NW Flyfishing...part of the problem?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Piscivorous, Dec 15, 2006.

  1. Piscivorous New Member

    Posts: 46
    Seattle, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The most recent edition of NW Flyfishing has an article about steelheading on a certain river that I had never heard of, reminding me that so many articles in this magazine have 1)overhyped fisheries that can't handle more presssure, and 2) explained in at least three articles how to target bull trout in rivers where no legal fishery exists. Furthermore the hype articles about steelheading never mention important conservation points, like the fact that current populations are less than 5% of historic abundance, habitat continues to decline and the state continues to manage way too much for hatchery steelhead, hurting the fishing experience for all of us.

    I can't bash the mag and the business in itself because I think it's fine if people want to make a living off of guiding and selling equipment but I'm saying that endless glorification of steelhead rivers in this state gives people the wrong assumption that this is a great state for steelheading. Ok, maybe relative to California, but not what Washington is compared to what it was just a few decades ago. I'm as green as green when it comes to steelheading, but in just the couple years that I've been fishing for them I've seen a proposal to list PS steelhead, and more and more science saying that the hatchery steelhead the state continues to dump in our rivers by the millions are threatening the very survival of our wild populations.

    I don't know how the heck any of these authors can be complacent with the current state of affairs. If I was in the steelhead biz I would be irate that we have to chase hatchery fish that don't like to bite our flies (the state selects hatchery steelhead to not bite, after all!) and that the state and tribes work with an absurdly low baselines to manage our populations. I haven't read this article and refuse to do so but in the ones that I have read I know the authors scarcely mention the dire state of affairs in this state. Wouldn't the steelhead biz be a lot more profitable if we had more wild fish to chase? No wonder so many people have resorted to fishing at places like Reiter or Cook creek...that's about the only place where a new steelheader can fish if he or she isn't willing to dedicate dozens and dozens of days learning the complexities of wild steelhead run timing, behavior and ecology to catch one of the odd wild steelhead around.

    I'm not going to let this be the rant that complements the rave of the magazine...we have the opportunity to 1)make management better getting involved in and giving money to angling conservation groups like the Wild Steelhead Coalition 2) support land trusts who protect habitat by giving money/volunteer time to land trusts like the Western Rivers Conservancy or Hoh River Trust (by the way one of the things about this website that I love is that it can bring people together to support these groups) 3) support groups who add to the scientific understanding of steelhead like Wild Salmon Center, Washington Trout, Native Fish Society.

    It seems to me that one of the obvious problem is that those of us who are new to the steelheading game easily accept the state of affairs...I think that's terribly dangerous and I think that anyone in the steelhead biz should do a better job of challenging the status quo.
  2. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,775 / 0
    mmmmmmmmmm, where's cook creek?
  3. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Ratings: +105 / 0
    I agree 100% unfortunately flyfishing industry is growing rapidly and millions are being made so the reality of the situation doesn't get much attention. Most of the newbies don't catch fish anyway....let'em go to that place and flog the water all they want!
  4. Will Atlas Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I was aghast when I saw the most recent NW flyfishing. I stopped reading that rag a couple years ago, because all they do is sell out rivers. Literally. The photography is striking, but they miss the point. I mean the South Fork of the Toutle, you've got to be kidding me!!!! I mean what is the author getting from them to blow that up? A little name recognition from people who dont know better, about 500 bucks and the powerful knowledge that he's helped make the fishing worse for the people that actually did the hoofwork or are local. I'm pissed and I've never even fished the Toutle!!!
  5. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,751
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,775 / 0
    You may want to find out who the author is. Then maybe it will make more sense to you.
  6. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Before we go any further, can anybody speak to the quality of steelhead run on the toutle?

    I saw that article and my first reaction was that I have never heard of anybody fishing steelhead down there. Maybe that makes it a zipperlip spot or maybe it makes it crappy fishing.

    A side note - i definitely noticed a few more people on the Elwha this fall - traffic generated by the NW Fly Fishing publicity?
  7. Will Atlas Guest

    Posts: 0
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Dude, even the State Characterizes the run on the Toulte as quote, "chroinically underescaped". In the last 10 years the river has averaged UNDER 800 winter steelhead, but I doubt Michael Bennet would know that. Lets not forget this is the same author who told us how to catch CLOSED Bull Trout in his 2004 article on the Hoh. What a shame. Next time you go to a watershed that is recently blown by NWFF, talk to some of the folks fishing it, I'd bet you money alot of them first heard of the river or were inspired to fish it by North West Fly Fishing.
  8. g_smolt Recreational User

    Posts: 913
    58°19'59 N, 134°29'49 W
    Ratings: +160 / 0
    The SF Toutle hasn't been the same since St Helens...

    Sounds like this Bennett guy is someone you don't wanna take fishin' unless you want the world to know where you went and what you used.


  9. hendersonbaylocal Member

    Posts: 966
    Seattle WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Thanks, that answers it.

    Why would you ever write anything but a conservation piece on a river with that few fish? Thats just stupid.
  10. greyghost Member

    Posts: 507
    Coastal Rivers, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    There have been several rivers I have noticed increased pressure on since they have been "outed" by NWFF. Not saying any of them where "secrets" but the people who fished them typically were the kinds of folks that did a lot of legwork and who spoke in hushed tones.
    It's kind of a shame, but I guess the point is how many magazines can you sell if year after year you write, "Summer Steelheading at Blue Creek" or "The Yakima, a blue ribbon trout fishery in Central WA" or "Hey guess what the Deschutes is a pretty good trout and steelhead river" or technique articles such as "The Roll Cast is pretty sweet", "Tying the Corn Fly for Carp" or "Check out these 8 new indicators, some are Orange some are Chartruese and they all sort of float". Let's face it, most flyfishing mags suck and Probasco has found a way to sell a few. The things that I like in NWFF are the exposure section, the NW history/legends section, and the NW flytying section. If they just showed us the pictures and told us the stories without the names and maps, I'd be a reliable customer.

  11. Capt. Awesome Member

    Posts: 260
    Bend, OR
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    I think the writer was confusing the South Fork of the Toutle with the North Fork which is a much better all around fishery.

    Can't say much about the steelhead fishing on it (never caught a steelie in there) and I don't associate the Toutle with good steelhead fishing to begin with...

    However, excellent coho fishing if that's what you're into.
  12. HauntedByWaters Active Member

    Posts: 2,750
    Ratings: +105 / 0






    I think we can use misinformation to our advantage if we just conspire together....anyone with me?
  13. gearhead Active Member

    Posts: 661
    Renton, wa
    Ratings: +45 / 0
    I've fished the toutle for a number of years, many people don't realize just how good it can be in the winter. truly a diamond in the rough. wish more could share in the quality experience of this so special river. i have never seen a soul there, so there is lots of elbow room. if you don't want to catch 4 or 5 fish a day, don't go.
  14. Bill Babb New Member

    Posts: 69
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Nice post Gearhead, I totally agree!

    The more people that love a river the better in my eyes! We are all stream stewards. There are always going to be the people that degridate the areas we love, but we are stronger than they are, and ultimately, the more informed people that love a stream the better!
  15. Panhandle Active Member

    Posts: 4,103
    Selkirk Mountains, Idaho Panhandle
    Ratings: +23 / 0
    That magazine has some real issues with basically misleading people. They did an article on a Panhandle river an issue or so back that was flat out deceptive lies. Stating that there are huge browns and rainbows throughout the system when in fact they only exist in a few hundred yards from the mouth of the lake. They got their information from some dude who works at basically a gas station/bait shop- who I personally know doesn't know shit. Among many others, I also recall the crazy article they did on the Methow last year-that magazine is bogus crap.:eek: Sweet photos though.
  16. flyfish_pimp $2 coyote steak

    Posts: 97
    seattle, wa
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    You guys are kiddin me...I can't believe that any of you guys who actually fish versus "talk about fishing" would have a real problem with a magazine, website, or person giving up a river to the general public. How do you think stream improvements happen? How does the state get involved in a hatchery or stocking program? How does a river become a top fishery?

    I can promise you that ALL of this happens when people enjoy a resource and spend MONEY to take care of it. And we all know that the only way this will happen is if the general public has a chance to experience the fishery and enjoy its rewards.

    Do you assume that all anglers (gear and fly) in WA read this magazine? Do you think that literally thousands of people will be there fishing the next time you go? Have any of you guys ever fished the S. Fork?

    Come on...if there is one thing that will kill this sport its this mentality. Why do you think so few new fly anglers get involved every year? It's pretty tough to get excited about a sport where you are going to get flamed for wanting to know where to go to catch some fish.

    Let's all remember that the biggest issue this river and all rivers face is not publicity, it's educating anglers on how to use a resource and not abuse it.
  17. bigtj Member

    Posts: 280
    Victoria, BC
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    The biggest issue I have with the publisher of that magazine is he accepts a lot of articles from folks that don't really know anything about them. An article came out on the East Walker in Nevada a few years back and evidently the guy who wrote the article got a lot of his infromation second-hand. A lot of the articles I've read area similar. I just don't think there is a lot of journalistic integrity involved with that publisher. So I don't buy it nor do I read it much anymore. I see the titles on the cover in my local shop and every time I just shake my head in wonder.
  18. Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

    Posts: 3,076
    Missoula, MT
    Ratings: +13 / 0
    Don't get me started on that rag, but there are a few rivers that are off my list now thanks to it. False info and information about illegal fishing turned me off.
  19. papafsh Piscatorial predilection

    Posts: 2,229
    Camano Island, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +63 / 0
    Hey numb-asses, get a life!
    How many of you have ever even fished that river? What do you know about it except for what you read? or as one of you said "didn't read" :beathead:
    I've never been there,but it sounds interesting and I am planning to put in a whole weekend on it next year, because of that article :p (But I won't post a report here)
    By the way, did anyone mention that it is ALL catch and release? (except for coho) that the upper section is closed to protect spawners, and that it is a difficult river to dial in?
    Was this river a seceret, before the article came out?
    Good gawd! next thing you know somebody will start bitching about acticles on Argentina, New Zeland, Pass Lake, etc, etc, etc.
    Thanks, Gear Head, Flyfish Pimp, and Bill Babb, for puttin' a little sanity in this thread, the rest of you NIMBY's can go straight to Reiter!. :rolleyes:

  20. otter Banned or Parked

    Posts: 376
    Port Angeles, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    To all -

    Fishporn, in the worst sense. A very horribly twisted thing to make the cash register go blingbling It's all about selling the magazine.

    Beware, as all have noted.