Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by I love babies, Jul 16, 2014.
^^^Now that actually makes some sense. Thanks.
I was going to catch up on this thread and it opened at page 4...then I saw it went to 12 pages!
These treads sucks go fishing
A friend of a friend came out to the coast to fish winter steelhead last season from Montana. He refused to fish a bobber rig. "You don't go to Disneyland to ride the tea cups."
Well said. I have no issue with nymphing or fishing float and jig on a gear rod I do both quite a bit at times, or any legal method for that matter but I do believe there are times and places where the fish and river call for a higher sporting ethic. NF stilly is definitely one IMO. But I wouldn't light a candle and write in my diary if I saw someone fish a bobber on the stilly. Because the way the law is written it is certainly legal.
You posted that, "The idea that using the aid of a strike indicator redefines the definition of fly fishing is just silly." With trout scaled gear that may seem so because neither the indicator nor the attached split shot weight are so heavy as to turn fly casting into lobbing a weighted presentation into the stream. That is not so much the case when nymphing for steelhead, where the mass and air resistance of the indicator and the weight attached to the leader make the presentation look and feel like anything but fly casting. The upshot is that nymphing for steelhead is a form of gear fishing, not fly fishing, even when done with a fly rod. At that point, the offering has more in common with the gob of eggs and lead served below a bobber than with fly fishing.
Since ethics are personal, whether the method is ethical in fly only waters is naturally debatable. But if weight is being attached to the leader, it is definitely illegal in WA fly only waters. And until the regulation was modified to satisfy trout nymphers, any weighted fly was also illegal in WA fly only waters. Given the history and tradition of steelhead fly fishing in WA, it should be easy to understand why steelhead nymphing is not welcome among traditional steelhead fly fishers.
I have no problem with people nymphing for steelhead However
start at the top of the run
cast and step your way through a run
do not fish below another angler who is already in the run without asking
kill all hatchery fish
What about using an indicator for sea bass on the ocean..
Is that fly fishing, Ira?
What if I can cast a fly on a spinning rod - does that make it a lure? If so, I guess Intruders are lures as I can cast it as far as a rooster tail with an old spinning rod I had laying around. Now my little Lightning Bug and other small steelhead nymphs, they didn't go anywhere even with a ballon or yarn indicator. So, which is a lure and which is a fly?
I'm sure there are big stonefly nymphs used in other fly water you could cast with your spin rod too
All flies are lures.
All this are simply individual opinions, I have fished the stilly for 40 plus years, lived on its banks for almost that. Ex guide.... Ect. So here is mine, it's simple. If the "indicator" is needed to float the fly, keep it just off the bottom....your bobber fishing. Doing it for trout? Still bobber fishing. Nothing wrong with bobber fishing but it's not fly fishing. I bobber fish for trout with my fly rod if I feel I have to but I call it what it is ...bobber fishing. If you want to bobber fish for steelhead that's your choice but you should be honest and admit at least to yourself you are bobber fishing. If you want to bobber fish on the stilly for summer runs or any other fly only water you are using a loop hole to gear fish... Shame on you. I have noticed that bobber fisherman get rankled when you call it that... Hmmm I have no use for snobbery anywhere but especially in fly fishing however when you fly fish for steelhead that's what you should do...fly fish. I suppose I would be considered an old geezer but I do know the difference between flyfishing and gear fishing. actually as an old geezer I think I will change this enlightenment from an opinion to what it is.. The facts.
Well, one could just as easily argue that sinking lines and tips are using a loop hole when additional weight is prohibited. When I read 'conventional fly line', I think floating line; adding weight to the line is adding weight, whether it is aftermarket weight or a manufacturer added it into the fly line, conveniently getting around the rule.
Fact is anything but a dead-drifted dry fly on a dry line is gear fishing of some sort. But some folks convince themselves they are fly fishing when they chuck a heavily-weighted half chicken, dredge the bottom with heavily weighted line like T14, cover the almost entire river with a two-handed rod leaving very little sanctuary for the fish. Yep, that is real traditional and probably just as far from what was originally intended as is a wool or poly indicator and a Pheasant Tail or Prince. They might as well use a spinning rod/reel or bait caster to swing their chicken and bunny monstrocities as it would easier to cast, LOL. Heck, why not just use a spoon if you're going to swing? ROFL...
2 handed rods are extremely traditional- so much history there
Swinging a fly on a dry line- also extremely traditional
There are fly only waters where it's dry line- unweighted fly only and I think that's awesome
"My understanding and belief on the subject is that steelhead aren't there to feed. They are there to spawn, and because of this they are aggressively attacking things that get in there way. If they were as picky about the bugs they bite as feeding trout, then it might be a lot different. The sport in trout flyfishing is getting them to eat. Whereas the sport in steelheding is getting them to attack. It is more sportsman like to not just simply dredge nymphs and shot right through the slot, but rather to allow the fish to chase something down. Hope this helps "
So a weighted nymph is drifting through a slot...
Is it being "eaten" or "attacked"??
Afterall, a steelhead is a "trout"
...or could it be...
The nymph was eaten, as it was viciously attacked by that magnificent steelhead!!
Not so fast there Freestone! A sinking line contains to added weight. It weighs the same as a floating line of the same flyline weight designation, but it is denser. Well, how does that comport with tradition? Quite well actually. Traditional fly lines were made of either braided horse hair or silk, both of which have a specific gravity greater than 1.0, meaning that they will sink in freshwater unless treated. That is why silk lines had to be continuously greased, then dried, then re-greased to keep floating, but an undressed silk line was the norm for a lot of wet fly fishing.
Just a little science and history from your old guy friend.
I would agree that any fishing is "gear" fishing, in that we use fishing gear of some sort to go fishing. But I think the appellations of "fly gear" and "conventional gear" fall into understandable camps for informed anglers. The fly v. gear debate is fun for the intellectually curious and entertaining for the emotionally enraged, er, I mean, engaged.
I used to waste breath (keystrokes?) trying to convince people that I was fly fishing when I drifted stuff under an indicator, but I eventually decided I didn't care what anybody else called the fishing I was doing, as long as I enjoyed it and it didn't take away from anyone else's enjoyment of their own fishing. If I've ever annoyed any of you by nymphing through water you want to be swinging, I sincerely apologize. I do value courtesy and ethics tremendously, even if I sometimes fish like a heathen.
While I'm a big C&R proponent, I personally don't care much for fly-only regulations, as I believe they promote an elitist attitude that I don't like being associated with. I can't think of any fly-only fishery I partake in that would be compromised by a few folks chucking spinners with single, barbless hooks, for example. As has been documented in other threads, we've all seen fly fishers with questionable ethics, so I don't think those lines should be drawn according to gear type.
As long as an angler is coaxing fish to bite a single, barbless hook, handling fish carefully, and releasing them as safely as possible, he/she's not going to ruin my experience. I guess I just feel like there are too few opportunities left to fish steelhead for us to exclude people on the basis of gear type.
I've never fished the Stilly. If I ever do, I imagine it will be with a dry line and an unweighted fly, but it won't bother me to see someone else doing something different.
I see that point of view- but I will say that its a nice way to reduce the # of overall anglers.
The NF Stilly would be OVERRUN were you allowed to fish gear there in the summer
The real question is, can you use a fly rod on a down rigger?
Must agree that fly-only reduces pressure somewhat in some cases, and I can't help but appreciate that. What I don't always appreciate is how well-educated trout can get in a fly-only environment (yes, a bit of thread drift here). Ever wonder what would happen if you threw a #2 Blue Fox in Rocky Ford Creek or the Yakima?