Although I've been a lurker here for awhile this is my first (and perhaps my only) post on this forum.
I've known Jonathon since he was a young buck.
His dad and I worked shoulder-to-shoulder in the sport-fishing industry for 42 years until I retired (Dad is still working there!).
Even when Jon was wet behind the ears his old man admitted to me that the boy knew more about fishing and fishery conservation than the old man could have ever known.
IMHO, Jon is an ardent and dedicated fisherman and well educated in fisheries preservation and conservation. Any bashing of his fishing ethics is misguided in my opinion.
I researched this forum 'cuz in my retirement I'm getting back into fishing. When it was my vocation I kinda backed off because it was too much "a bus man's holiday!"
Now I'm retired and living in Kitsap County as opposed to the south Sound area. I've been enjoying spin-casting for salmon and SRC all over my new area but am thinkin' about tossin' flies after about a 30-year hiatus. Hence my interest in this forum.
But I'm seein' a lot off elitism and criticism in this thread. (example: "then you're well on your way to chucking buzz bombs.")
I've enjoyed catching nice silvers off the beaches of Pt. No Pt. with Buzz Bombs. I've also been catching some really nice cutts in my area with spoons and spinners. To me, no one way of sport-fishing is intrinsically better than another, whether it's throwing hardware, bait or flies.
And if one fisherman is catching fish legally, I personally would be hesitant to publicly accuse him of being ethically wrong. I might PM him to express my thoughts but that's just me, I guess.
So, I'm seeing some good level-minded folks here on this site but I'm also seeing some really acrimonious self-righteous posts also.
I suppose that's what a public forum is all about but I may choose to simply lurk, keep silent and glean what information I can about fishing without getting involved in the politics of the site.
No elitism should be inferred from my post. I've seen a lot of fish caught by buzz bombs and it's been years since I've seen one hooked in the mouth. I have however seen many come in with buzz bombs in the head and elsewhere that invariably end up being kicked up the beach. They're the preferred tool of the snagger. You'll note I did not criticize gear fishing as a whole.
You say that, " To me, no one way of sport-fishing is intrinsically better than another...", the only argument you'll get from me is regarding the higher mortality rates of fish caught with gear as opposed to flies. But that's another discussion.
Is it possible that in your zeal you're seeing what you want to see in that thread? I admit to being critical, but the only elitism I see is from the folks who constantly gripe about tribal fishers and then defend their right to harvest non-hatchery south sound coho.
No elitism should be inferred from my post. I've seen a lot of fish caught by buzz bombs and it's been years since I've seen one hooked in the mouth. I have however seen many come in with buzz bombs in the head and elsewhere that invariably end up being kicked up the beach. They're the preferred tool of the snagger.
Granted, they may be the preferred tool of the snagger but it's not the tool that should be condemned, it's the one wielding it. Meaning that a snagger is a snagger, no matter if they're tossing a bunch of barbed trebles, a Buzz Bomb or trying to floss a fish with a big-hooked fly. I did not foul hook any fish this year with a Buzz Bomb and neither did my stepson (and we caught a fair number of fish).
"Then you're well on your way to chucking buzz bombs" sounds pretty spin-cast negative but maybe you didn't intend it to come across that way. Maybe I'm being way too sensitive!
I was mostly trying to defend JT who I know as a very conscientious angler.
Oh shoot, I think I blew my pledge about only posting once!!
Catching and taking home a coho to feed your family is one thing. Tribal netting is another, it's just the tribes practicing their right and trying to make an easy buck (I disagree with it but it's how things are). If you're so worried about fish being harvested, inappropriate handle of fish, and fishing locations being put at jeopardy. You may as well sell all you're fishing gear and find yourself a new hobby.
Thanks for the welcome and maybe I'll continue to post here even tho' I'm just getting back into the fly fishin' game. Maybe I just had my panties in a twist over a couple of the posts. I'll get over it!
Wow is all I could say for a few minutes. I've read the entire thread and there are points for both sides. What's really interesting to me is that I have fished Puget sound for salmon for more than fifty years. I'm a confessed salt water addict. I used to fish gear and still do once in a long while but I prefer fly fishing because it is relaxation for me. That being said, I bonk any legal salmon for two reasons. First, I don't catch all that many other than during the Pink run and secondly, I like to eat salmon. I like it BBQed, baked, fried, smoked, etc. You get the picture, I hope. The major question I have is, "How do you tell an unclipped three to four year old hatchery salmon from a three to four year old wild fish? It seems to me if a hatchery fish makes it back to spawn and that 1 in 1000 fingerlings survives to return to its stream to spawn, there would be no way to tell the origin short of scientific testing of genetics. I'm no scientist. So how would anyone expect a fly fisher to be able to tell beachside? The truth is, this isn't about the fish being kept. It's about the Native quotas we all have to live with thanks to the Boldt decision back in the 70's. Until that decision is set aside (which is doubtful but possible) then it is what it is. We all need to be a little more civil in our work and play; this site included. Tolerance is what seperates us from the wild animals and of course, the opposed thumb.
By the way, in my 12 year beach fishery, I have co-habitated the beach with many a buzz bomb slinger and rarely have I ever seen a pink salmon or other snagged. I am very careful about watching and those who fish the beaches I fish know me and know I will call the authorities in a heartbeat. I have friends who pitch buzz bombs. They don't know how to fly fish but they abide by the rules just as I do and they bonk a fish when they get one too. We have learned to co-habitate.
So if you are planning to jump on me for keeping a salmon, go ahead. Other than the bluegills, dorado, and tuna I have caught in recent years, I have kept no other fish in the past thirty years.
The major question I have is, "How do you tell an unclipped three to four year old hatchery salmon from a three to four year old wild fish? It seems to me if a hatchery fish makes it back to spawn and that 1 in 1000 fingerlings survives to return to its stream to spawn, there would be no way to tell the origin short of scientific testing of genetics. I'm no scientist. So how would anyone expect a fly fisher to be able to tell beachside?
Thanks, Steve, for a thoughtful response. I like to eat salmon as well, but in response to your question above, I'd ask:
What other questions in your life, when posed with an either/or choice, do you answer affirmatively in the direction of potential harm?
In the current example, we have a choice: A) To kill a wild (read naturally spawned) fish that may be either 1) native, or 2) of hatchery origin with no practical way to differentiate the two, or B) Release it to (we'll assume) spawn and perpetuate what is, we agree, a questionable lineage. Choosing to kill the fish ends with a certain oucome either way: no further contribution of this fish to the gene pool. To release the fish has the potential either to allow a hatchery lineage or (and here's the rub, to me) a native lineage fish to spawn.
Choosing to kill an unclipped fish guarantees that that fish will not contribute to the (admittedly already diluted) gene pool, native or not. But releasing it has at least the possibility of maintaining a native fish's genes for another generation. Because there is inherent doubt in this decision I will always err on the side of caution and release the fish. Put another way, ask yourself what you would do in the case of an unclipped steelhead in a river known to have both a native population and a hatchery stock. I doubt you would opt to bonk an unclipped fish, regardless of how good steelhead was as table fare.
You have posed a legitimate argument from your point of view. I have no issues with it whatsoever, however we are all entitled to an opinion in this country. That's what made it great and will continue to make it great. The point I'm making is that regardless of how any of us respond to the questions posed here, we need to be sensitive and civil to both sides. Name calling and pressuere to see one's side or the other don't fit. I understand that we have a moral dilema with this thread and it has been mostly thoughtful from all who have contributed. I choose to keep a salmon for food. Not subsistance but for a very occasional meal that I enjoy and I believe is ethical to enjoy.
As for posing an answering questions of choice, I believe I have enough life experience to be able to make an ethical, moral decision each time such a question arises.