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End of season thoughts..
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Author Topic: End of season thoughts..  (Read 4853 times)
ernyejses
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« on: April 20, 2012, 10:39:55 AM »

The steelhead on this side of the country have been making their way back to the Lake Ontario for at least a last few weeks now, and it's beginning to look a lot like our salmon season. I can remember just 5 years ago when there wouldn't be half as many people out as there are now, and I attribute it to a few factors.

1. Since the mid 90's we've had a regulated base flow on a very popular tributary that has resulted in an increase in natural reproduction, this coupled with a huge stocking program has resulted in more fish than ever (which really is a whole different topic of debate).

2. Increased popularity in float fishing. The easiest and quite often most effective way to catch a fish. This really has been a huge factor in the steelhead boom that is occuring out here on the East coast. Really anyone can go out and catch a fish without paying many dues, if any. The instant gratification from float fishing keeps the people who wouldnt normally put the time in to catch a fish on the side of the river.

3. The bead. As in egg imitations. These things kill GL steelhead. Have a friend that runs an outfitters lodge and he had a few guests hitting 60 fish a day the last couple weeks in March...now, why anyone would actually need to catch 60 fish a day is beyond me.

4. Internet forums. A lot of people around here like to post pictures of their catch with a nice background of exactly where they caught it. Anyone can go on a site, check out a few photos from the day before and find out where the hot bite is.  

Having more people fishing doesn't have to be a bad thing. However, if steelhead fishing changes from a challenging sport to a numbers of fish type sport it will be the total downfall of steelheading on the EC. Instead of people going out fishing and just enjoying being out there....it becomes an all out war to catch as many fish as possible as quickly as possible. I'm not saying that isn't everyones goal but in reality if we're swinging flies we already know that we should be happy that our fly isatleast swimming up right- and if a fish happens to grab then all the better. I'm curious to see if all the new people getting into the sport through float fishing will eventually try to catch them on a fly....or if the addiction of catching a lot fish is too powerful to give up.

This is all stemming from being low-holed for the last month and a half, consistently, every time I go out. I'll be starting in at the top of the run, fishing for a few minutes and then have guys with floats step in below me and proceed to bang every fish out of a hole, or get snagged and walk out into the middle of the run
so they don't lose their rig. I try not to get frustrated, but it's starting to happen a bit too frequent. Most people who do step in below you don't care, let alone have a clue that you're working down through a run. And trying to explain that to someone who is just too intent on getting a fish is literally impossible most of
the time.

I have quite a few fishing friends who are float fisherman, have been for a lot of years. They've caught 20lbers, had their 30 fish days and still watch that bobber. Most of them think that it's too hard, so never try to swing one up. They can't see a reason to chase after aggressive fish when they have 10 fish in front of them willing to mouth an egg pattern.

What is it that seperates people that need to catch fish, and people who need to catch fish on the fly?
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speysack
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2012, 10:49:18 AM »

Like I've said to my friends many times "sometimes good fishing is bad fishing". Sounds like you guys have better numbers than out here in WA state.  Thanks for sharing.
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camosled
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2012, 11:35:02 AM »

"What is it that seperates people that need to catch fish, and people who need to catch fish on the fly"

That is a question that has fueled fly fishing literature for hundreds of years.  It's like explaining quantum physics;  some people will never get it.   I do not understand why anyone would need to catch 30 steelhead in a day, but I know people who do.  Fundamentally, I have little in common with them.  I gear fish too so I can fish with my father and a couple friends who love the social aspect of fishing from a drift boat.  I have had days like that, where you could catch fish all day long, if you wanted to.  After landing a few wild fish, the desire to continue, just stops, much like solving the puzzle of matching the hatch and then wailing on the trout, and I prefer taking the oars for the rest of the day.  Others just can't control themselves and continue.  The idea that they may be killing some of the steelhead they land and then release, doesn't factor in to their obsession, or they don't care.   Once we loose perspective, i.e. our overall impact on the environment (by environment I include other anglers) by simply being where fish live, low holing another angler is just part of feeding the monster.  

JM

  





« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 11:36:26 AM by camosled » Logged

ernyejses
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2012, 12:07:57 PM »

Like I've said to my friends many times "sometimes good fishing is bad fishing". Sounds like you guys have better numbers than out here in WA state.  Thanks for sharing.

Good numbers, hatchery raised. Although I'm seeing more and more native fish in the last few years. The amount of fish really is silly...mostly cookie cutter 6-8lb fish though. Not too long ago there were far fewer fish but they were much, much bigger on average. Different perspective out here..."put and take" is the motto for most.
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middlecalf
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« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 09:11:25 PM »

Won't say where (but intermountain almost PNW), observed a hatchery truck putting in thousands of steelhead brats, 4 truckloads a day each day for the month of April.  On the sides of the trucks it says "Fish for the Future."  I'm pretty new to steelheading (a few years), slightly newer swinging a fly for them (about a year with a two-hander, couple years starting with single hander).  I long for the "old days" when it didn't matter 'bout the numbers - good thing, I haven't chased up a steelhead since the end of September - been trying... which is good enough.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2012, 09:12:10 PM by middlecalf » Logged

Turpentine Dog
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« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 07:21:49 AM »

For me it has been a progression of fly fishing all my life.  In the beginning it was all about how many fish I could catch.  Didn't care too much about the size and quality, just wanting to catch a lot of fish and more than anyone else.  I was a little competitive.  About 10 years ago I realized it was detracting from the pleasure and peace of fishing.

I stopped counting fish and started focusing on quality fish.  These were fish that were large & picture worthy and difficult to catch.  Sometimes i will go trout fishing with friends, but I really like being alone on a river (or with 1 friend) trying to catch steelhead using one of my spey rods.  For me its evolved to where I love the DH rods and rivers.  Don't get me wrong I still enjoy taking a coworker new to fly fishing out going for bluegill.  All flyfishing is fun, but at this point its quality over quantity for me.

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