First Steelhead on the Fly

Brian Bennett

Because We All Live Downstream
Landed my first Steelhead on the fly last Sunday, a hatchery fish but still a defining moment in my life as a fly fisherman. Beginner hole on the Kalama, double beaded stone, the weather change Saturday night moved up some fresh fish. As a recent transplant from Colorado I'm thrilled to be in the game but I have to say I am equally disappointed by the way some people treat this waterway. The vast amounts of trash and discarded line were appalling! Is it common to see this same kind of disrespect on other rivers or is this unique to the Kalama? I did pack out a full bag of trash on Saturday so maybe the good karma helped with the fish gods?

Matt Burke

Active Member
Congrats, you are now a part of an elite clan. Don't know about the trash thing on the Kalama, but it sounds like it may be a little cleaner on the Sky, Sno, NF Stilly, Sauk and Skagit.

Matt Burke

Old Man

Just an Old Man
It is nice that you got a picture of that steelhead but in doing so you broke the law. If you were going to retain that fish it is a all right thing to do but If you are putting it back you are not supposed to take it out of the water to unhook it. See page 14 of the regs for this year. At the top of the page.

Washington is particularly bad when it comes to streamside garbage. I ALWAYS take a garbage sack with me and usually don't have trouble filling it up in 5mins. at the end of my day. Sad, but true.

imho, it is a baitchucker deal...

Jay Allyn

The Poor-Student Fly Fisher
It is proabably 99% garbage from gear fishermen give or take between the two groups of fishing. You also have to remember that in some areas the garbage comes from non-fishers and people out drinking and "haveing fun". I also know that lots of gear fishermen don't litter, it's just the few that ruin it for the rest of us.
most rivers are clean if you float down them but if you go to a place with easy access there is usually a lot of trash thanks to the worm flickers and meat fishermen it's sad but true.

Mike Etgen

Not Quite A Luddite, But Can See One From Here
New River Mike

Congrats on the fish and thanks, Jim, for pointing out this new regulation. Even though I've heard it myself I've quite likely and thoughtlessly disregarded it without thinking about it.
I've been here just a few years myself and have seen examples from one extreme to the other - some areas pristine and some extremely spoiled. I'm guessing it has something to do with ease of access, but it's the best I can come up with and hardly an excuse.
I had the same kind of experiences back in western Virginia, in the Appalachians - some places seemed hardly touched and some shameful. At times it seemed the natives were more disrespectful of their surroundings than the transplants, but that's probably over-generalizing. Since I've been here on the Kitsap peninsula, I think I've bene a little surprised and disappointed at the general level of disrespect towards the environment, as measured by the litter on the roads, the impromptu dumping sites on the back roads, and the trash along the edges of rivers, lakes, and beaches.
Hard to figure...:dunno


Be the guide...
Actually I believe the pic is perfectly legal.

The rule states that you can't remove fish (salmon and steelhead) that MUST be released. That would include any salmon or steelie in C&R only waters, all native\wild steelies, protected salmon, etc. If the fish is legal to keep\bonk (if you choose), it is also legal to remove from the water to photograph and release...

Rules for Handling Fish- New rules to increase the survival of fish released are now in effect. In Marine Areas 5-13, when wild salmon or a particular
species of salmon must be released, boat anglers may not bring them aboard a vessel. “Aboard” is defined as inside the vessel’s gunwale. In
freshwater, bank and boat anglers (except in the Columbia River downstream of the Rocky Point/Tongue Point line) may not totally remove from the
water any salmon or steelhead THAT IS REQUIRED to be released. In saltwater, 6-gill shark (which anglers must release) may not be removed from the
Well apparently Chadk and I were thinking the same thing and he can type faster than I can. So i'll just edit this post to say, "Congrats on your first Steelhead":thumb
Yeah we were the guys in the Puma raft and the two watermasters fishing right above you guys on the same hole... I watched that whole thing! Congrats on your first steelhead, those fish are pretty scrappy! I was the guy in the funny hat with blond hair who busted off that big steelie about a half an hour after you caught yours... Good luck and keep catchen' um!


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