The Klickitat pisses me off.

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Paul Huffman, Nov 9, 2010.

  1. when it comes to overcrowding should there be limits and who should be limited first? personally i think that we owe the commercial guide industry nothing when it comes to managing our fish runs in both conservation and angling experience metrics. they should be the first to be managed instead of the individual angler. i've been a guide (saltwater) and know quite a few but i still think their interests do not always intersect with the interests of the fish and/or other anglers.

    i have no dog in the fight as i do not fish the klickitat but these issues resonate statewide with the number of anglers crowded into less and less places. of course there was a rule proposal that would have reduced the boat fishing on the klickitat. i hope most of those posting on this thread sent in comments supporting those rules.

    there are things we can do. there are quality steelhead fisheries that see loads of pressure but still retain some manners. they are often heavily restricted as far as rules (fly only, no fishing from boats, etc.) it would be nice if wdfw would start implementing some of these ideas, one of which would be a river or stretches of rivers that are unguided anglers only. not everywhere but there should be places that are open for all except the now over-commercialization so common in the guide industry.

  2. My greedy nature says to make every decent river (that still has a chance at wild fish only, so zero hatchery plants) C&R fly fishing only, no weighted flies (flies are tied on HOOKS, not tubes/shanks/or any other stinger/detached contraption) or sinktips year round. Don't puss out like the N.U. did by back peddling allowing tips year round. And weighted flures again 10/1 to 5/31. Every pool will have a starting and ending point. You lowhole, or break ettiquette you lose your licence for life. No boats. Ever. Not even for transport. You either walk or swim. That way the crazy tough guys can have entire stretches to themselves. Of course guiding is illegal. That way almost everybody will go home. I guess daily license fees would have to be notched up a 'tad' too, making up for the lack of funds.

    Complete sarcasm aside...Sound fair?

    Believe me I hear you. I think about this stuff until I hit myself on the head, walking in circles muttering 'damn crowds/guides/internet/blah blah blah'. Then I see my reflection in a mirror...uh oh I guess I am the problem too.

    I saw the river ten days before it blew up. I don't fish there anymore. Just isn't worth the BS. Prime early oct days with thanksgiving like clarity. A dozen or so guys fly fishing. A few out bait fishing for chinook. Maybe a couple of boats. Not usually. Miles and miles and miles of very lightly fished water running right along the road. Spectacular surface grabs. Did I mention you had MILES and MILES of lightly fished water running right along a road? This was 2002. By 2005 it was unbearable. By 2006 I was done. My buddies say it is even worse now. I didn't get to see it when it was really good.

    This explosion of angling pressure has been seen EVERYWHERE. Fish runs in the tank? Who cares = fishing pressure OVER the TOP. One only needs to look at the Skagit a few years back during its last full seasons. There wasn't an open rock on the sauk on most days. Slowing down guides, slowing down more effective methods, outright banning certain activities...all it does is buy a few years. People will adjust. The ones that weren't serious will vanish reguardless of the guiding pressure. The void will be filled by someone doing something else to capitalize. Either through a loophole or outright force against the silly culture of a certain angling group.

    As long as steelhead are the cool cats to chase...

    Not saying something doesn't need to be done to make for a better experience. Who gets to decide this? Guides? Politicians catering to guides, hatcheries, timber and dam interests? WDFW who is tied to hatcheries and commercial fisheries?

    What I do believe is any special regs we have in place (like the N.U., no angling on the D from a boat, selective gear rules for wild steelhead in WA state and other more restrictive sections of rivers) wouldn't stand a chance in hell of being passed today. Steelhead have more 'friends' today then ever. There isn't a chance in hell of getting enough support to pass anything progressive if it causes another group to be restricted. The statewide WA wild steelhead release rule being overturned is but one example. Closing the S rivers, intentionally refusing to put a management plan together to re-instate C&R selective gear rules when fish numbers are acceptable is but another. The bait ban on the CW during C&R passed. Behind closed doors it was overturned.

    How do you get a boat ban in place? How do you get a guided rod quota in place? If those intent on supplementing income by floating paying customers down the river are now limited, does it not stand to reason those who fish on their own should not also be limited? Don't we all own the river?
  3. those who fish on their own should not be limited before the commercial guide industry.

    it is funny that these threads pop up regarding guides and boat etiquette are not solely about one area or fishery, but statewide. the common theme about the problem seems to stem from guides more than boat anglers in general. of course there may be some that cannot tell the difference between a private boat and a guide boat... but where there is smoke there is fire.

    currently in washington state there are ZERO requirements to be a guide besides a fee. that is ZERO. i am not exaggerating. there are no requirements at all. i have never fished the klickitat but i could go buy a boat tomorrow, trailer it to olympia, pick up a guide license, and be fishing the klickitat the next day. if i had a fancy website i could probably even find a few clients that were unaware of my lack of experience, alcohol problem, and fear of floating rivers.

    orangeradish likes this.
  4. You bring up an interesting topic in and of itself here. By all available metrics the sport of fly fishing is a dying practice, and yet here we are complaining about increasing pressure and overcrowding. By many accounts, the number of participants has been reduced by half since its peak in the mid-90s.

    What/who is causing the overcrowding? Is it more anglers being forced into a single location as previously viable fisheries die off? Is it that the remaining anglers fish more frequently? Is it that the bad economy is causing jobless people to go out and fish more than if they were working? Is it that anglers are more willing to travel to fisheries they never would have known about 10 years ago? Is the internet and "fish porn" marketing causing better fisheries to be focused on more?

    I've talked to guys that fished the Skeena region in the '80s and '90s who say that crowding was far more of an issue back then than it is now, figures from the BC government back that up...and yet they just implemented a program to try and alleviate crowding.

    It's quite a dichotomy...
  5. Sleestack,

    I agree. Looked at my BC catch return survey that arrived this week. Licenses are most certainly down. Yet crowding problems are up? I don't understand why. But they are. I know from my own fishing, steelheading has by and large turned into a fucking joke. I fully believe popular fisheries are yet more popular. You can't fish ANYWHERE in the fall that has a GOOD run of fish and not see ten times as many guys out compared to ten years ago. Internet yammering, blogs, guys wanting to be 'the guy', shops, guides, anglers guides, more guides etc. There are more people staying longer. That is a key point. Staying longer.

    The BC program is by the guides for the guides. I couldn't stand the HOWLING from them back in the early 90's (many thousands additional licenses sold in the 80's compared to now). If an alien angler dared pay for a guided week on the Bulkley and then had the AUDACITY to show up next year fishing on their own...end of the world for these guys. When you add in the jetsleds that boys from the states pull up there...making the outfitters/guides days harder...added to the european 'camps' hogging prime get to sit on your ass for 2 to 3 days each week if you planned on fishing one of the famous rivers on your own.


    I fully agree.
  6. I am left with only one sucks and then you die.
  7. Ouch, what a mess! I hate to see bickering like this in our community. And really it's the back and forth arguments that get me the most. How people are fishing, what they are fishinhg with, over crowding, guide influence, blah blah balh. We are all fisherman, and we love to flyfish lets not forget the purities of the sport. We all have a curtis creek. And lets face it comercial rivers like the Klick are not it, and never have been. When I go to system like the klick or other well know rivers I expect there to be plenty of fisherman, and if there is not, I'm lucky. If your expecting suclusion.. forget it, go to the mountains, go to the smaller tribs, get away. Realize these hatchery rivers, welcome all types, gear guys included. Believe it or not some people enjoy comrodery of fishing in a crowded enviroment. So who are we to set rules and change that. I hear people knocking the guides. Yes they do, mostly run and gun. But I bet if you ask any guide they would MUCH rather get out and swing fly's. One thing people may or may not realize is these guide are usually dealing with people that cant fish or cast worth crap, some of the people are old or disabled. Getting in and out of a boat is a huge liability. Injuries would be common. So trust me when I say keeping these people in the boat, seated, and staring at a bobber is safer for the guide, client, and most of all, you people on the bank! You don't want these people swinging anything around you. And not to stick up for the guides but the indusrty typically does do it's best to preserve the fisheries. I guess thats why you don't see many guides working the secret streams. They stay off the lesser knowns, these are fisheries held sacred. Reserved for people looking to stray from the crowds. Guides stick to comercial fisheries like, yes the klick. And yes the trader does sell beads along with wet fly's, dry's, and tackle. Rolf also sells soda, cold beer and food, funny how that is when your a shop owner. I guess my thoughts around this message are so, lets quite judging. Let people fish how they want. Focus more on your game. Don't get destracted by what and how others are fishing, hit the water hard! If you finish skunked its because you suck (you is a generalization, not any one in paticular) not because someone low holed you or there are guide boats having a great day. Work hard for your fish, stay focused. I promise the reward is there. If your looking for suclusion, find it, don't follow it.
  8. What would really fix it all is if we had some god damned rod holders at the put in and take outs. :confused:
  9. I remember asking about the possibility of a river shuttle on the Bulkley a few years ago and was informed that nobody offers the service for fear of getting pegged for 'illegal guiding'. Apparently, the simple act of dropping off or picking up an unguided angler at a boat ramp can be interpreted as 'illegal guiding' under the definition that exists in BC.

    The staying longer thing is true to some degree I suppose...I was surprised to see some of the homesteads set up at Bymac and Aspen on the Morice...not that I really blame any of those guys...hell, if I had the time I'd probably do it too. :D Thing is, that most of those guys appeared to be residents of BC or from Alberta...I didn't see that many NRAs occupying camp spots.

    I've seen/heard about the actions of some of the European trips. Eight guys standing 40 feet apart from each other in a piece of water...a 'host' acting as the ring-leader and not moving all day. I've fished with a few European guys in other locations and I find them to be very enjoyable and easy-going fishing partners, so it's not a knock against European fisherman in general. The 'host' takes multiple groups each year to the area and sets up either a camp or a B&B situation. It's understandable that the guides would be a bit upset about that arrangement. I'm just a bit dumbfounded about some of the choices closing the Telkwa to all non-residents from Sept 1 - October 31...not like the Telkwa was pressured by many people in the first place. The sections of Skeena 4 that are closed on the weekend are a bit confusing as well...I've spent days on Skeena 4 where there wasn't an angler of any nationality within 5 miles of me on a weekend. The only way to look at the QWS is a gift to guides/outfitters...but I digress.

    I agree that crowding everywhere has gotten worse...I'm just fascinated about how the figures and what we actually experience are in such disagreement.
  10. William, you feel my pain. I'm pleased to meet you again.

    I post my bitching...and sell beads at the store. One's a business decision, the other's me blowing off steam.

    My latest bitch is we never come to any conclusion or solution on "How to improve our anadromous fisheries by letting non-hatchery fish succeed". The managing entities reward hatchery programs for increased production... No one rewards wild fish for increased production...C&R is no reward when gillnets see them first...

    Some years ago the Bowman Creek bridge (trib to the little klick) was replaced to improve passage at a cost of multi-millions. Steelhead spawn in the Bowman Creek system, mostly in a trib that is not even close to perenial (Canyon Creek). Canyon Creek is intermitent at best, most fry desicate each little pools...and there's very little spawning habitat. I've seen hundreds, many hundreds (maybe thousands, I didn't count) of "steelhead" fry dry as a popcorn fart on the rocks or cooked & floating in 80 degree pools. Habitats have changed and wasting money on passage to tribs like this is stupid.

    We need a paradigm change or we'll lose it all. Directed attempts at bringing back wild Columbia system production would concentrate on wild fish and where real production benefit could occur (please put genetics aside)...not on theoretical objectives.
  11. Rolf,

    We do need a paradigm shift. We are going to lose it all. We have been gifted some seriously great returns the past 12 years in the basin. I don't have the answers. The future is with wild fish and habitat restoration. Extinction is the eventuality, and it might take a hundred years to get there, but we are most certainly heading there.

    My only answer is to enjoy each day out because yesterday is always going to be the good old days. Increasing human population and shifting baseline ensures we are crashing the titanic. You will look back, when the river is closed to fishing for good, and think...gee it wasn't so bad getting lowholed by the bead boats. At least I was fishing back then.

  12. Aside from the management issues Klickrolf and Inland are discussing, nearly all the other issues are with guides.

    Guides, guides, guides.... glad I don't pay them or use them. It's a shame cuz there are some fine people who are guides. Lot's of them teach people how to fish. Many even get out of their boat for reasons other than lunch. I have one friend who does whitewater and fishing. Good person and serious about doing it right. Unfortunately, he seems to be in the minority.

    If it were up to me we'd ban guiding in all freshwater in the state of Washington. Of course it isn't up to me. This is good because I'd also kick Yankee fans and Coors light drinkers out of the state.

    Go Sox,
  13. with all we now know about hatchery and wild fish what are the solutions being proposed in that area?

    the powers that be proposed increasing hatchery plants on the klickitat.

    on one of the few success stories regarding wild fish, there was a push to start planting hatchery fish.

    we see the enemy every time we look in the mirror. we as a society and the sportfishing community talk a good game about how important wild fish are but fight any small changes for wild fish that might impact our fishing. whether it is fishing from boat bans, bait bans, hatchery closures, or wild release we as a sportfishing community fight them tooth and nail. while this site and members are more progressive when it comes to wild fish we are not immune to disagreements about any sportfishing rule changes that benefit wild fish.

    the managers are led by their constituents and we are not leading them down the right path.


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