Define your "exceptional" searun cutt

Discussion in 'Saltwater' started by Stonefish, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Preston -
    That study was reporting the length of the fish as fork lengths (the distance from the tip of the nose to the center of the tail) which is somewhat shorter than total length. As I recall to convert fork length to total length you need to multiply the FL by 1.06 (it may be different as my memory isn't what it once was).

    A fish with a fork length of 490 mm would then have a total length of about 520 mm or about 20 1/2 inches (assuming a multiplier of 1.06).

    As an aside we should again plan on a trip or two this fall to see if we can find one of those "exceptional fish".

    Tight lines
    Curt
     
  2. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    For me, anything over 15" is exceptional. I seem to find a few 14" and 15" ers here on the Twin Harbors streams each year, but larger specimens have been rare for me. Best day last Sept I got my biggest one on a fly yet from a popular Chehalis River trib, a very fat and healthy 18"er. Half hour later I caught a snakey 17.5" er. Then the sun hit the water and it was over there for the day.
    That was an exceptional day for me! Two very different looking, but large searuns.
    One of the more exceptional fish I released last year was a fiesty 15"er that leapt high 5 times, ran straight at my squanoe slacking my line, causing me "conniption fits" ... but i netted her and she was fat and fully colored up and a really pretty fish.
    Local kids who brag around here will brag about the 19"er they got. Don't hear 'em bragging about anything any bigger, and you'd think those worm fishin' nincompoops would brag if they'd got 'em.
     
  3. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Hey Les, i keep looking for your footprints on these Grays Harbor streams, but they must have faded over time. Sometimes I wonder if I'm fishing one of your old favorite spots.
    Your first book, "How to Fish for Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout" was really an inspiration. Not nearly as comprehensive as your latest, but it sure got me stoked and hot on the trail of the Coastal Cutthroat. Thanks again for that!
    When I bought it at Waters West about 6 years ago, Dave told me it was the last copy in stock, and that it was out of print. That book is a classic. I love the color plates of the flies.
    I have to agree with Curt that every searun or native coastal cutt I catch is an exceptional fish.
     
  4. Demarie

    Demarie New Member

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    Back in the Mid 70's I was a Lab tech for Battelle Northwest and one of our surveys was to beach seine in Sequim Bay to monitor the Shiner Perch population. On several occasions we encountered SRC which we managed to release non the worse for wear. Out of roughly 50 individual SRC only three appeared to be over 20", the largest was 26" and looked to be about 7# my helpers were really wanting to take that bad boy home for a seafood dinner at the Lab. Oh well you know what they call the girl in charge who says "NO"!
     
  5. Jim Wallace

    Jim Wallace Smells like low tide.

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    Demarie, you are my heroine. :)

    (Its the cutts that are my heroin.:clown:)
     
  6. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    This has to be one of the better descriptions of these wonderful wild trout that we are so lucky to have in our salt waters here in Washington. Many people take them for granted. I see them as one of our last, precious wild fish resources. I do appreciate the desire to catch big hard wild fish, most of us feel that way. But a range of sizes would be more encourageing. We need to encounter every age and size of these fish through our fishing seasons in order to have confidence that they are thriving. In many places this simply is not so. I want WDFW to stop allowing harvest of them in the rivers.
     
  7. DimeBrite

    DimeBrite MA-9 Beach Stalker

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    It's a little unhealthy for the cutthroat and for the angler to obsess about getting the 20 incher checked off their list. I'm imagining many clumbsy tape measure & photo jobs while the fish is flopping on sharp rocks. With a nice net or with a buddy it can be done harmlessly but is this necessary? The fight and stamina of a large cutthroat is far more impressive and memorable than its exact dimensions anyway.
    To be honest I worry far more about uncontrolled development and netting around small spawning streams than C&R angling pressure. Few anglers ever become truly good at consistently catching SRC due to the time investment and experience needed.
     
  8. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    Most memorable fighing cutts i have ever caught were all about 15 inches. seems to me that those are the ones that really get some air and fight the hardest. Just like a 10-12 pound hen steelhead, the smaller mature cutts seem to be the most acrobatic.
     
  9. Porter

    Porter Active Member

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    What? You're Right. Seems plausible. :thumb:
     
  10. Gertie's Pa

    Gertie's Pa New Member

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    A couple years ago I was targeting src in the skok just north of Shelton. I hooked a nice fish that fought well. As I brought it to hand I noticed something strange. I was a Brown Trout. I've caught enough of them in Utah and Idaho to know what they look like. I was told there may be some lakes in the upper skok watershed where they may be planted. Anyway I was really surprised by it's presence there. Out of habit I released the fish. That may not have been the smartest thing to do. I have no way of knowing if it had been to salt water or not but it certainly had access.
     
  11. dryflylarry

    dryflylarry "Chasing Riseforms"

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    This is CRAZY! :confused:
     
  12. Dale Dennis

    Dale Dennis Formally Double-D

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    As having an extensive long time affair fly fishing for searuns in the salt and rivers I can honestly say that I don’t think I have verified more than 3 or 4 in the 20” + range and no matter what size, they are exceptional fish to me. I limit my handling of these magnificent fish and on some outings I will admit I will carefully measure one for a reference only with out removing them from the net. These are the last of a native trout species in WA and I feel fortunate that I have had the opportunity to experience fishing them over the many years. As Les and others have communicated several times they need extensive protection and its going to be up to us as fly fisherman to take that lead, "we are our own stewards".
     
  13. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    :beathead:

    I disagree. (This is not an personal attack, just an observation based on mention of the idea that C&R is relatively harmless.) And let us not forget here that not all Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout fishing is catch and release- many of these wild fish are harvested legally in our coastal streams and rivers each year. How many are harvested? Thousands?, perhaps tens of thousands?, hundreds of thousands? More than a million fish per year? How many Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout are there in Washington's waters? How many successful spawners each year? Any extinct runs being fished out now? How many runs are gone forever? They don't know. They have no idea. No data. And yet WDFW still allows them to be harvested in the creeks and rivers every year. These are the same fish that were are protecting and C&R fishing for in Puget Sound, Hood Canal and the rest of our coastal waters.

    We have not just a "few anglers" but many Catch and Release anglers now chasing Sea Run Coastal Cutthroat Trout in our waters. And they do have a serious impact- especially for the reasons just pointed out above; mishandling, netting by hand, overplaying, removal from the water etc. I too worry about development (of all kinds ), and netting around small spawning streams,( almost impossible to avoid unless we ban netting :thumb: ).

    It is a mistake to compare some human activities as being more or less harmful than other's actions, and then to dismiss our own (perceived as) less than damaging activities. In the end we are all killing off our wild fish resources, often a fish at a time. It all adds up.

    The suggestions of not removing these fish from the water, and not handling them at all if possible, ( even knotless rubber "C&R" nets do some damage too!) is a very good and important foundation approach. Along with using short shank barbless hooks, and strong enough leaders, and rods with enough spine to not overplay the fish.

    If I could add one thought about more responsible Sea Run Cutthroat Trout fly fishing in the salt it would be to not go to the same places and fish over the same runs of fish every time. It is hard on those fish and it will show up soon enough as they get educated to not take a fly, or they go away, or maybe they die from too much fighting, or exhaustion and handling injuries. It is suposed to be fun, and an adventure, so get out there and explore more water and beachline. You will learn more this way too. In the end, by not abusing one group of fish in only one place, you will end up catching many more in a wide range of locales.
     
  14. D3Smartie

    D3Smartie Active Member

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    well said Bob.
     
  15. Smalma

    Smalma Active Member

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    Sorry but I find the suggestion that cutthroat anglers spread their effort around as way to reduce impacts on our beloved cutthroat to be largely an empty gesture. While adopting such a mind set may leave one with feeling that they are doing something benefical for the resource a little thought exposes the fallacy of the approach.

    Suppose that I fish cutthroat on beach A two days this week. And Cutthroat Joe fishes beach B two days as well. Would it reduce impacts (number of fish handled) if instead I fished beach A one day and Beach B the other and Cutthroat Joe did the same? Yes my impacts on each beach would be lower but collective (the both of us) the impacts would be the same in either case (ignoring for the moment that Cutthroat Joe may catch more fish than I would).

    Moving from beach to beach (which has its own attractiveness) will not reduce our collective impacts. If those impacts are of concern the only way to meaningfully reducing those impacts is for all of us to handle less fish by either fishing less or significant limiting our daily catch. In fact if a knowledge angler uses their knowledge of favorable times and tides, optimum seasons for locations, and ability to find naive fish to move from beach to beach I submit that they will almost assurely have greater impacts (catch more fish) than if he stayed put and fished the same beach all the time.

    I'm of the opinion that having more of us fishing the same waters is more of an issue affecting the quality of our individual fishing (fewer fish/rod and more company on the water) than it is about impacts on the resource.

    Tight lines
    Curt