Can you fly fish with hookless flies in closed waters?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by CLO, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. Or you can fish open water with hooks. Go fish the beach and catch fish! It's hard to cast on a windy Puget Sound beach, should be great practice.
  2. Fishing without a hook would be a pointless exercise.

    Keith Hixson, Paul Huffman and Dipnet like this.
  3. I always see folks practicing with their spey set ups at Wapato Lake in Tacoma which is a juvenile fishing only lake. I am sure being communicative and giving enforcement a heads up prior too would be reasonable.

  4. Is that an intentional pun?
    dfl likes this.
  5. That seems to be true in Washington also. I looked up "fishing" in the Revised Code of Washington and found this:

    RCW 77.080.010

    (64) "To fish," "to harvest," and "to take," and their derivatives means an effort to kill, injure, harass, or catch a fish or shellfish.
  6. yup
    dfl and CLO like this.
  7. Unless solitude and driving are important to your practicing, there's a great casting dock on the northwest portion of Green Lake. I see that you live in Seattle.
  8. You'd be surprised at how thin those folks are on the ground...and how far they're often going end up driving to fool around with somebody playing a game. Maybe you're not going interrupt the capture of a poaching ring, but I suspect with a belligerant attitude you'll be cited for whatever the officer can come up with....maybe you can beat it in court, but you really don't want to waste a day doing achieving a place on their radar will get you more scrutiny than you might want.

    LEO's have the very real world power to make your life miserable. Of course, you can always give him or her the tried and true "I pay your salary" lecture. They love it when you do that!
  9. This is a cabin fever post.
    Fishing closed water means closed to fishing, hook or no hook.
    If I were the game guy I would give you a ticket, take your rod, truck and any thing else I could to make your life just as must of a waste of time that you caused me.
    Just my .02
    Old Man likes this.
  10. When I called WDFW once to ask about it, they told me to always call before casting practice on closed waters or I risked the scenario above as the definition of fishing includes harassing fish so it is a judgement call on the part of the officer.
  11. Let me be devil's advocate.
    Game Warden: What are you doing?
    You: I'm fly fishing with hookless flies.
    Game Warden: This river is closed to fly fishing.
    You: I'm not fly fishing because my flies have no hooks in them.
    Game Warden: You just admitted you were fly fishing.
    You: I misspoke. I'm not fly fishing.
    Game Warden: If you walk through the woods with an unloaded gun are you hunting?
    You: Yes.
    Game Warden: The purpose of closing this water is to reduce the stress on fish. You may not be stressing them by playing them but you are stressing them in that they are rising to your fly but with no chance of getting any food. When no food is available, trout, especially stressed trout, will stay in a holding lie. They don't get food, but they don't burn energy. What you're doing is illegal because it stresses the fish and that is the very purpose of the closure.

    In the end, it would likely end up being at the discretion of the LEO. If he writes you a ticket and you take it to court, it could end up being up to a Judge. You'd have to ask yourself, is it really worth it or could you just go somewhere that's not closed to fishing.

    Ed Call, Krusty, Old Man and 2 others like this.
  12. During the now-closed season that used to be prime spring fishing for "winter" steelhead, I'm left feeling desperately misplaced, like a eunuch guarding the sultan's harem. I'd be happy enough if I could "fish" with yarn or a hookless fly, just to es
    experience a momentary headshake. I've wished that the WDFW would recognize this very human need and make some kind of provision. But there is a problem with enforcement: wardens would have to closely inspect the equipment of everyone they see fishing hookless. It would waste a lot of time that, with their reduced numbers, they don't have to spare.

    Wasn't it Chief Joseph who said something like: "If you stop us from hunting, we will hunt mice, for we are hunters"?
  13. My take is if you want to do some fly casting practice just go find water that's open.
    Game closes water's for a reason, plus why invite others who see you to second thought and join in the _ishing.
    Notifying game enforcement is one thing, but a good intentioned person who knows the rules might see you differently.
  14. You can go out and cast yarn as much as you want. The burden of proving that you are actually harassing a fish is on WDFW Law Enforcement - and unlikely event. "I know that little tug on my line was a stick - I've felt it numerous time before your Honor!"
    The problem is that it does nothing to help re-open a watershed that evidence indicates should be open.

    I would like to invite each and every one of you to "fish" hookless on March 29th at The Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport. Gathering to begin at 9 AM.

    Instead of trying to skirt the regulations one at a time, let's all meet up and take part in an effort to get the regulation changed. Last year the Skagit escapement numbers were nearly 50% over the escapement goal.
    Basin by basin steelhead management is the key, but it won't happen unless we ask for it! And keep asking as publicly and as loudly as we can - within the law.

    I understand that the Skagit is not in everyone's wheelhouse, but this type of Distinct Population Segment (DPS) management is coming to a stream near you - in your lifetime! - unless something is done to get the powers that be to change their management approach.

    The single most important event you can attend to help effect this change is the WDFW Commissioners Meeting April 12, 2014 in Olympia. You don't have to speak, just show up, spend an hour of your time, and raise your hand in support when asked to do so.

    Last year the event got some notice by the right people at WDFW and NMFS. Last year's event managed to give the large wheel of government bureaucracy a minor shove. The wheel is just beginning to move, but not yet with its own momentum. It's time to push it again.
    Ed Call and KerryS like this.
  15. I am a little confused on the commissioners meeting date. Is it on April 5th or is it on April 12th?
  16. according to Websters:
    Full Definition of ANGLING: the action of one who angles; especially : the action or sport of fishing with hook and line

    WDFW definitions Angling (Hook and Line Fishing) Fishing for personal use... with a line attached to a pole...

    WDFW Freshwater Rules
    Tackle; Hook and line angling only...

    Without a hook its not angling. Arguably, its not fishing either.

  17. When you remove the point its no longer a hook. Myabe its shank and line fishing.
  18. Thanks for reminding me Kerry! The meeting in Olympia is on the 12th - my post above has been edited to reflect the proper date.
  19. It's called casting practice - which should just about bring us full circle on this thread. :)
    Pat Lat likes this.
  20. Heck, virtually all of my time fishing for steelhead over the years was "practice", even with a hook on the fly!
    FinLuver, bennysbuddy, dfl and 2 others like this.

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