November on Puget Sound

The runs of fish that I were fishing for are not ESA listed and may or may not have been where you think I caught it. However, the fact that a guy can not post a fly fishing report on a fly fishing web site without getting bashed seems kind of crazy. Especially when I believe I did it tactfully with out pointing fingers at anyone group or even there chosen fishing methods. I was and am only concerened that the fish being harvested are not going to be wasted.

That being said I think this will be my last post on as it does not seem to provide the same type of enjoyment as it once did. It seems there is more hostility and trivial meaningless posts then actual fishing reports and educational topics any more. So those that know me, keep in touch and when you see me on the water say hello.
I think I'm with Jonathan. There's far too much self-righteous posturing and attacks that are based on speculation and leaps in logic that fall far short once the facts are examined.

To those of you who ever offered me advice and guidance on here, thank you. Those of you that I've met on the water, I hope to see you again someday.

But you can count me out on here from now on as well.
Wow. I am new here and now I am afraid to post anything. I will continure to browse and learn what I can. Jonathan, I follow your blog and really get enjoyment out of it. I hope you continue with your blog though.


Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

It is indeed legal to retain wild coho, although I don't in Washington because of their current status. As for the net, you can contact the respective tribe if you feel the Gill net was illegal. You would be amazed at what condition those fish are in and still get sold. The consumer doesn't know about the fish.

Contacting WDFW will do nothing as they have no authority. I've seen this for over 20 years now growing up on Puget Sound and sadly, little gets done to improve the situation despite attempts.


Active Member


MA-9 Beach Stalker
Jonathan and James,

I hope you reconsider leaving the WFF salwater forum. I really enjoy your posts and photos on this site. The saltwater forum is better than the others and there is minimal bashing here. I keep some unclipped MA-9 coho myself each year for the BBQ, there is nothing wrong with doing this in moderation. Seeing the fish rotting in the gill nets pisses me off, your images should be shared with the Seattle Times. The story could run next to the giant octopus uproar.

Those who bash Jonathan should back off. We want more reports here and less pontificating.

I agree with Dimebrite, this is a great forum, and the Salt forum is fantastic. I look forward to all the regular contributor's trip reports. Jonathon and James both provide great info and good stories. We need to keep it up and not get off track here.

Good report Jonathon, look forward to more.
Here is some info on the Coho population in Puget Sound/ Straight of Georgia. Listed as a species of concern by NOAA.
As with the discussion below,

some will of course continue to say Jonathan is being bashed, but killing ANY wild fish in WA is a legitimate subject of debate, whether it is legal or not. Folks will by definition disagree with opposing view points, but IMO these types of discussions are important.

Jonathan, if you haven't let your hurt feelings chase you away and are still lurking... You posted the pic and announced that you chose to " harvest" a wild fish. You should have expected some members (with their panties WAY too tight, like mine... OUCH!) to disagree with the ethics of this choice, if for no other reason than the feedback from the dead rockfish pic referenced above. Grip-n-grins of dead wild fish posted on the net will receive criticism, right or not. It's a DISCUSSION forum. Deal with it. Or maybe post them on GameFishin instead!

Finally, I would suggest that in WA, the term "harvest" be reserved for hatchery fish. Wild fish should be conserved via appropriate C&R, regardless of the legality of whacking them. Many seem to hide behind the "harvest" term to shift the brunt of THEIR ethical decision to WDFW.

Chris Bellows

Your Preferred WFF Poster
fyi... it is not illegal to do a grip and grin for the camera with a wild fish in the saltwater (except area 2-2).

from the rule book:

FRESHWATER: “It is unlawful to totally remove salmon, steelhead, or Dolly Varden/Bull Trout from the water if it is unlawful to retain those fish, or if the angler subsequently releases the salmon, steelhead, Dolly Varden/Bull Trout.”
MARINE AREAS 5 through 13: “It is unlawful to bring wild salmon or a species of salmon aboard a vessel if it is unlawful to retain that salmon” (“aboard” means inside the gunwale of a vessel).
MARINE AREA 2-2: “It is unlawful to totally remove salmon from the water if it is illegal to retain those fish, except anglers fishing from boats 30 feet or longer as listed on either their state or Coast Guard registration, are exempt.”

there was no grip and grin of a dead wild fish, jonathan only mentioned that he ended up harvesting the fish to deal with those complaining about his "not-illegal" fish handling.
there was no grip and grin of a dead wild fish, jonathan only mentioned that he ended up harvesting the fish to deal with those complaining about his "not-illegal" fish handling.
Sure, point taken. But how we got to the point that the wild fish was killed isn't relevant to my point. I didn't claim that it was illegal to hold a wild fish out of the water in the salt or criticize him for doing so. I was just commenting on the developing discussion of the ethics of whacking a wild coho. Mention of the grip-n-grin specifically was not central to my point.


Active Member
Good job Jon for nabbing the chromer, let the moderators do their job of moderating not passing judgement. I would've whacked and stacked em all the same and posted them up with grips and plenty of grins for all to see. Let the haters hate, just keep on fishing! When we recently found that more of our Coho catches were un-clipped fish we put an inquiry into the WDFW wondering why the sudden jump of adipose fish. They said that in 2010 they did a study and didn't clip 40,000 fish to compare if it made a difference in their returns to that river. We went from many clipped fish into mostly un-clipped, and didn't want to engage in harvesting any wild fish if indeed there was a wild run on this system. That call confirmed that the run of fish were ultimately of all hatchery origins as the hatchery has been in existence for over 100 years. Point is, don't be so quick to pass judgement, there are always more side to the story than meets the eye. Jon, keep posting up your reports and pics, good job!