone who is practicing this unethical and appauling act is reading this, you should be ashamed of yourself and need to change your practices this moment....MORONS!!!
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Last edited by NrthFrk16; 07-21-2002 at 09:49 PM.
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  #4  
Old 07-22-2002, 10:01 AM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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What do you think of making a regulation on the "indicator"? I read somewhere a suggestion that only yarn indicators be allowed. Then those who wish to nymph fish could still do so.
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  #5  
Old 07-22-2002, 10:15 AM
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juro juro is offline
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How about floating line, floating fly only?

I've only once hooked a chinook on a skater... and it was an accidental roll on the dorsal, lasted about 10 seconds but I could hardly believe it.

This was a riffly run on the headwaters of the Green above Palmer, and there were a lot of mint bright summer fish hanging right behind the redds (you could see their white lips eating eggs) but the only way to avoid fouling the big kings was on the surface. Willing to try anything but globugs, I riffle hitched an orange butted sedge and started skating away. Next thing you know a big black king porpoises and my fly gets lodged in it's dorsal. All hell breaks loose and the fly pops off - I shake my head thinking if I can't avoid them with a dry I am outta here, laughing as I left.

Steelhead sit in distinctly different water than the kings, I've always found it very easy to avoid the kings on the Elwha and find summer runs and fat golden cutts.

When the hell are they going to open up the headwaters!?!?
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  #6  
Old 07-22-2002, 11:07 AM
old man old man is offline
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I understand the closing down the fishing for kings in the Stilly but why close down the whole river for a few assholes that won't leave these fish alone. Why punish us all for a few yahoo's.

I understand that the fishing was good on the Stilly yesterday. 13 fish at Fortson and one king.
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Old 07-22-2002, 11:57 AM
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Fished the Stilly on Friday morning for a few hours. Came to find out my favorite hole was wiped out by the floods last spring. Took a 60 foot tree that created a nice hole and deposited it 300 yards downstream. Now all that is left is a featureless run.

That sucked so I headed up to fortson and there are a lot of kings and steel around. Only 5 guys there and for a first at fortson I saw nobody using indicators. Saw several hook ups and about 3 landed in an hour period. I missed one by being stupid and setting the hook way too quickly.

Anyway a few of the guys were talking about possible bans on indicators and heavy flies. I can see the weighted fly / indicatore argument. Will the stilly adopt the umpqua rules? Seems like it is going that way which is fine with me.

However that hole towards the tailout is so deep I do not think the fish could even be reached unless you had a 30ft sinktip on. To get to the kings you would have to at least have 20 feet of tippet under the strike indicator which would be tough to cast. I was there for 3 hours and no one was even getting flies anywhere near them. The guys that are doing this must be doing it somewhere other than fortson.

It was pretty cool to see some of those 20+ pound kings milling around the pool...

-sean
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:05 PM
Hillbilly Hillbilly is offline
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Question

Does anyone really think that banning weighted flies is going to protect the wild chinook on the Stilly? How many of these fish are hooked on weighted flies vs. sinktips. I know a king is more likely to pick up a nymph that is dead drifted vs. a fly on the swing but at least it's hooked in the mouth instead of the ass. The kings on the upper Stilly are pretty much are concentrated in just a few pools, most of which you can drive right to. How much enforcement manpower would it take to get the word out that targeting kings is illegal? Last year there were folks targeting the kings everyday at the Hazel road hole. How many tickets were issued? How many little poster signs did they nail to trees to inform people that it is in fact illegal to target kings? I know the regs say it's only open for steelhead but many people don't know how to interpret the regs. It's far to common to see gear and bait fishermen on the N.F. Stilly. Some of these folks are just ignorant to the regs but some are just blatant poachers. Especially the ones you see on private property. Last year I spoke with some kids who told me they were diving down into the clay bank hole above Hazel with a Hawaiian sling and spearing the kings. A weighted fly seems pretty harmless compared to a spear gun. The fact is the fly fishermen are visible.....the poachers are not. But the sportsmen will pay the price. I'm not condoning targeting the kings and I know enforcement is spread thin, I just think that banninng weighted flies won't save one chinook.....just make it harder to harvest the hatchery steelhead in the clear water.
Did anyone happen to attend the poaching meeting that was held a couple of weeks ago at the Arlington Museum? I wanted to go but was unable.


-Hillbilly Redneck
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:30 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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I fish sink tips almost exclusively and have never foul hooked a king on the Stilly. Matter of fact, I have never hooked a king on the Stilly. Of course, I don't fish where they congragate either.

I agree that more enforcement is a better solution but, that ain't gonna happen.

I guess this is more of an ethics issue than a methods issue. Trouble here is the ones not using ethics are pissing off the guy in control of the river.
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Old 07-22-2002, 04:52 PM
Hillbilly Hillbilly is offline
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Question

If they ban weighted flies, whose going to enforce it?
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  #11  
Old 07-22-2002, 05:07 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
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dunno
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  #12  
Old 07-22-2002, 05:42 PM
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juro juro is offline
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I fished the Stilly pretty hard back in the day. Rarely did I fish Fortson, but I have caught a fish or two there and know the drill. It's a lot like other hatchery holes where the fish stack up and are susceptible to dead-drifted offerings. The ones I caught were pushing up into the fast current at daybreak or in the deep tailout pool on the parking lot side.

I did however catch my share of steelhead each season, all on the swing, and in the Stilly most of them were greaselining since I never fished it much in winter/spring. Most of the time they would grab a fly on a floating line eagerly in the morning and evening or in a riffle or boulder garden mid-day. A light sinktip would put a fly that dances well into the strike zone often enough to keep me in hog heaven.

I could be all wet but IMHO if they banned the use of weighted flies, all you'd have to do is fish somewhere else and figure out the way they react to the fly in other spots and you'd hook steelhead just fine.

I respect your perspective but banning weighted flies wouldn't bother me at all. In fact I never fished weighted flies for steelhead and found them to be quite eager to rip the rod out of my hands when things line up.

That being said, there might be other ways to protect the chinook in these situations. What would you suggest as an alternative?
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  #13  
Old 07-22-2002, 06:01 PM
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I rarely fish the Stilly but have spent a few pleasurable mornings there from time to time for Summer runs. I spoke with Curt Kraemer last fall about the abuse that happens there with heavy weighted flys and strike indicators. Most of our discussion centered on steelhead in the Dear Creek riffle though.

He is scheduled to speak at the WSC August meeting and I am curious to hear his thoughts on the king issue. As much as I would hate to see a closure, the actions of a few might impact us all. To my way of thinking, if you are catching or snagging kings, you must be targeting them. In my experience, they rarely hold in the same water as steelhead and in the occasions where they do, the kings stake out their territory and push the steelhead to the rear.

OC and I have actually enjoyed some good fishing in the late summer by fishing the water downstream from schooled up kings. Ok, it was OC that enjoyed the fishing but I got the pleasure of watching him hook 3 steelies one morning on a similar number of casts. Now you ask since he was following me through, did I enjoy watching him LDR each fish? Shame on you!
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Old 07-22-2002, 06:40 PM
Hillbilly Hillbilly is offline
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Dunno what can be done. But like I said, IMHO banning weighted flies won't save one chinook salmon.
For the record, I seldon fish with an indicator, but do enjoy nymphing with weighted flies when the water gets low and clear. I much prefer to take fish on the surface with a dry line but would be lying if I said that was the most effective way to catch a hatchery steelhead. Sometimes I just want to take a fish home for the BBQ and I don't give a rip how I hook it.
I find it annoying that one person can change regulations that can't even be enforced. To me, targeting the kings is not unethical because the reg book doesn't enforce ethics or teach them......targeting the kings is illegal.
I think some small signs posted at some of the popular holes stating that fishing for kings is illegal is the very least the WDFW could do before changing regs they can't enforce. Might cost them about $10
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Old 07-23-2002, 12:10 AM
Scott K Scott K is offline
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I realize that it is important to protect Wild Chinook Salmon. I am all for it. I find myself very disheartened when native nets down here hammer Wild Chinooks which are bound for the Upper Fraser and Upper Thompson River's tributaries (1000+K's or more to their spawning grounds) with no relent and with no consideration that these fish are irreplaceable. These fish are genetically unique, as are the Stilly fish, and they need our protection.

However, As much as it is important to leave the "Kings" alone, or as we Canadians call them, Springs, Smilies, Blackmouthes, Hawgs, Missles, Tyees (if over 30 lb), Chinook, and the like, you can't be blaming the Sport fisher for the demise of the Chinooks on this stream. By closing it down it appears as though whoever is managing the fishery is deeming it the sport fishers fault. Now by no means am I being stubborn and saying that we are going to point the finger because it's not our fault but the more appropriate approach in my opinion is to put up signs warning anglers of the implications of targetting Chinook Salmon when they are to be left alone, as well as the possible fines for violoations if this is not observed. Also, I don't know if you guys have an observe, record, report line or something like that where you can call in poachers to the proper authorities, but make sure you make a point to call whenever you see a violation like this. In BC, our enforcement officials respond to places where the conservation threat is the largest, and also where they are getting the most calls.

Putting up signs is something that is overlooked as a management tool. Imagie yourself, a client, and you are with a guide who is purposely tryin to get you into Chinook Salmon, when you read a well placed sign that says no fishing for Chinook Salmon.

The only problem with signs and things to that effect is that someone can probably argue that if there is no sign up, there is no regulation. Well fine by me, put signs up everywhere then.
It will solve some of the ignorant's problems, and give those who know what they're doing is wrong, not much fuel to argue with when you're casually informing them on the river while a Sign is right behind them, that their actions are going against the grain, so to speak.
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