Occupy Skagit


Geriatric Skagit Swinger
Years ago, way back in the last century, I made a joking comment at the counter of my local fly-fishing store about 'fishing' for bites. You do this with a fly that has no hook. At that time we determined that it would probably be illegal in closed areas and seen as harassing the fish.

Zip forward a couple decades and now guys are setting up on closed rivers and trying out spey rods with just a piece of yarn tied to the leader. Now we all know that the highly evolved intelligence of a steelhead would never fall for such a ruse being all busy calculating algorithms, calculus, and rocket scientry types of things. However it being a manmade product yarn might be construed in some manner as to be a lure because, lets face it, pink yarn is such a powerful tempting thing that I often have to stop myself from biting it and then thrashing around in the water...but that's another story for another day.

So how do we Occupy the Skagit without getting our butts thrown in jail? I propose that we reach into the water, grab a small twig or leaf and tie that on the end of the leader. It is a natural thing that was already in the water...and if by some miracle I was to catch a fish...well...I guess I would have to write a book and make some videos...but again that is yet another story.

Dan Cuomo

Active Member
One day, this past winter, I wanted to work on my spey casting. The Puyallup had closed, and I was concerned about the legality of practicing on a closed river. I called Washington fish and wildlife enforcement and was told that so long as I had no hook on whatever I was throwing, I was fine. They asked me to give them a quick call when I was headed over, so that if they received a complaint they could save the trouble of sending an officer over and assure the caller that I was not truly fishing on closed water. I've done so a few times since and I remain at large.


Well-Known Member

You have just described what modern day PS steelheading has become. Hookless casting practice. I proposed that the fly club hold it's annual Skagit outing next spring and do just that. It's hard to hurt fish that aren't even there, harder still with a piece of yarn on the end of the leader.



still an authority on nothing
I called legal at WDFW on the same issue, a friend had gotten a ticket for practice casting on closed waters, and it was thrown out before even going to court.
No hook=not fishing.
Calling before you go, as previously mentioned, a great way to avoid being hassled.

Dan Cuomo

Active Member
Ten years living in the lower east side of NYC, and touring the country w/ a punk band was about as much rebellion as I need for a lifetime. What do you have, Fishes with Wolves?


the sultan of swing
I think we should occupy Youngs bar and play our ukelales and bongo drums until the state wildlife officals give in and reopen the lower skagit river & if nothing else maybe we will revive the beatnik revolution....

Dan Cuomo

Active Member
I like the idea... Then Ginsberg's "The Howl," might have read; " I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked" ... in search of steelhead... or something like that?


Ignored Member
I think the issue here is to provoke a response from WDFW. Occupy Skagit should be more of a protest than a practice session. If 2 guys do it, no one will care. If 200 show up, somebody will notice.

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