WDFW Looking at restrictions for steelhead season

Evan Burck

Fudge Dragon
Just on a whim, looked up Montana guides and steelhead, I see Alaska Steelhead trips in my small sampling. I had not seen that before. I know the change cannot be that fast, but wonder if the trend was shifting or just a crowding out of WA?
You might be seeing Rick Matney's stuff maybe? Outside of a very small number of rivers, most of the steelhead fishing in SE AK is VERY hard to get to. Rick Matney (lives in MT, but lives part time in Wrangell, AK) has a program that involves long boat rides through the saltwater, anchoring up, getting in a raft/sled, and completing the journey to the creek mouths, then hiking along bear trails. Definitely a big barrier to entry that will hopefully make overcrowding there less likely.
 

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
You might be seeing Rick Matney's stuff maybe? Outside of a very small number of rivers, most of the steelhead fishing in SE AK is VERY hard to get to. Rick Matney (lives in MT, but lives part time in Wrangell, AK) has a program that involves long boat rides through the saltwater, anchoring up, getting in a raft/sled, and completing the journey to the creek mouths, then hiking along bear trails. Definitely a big barrier to entry that will hopefully make overcrowding there less likely.
Good to hear not a rampant selling out. Don't recall who it was but if he has internet presence it might have funneled me there.
 

dustinchromers

Active Member
Every time I start to feel a little bad for guides I see the whining and crying online and I start to not feel so bad. Here's some gems.

"Somebody is going to drown and the state will have to answer for that!"

"I bet the fly fishermen are happy. I'm going low hole every one I see."

I get it that it is a hit to people's livelihood and I'm sensitive to that and it sucks. But where does it end. We are literally arguing about who gets to kill the last one. Hopefully this will be a reset on sport guiding and maybe they will cry loud enough for the net take to at a minimum get looked at long and hard. My dream would be to shut it all down for everyone for five years and see what results. Certainly we could do this with just a couple rivers and see what happens.
 

Gyrfalcon21

Honoring Vets
Seems we are a country of contrarians now, will any of this really be enforced? Will the "mad clipper" move North and pack a boat full of guys and catch fish anchored in the new open waters?

There was a kid in school who always got in line twice for lunch.
 

GOTY

9x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
How so? I don't see any change. I float down the river and get out and wade the spots I fish.
Couple reasons.

First I think there will be more spey anglers overall, mainly due to 2 reasons. One, I would expect a lot of the fly bobber guides and rec anglers to put down the gear and start to fly fish/swing. Second, I would think some spey guys who have avoided the coast in recent years due to the guide boat traffic might now give it another shot with these reg changes. Basically, more spey rods on the river with the same amount of swing water as before = less access to swing water.

Second, this doesn't mean gear fisherman are just going to stop fishing. Yes some will, but those that do fish will simply get out of their boats and fish from the shore, often times in runs fly guys have liked to swing in the past. So now we have more spey rods chasing the same water, but also more gear anglers stopping and fishing some swing runs where before they would just briefly fish it from the boat on the move.

Third, I think these changes will place more of a premium on stopping at swing runs and encourage the behavior of "camping" on a run. Plenty of swing guides already did this before, where the clients would just be rowed to a run that's a choke point and told to swing it over and over again for 5 hours waiting for fish to come through.

Combine these 3 and I think there will be less access to swing runs than before.
 
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dustinchromers

Active Member
Couple reasons.

First I think there will be more spey anglers overall, mainly due to 2 reasons. One, I would expect a lot of the fly bobber guides and rec anglers to put down the gear and start to fly fish/swing. Second, I would think some spey guys who have avoided the coast in recent years due to the guide boat traffic might now give it another shot with these reg changes. Basically, more spey rods on the river with the same amount of swing water as before = less access to swing water.

Second, this doesn't mean gear fisherman are just going to stop fishing. Yes some will, but those that do fish will simply get out of their boats and fish from the shore, often times in runs fly guys have liked to swing in the past. So now we have more spey rods chasing the same water, but also more gear anglers stopping and fishing some swing runs where before they would just briefly fish it from the boat on the move.

Third, I think these changes will place more of a premium on stopping at swing runs and encourage the behavior of "camping" on a run. Plenty of swing guides already did this before, where the clients would just be rowed to a run that's a choke point and told to swing it over and over again for 5 hours waiting for fish to come through.

Combine these 3 and I think there will be less access to swing runs than before.

There will be more Spey anglers cause they love to clave. Every gravel bar will be claving with Spey guys talking about the best new lines and how they saw a fish that one time and maybe even had a grab but it could have been a leaf.
 

GOTY

9x Puget Sound Steelhead Guide of the Year
There will be more Spey anglers cause they love to clave. Every gravel bar will be claving with Spey guys talking about the best new lines and how they saw a fish that one time and maybe even had a grab but it could have been a leaf.
"Had a grab". The dumbest spey bro BS line of all time. Some folks seem to average 1 fish per 200 "grabs".

I was really hoping they would limit encounters in some way with these reg changes (say two fish touched per day, you're done). You can bet your ass that those spey dudes who "missed a grab" would all of a sudden stop having so many "grabs".
 

Cougar Zeke

Active Member
Hopefully Oregon does something to mitigate the flood of traffic we're going to get from these regs. The OP is long overdue for some changes. I just hope us here down in Oregon don't see the fallout I expect.
I think the flood is inevitable. Look what happened in the spring when Washington closed fishing and Oregon didn't. The pressure will go to where rivers are open.

Much of the OPs problem is that it's basically the only thing open anymore.
 

Greg Armstrong

WFF Supporter
You might be seeing Rick Matney's stuff maybe? Outside of a very small number of rivers, most of the steelhead fishing in SE AK is VERY hard to get to. Rick Matney (lives in MT, but lives part time in Wrangell, AK) has a program that involves long boat rides through the saltwater, anchoring up, getting in a raft/sled, and completing the journey to the creek mouths, then hiking along bear trails. Definitely a big barrier to entry that will hopefully make overcrowding there less likely.
That's the way it was done here just a short couple of centuries ago....

I wonder how long it will take for it to get like this up there... ?
 
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