river salmon, fair sport?

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by one eyed poacher, Oct 2, 2005.

  1. one eyed poacher

    one eyed poacher New Member

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    when magazine articles begin by stating " in fact you can catch river salmon on the fly! the implication is river salmon are not fair sport. why? because when i can deploy every tactic in my arsenal, begining with a downstream drift ala steelhead, switch about, including everything from waking and striping muddlers to dead drifting chatruese eggs, and then have fish inexplictably turn on swinging flys (i return to my favorite technique!) this is not the sporting challlenge fly fishing is based on! when the secret everyone seems to convey is , either piss em of so they strike or pray you get lucky and they "turn on"this is not fair sport.

    please convince me otherwise i'd really like this to work. i have heard fish, i.e. coho, become more bite-y when stacked upstream. is this fair sport?

    there is no doubt that feeding saltwater coho are not only fair sport, but excellent sport!

    p.s
    i am a fish fanatic and cannot help myself when it comes to at least experiencing once, any way, to half way reasonably hook fish!
     
  2. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    They seem to be excellent sport in AK rivers..... I'm not sure exactly what you are trying to convey? (imitate food or agitators?) .....
     
  3. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    Hmmm. Well, next time a big chrome silver rips away from it's pod to slam my streamer 30 feet away and tail dance 4 or 5 times between runs, I'll try to wipe the grin off my face long enough to ask it what it's intentions were (eating, annoyed, or what?).
     
  4. one eyed poacher

    one eyed poacher New Member

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    here's the deal... when casting over schools in pools I get that faint intimation of nausea in my gut that says, "G, there's something wrong with this picture". it's not that i'm a strick purist or sport moralist, it's just that i have this dejevue picture of me and my bloodthirsty buddies greedily hooking fish after fish after trespassing onto some guys state filled captive trout pond. you all should know-ducks in a barrell etc. ...(perhaps it's just me and i need to work it out with my therapist or start eating more rare beef.

    yes, i will be casting smallish pink and orange candies (more honest strikes) over shoals of nervous chum soon-enjoying every streaking, freaking run.

    i'm atttempting to engage a dialogue on an obvious yet unspoken dilema.

    those who'd still screw her when she passes out need not apply! you know who you are! :eek: :eek:
     
  5. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    What? Do you have any idea how many times I have been screwed when passed out......yet worse while awake and sober....the thing is when I screw a Silver by hooking him/her I let them go......not always true w/others towards me...take it for what it is worth. You're dilema is really harmless...Enjoy and release...the pillow will feel good at night.
     
  6. SilverFly

    SilverFly Active Member

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    I don't think it's a matter of "casting over schools in pools" until you piss one off enough to make it strike. I DO think it's a matter of having an appropriate fly for the situation in a coho's visual range WHEN it is in a biting mood. Now, if you can figure out WHAT causes coho to turn on their biting mood, please FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, tell me what it is!!!!!

    ------------------
     
  7. Salmo_Gairdneri

    Salmo_Gairdneri Another Fly Fisher

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    Then quit doing it.

    -t
     
  8. Les Johnson

    Les Johnson Les Johnson

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    Fishing over salmon with flies in fresh water is certainly a noble sport. It was practiced by Roderick Haig-Brown, Wes Drain and countless other very respectable anglers through the years. A fresh-run salmon in a river is a first-class adversary on a fly rod.
    I believe that opposition to fly-fishing over salmon in fresh water lies with those psuedo-fly fishers who toss heavily weighted flies to snag one pink salmon after another and call it fly-fishing. This is can be the case at places like Blue Stilly Park on the Stillaguamish River. It is a disgusting practice. I'd like to see these guys hauled off in handcuffs with their rain jackets over their heads. The same thing applies anywhere that people are fishing over spawing or near-spawning salmon.
    One should fly fish for river salmon early in the run when they are still vigorous, perhaps showing the first spawning color on their flanks. Common sense will tell most people when salmon should be left alone to complete their spawning cycle.
    An exception is the chum salmon which colors up very early, even well out in salt water. The chum will fight strongly even when carrying considerable color. Here too though, when the chums pile onto the spawning gravel common sense will tell the ethical fly-fisher that it is time to leave them to their task.
    Good Fishing,
    Les Johnson
     
  9. Luke Filmer

    Luke Filmer Member

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    I have experienced this phenomenon more times than I can count. Fish rolling everywhere in a river, but will not bite anything thrown at them.

    I have been on the lower river stretches where the tide fills in as it floods, and have experienced schools of hundreds of coho moving towards me until they are swimming between my legs, and splashing me with their tail slaps as they swim upstream right past me.
    -Total lockjaw!

    Typically the silvers I have caught have been in faster water just above, or below a pool where large numbers are congregating. -Rogues

    If I can wade a river early in the a.m. under a lifting blanket of fog with only sound of leaves dropping in the background. If I am the only person around for as far as I can see, and the smooth surface of the river is only occasionally disrupted by the slap of a large salmon. I have found the place I want to be...
    If I can cast a fly (that I have tied myself ) over, and over again until my arm is tired, and just as the notion to give up & quit for the day, when suddenly a huge flash appears just below the murky surface, then that all familiar heavy tug doubles my 7 wt over.
    In an instant I am fighting 10 pounds of pissed off salmon with more room to freight train, cartwheel, or wrap in the branches!
    Time seems to slow down for that moment, as I hang on to this powerfull fish, and utter words of challenge to it as it tears through the river.

    Wether I release this magnificent fish to spawn, and continue it's awesome genes to another generation, or return home with the best tasting salmon dinner is not the question.

    The question is... Did it feel like sport to me? :cool:
    -Luke
     
  10. Jim Kerr

    Jim Kerr Active Member

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    Oh boy,

    Here is the thing, there are flies and presentations that will make low water salmon go nutz. That is you can hook one or two, or with luck three before the school gets edgy. The presentations that work best for me however are D-I-F-F-I-C-U-L-T. And if the water is really clear, 9 or 10 poor casts will put the fish on notice. This is why I fly fish, because it is hard. I love fish that want me to stand 80 feet away and move a small fly on a crazy long leader past them in just the perfect way, then zip up and down the pool with a cartweel here and there. Why is that any differnt than casting at a school of spring creek trout you can't get to bite, or picky bone fish?
    On another note, if you feel a group of fish is in a position that makes them too vunarable to overharvest, than by all means, don't cast.
    Jim
     
  11. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    What searun said. :thumb:

    I will add that it is up to each individual angler to decide what is fair sport while staying within the rules/regs/laws.

    Pretty simple answer though. Fair sport is different for everyone. If you don't like it don't do it.
     
  12. one eyed poacher

    one eyed poacher New Member

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    ladies and genlemen,
    an interesting compendium on the possibilities of fair sport with fresh water salmon. those possibilities are, i believe, based on several factors we should be in agreement a priori.

    a: the quarry should be a willing biter.
    b: that bite should be related to a number of consistent variables.
    c: its gots to be hard g! like sex, if the pursuit doesn't present enough challenge it's value is diminished, to quote t.v. fishing personality and rage-aholic tred barta, "nothing, absolutely nothing worthwhile in this world comes easily ". ( that my friends is a double entendre).
    4: the mastery of technique, knowledge, familiarity and red gods blessing should result in a fish now and then.

    i am encouraged though not yet convinced. i would urge jim and any other angler who can share advanced technique tips to do so, for current members and to add to our search forum. any ideas on fair sport are encoraged. as for me i think i will continue hauling into the surf untill i believe the learning curve skunkings are well worth the effort.
     
  13. PT

    PT Physhicist

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  14. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Huh? :eek:
     
  15. PT

    PT Physhicist

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    Will every trout that takes a look at your Adams floating on the surface take your fly? NO. Only a small percentage will "turn" on your fly and take it.

    Does every steelhead take your fly? NO. Only a small percentage will "turn" on your fly. Certainly doesn't sound like "fair sport" to me ;)
     
  16. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    LOL, love the post. Still laughing from reading it. As I read it, I got that "hatchery hole" feel. Most stacked holes usually are closer to the hatcheries then when you're in the lower rivers (unless it's a low water year). I am not old, but have well put my time in fishing salmon and steelhead on the fly and with gear. Will say that most salmon will aggressively hit a fly (and lure). Now, you should know you have to get them aggressive and angry to hit. Why? Because most feeding responses are gone once they are in freshwater (well, should say in the upper rivers, I've caught feeding salmon down near the salt). Les pretty much hit it on the head though. Not much more to expand upon.

    Tips and techs? I'm suprised there aren't any on here if you do a search. I tie flies for salmon that immulate a plug being fished. Bright, flashy, and LOTS of action. I don't usually just swing the fly either (well, some flies I do). But I do a few "strip-strip-pause" with the fly. No, not trying to snag, but trying to get the motion I want out of the fly. To date, never had a "hit" on the strip, normally on the pause. And the hit on the pause is one that normally will almost strip the flyline from my hand. Les has seen some of my coho flies (did you try those up in BC???), and they have been a killer for me for quite a long time. I find it's all in the way you're trying to fish them. I personally stay away from the stacked pools. Have fished the coastal rivers alot in the last 30 years, and make a point to pass by areas of high concentration of fish (usually where the snaggers/flossers are anyways). Why I like my own little hideaway on one of the coastal rivers. ;)

    Key to fishing is not to think so damned much and just go fishing.
     
  17. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    While I know there are plenty of people who've observed evidence to the contrary, generally salmon and steelhead are not feeding once they enter freshwater or soon thereafter. You can take these fish on the fly - but who knows why for sure. Are you triggering a remembered feeding instinct? Or are you just triggering a generalized aggressive response (like pulling a string in front of a kitten)? Who cares? It sure as hell can be sporting to flyfish for salmon and steelhead, as long as you're not fishing over spawning or spawned fish and you're getting them to willingly take a fly (not lining, flossing or snagging). Why is that any less sporting than fooling a fish like a trout (or a salmon in the salt) that is actively feeding into taking a fly? After all, when it comes right down to it we are hunters; it's just that we have the option (and often the obligation) to let our prey go. True, we are targeting these fish while they are on the last leg of their journey to procreate, but you diminish a fish's chances for successfully procreating whenever you catch one - either because you kill it intentionally for the table or unintentionally because of poor fighting or handling techniques or bad luck. In my opinion, from an ethical standpoint it matters not whether your prey is actively feeding as long as you can fool them into willingly take a fly.