Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Slate Run, Nov 29, 2013.
Constructive fish management is a rare commodity, IMHO
You may not change the mind of the older guys with the nets, but when you have a tribal member wanting to start getting groups of young kids together to teach them the fly rod, there's hope for some change down the road. Might be too little too late, but I sure don't have a better idea.
Late summer, a few year back, low water, gin clear, we fished the N fork and the E fork with nymphs and soft hackles, but only caught Bulls, in one deep run (smaller ones, only 13" - 14"). Saw some Sockeyes on their spawning run. Saw some fresh cougar tracks (big ones!) on a sandy river bar on the N Fork.
After seeing those cat tracks, I don't want to go fish there alone.
Oh yeah, I was informed that Oct would be a good time to fish it.
I have to add that we arrived late, after first checking a spot on the Humptulips, did not fish until dark, and it was bright and sunny. I'll bet that if we had stuck around until dark, we might have been rewarded with some dry action.
Also we saw schools of what we thought were Whitefish in the deep runs and holes in the stretch above the bridge, and below the confluence of the forks.
No, I don't think the nets are coming out either but I was surprised to hear an individual who doesn't even really sport fish catch on to the same idea. I don't know if that means anything or not but the mere fact that non fishers even think that gives some hope that with educating the younger, next generation, perhaps ideas can be changed in the future.
That's the best viewpoint to take at the moment as far as I'm concerned. Nobody here realistically thinks that netting will magically cease, fighting the Boldt decision is beating your head against a brick wall, and trying to change current netting practices is a giant waste of time, as we all know. I still feel like what's going on is a good thing though, and when the odds are overwhelmingly stacked against you, you've got to find hope in small victories. Trying to eliminate netting is such an overwhelming goal that it results in complete inaction. What is possible, though, is that some 13 year old Quinault kid is going to see more guys fly fishing the lower river and think "I'd like to do that"...fast forward 5 years and maybe he's swinging a run on the lower Quinault instead of exercising his right to drag a net across the entire river that day. If this guy is the real deal, and is serious about promoting that ethic within his community...more power to him. Get a few guys in that same boat and you've got a minor victory as far as I'm concerned. Probably naiveté, but what the hell, it's nice to think about. It clearly hasn't happened on the Hoh, but there's always a chance I suppose.
Dream on, Bro, dream on! The result we would all love to see begins with a dream.
On the other hand, this whole deal with the QIN shutting down Lake Quinault (the reason they gave was pure bullsh*t) to non-tribal members casts serious doubt on their integrity, honesty, and willingness to play fair.
(I'm sure that many of those who reside elsewhere may not be aware of the chagrin and animosity that this closure has generated between the non-tribal folks who traditionally enjoyed the lake or who live on the lake and the QIN. Myself, I was planning to purchase a QIN fishing permit this year so that I could go troll streamers in the lake, but that option is now gone. Chalk up yet another loss of fishing opportunity).
This is the sad, but realistic truth. Most of the tribal fishermen whom I know despise catch and release sports fishing, and the fishermen who practice it. It is also unrealistic to say that adding more fishing, even catch & release fishing, to the lower Quinault River wild winter steelhead run, and especially the later winter run fish, will in any be beneficial to the remaining few wlld steelhead returning there. I see this as a sad example and symptom of just how bad things have gotten for our wild fish out here. And a sad testament to fly fishing ethics and conservation in general.
as long as the olympic peninsula is erroneously promoted as having the largest wild runs and best swinging water on the west coast things like this will continue.
I think swinging is a smart management tool/plan. It should reduce hookups and unintended mortality.
About a dozen years ago(but maybe it was only ten), when I was still in the early stages of healing my shoulder problems (impingement), I had to decline an invitation from a local who was a QIN tribal member to go fish the lower Quinault near Cook Creek. He had told me that I would have to bring along my chainsaw, as we would need to cut a shorter trail to his spot on the river, or else be forced to pack out "all those fish" a couple of miles. Not only was I in terrible shape to attempt any such endeavor, but my chainsaw was in bad need of maintenance, and it was short notice.
You don't get many opportunities like that in a lifetime. Dang!
YUP! Wouldn't want to harm one before it made its way into a gill net.
I see the koolaid is working, and some marketing for pockets gettin full, nothing else.....
Interesting for sure.... Swing only trips on pre gill net mega bucks? Quinalt has it dialed they charge to CNR them, then they net them and get to sell them. That's a solid business model!
So... where do I sign up and anyone know what color yarnie I should tie?
Man. That. Sucks. Hope = Gone.
That just makes too much sense.
If you want to go, you might as well fish with a regular QIN guide, at least you'd be on fish and skip the "destination" markup.
Better yet, don't.
As a slight aside, the service mentioned by the OP appears to be be guiding the Snohomish as well. Probably a little "less guilty" Winter steelheading there. Maybe they'll do some Tokul creek walk-ins as well.
(no rage now...I jest, I jest!)
Snohomish Steelheading? Hoboy that is going to be off the hook!
what a fricking joke.
I have an inside line on the situation with the Lower Quinault. I know the guide and count him among my friends and see him as an upstanding individual and professional. He has guided spey anglers in the past, Trey Coombs among them, you may look for his article on this in the next copy of The Drake for more information. The guide is motivated to set a new standard for sport fishing on the Lower Quinualt. He sees spey angling as something that he can pass down to his children and others in the tribe. This is new territory for this river, him, and the tribe. He would like to see a paradigm shift in the direction of sport fishing here.
Will the nets come out? Well not likely as this is one man doing what he feels right for his business, family, and personal well being. I personally have never seen him kill an unclipped fish. There is a long standing opposition between conservation minded anglers and the tribe as far as the management practices here, on the Queets, and Chehalis Basin. I for one do not see the nets coming out of any of these streams any time soon. However, I am not going to hold it against an individual who I feel is making positive steps for the health of the resource, his family, and his people. I think this is an excellent opportunity to foster a more cooperative relationship rather than oppositional one concerning these issues.
As far as the river itself and angling pressure goes I can say that angling pressure is extremely light. There is 40 miles of river on this stream alone and I have never seen any more than 3-4 boats at a time in any launch location and generally zero. There is no one fly fishing despite the river is seemingly made for it. Most of the river is walking speed runs with larger boulders and rapids peppered in for good measure. It is a beautiful place and I must say lacks much of the logging scars that most or our non-tribal rivers are riddled with. As far as his partnership with The Evening Hatch goes it serves the purposes of getting the word out about this unique situation.
Native netting is bad for steelhead. Catch and release is good for steelhead. So, a Native guide that is supporting catch and release is bad for steelhead? OR
If every native netted steelhead, that would be bad. If every native caught and released steelhead, that would be good. So, one native guide promoting catch and release is bad.
Everybody has an opinion and perspective....It is human nature. I have pointed a finger way too many times in my life. What I find incredibly refreshing is the Quinault member's mindset to 'Bridge the gap'. I personally give major accolades for such an effort.
Feel free to contact me anytime ..... http://www.theeveninghatch.com/
FYI - We are not guiding the Snohomish....We are guiding the Snoqualmie.