src question....

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by mud sculpin, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. mud sculpin New Member

    Posts: 13
    university place , wa.
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    I had a pretty good day in the south sound yeaterday.. relased 8 fish with the largest about a 16 incher.. hooked and lost at least that many more.. two of those were pigs in the 18-19 inch range..right up to the net and in a head shake they were gone... and i'm say'n to myself , man I wish I had another shot at that fish. The question running through my mind at this point is long after a solid hook up or even if you just sting one for an that fish going to be ready to stike again ? an hour.. several hours ... a day. I doubt if any one knows for sure, but it's a question I always ask myself . Any thought's from you guys ?
  2. Jay Allyn The Poor-Student Fly Fisher

    Posts: 852
    Bellingham/Puyallup, WA
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I've seen fish that once caught and released will refuse any offering presented to them. But I also have caught the same fish multiple times. I think it mostly depends on where, when, and what the fish is.
  3. Jake Bannon nymphs for steelhead....

    Posts: 667
    puget sound
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    My dad has caught the same winter steelhead within two casts before but as said I think it varies on where you are and what fish.

  4. D3Smartie Active Member

    Posts: 1,987
    Ratings: +4 / 0
    mud- in the salt with SRCs i have found that i usually will catch the same fish about 5-7 days apart. I have got to know these fish pretty well in the areas i frequent and have head shots of most of them so i can recognise them when i see them again. I dont think the fish stop feeding for that length of time, but they will be wary of whatever they were hoked on.
    Most of the fish i catch again in that time frame will not be caught on the same fly.
  5. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,792
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +643 / 0
    I agree with D3Smartie that a second hook often requires a different fly/approach. That said I big factor in the willingness of the fish to bite multiple times is also strongly influenced by fishing pressure. Heavy pressured fish seem to be less inclined to provide the angler with multiple "shots".

    Have had a few fish (steelhead. cutts and Dollies) that were caught the very next cast with the same fly after being lossed or released. However that is extremely rare and I'm sure that some fish are virtually uncatchable for extended periods after an encounter with an angler. One thing I have noticed is that if some major change occurs in the fish's environment they seem to be more receptive to our efforts - those changes can include high waters in our rivers or a change in target prey (often seem in the salt).

    Tight lines
  6. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Slightly off topic, but not entirely...

    I've noticed a tendency for fish that have been injured to be more willing biters than those that have not. Fishing over a big school for salmon, you often catch the one with seal bites, gill net injury, or other wounds first. Whether or not this also applies to SRC, I can't say. Seems like you rarely catch one with an injury.
  7. Clay Carney Member

    Posts: 63
    Vancouver, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Unbelievable answers to a question that only a person living in the water could answer.
  8. Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

    Posts: 527
    Arlington, WA
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    I have also found this particularly true with searuns whether in the salt or a river, they seem to have an acute memory more so than any other species that we target in the Northwest. Many times (more than I can count) I have had to change fly patterns or presentation to keep cutts coming back once they have chased and or grabbed the fly several times. Searuns, as aggressive as they are they are still a very wary fish and wise up quickly.
  9. ak_powder_monkey Proud to Be Alaskan

    Posts: 3,207
    Eagle River, Alaska
    Ratings: +112 / 0
    I caught the same whitefish on a beadhead nymph 3 times one evening...
  10. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 3,956
    Olympic Peninsula
    Ratings: +624 / 0
    All of this first hand knowledge from on the water experience points to the need to move often when we are Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout fishing in the salt.

    If we know that many of these fish are fairly localized- because we are hooking them frequently enough to be able to recognize them individually and photograph them and identify them and often catching them in the same spots- then it is likely that several things will happen rather quickly. One obvious issue is that the fish will become conditioned to flys and be less likely to take them.

    Another important issue is that the fish are fighting for their lives every time they are hooked and played and landed. No one seems to know how much of this these fish can handle ophysically before it impacts their survival, their spawning etc. Fat reserves are a part of survival and the ability to spawn successfully. If we are causing them to burn too much fat, it can only do harm.

    These are not stocked brown trout in an isolated catch and release system, but wild fish in a very harsh, competitive environment. If we weaken them they will not survive. Having seen this happening in my favorite spots here on the Olympic Peninsula and Hood Canal beaches, I have opted to fish more widely differant locations, each one less frequently.
  11. Dan Cuomo Active Member

    Posts: 275
    Tacoma, WA
    Ratings: +62 / 0

    I have never even considered this possibility. Is there evidence to support the assertion that SRC become, or are, "localized?" I fish the same general area and have been consistently - 2-3x per week - catching fish - 8 or 10 SRC in two or three hours is not uncommon - and on the same pattern and color fly. In fact, I try switching up on my fly selection to test out various flies as I am new to fly tying, but have little or no success when not using a particular fly. The last thing I want to do is pressure these beautiful fish. I don't recognize the fish from prior catches but I'm not really looking for that either. I have blindly assumed that w/ so much area the fish are moving freely from spot to spot, up and down, and over and across the South Sound Inlet I fish. Does the fact that I am consistently catching fish on the same size, color, and pattern indicative that these are not the same fish? Help anyone?
  12. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    If you truly believe that playing and carefully releasing a SRC causes significant harm to the individual, then you shouldn't be fishing for them. From my perch, I think those concerns are way overblown and the incidental fishing mortality to a few fish is a minor impact in the big picture. Background mortality no doubt drawrfs the fishing impact. I fish for them without guilt. Populations are robust. They are rebounding nicely even with the pressure they receive.
  13. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    I don't know how much our cutthroat are actually rebounding in numbers. There have been no in-depth studies done that I know about. We are probably seeing more mature, trophy-size fish because we aren't intentionally killing them off in the saltwater where strong and weak stocks mix. They now have time to grow to maturity. This has been the case since 1997 when we [involved sportsfishers] passed non-retention in marine waters into law. Remember that a mature coastal cuthroat is up to 8 years old, maybe more in some cases.
    I'm sure that we all want to continue fishing for coastal cutthroat. It is a great gamefish and it is the largest population of wild sea-run trout remaining in the world, even in view of its present threatened state in many of our waters. In fishing for them we should practice prudence in how many we catch and release even on a good day. This alone will reduce the incidence of mortality on this great trout.
  14. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Let's take that a bit farther then. The observations of more older and larger fish are an indication that the conservation measures we've already taken have reduced mortality and the populations are responding - Fish are living longer. I suppose you could argue that the population's age-class structure has just shifted toward those older larger fish without a corresponding bump in abundance, but wouldn't that imply that angling mortality may not be the bottleneck limiting population productivity? If the population's abundance remained unchanged while older and larger fish became more prevelant, factors such as food availability, competition, or habitat limitation would be implicated as the dominant factors limiting production. Low-level angling impacts would then be a minor player unless those impacts push a very small population over the brink. If population size is ultimately controlled by habitat/food resource limitations or biological interactions, incidental angling mortality from current C&R angling practices could have very little to do with population abundance.

    That being said, I can assure you that I am no threat to the SRC population in my area given my relatively low level of effort targeting these fish. And there is never an excuse for careless impacts to these fish. Still, I do think there is a lot of hand-ringing about the presumed impact of carefully playing and handling fish that produces an undue level of anxiety among some anglers. If in all good consience somone feels that their impact is significant enough to present some jeopardy to a population, then it seems reasonable that they would reduce their effort to some more acceptable level or discontinue targeting those fish entirely. However, we don't want to see a lot of people abandon SRC fishing because of un-substantiated concerns. The SRC resource needs it's champions, most of whom are the anglers who target them.
  15. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Well said. I do believe though that there is a kill-fishery on our cutthroat. Some of it is done legally wherever cutthroat can be retained in rivers and some is illegally. There is also a kill fishery in the marine environment but not by anyone I know in our fly-fishing community. How much this affects populations I can't say; probably not too significantly though.
    I think that taking care when unhooking and releasing cutthroat is just good practice even though the cutt is a pretty hardy breed. I don't believe that the coastal cutthroat will benefit from further protection,at this point anyway. In order to protect the cutthroat we need to have a lot of people know about and them -- and fish for them -- with a sense of stewardship.
  16. Milt Roe Member

    Posts: 396
    Taco Ma
    Ratings: +14 / 0
    Thanks Les - Good to hear that perspective and I whole-heartedly agree. So let's be careful how we exploit this unique fishery and be thoughtful about our impacts. I'm certain nobody here wants to feel as though their impact is a negative influence to the long-term productivity of the SRC resource.
  17. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    Well, as one who has written, tesitified and talked to fishing groups since 1975 on the well-bing of our cutthroat -- and as a fisherman, I want to keep fishing for the coastal cutthroat as well. We will have to remain vigilent however. Stay in touch.
  18. Richard Rust New Member

    Posts: 13
    Hoodsport, Washington
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    It seem's to me that you up north should get serious about saving the SRC. that return to the rivers.
    As I see it in your regulations you can still KILL them in most of your rivers....wish I coud do something about it, but being out of state -- I do not believe there is anything I can do being out of state can do for you...Seem's you that fish the salt could have some power over your Dept. of Fish.(Wildlife).
    You that are on the Forum --as well as people with some clout-- Miyawaki, Johnson, Triggs, those in the power of influence in WASH. & All Costal Fly Fishing Clubs could pull this off.
    Just a little imput from one that get's to fish up North in the Sound once in a while.....You need to get to work to make it even better....."rustyhook":beathead:
  19. Randy Lindahl Member

    Posts: 114
    Ratings: +5 / 0
    Wow! what some great insight and good advice. I was going out tomorrow to enjoy the salt and hope to see a few Cutts along the way. After reading this, I have to think alot about what I'm doing out there... " The Hunter" and/or "The Protector". I really enjoy the quiet, the scenery along with the highlight of an occasional hookup. Thanks Mr.Roe, Mr.Johnson & D3Smartie for the input.
    Great post. Randy
  20. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    The north Puget sound coastal cutthroat has different habits than those in south Puget Sound. Too much to detail here. I covered it pretty thoroughly in my recent book, "Fly-Fishing Coastal Cutthroat Trout." And there is a Marine Sport Advisory Group that works with the WDFW on marine fishing issues, including the cutthroat. Also, there are a lot of opportunities to testify on the cutthroat's behalf. I've bumped in Mr. Triggs several times at these WDFW events. There is an ongoing effort to keep the cutthroat population as healthy as possible.
    Les Johnson