Egg Chumming

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by freestoneangler, Mar 4, 2012.

  1. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,151
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +795 / 1
    I was just reading Joe Hyde's "Conservation" article in the Jan/Feb issue of NWFF about egg chumming and was pretty surprised to see that Alaska guides partake in such activity. Basically, they drop eggs over areas to attract fish for their clients when the egg factory/salmon runs wane. I've been on the Kvichak a couple of times over the years and never saw or heard of this -- is this a relatively new thing or now just getting some much needed negative press? Anyone know of WA guides or non-guide anglers using bait as attraction on no bait, artificial lure only waters?

    Years ago, several of us caught a group of fisherman on Dry Falls who were dropping small wire baskets loaded with trout food pellets attached to their anchor rope. We had seen them the day before absolutely scorching the catch rate and started to get suspicious. One of the guys in the party had binoculars with him and watched them from shore the next morning...sure enough, bait basket on the anchor. We rowed over to them and let them know we knew and that we had called F&G to see if they felt that was a legal maneuver (of course we hadn't, because no one had cell phones -- but they did not know that). Both groups were off the lake loading boats on trailers withing about 30 minutes.

    I wonder how much of this activity goes on?
  2. Jonathan Tachell Active Member

    Posts: 799
    Gig Harbor, Washington
    Ratings: +187 / 0
    Chumming is illegal in Washington lakes unless otherwise specified in the special regulations. It is only legal in a few lakes statewide, like American lake I believe but Dry falls is definitley not one of them. As for chumming in rivers I am not sure about that and am not willing to wade through the ridiculous fishing regulation pamphlet to find out as it does not concern me or how I fish.
  3. fredaevans Active Member

    Posts: 3,131
    White City, Oregon, USA.
    Ratings: +126 / 0
    I don't care what they're being 'paid' to "put you into fish,'' that's beyond the pale.
  4. Derek Young 2011 Orvis Endorsed Fly Fishing Guide Of The Year

    Posts: 2,702
    Snoqualmie, WA
    Ratings: +888 / 1
    Lamesauce.
  5. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    I've never heard of guides doing this anywhere and letting their clients fish for those fish, usually there are some big trout that hang out where the salmon get cleaned to pick up the table scraps, they typically all get names.

    Having tried to chum in rainbows, it dosen't really work to increase catch rates just lets you see what's possible in that hole, and tease you a lot. It does a good job of showing why the use of bait when trout fishing is very unfair, and our fisheries depend on no bait regulations.
  6. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    Looks like NWFF ran out of things to write about... Why Chum with eggs in the Kvichak when chums, silvers, and millions of sockeyes are doing it naturally? The right beads/polish and you have a real egg. Sounds like guides who don't have a clue or their clients just suck that bad...

    Many people go to AK with unreal expectations and it does put a lot of pressure on guides. Marketing always shows the biggest rainbows. You never see people promoting an average fish from AK that is still a great fish! When a client demands a 30" rainbow and can cast a whopping 11' feet. This makes it tough and in this economy those demanding clients may keep businesses a float. As a guide you're only screwing yourself by doing this... A good guide understands the life history and behavioral interactions between rainbows and salmon and understands the subtle changes throughout the season, where those fish live, and what they eat. This takes years to understand and it doesn't come quick, so young guide hero's may try to set the bar by chumming and doing other dishonest acts.

    I have seen guides put skeins of eggs in their gravel guards and then get busted by NPS rangers.
  7. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    Cleaning table and chumming are different unless you're fishing when people are actively cleaning. I will agree that it's pretty awesome to see what comes out of the depths to smack some real flesh, but they will eat the real flesh and ignore flies during feeding time.

    Rainbows that hang at cleaning tables are truly the smartest fish. The early summer can be tough on rainbows food wise. Smolt are moving, but many rainbows just finished spawning and need food. They opportunistically feed harvested flesh until the river naturally begins providing flesh and eggs by mid summer. Rainbows are all gone from cleaning tables by the end of July.
  8. freestoneangler Not to be confused with Freestone

    Posts: 4,151
    Edgewood, WA
    Ratings: +795 / 1
    That technique (if we dare call it that) was also in the article. I think the article has merit -- good to get word out about bullshit stuff like this. Not everyone realizes its going on and the more press it gets, the less likely those who partake will be inclined to do so.
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,591
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,715 / 0
    Some people "need" to catch a fish way too much. If my self esteem ever gets that low, I'll just off myself.

    Sg
  10. Ringlee Doesn't care how you fish Moderator

    Posts: 1,858
    Somewhere you don't know about, WA
    Ratings: +52 / 1
    Did they mention specific operations? I would guess not, but that would be pretty ballsy to call them out.
  11. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 839
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +193 / 2
    Stretching my memory...

    ...but I'm almost positive Miles Nolte wrote about it in his Alaska Chronicles book/blog.

    Also the "San Juan Shuffle" to stir up already buried eggs to get the rainbows back on the bite.
  12. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    No you don't dig up redds to get rainbows on the feed, that doesn't work... You "shuffle" carcasses, really gets them going

    A better solution is to use a nymph, because if the bows are not eating eggs or flesh they are eating bugs like normal rainbows.
  13. Jordan Simpson Active Member

    Posts: 788
    Tsawwassen, BC
    Ratings: +54 / 1
    I've seen guys put bacon in a sock and then anchor the sock down in a run with rocks. Big bulls and rainbows will sit downstream in the oil slick or scent trail or whatever and then the guys will target them. If I happen to see it, I usually will inconspicuously make my way toward the said sock and happen to "stumble upon it" and take it out of the water. Chumming and clouding the water to draw in fish sort of takes away from the aspect of trying to fool it...
  14. Gray Struznik New Member

    Posts: 24
    Forks WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've have seen this on countless rivers in AK were guides are chumming.. It happens mostly on the Kvichak from what I've seen "for rainbows" and also on the Alagnak for "Kings" it's pretty sad.. Just goes to show you that some guides should find another line of work.

    I know that this is just how some lodges operate (no names) and guides working at these lodges have to go with the program...
  15. Thomas Mitchell Active Member

    Posts: 839
    Western, WA
    Ratings: +193 / 2
    Why don't you dial up Miles Nolte and tell him then? Maybe he'll pass it along to the guides doing it so that they stop doing it wrong...
  16. 2506 Member

    Posts: 172
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    Heny David Thoreau got it right. Chummers just haven't figured it out yet.
  17. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,209
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    That lodge is a shit show, actually every lodge on that river is.
  18. tabornatives Member

    Posts: 110
    WRJ, Vermont
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Many, May years ago on my one and only trip to the Kenai a long time Kenai River guide took three friends and myself for a float as a partial payment for some plumbing work my friend and host did on the Guide's house. We fished reds for the most part, but the guide started tossing eggs into a specific bank overhang without telling me what he was up to. Being from Vermont I had no clue until he told me to throw my fly in that same spot which then got slammed by huge rainbow. I was disgusted once I realized what was going on and refuse to participate. It was a very long day on the water from the Russian to Bing's with a first class A-hole. I reported the event to F&G without divulging the name of the guide just to let them know that kind of "fishing" was going on.
  19. dflett68 Active Member

    Posts: 601
    snohomish
    Ratings: +197 / 0
    it's clearly lame in terms of sportsmanship, but what's the harm? to the resource, i mean.
  20. MountainTrout Bacon-wrapped trout?

    Posts: 135
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    Egg chumming is banned in some states to prevent disease transmission of VHS or Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia. Eggs from an infected body of water could easily spread the disease to an uninfected area during egg chumming.