Oh man, that’s gonna get ugly. Must see TV!
I dont really have a dog in this fight, but I do have some very good friends who are guides....guys I consider to be of high quality character, and I feel bad for this sudden change in their livelihood.
Still, as a guide myself, I feel like anyone who decides to guide for a living in 2020 had better be skilled at adapting to an ever changing work environment, have backup plans in place, and quite frankly be accepting to the fact that it could very easily come to a screeching halt at any point.
I keep seeing new steelhead guides pop up and for the life of me I can't understand why anyone would willingly begin a steelhead guide career these days.
I've said it before, but I would like to see the state treat guiding rivers similarly to how they treat guiding the salt. You want to run a salmon charter in the salt you're gonna pay 50k or more for a charter license, or find someone to lease you one for 5-6k a year. I say make a new guiding license, something that encompasses food fish and game fish, put a 40k price tag on it, and sell a finite number of them. After those sell, that's it. Anyone else that wants one needs to buy one from someone, most likely at a higher price, or lease. That sort of monetary investment would keep the half ass guides away. Those who survived would be much more invested in the fishery, and quite likely being proper stewards for the fishery. It would also be self policing, as those who invested so much would be quick to report any illegal activity.
To guide the saltwater one needs a captains license, a boat, insurance, and in most cases a serious amount of coin invested in licensing. As is, any Joe can throw 5k at a drift boat, and 375 bucks for a game fish license, and go join the mess. Doesnt seem like it should be that way.
I know that the reservations were shut down and still are. However, that should not have been a reason for the ocean along half of the Washington coast to be closed to recreational fishing. The tribes don't own the ocean (at least not completely yet) if I wanted to launch at Westport, CQ or anywhere else in the state that was open and make the run to marine are 3 and 4 that should have been an option. I ended up spending the summer running to area 3 and 4 from CQ anyway and would have done the same in May and June for bottomfish if the WDFW had not closed those areas.I don't follow MA regs too closely but I was under the impression that wasn't WDFW making a decision in isolation. Isn't La Push and virtually all of the Quileute reservation still closed off now? Driving down 110 this past weekend all the signs indicated that was the case, but I don't fish the marine areas out there so I don't know.
Clearly the best way to avoid the crowds is to plunk. Throw out the EZup, build a fire, chuck and wait for the ring. Actually it doesn’t sound so bad.
I just checked on google maps, and it is a 16 hour drive from Billings to Forks.
It is also a 16 hour drive from Billings to Lake Michigan.
Maybe the Montana guides will just go rope some adfluvials in the Mid West? Since two negatives make a positive....and their bobber + bead isn't fly fishing nor are those fish steelhead.....maybe this has always been their destiny.