NW Flyfishing...part of the problem?

I read that article and my thoughts on the escapment numbers were that they were higher than ones I've heard quoted for the Sky in recent years. Of course that is second hand info, but if it's correct, then we are discussing the wrong issues...
I've also written for that magazine, and went through an extensive fact check with them. I do wish, however that they did have a letters section to air some of these concerns. I have to ask, how many people who stopped reading the magazine emailed the editorial staff with your concerns? Obviously, you bought the magazine for something. What were you thinking you were going to see in there? I think it's maybe just because its so regional. If you bought a national magazine and they put an article or so on the NW/year, no problem, but if they did one every month, people here would get upset. It's like buying Playboy and cancelling the subcription because your sister posed. It's not Playboy's fault your sister is hot; you're just upset because they landed too close to home.

I'm sure if you had a "fix" to the problem, they would like to hear about it.
If Ford Fenders sister looked anything like him and posed nude for Playboy I'd definitely cancel my subscription...right after I scratched my burning eyes out out of their sockets!!!
:rofl: :rofl: :rofl:
KerryS said:
...Some of you don't like them writing about certain spots. What the fuck are you? The secret spot police? Give me a break. Some of you complained about the river and its fish being endangered. Read the last paragraph of the article. The author talks of treating the river and its fish with respect and to realize it is a special river. He mentions that the steelhead population is self sustaining and the current regulations seem to be working to keep it that way....
My sentiments exactly. Basically every river and creek in this state worth fishing has been "discovered" and has info written in articles, books, web posts, etc.

There is no getting away from the "easy access = more fishing pressure" equation. The harder it is to get to a spot, the less pressure and usually better fishing. Difficult access is what ultimately protects those precious "secret spots".

The C&R FF crowd has the least impact so why get angry at fellow FFs reading a highly enjoyable magazine? Logging, mining, commercial fishing, dams, and even gear fishing have a much greater impact.

I like the magazine and think they do the best job of all the outdoor activity magazines I read. And I can't imagine that each article, regardless of how great it makes a body of water sound, creates a permanent increase in visitors and fishing pressure that ultimately damages fish populations. At worst, a spike in fishing activity for 1-2 months afterwards...

o mykiss

Active Member
Canoe Rider said:
And I can't imagine that each article, regardless of how great it makes a body of water sound, creates a permanent increase in visitors and fishing pressure that ultimately damages fish populations. At worst, a spike in fishing activity for 1-2 months afterwards...
And therein lies the beauty of NWFF's decision to double the number of issues per year! See, just when all its readers are finally getting around to checking out the zipperlips exposed in the last issue, NWFF comes out with a new issue with new zipperlip spots, so everyone forgets about the ones in the last issue, make plans to hit the new ones, etc. It is a never-ending cycle that will actually reduce pressure on these secret and/or fragile fisheries! As they say on the Guiness ads, "Brilliant!!!":beer1:


Active Member
Windtickler -
I was a first year subscriber (had great hopes of a region magazine) but when I had an issue with an article (targeting closed species) and followed up by emailing detailed comments regarding those concerns to editors. It was the unsatisfactory response that lead to my decision not to renew. In that situation the only "vote" I have is with my $$s.

I have not read the article in question though I did read the Sauk article by the same author and found it to be factual and well written. I don't really have a problem with most of the authors after all it is the editors (and ultimately the readers) who are determing the content of the magazine based on what folks think will sell. Pretty clear that many like "kiss and tell" articles - IMHO probably just another example of many in today's society desire to fast track everything.

Tight lines

I'm really sorry that you didn't get a good response from the editorial staff. My mileage has varied there, too.

I always considered many of those articles for armchair fishing, and not worried too much about it. I mean really, reading about $5k/wk lodges is like reading about DRC wines in The Spectator - nice to think about, but not something I'm likely to experience anytime soon.

Then there is the instant gratification factor: Anybody who is going to rush off and fish this month's hot spot will probably be at next month's hot spot and you will be left alone again. Of course there is the breed of fly fisherman who seem to relish company. Every time I used to drive by Cracker bar it amazed me that people would stand shoulder to shoulder when there is better fishing in any direction with less than a ten minute walk (and a "secret" river not too far away).

I did use that magazine to find the best river I've ever fished, but even the locals were amazed to find there was fish in it, so apparently a little exposure doesn't ruin the more remote spots.

As I said in my article, the purpose isn't to put you onto some secret spot, it's about getting you to think about the possibilities right under your nose, to get you to go out and explore. To find your own secret stashes. I spent a year fishing within a 30 minute radius of Sea-Tac, and pretty much didn't see another fisherman. I think there is still some room out there.

Dan Page

Active Member
I used to live close to the Toutle and caught my first steelhead on the South Fork many years ago. It was caught in the summer. It can be pretty crowded in the summer, but not fished much in winter. The last few years it has gotten more fishing pressure, mostly by fly guys because of the selective gear rule. It's not the easiest river to fish. It also blows out quick and can get down to a trickle even in the winter. I have never seen a pontoon on it and am not sure I would even want to take one on it.

When I first saw the NWF article I was pretty upset. After reading it I calmed down some. He didn't really say much except draw attention to it. Like he says in the article--timing is everything. I have made trips there and didn't even put my waders on. In a few months most will have forgotten it.
I do read the magazine cause it's the only one I've found that devotes much of anything to spey and focuses on the NW.
I like NWFF. I like the articles on important figures in the history of NW fly fishing, I like the articles on fly tyers and their contributions to the sport, but I like the destination destination articles best.

Before you write me off, let me explain. I like armchair angling. Truth be told, most of us who are tied to jobs in the city have a lot more time for armchair angling than for 'real' angling and there is only so much Roderick Haig-Brown out there to read. I hope that all of you who enjoy reading the rags, also are spending time with the true literature of the sport.

In fact, the articles I like best are the ones about places I know best. Reading them (and gazing at the excellent photography in NWFF) on a dark winter's eve takes me there. That's always good.

On rare occasion, once to be exact, I've actually gone out of my way to visit a river featured in NWFF. It was a beautiful place that I would otherwise not have visited and I only saw one or two other fishermen in the 3 days I was there. My experience was similar to Windtickler's, it was a river that had been converted from put & take to C&R and the clerk at a local store sounded surprised to hear there were still any fish in it! I hope to get back there some day.

However, mostly I think I'm just burned out on getting upset at having my favorite spot 'outed.' I got over that long ago, before I took up fly fishing. In my yoot, I was a climber and I was upset everytime a climbing rag featured one of 'my' secret crags.

Canoerider got it right. The human-caused impact from any of a large number of activities is much greater on the places I love than is the impact of a few others practicing the sport I love, be it climbing or fly fishing.

Generally, I enjoy the interactions I have with other fly fishers I meet on the river. I know the places to go to get away from the crowds; perhaps that's the reason I do enjoy the interactions, because I know that the folks I meet have made the same effort I have.

I'll weigh in on this thread.
First and foremost Northwest Flyfishing is about fly-fishing in the Pacific Northwest, which is where the Toutle River system is located. I fished the mainstem and the south fork since the late-1950s. I was a Weyerhaeuser employee when Mt. St. Helens went off and witnessed what was left of our Blue Mountain facility after it was wiped out along with the rest of the Toutle system. It was an absolutely incredible act of nature.
I also saw the Toutle system come back over time and have enjoyed some excellent fishing in both the main stem and south fork. Nature generally gives back what she takes away -- on her own timetable.
I see nothing wrong with writing about the Toutle River. The article was in fact very well done with a good close on the future of the river. I'm writing here as one who is an experienced magazine editor in this field. Bennett was simply the messenger. And I doubt very much that his article will have caravans of "fly fishermen" charging down to line the banks of the Toutle system and overfish it.
All of these rivers have been around for hundreds of centuries and they'll be here for a whole lot more -- surely longer than all who seem to be laying claim to them by taking shots at either Northwest Fly Fishing, or Mr. Bennett.
You aren't going to improve the conditions of our rivers or the protocol of some of the posters on this thread by the present three pages of sounding off. If you want to do something, give up your time and/or some of your money to support programs aimed as saving our rivers. If you don't want to do this. Then I guess you may as well just keep on railing against any subject that bothers you by starting a thread on this web site.
For all of you who spoke up in favor of a free press. I applaud you.
Good Fishing,
Les Johnson
They're not part of the problem, just part of the free market. When people stop buying the magazine, no more rivers will get "outed." Apparently, there are enough people that read the magazine to make it a viable business. When it ceases to make any money the problem is solved. So rather than bash the magazine, bash the consumer. They are the reason it exists.