Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by longstick, Apr 11, 2009.
Those are some pigs, and on a fly. I am impressed..
Mr. Brazda, as a smallmouth fanatic, I actually agree, except for the Smallies in our locked in reservoirs such as Banks and Potholes, Moses...etc. Even though some canals eventually drain to the Columbia, and then support your opinion on muching salmon and steelhead fry, these reservoir fish should be released and managed for quality. I'll show you some awesome smallmouth fishing any time you want....as long as you return the favor with some native steel!
Why anyone would keep a 4lb smallie really boggles my mind, let alone a cooler full of them. I have kept a few bass to eat over the years, and the 8" fish were much better than the 3lb fish...and that isn't saying much because they all tasted pretty bland at best.
I would say that Suckegg is right...the Columbia system is not in much danger of being severly impacted by people keeping fish. Every year there are tons of fish and really great habitat and spawning grounds for them. Really, they are a very prolific species and seem to thrive there, no matter what. Pollutants would be the only thing that would do them in at this point, so hopefully not. By the way, nice fish from the lakes! I told Jon to bring me one of the Black and Blue flippin flies next time I see him.
BTW, I think that the Grande Ronde has the potential to be a "blue ribbon" smallie river...but in the last 13 years of fishing it I am constantly amazed that the majority of the fish I have caught there are on the small side (say 8-10") and I am throwing huge flies for them. Generally the river has all the key elements for them to thrive (food sources, rip-rap for them to hide/ambush, clean running water, hot weather, and nice flats for them to spawn). They have to be doing pretty well, because the trout/steelhead smolts are almost non-existant these days and there are tons of little smallies (I assume they are eating the juvenile salmonids)...but generally not a lot of large bass. In this case poaching really takes it's toll...I see a lot of people in the summer now doing floats with a spinning rod and soft plastics keeping a lot of fish. Maybe the same deal on the John Day?
Totally agree those locked in lakes should be left as is when not used by native species, I have noticed the WDFW just can't seem to let things alone they comonly try to improve things for the sake of non native species. Anytime you want to go chase some steel I am in for a trade, have done some Banks lake stuff those carp are pretty cool as well.
By the way do you remember fishing Samamish slough for steelhead in the 80's now its all bass and some big buggers too,,,they love all those state raised salmon fry, who do you suppose will win out the ctthroat or the smallmouth,,,,my bet is on smallie!!
I was out on a Columbia River backwater this morning -- near Hood River -- and found a few smallmouth. I even hooked a few on a rubber-legged Woolly Bugger.
It's not red-hot yet -- way too cold of a spring so far for that -- but it's starting to happen.
More on my blog.
I have read that there has been talk of a size slot bounty on small mouth, in certain areas, I am sure it wont ever happen but you never know.
slight side track here...
That's a very interesting link to The Olympian -- which is one of the two newspapers I work for. I write a fishing column for the paper -- for the past six years. A couple years ago, I wrote a column questioning why Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife favored a bounty program on Columbia River pikeminnow -- but protected smallmouth bass with catch limits, etc....
The Fish and Wildlife director -- now gone from the agency -- wrote a wretched reply that was basically a personal attack at me for having the audacity to ask questions. He went on to say that smallmouth didn't have a huge impact on Columbia River salmon and steelhead smolts. Now this....
Anyway, life is certainly interesting.
What's the lowest on the columbia system that you can find a good number of smallies?
I would really love t know the answer to that. I know that there are LM Bass in the Deep River (between Naselle and Grays River).
If you do the research on the predation of salmon and steelhead smolts by smallmouth you will find that they do not do as much damage as some people believe. The predation by pikeminnows is much more prolific than smallmouth, that is why they have always been the target of the bounty program. I will try to find some of the studies that I have read talking about smallmouth predation. Not to say that they do not eat salmon smolt, because they do, just not as much as people think. There are other species that do similiar damage as the smallies do, so watch what you wish for.
As far as the Grande Ronde river and people keeping fish, I float it 2 times every year and never see anyone keep any fish. That place could use people keeping 5-10 of the smaller 8-10 inch fish.
Smallies are awesome fish to catch and yes they are not native, but man I would be real dissapointed if they were never introduced because they have given me some great times. And putting some Montreal Steak Seasoning on them and cooking them over an open fire, thats some good eating. Good luck