Summer Steelhead

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by greaseliner, Feb 7, 2004.

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  1. Mike Colagrossi Whammo!

    Posts: 495
    Sammamish, WA, USA.
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  2. Nailknot Active Member

    Posts: 1,895
    Cascadia
    Ratings: +8 / 0
    If the season is open, keepemwild, you need to take it up with the WDFW. Your concern for fishing over redds is valid, but beat like a long dead horse on this forum. And the Methow is closed this season if I'm not mistaken. Most all steelhead spawning creeks are closed after Oct 31, Jan 31 at the lastest, on the westside. If youre so fired up, maybe you could get the same done for your local rivers. Statewide wild steelhead release is a done deal, as well as reg making it illegal to lift out of season fish out of the water. Seems like your problems right now are with POACHERS (locals?). Next time do some homework before gettin all bunged up.
  3. greyghost Member

    Posts: 507
    Coastal Rivers, OR
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    Keepemwild,
    We probably see eye to eye on most issues involving fish conservation/ethics. Fishing over redds is obviously a no-no to hopefully everyone reading this board. However, I still am having trouble seeing what you consider the difference of fishing for steelhead in the Fall on the Clearwater, and fishing for them later in the season. I am talking about fishing for prespawn fish in deep runs, not spawning fish on tailouts. (You basically say it's okay to bother these fish in Ocober, but horribly wrong after that) If you cite migratory hardships and energy depletion, I am confused. A fish that makes it to the Clearwater in October and is caught in October, is probably at the point of exhaustion. Perhaps, he takes a fly hoping for some protein to help survive the upcoming winter. The extra struggle with your rod in warm water is enough of a lactic acid overload to the fish to induce mortality.

    I caught many summer run fish in Coastal Oregon this fall. I decided to keep one hatchery fish and noticed it's stomach had significant amounts of chinook eggs, and stonefly nymphs. Several other fish were witnessed feeding on october caddis hatches. These fish had been pooled up for several months after a short migration on warm water temps, and on high, cooler water had pushed closer to spawning grounds and had been feeding aggressively. So, a fall fish that has just completed its long, warm migration, is probably closer to being "half dead" than a fish that has been resting and feeding near it's final spawning grounds for several months. Once fish commence the act of spawning, they should never be harrassed, and should be allowed to propagate, but if you think fishing for steelhead is any more ethical in October than February on the Clearwater, I would disagree. Now, when you speak of tactics, that is where things change. In the warmer temps of October, it is feasible to get fish to chase dry line wets and skated dries, which is way more appealing to most people than slow nymphing in cold temps. I would agree with this, but I think the way you classify people who choose to use other methods than yourself as unethical and unsportsmanlike, is just plain irresponsible. That is simple elitism. For you to say that catching a large steelhead in the Spring would be half dead, would be refuted by most that have done it. Maybe post spawn fish, but we are talking about prespawn. I understand you, and you have some valid points, but you haven't done your homework, and you have made blanket statements about a lot of people without knowing better in advance.
    I normally stay away from these sorts of posts, but when a personal friend of mine (who releases all fish and doesn't fish over redds) was dragged in and bashed without a chance to respond, I couldn't resist.
  4. Backyard SANCHO!

    Posts: 1,690
    The River, WA.
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  5. keepemwild Guest

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    Hey everyone,

    I'm new to posting on this site and don't really want to step on anybody's toes here. However, I'd like to express my distaste for some of those folks who insist on extending the summer steelhead season on into the spring. I won't name names, but it seems like a few folks around here get a kick from ripping spawning steelhead off their redds this time of year. Steelheading is great fun, I live for it - but lets do it right with respect for our fish. Places like the Grande Ronde, Clearwater and Salmon rivers are my home waters and I, like many of you, want this fishery to last beyond our own lifetimes. For the most part, folks on this board seem to genuinely care about our fish. I love seeing you all out there in the fall, but please, let's leave these fish alone to spawn. It simply is the right thing to do.
  6. need2fish New Member

    Posts: 48
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    In response to the comments about the fish being tired after they have made it to the Methow, are there not some genetic differences in these fish? I am not suggesting we fish for spawners, however the Methow fish are genetically designed to swim along way. I would think they could handle some C&R action as well as a coastal fish that has to swim 5 miles to its spawning waters.

    Heck, half the Chumdoggies you catch in the estuaries are spent. They can't wait to swim 100 yards up the culvert and do the deed! (Chico Creek) But in other rivers they swim 20-30 miles before the hit their love nests! (Nooksack, Skagit, etc.)

    I would think the anadromas (sp) fish in 509 country would work the same way.

    Just my thoughts!

    Andrew
  7. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,112
    Dillon, Mt
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    You didn't step on my toes I just want to state that of all the people in this state the gear fish,bait,and fly fish. How many of them are on this site. Just a drop in the bucket. If you want to hit them all,put an add in the paper and that way you will hit them all. But jumping in when you didn't know where you were going,I think you own an apology to the guy on this site that you were ragging on.

    Being new to this site I would think that if you felt the water instead of jumping straight in you would probably see what type of people are on here.

    Besides I don't think that I have enough time left to go over there and fish that river with all of the other barren rivers that I can fish in.

    Just my opinion.

    Jim
  8. miyawaki Active Member

    Posts: 3,164
    Kent, Washington, USA.
    Ratings: +732 / 1
    Keepemwild,

    In the past few years in April, on the Salmon River up near Stanley, Idaho, there is a very large kill fishery for hatchery and wild steelhead. Many of these could be the steelhead some of us released the previous October and November in the Clearwater and Snake rivers. This fishery is promoted heavily by the flyshops in Ketchum/Sun Valley. I'd say that if you want to vent your ire on some redd-fishers, you should get onto the Idaho based bulletin boards and flyshop websites where your shotgun postings have a far better chance of hitting some real marks.

    Leland
  9. WT Member

    Posts: 762
    Seattle, WA, USA.
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    This is good stuff. The beauty of a forum like this is that people get to post what is on their minds even if it goes against the grain. Good on you keepemwild.
    WT
  10. flasher New Member

    Posts: 99
    seattle.
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    Hell I could fish over the redds with a drift net and still not catch anything:)
  11. Old Man Just an Old Man

    Posts: 21,112
    Dillon, Mt
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    Hey Flasher,I tried to teach you something but all you ever seem to catch is the trees,rocks,yourself. Did you ever catch anything this summer or did you go down to Pike Place Market and catch one of those flying Salmon.:p

    Let me know when you have some down time Via email and I'll see if we can connect up.

    Jim
  12. bugnuts Member

    Posts: 128
    U.P., WA
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    Last year, I had the misfortune of observing the travesty on the upper Salmon River that Leland mentions. I had read all the magazine articles and brochures about the spectacular steelhead flyfishing that Stanley, Idaho offers...but what I heard and saw from the moment I arrived at the lodge was despicable.

    The guides from Ketchum would take their clients straight to the braided stretches of the stream full of spawning pairs on redds, and then come back to the lodge at lunch bragging about a dozen hookups, and I quote "...and only a couple were foul hooked." That first morning, I told our guide that if he took us within sight distance of any redds, he would be fired. He obliged but was visibly put off that he was actually going to have to work at finding some fish in holding water downstream.

    I think you guys that are bitching at each other are really not that far apart in your idea of right and wrong, at least as it relates to eastside summer runs. You both would have found what I observed to be truly disgusting, and you would've steered clear of the whole thing.
  13. greyghost Member

    Posts: 507
    Coastal Rivers, OR
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    I totally agree 100%, bugnuts.
  14. keepemwild Guest

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    Hey, I'm not here to make internet buddies, especially with guys who dig ripping fish off redds. Greyghost, you obviously know about fishing. However, to say that there is no difference between hooking a Clearwater fish in October than in February is nonesense. During the fall, these fish have ample energy stores to get them through the winter months. In the spring, these energy stores have decreased to the point where the pretty much only have the energy for spawning. The last thing they need is some jerk harassing them.

    I guess you think that fishing for these tired fish in runs is okay because they're not on their redds yet. Well, where the hell do you think their going to be after they pass through that run. I guess a guy with your ethics would just fish for them right up until the point that they are hovering over their redds.

    Hey greyghost, you ought head over to the Clearwater this fall and do some homework of your own. You should tell some of the old timers there what you think of folks fishing for these awesome fish during their spawning months. You'd be lucky to make out of there without a scratch. Those that truly care and respect these fish pack it up by December and head somewhere else.

    I didn't know there were so many sensitive fisherman on this board. Sorry I wasn't as cordial as you would have liked for my first post. I didn't know this site was some sort of internet tea party.
  15. need2fish New Member

    Posts: 48
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    Keepemwild makes some good points, but needs to try to remain civil. If you are not here to "make internet buddies" then go somewhere else.

    Everytime we fish we risk killing a fish, period. We try to minimize this through barbless hooks, fishing with the right equipment, as to not play a fish to death, not targeting fish on redds....

    I am sure we have all had trout or smolts miss a dry with their mouths, and get hooked in the eye. When we fish we will unfortunately kill some fish. However, I am sure this is outweighted by our conservation efforts, patrolling the rivers looking for poachers, I mean fishing, and lobbying the State, etc.

    So let's have some tea!

    Andrew
  16. xcaddis Member

    Posts: 177
    West Seattle
    Ratings: +2 / 0
    first i have to start out by saying that i have no problem with keepemwild's postings. ( unless by keepemwild he means native which is not what the fish in the methow are.) but i actually found the original post to be thought provoking. it is the second post by greaseliner that really got this post ugly, by basically calling Ryan and I ( the other guy in the photos) unethical, and then providing a link on a site where Ryan has made a lot of friends. you obviously couln't wait to get your 14th post in to show what an antagonistic a**h*** you are. and then of course you let keepemwild take the heat for your finger pointing. your post greaseliner was definatly not made to inform or educate anyone but just to be a d**k and to trash Ryans site. That trip originally was supposed to be on the op but rain had blown the rivers on the coast out and this was a last second backup. To be completely honest i didn't know until recently that the columbia run steelhead are all summerrun fish. i assumed that since we were fishing in march that these would be winter runs. i have done very little steelhead fishing and am just starting to learn about it after a lifetime of other fishing, ( mostly for trout.) while we weren't fishing over reds i can understand keepemwilds concern and have to say that it has definatly made me think. i also would like to say that i'm sure Ryan appreciates having friends that will have his back when he is not around. there is something to be said for having good friends. i am not going to get into a back and forth ethics debate but thought i should say something since Ryan is out of the country on a fishing trip that most of us will only ever dream about.
    thanks, scott
  17. keepemwild Guest

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    Scott,
    Thanks for taking the time to consider what I'm trying to say. If you were fishing the Methow in March for what you thought were winter runs than that's an honest mistake - no hard feelings here. Welcome to steelhead fly fishing, its the best darn thing in the world.
  18. greyghost Member

    Posts: 507
    Coastal Rivers, OR
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    keepemwild,
    sorry you keep missing my point...I should have been more clear. First, I have never participated in any spring steelhead fishery for summer runs. For that matter, I have never fished for summer run steelhead after early November. That is my personal choice and that, is where ehics come into play. Some would say that it is only ethical to fish for anadramous fish while still in the salt, some would say the estuaries, some would say mainstem river, some would say it's okay in spawning tribs as long as your not on spawning gravel, some are clearly immoral and actually fish on the redds. Besides the last option, it really is a personal choice where deemed legal. And while I do agree with you, who are you and I to draw the line for everybody else? My real problem with your post is that you have accused people on this site of "ripping off redds" which just isn't true. You also told Alpinetrout to "stay the *&^% of "your" water. Your approach was just ridiculous. If you want to make people think or change someones mind, maybe you could have cited a hooking mortality study in February as opposed to October, or discussed a particular kill fishery such as Leland and Bugnuts mentioned in their posts. An april kill fishery for wild steelhead is just an absolute shame. I am glad Scott was able to see through the debate and think about something constructive. Let's kill this thread and start off on a more positive or discussion type topic next time, where people can look at the facts and make personal desicions not be accused of something absurd.

    Regards, Pete
  19. BOBLAWLESS New Member

    Posts: 2,879
    Port Ludlow, WA, USA.
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    Hey Keepemwild'

    I have a question for you which is not generated by any hostility whatsoever, just curiousity: would you be able to post on this site a few regulations of your own creation to address a problem about which you seem to have much feeling? These do not have to be river by river, but rather region by region? Would you spell out the difference between a summer and winter run fish and how this can be told in the winter months? Do you believe that Ryan was fishing on redds? Are the photos all you need to see?
    Are you from Idaho?

    Bob, the I just don't know for a fact, though I've got my opinions.:dunno
  20. FishPirate New Member

    Posts: 107
    Darrington, WA, USA.
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    Keepemwild,

    What do you think happens to these "ample energy stores" when you are playing your fish in November? Do you think that a fish that is hooked, played, landed and released in November is no worse off from the fight because it swims away from you? Ignorance is bliss. . .
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