Steelhead Question

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Jason Decker, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    First of all, let me start off by saying I have NOT done, what I am asking,
    so keep it straight to the point of the question.:rolleyes:

    Do any of you add scent to your steelhead flies? Is this ethical? If so, what kind of scent do you use? When do you use it?:hmmm:

    Again. I DO NOT scent my flies, I just read an article in SSJ and note that the gearheads do it to their jigs which closely resemble our flies.
    "They add some kind of gel to the head of flies and marabou".... it shows a pic of liquid Krill and gel Krill.........

    :confused: Is this "ethical" for us fly anglers? :ray1: I know we are "better" than them but they do catch a lot of fish!


    jason (decker)
     
  2. East Fork

    East Fork Active Member

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    If legal equals ethical, then use of scent is ethical except where prohibited. If by ethical you use mean something else, something undefined, you are going to get answers across the board.

    I think bait guys catch a lot of steelhead not so much because of scent, but because they are able to present their offerings at the proper depth with the proper motion more of time. Scent plays a role in catching steelhead but it doesn’t seem to be as important as presentation, color and size.

    With salmon, scent seems to be a much more import trigger.
     
  3. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    Ethics;

    If it is illegal, on Rivers such as the Yakima or Rocky Ford you can't do it.
    However, ethics, a set of personal guidelines based on your morals, ideals and the law.
    I have never used scent on my flies. However I am not a strickly a fly fisherman, though 90% of my fishing is fly fishing. I do fish occassionally for bass, salmon, and other species with with a spinning rod and I will use bait if it is legal in certain circumstances. If it is legal you build your own set of ethics. When I go backpacking I carry along an ultra light spinning rod along with my fly rod so I can fish some the Alpine lakes that are so brushy it is almost impossible to cast a fly.
    Now if you belong to a fly fishing club or organization which promote purist fly fishing and you believe in the ethics the club proclaims then it would be unethical for you do.
    If you feel it isn't wrong, doesn't violate your personal values when fishing and is legal; do what you want. If you start feeling guilty because you feel you violated some sacred rules about fly fishing then don't do it. Probably why I don't do it. If I'm fly fishing, I'm not going to enhance my chances using "smelly jelly". Do what you feel comfortable doing and I won't condemn you if you aren't breaking the law or damaging the environment.

    I don't know about "better than them". If they are ethical, legal, and being kind to the enviroment, I wouldn't look down bait fishermen. I just hate all the trash and cigarette butts left by some bait fisherman. But, there some good guys that do bait fish, just a little confused about establishing good priorities in life.

    I think East Fork pretty much said what I said. We were typing at the same time.

    K
     
  4. g_smolt

    g_smolt Recreational User

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    I add scent, in the following manner:

    I smoosh the fly into the mud, or drag it (hook out) along submerged timber in the creeek that I am fishing...if I switch creeks, I switch flies and do the same.

    IMHO, if you add "bait scents" to a fly, then you are bait fishing...with a flyrod.

    Not that it really matters. If the end to the means is to interact with as many fish as possible, then every advantage should be taken.

    On another note...

    /Soapbox on/

    I noticed the "teacher smiley" next to the (hopefully) tongue-in-cheek comment about "we" flyguys being "better" than the gearguys...

    As someone that fishes both, and grew up gear-fishing, it is my observation that most flyguys have a lot to learn from their gear brethren. There is a reason that they "catch a lot of fish".

    /Soapbox off/

    Mark
     
  5. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    the Yakima is closed to ALL FISHING FOR steelhead anyways! let alone scented flys or bait..... Rocky Ford is fly only....... so a scented fly won't fly there! and I don't think the Ford has steelies anyways.....

     
  6. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    Jason,
    I knew that but was just using that as an example if its illegal then don't do it.
    K.
     
  7. luckybalbowa

    luckybalbowa Member

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    if you are fishing a river where scent is legal,
    and you want to use scent,
    and it doesn't cause the fish to be "gut hooked"

    go for it.

    I dont see any "ethical" dilemas with it. Do what makes you happy as a fishermen, not what you feel like you have to do because of peer pressure or what you see on an Orvis catalog.
     
  8. gt

    gt Active Member

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    bobber and a jig, even if used with a flyrod, should be banned. it is simply too efficient a means of catching steelhead. this should not be a numbers game but one of accepting a challenge and enjoying the nature you are surrounded by. an un-named guide on the olypen seems to think big numbers and jig fishing are the ultimate. i couldn't disagree more. adding an attracting odor is just the next step down the road to gear fishing. and if thats your game, go for it.
     
  9. Big Tuna

    Big Tuna Member

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    IMHO it's not fly fishing nor an ethical fly fishing practice. But that's just my opinion.:D
     
  10. Josh Benjamin

    Josh Benjamin Member

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    it's smelly jelly, and it works.
    use it if you feel like it's ok in your head. i would probably, because i like to catch a few fish here and there. i feel that it is ethical if you feel it's ethical(and legal) and i think that if people like to catch numbers of fish and they are doing it legally, let them do what they want. to each his own.
    i don't think there's anything wrong with bobber and jig fishing, it's just not a method i choose to fish. i think none of us would complain if we were out catching 5 steelhead every time we went out swinging flies, it may take away from some of the suspense and drama of flyfishing steel, but i don't think anybody would be complaining that it was immoral or unethical. i do fish gear from my boat at times, pulling plugs, etc but it is done when drifting between fly runs.
    Josh
     
  11. Keith Hixson

    Keith Hixson Active Member

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    {gt wrote:
    bobber and a jig, even if used with a flyrod, should be banned. it is simply too efficient a means of catching steelhead. }

    I had to chuckle with that one. One day I was fly fishing on a lake in Western Washington. I was doing very well. The bait fishermen weren't catching anything. This bait fisherman got mad and yelled at me, "They should make fly fishing illegal, you catch too many fish." I was releasing everything I was catching, didn't get his point. Except a little envious.

    K.
     
  12. Wayne Jordan

    Wayne Jordan Active Member

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    The whole purpose of fly fishing is that you're using a fly to imitate the bug, baitfish, egg, corn kernel, frog, mouse, baby duck, etc without actually using scent or bait to aid your success rate. It's all about the presentation in fly fishing.

    What the word "fly" really means has been disputed over the years but now includes hot glue, beads, rubber legs, tungsten, lead wire, and whatever else you fasten to a hook.

    Some call it evolution, and some call it a revolution...Is putting scent on your fly the next step? I don't know, but it wouldn't surprise me.

    Bottom line- Fishing is meant to be enjoyable. Do it the way you want (as long as it's legal).
     
  13. ChrisC

    ChrisC Active Member

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    That attitude is what gives flyfishermen a bad rap. Regardless of what you said about keeping to the point, that is an insulting statement to gear anglers, many of which are as ethical, if not more ethical than many flyfishermen I have come across.

    What do you mean by "better"? We have to lose this "us vs. them" mentality!
     
  14. Jason Decker

    Jason Decker Active Member

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    sarcasm is sometimes hard to convey............but that was my intention.
    i agree with you 100% I was anticipating some posts to say one should not resort (stoop) to that kind of tactics.....

    i am evaluating a well known and effective method used by gear anglers for steelies. i was wondering how many if any, use this tactic on flies..... I was hoping MONK would weigh in on this!

    Making a post stating just that would get a "lot of crap" from purist fly anglers. do you not agree?


    jason
    ps> maybe some posts are just fun for the reactions!
     
  15. chadk

    chadk Be the guide...

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    I don't see an issue with it. I wouldn't call it fly fishing - just fishing. I wouldn't do it where I was going to do C&R, or where smolts, cutties, bulls, steelies, etc are bound to swallow 'bait' deep and probably die. But for harvesting hatchery fish - go for it. Then again, that stuff funks up your flies. I know on jigs that it works OK, but you eventually get a little on the feathers and fur no matter how hard you try - and if it ever goes back in the box, the fur\feathers are never quite the same.

    For me it comes down to what my goal for the day is. If I want to fly fish - I'll fly fish. If I want to use gear\bait or spinners\spoons, I'll do that (lately my gear rods are collecting dust unless I'm taking the little guys out in the boat). One big reason I switched to flies when doing C&R (like on the forks of the snoqualmie) from spinners is the mortality factor. I caught more with spinners for the most part, but the bigger hooks killed more fish than the small dry flies and nymphs. And when I fish lakes for C&R, flies again are the choice. Putting scent on flies is pretty much equal to using bait (and consider the same in the regs), so it kinda kills the whole concept of fly fishing in my mind. But if I'm looking for dinner on occassion- anything legal goes - flies, bait, flies+bait, whatever. Ethical? The fish is going to be cooked in a few hours - I'm not going to loose sleep over the legal method it was harvested as long as I felt I had a good sporting time of it.