New Fly Fisher -Skagit River

nutsack angler

guide fish don't count
All I'm saying is that if you take a trip down to the reservation and see the fish they are selling you would probably change your mind.

As a conservationist, it is really disappointing knowing that dozens of wild steelhead and hundreds of wild kings and silvers are being scooped up by gillnets at the end of thier journey. It definitely puts a big dent in the runs.

Sadly there is not enough fish around to satisfy both the rec angler and the tribes. We're just fighting over what's left at this point.

My mind changed a while ago. If you don't like fish dying move to trout country. Spend more time upriver (or on facebook) and check out the salmon being poached off redds using rod and reel. Look for carcasses of bright wild winter steelhead left on the bank next to the borax from the previous night's poaching operation. Imagine hundreds of dead pinks shot out of a 3' wide spawning trib upriver with an AR-15 left to rot. Not just tribes and nets killing the end of the journey around here. I've had outboards stolen by tribes, bought fish and shellfish from tribes, worked along side tribes, facilitated previously mentioned news articles that exposed tribes, and got vaccinated by tribes. At the end of the day some of us are good, some need a leash regardless of who you are or how you fish. 10 years ago I would never have bought and eaten gill net-caught wild Skagit Chinook but I did 2 weeks ago from an elder and it was delicious. Actually been doing that for a while now and I suggest you support your local tribal fisherman that plays by the rules as well. If there's harvestable numbers of a stock predicted to return, the same amount will die by the end of the season regardless of the method. It's a 50-50 split between sport and tribe using best available tools to make sure everyone gets their share. It's far from perfect and not everybody is happy but it's what it is and rec's should feel lucky because if that decision were to be made today it would not be good for non-native fisherman. Believing tribes and nets are the problem is 110% uneducated and not productive moving forward whatsoever. Playing the game respectively and taking action against those who don't is the best we can do besides hanging up our gear or moving to trout country;)
 

johnnyboy

Active Member
My mind changed a while ago. If you don't like fish dying move to trout country. Spend more time upriver (or on facebook) and check out the salmon being poached off redds using rod and reel. Look for carcasses of bright wild winter steelhead left on the bank next to the borax from the previous night's poaching operation. Imagine hundreds of dead pinks shot out of a 3' wide spawning trib upriver with an AR-15 left to rot. Not just tribes and nets killing the end of the journey around here. I've had outboards stolen by tribes, bought fish and shellfish from tribes, worked along side tribes, facilitated previously mentioned news articles that exposed tribes, and got vaccinated by tribes. At the end of the day some of us are good, some need a leash regardless of who you are or how you fish. 10 years ago I would never have bought and eaten gill net-caught wild Skagit Chinook but I did 2 weeks ago from an elder and it was delicious. Actually been doing that for a while now and I suggest you support your local tribal fisherman that plays by the rules as well. If there's harvestable numbers of a stock predicted to return, the same amount will die by the end of the season regardless of the method. It's a 50-50 split between sport and tribe using best available tools to make sure everyone gets their share. It's far from perfect and not everybody is happy but it's what it is and rec's should feel lucky because if that decision were to be made today it would not be good for non-native fisherman. Believing tribes and nets are the problem is 110% uneducated and not productive moving forward whatsoever. Playing the game respectively and taking action against those who don't is the best we can do besides hanging up our gear or moving to trout country;)
I've been out on the river enough times that I have seen some wild shit go down. Based on my experiences and the stuff I have seen, I am too pissed off to support the tribal fisherman. I don't believe that the tribes and nets are the root of the problem, but they certainly do not help in any way. I have seen the runs exploited year after year, and know for a fact that they are partially responsible for the decline of several local stocks. I get pretty pissed off seeing them out there when they aren't supposed to be. Seen poachers get busted, but never seen the tribal poachers get in trouble for overharvesting. They need tighter accountability on them. I personally do not believe that it should be a 50-50 harvest in the modern era where we are seeing the decline of salmon stocks. I'm a believer that the only tribal netting allowed should just be ceremonial, and not the massive gillnet fest that's mainly going on now. I would like to see the Boldt decision revisited, but sadly will never get my wish though.

At this point we need all the fish we can get back. I am enjoying all my time out on the water and I believe that salmonids are a precious gem, and not a resource (like many others think) . Enjoy the time you can get out there, because seasons and opportunities are getting shorter and shorter.

Sorry for the rant, the thread has gone to hell because of me. Just wanted to let people know what I think.
 
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bk paige

Wishin I was on the Sauk
I've been out on the river enough times that I have seen some wild shit go down. Based on my experiences and the stuff I have seen, I am too pissed off to support the tribal fisherman. I don't believe that the tribes and nets are the root of the problem, but they certainly do not help in any way. I have seen the runs exploited year after year, and know for a fact that they are partially responsible for the decline of several local stocks. I get pretty pissed off seeing them out there when they aren't supposed to be. Seen poachers get busted, but never seen the tribal poachers get in trouble for overharvesting. They need tighter accountability on them. I personally do not believe that it should be a 50-50 harvest in the modern era where we are seeing the decline of salmon stocks. I would like to see the Boldt decision revisited, but sadly will never get my wish though.

At this point we need all the fish we can get back. I am enjoying all my time out on the water and I believe that salmonids are a precious gem, and not a resource (like many others think) . Enjoy the time you can get out there, because seasons and opportunities are getting shorter and shorter.


If you are so concerned you should set an example and stop fishing for the rest of your life.
 

johnnyboy

Active Member
If you are so concerned you should set an example and stop fishing for the rest of your life.
I only C&R, except bonk a few clipped fish and maybe a humpy . Single-barbless regardless of the rules. Not even a fingernail of a threat compared to the gillnets that stretch across the river.

Should I not be concerned about over-fishing? Should I just be fine with the runs getting exploited year after year? Convince me otherwise.

you also realize that many anglers in our area feel the same way.
 
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hookedonthefly

Active Member
The ignorance is astounding in this thread.
There is no ignorance on my end. I worked with the Nooksack tribe who were in most cases quite cooperative and good. Sauk as well. Colonel sanders of the lummi nation, not so much. I attempted to start a flyfishing program for foster children with a Lummi Nation tribal member…The sole reason it was declined was that I was white. And, trust me because of drug addiction, there are plenty of Lummi foster kids. Sad. Another tribe declined a business opportunity for tribal members running multi-day trips on their reservation solely because I am white. Again, Sad.
 

CreekScrambler

Active Member
Jeez, C&R recreational fishing plus keeping an occasional few hatchery fish with artificial lures and barbless hooks is not in any way comparable to commercial harvesting for profit. It doesn’t matter if the harvesting happens in the salt or in the fresh, and it’s disingenuous to pretend that some flavor of large scale harvesting is better than others at this point in the PS salmonid numbers nosedive.

Considering that the habitat and ocean conditions are what they are, there must be some serious blind-eye turning going on. Regularly adjusting the harvestable number downwards is already an indication that things aren’t going well.

With finances, there’s a principle for determining the long term feasibility of an income fund.
If a fund grows at x% per year and inflation is y% per year, the most that can be taken per year as income is the difference of x% - y%, or the fund erodes away due to inflation.

Who’s gonna pretend that the current harvest regime satisfies this principle in its simplest form?
 

moon1284

Active Member
It makes complete sense to net fish that are going extinct.

I also agree the dams and habitat degradation is a problem cause by only white people. This is only an issue in North America and Europe. If we didn't take the Indians land, they would have never developed infrastructure.

 
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O' Clarkii Stomias

Active Member

To the best of my knowledge, WFF is the only site where this article still exists. It was me and 6 friends (2 WfDFW friends) that got this done. Over 100 derelict Nooksack and Lummi nation nets were removed. No problem with tribal fishing but….
Lo
I have a problem with the netting on the Skagit. Ever seen what they did to the chum runs? Sure, ocean conditions haven't been good but the tribes have netted the rivers hard. You can tell they go just for the eggs by seeing the wasted fish along the bank. Used to be hundreds of thousands of Chums in that river.

I'm also sure that they have gutted out the other species incidentally. Kings, steelhead, big dollies, etc. Mortality rates must be pretty high as they leave thier net out for a long time.

Its terrible that they shut down the whole river and have priority over the recreational fisherman. Why can't they fish hook and line like the rest of us? It's 2021.

Sorry for the rant. I had to get it out of my system.
I only C&R, except bonk a few clipped fish and maybe a humpy . Single-barbless regardless of the rules. Not even a fingernail of a threat compared to the gillnets that stretch across the river.

Should I not be concerned about over-fishing? Should I just be fine with the runs getting exploited year after year? Convince me otherwise.

you also realize that many anglers in our area feel the same way.
Shit up and atone for your white sins!
 

Jiminsandiego

Active Member
I was at the south side of the Skagit yesterday from hwy 9 upstream. I used my bait casting rig and a pink 3/8 oz marabou jig. Three fish caught and released and three fish lost in just a short time (ton of fun). A fly fisherman showed up, and I urged him (and his dog) to take my place and show me how to fly fish in this scenario. What followed was very cool..he clued me in on a (secret) river access upriver that I would have never found.... and showed me how a knowledgeable fly fisherman rips a Pink Salmon lip on the Skagit. Good times indeed.
 
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CreekScrambler

Active Member
I got my butt kicked today and yesterday on the lower Skagit trying for pinks. I think I’ll have to look further upriver if I want a proper shot.
 

hedburner

Active Member
I did ok yesterday, bonked four for smoking which are dry brining now. Lost a dozen, missed a few. Only fished for two hours. This morning not so good only two hooked but one was a big buck, released them got enough for now.
 

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