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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First of all, I have to say, I am against using bait.
Right now I am having a "discussion"(rather heated) with my boyfriend on the topic. He bait fishes and doesn't fly fish at all. Should have better ways to spend my time that to argue with him over worms, but it annoys me... Ohhhh, and he calls trout "garbage fish"...So I remind him his personal hero must be Bill Dance..(no offense to those who enjoy his program) :DEVIL
I'm curious how you guys came to your ethics on fishing- those of you that exculsively fly fish and those that do both. For non-bait users- What made you conclude that bait was wrong or otherwise pushed you away from using it?
For myself, I think it is an ethical question as well as one of enjoyment. For me, the enjoyment is in the presentation, knowing the waters, and the time out there. My boyfriend thinks the thrill is in the catch. I would have to say, even if it meant catch fewer fish, I'd rather fly fish.
Any thoughts on the subject are appreciated.
Kaari
 

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CWUgirl, I do nto think fishing with bait is unethical unless people are using it in selective gear waters. I think there should be water set aside for whatever type of fishing people like to participate in. That being said in most cases the best fishing is in "Catch and Release" waters, and what pi$$es me off more then anything is finding people using bait and keeping fish. The rational is usually " this is where the fish are". That is why there are fish. If your boy friend likes to fish with bait and does not care for trout it is no big deal to me. However, if he insists on fishing selective gears waters with bait, then he not only unethical, but he is breaking the law a well, and if I caught him ,I would turn his as$ in to the local law enforcement officials. As for it being "out there", or catching fish being more important, I fish because I love to be out in a river casting a fly rod, and catching alot of fish is a bonus, but I know of flyfishermen who consider catching fish the most important componet of fishing. I do not think I am wrong or right, but that my reasons for flyfishing are personnal, and I am not going to judge other people's motivation for fishing. Plus, has your boyfriend had the pleasure of having a trout "hammer" a dry fly? Do not give up on him just yet. As you know, men are a little slower to mature then women. Tightlines CWUgirl. M
 

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I'm definitely on both sides of the coin on this one. I do both actually. I myself don't fish for trout. Not that I don't like them, but I'd rather have the bend put in an 8wt with a big steelhead then a 3wt with a trout. Just my preference. Since I turned 16 and could drive myself, I have rarely fished for trout. In fact, sold all my trout fly gear. Always a season somewhere within a 2 hour drive from my house, so I'm not worried about trout fishing. Just me though.

Now, onto bait. It isn't always about catching fish. But there are times I WANT to catch fish, versus just fishing. When I want to catch fish (which you seem to have a higher density of fish during fall/winter when rivers are flowing higher and dirtier) bait is the best scenerio. Not always, but usually. There are times during the fall/winter flows when I can use my fly rod, and also use jigs and driftgear. But sometimes the ticket is bait. Key example, you won't find a chinook in the salt with a standard fly gear in Puget Sound unless you hit the inlets to rivers. Most fly gear isn't accessible to the 150+ foot depth you'll find them schooling at. A cut plug or trolling is best way to go if you WANT to catch fish. I feel, as someone stated above, if you're fishing LEGALLY and are enjoying yourself fishing, then GO FOR IT!!!!!! Someone isn't more of an angler by the way they are fishing. Some of the best fishermen I've ever met never used a fly rod. In fact, one never used bait either, he only used okies and yarn. He's long since dead now, but could outfish anyone around in almost any condition. Was he less a fishermen because he didn't use a fly? Nope. It's just the gear you're using.

Steelheader69
"You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts."
 

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What is he fishing for? Does he keep everything he catches? Does he eat the fish himself or does he give them away? As long as he's not killing fish that he doen't intend to eat or give to someone else who's going to eat them. No problem!

In my mind, I love just being outdoors on the river. Yeah, I'd like to catch more and bigger fish but I enjoy the day no matter what! I don't have a problem with bait or hardware fishermen as long as they are fishing legally, they respect the river by not leaving trash all around (beer cans, chewing tabacco pouches, cigarette butts etc.) and they don't interfere with me when I'm casting a fly, in an area that both types of fishing are allowed. Variety is what makes the world go 'round.

As long as he treats you well, don't worry how he fishes! He may decide that he doesn't like the idea of you being off by yourself or with other fly fishers and decide to join you one day.

Good luck!

Greg
 

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I might be old---but I'm good.

I've been fishing for a long time. Too many years to count. I started out with a hand line and bait,I think that everybody started out as a bait fisher person. I switched over to fly fishing a few years ago. And I really like it. What puts me off about bait fishing is when people fish with bait where it's not allowed. Like the Upper Sauk river. You find worm containers all over the place.

I like to get out away from people so this is the way to do it. I usually fish thru the middle of the week when all of the bait chuckers are at work. Besides I find this type of fishing relaxing.

Jim :BIGSMILE
 

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I'd like to add this. It's only a few who leave garbage all over the place. Just think, how much can a flychucker leave on the ground when he's done after a days fishing? Most of the stuff is left in the river. :WINK The majority of the guys I know gearwise packout what they pack in (I being one). In fact, alot of us pack out more. I've cleaned up alot of baitcontainers and trash myself. So, it's not fair to generalize that all bait guys are pigs (not that all of you are saying that). It's same as generalizing that all fly chuckers are snobby buttheads who drink old malt scotch after a day of flinging their bugrods. There are some who do, but not all. lol

Steelheader69
"You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts."
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
He fishes for walleye, bass, and panfish. He eats what he keeps- he even says that perch taste good...But I think I'm going to pass on trying that.
I acknowledge I'm slightly snobby when it comes to fishing. It is interesting to me that if you go to Central Basin Lakes that are fly fishing only, the lots and shores are very clean. Even Rocky Ford that recieves tons of pressure in a TINY area extremely well taken care of by the fishermen that go there, IMO. And then you look at lakes like Blue or Park in the same area, which are open to all gear and there's litter everywhere- line wadded up in balls, power bait jars, beer cans.
I think there is a difference in philosophy between the two camps. A level of responsiblity to the environment as well as a respect for the fish that fly fishermen have that's superior to bait fishermen, for the most part.
He has interest in fly fishing, hopefully I'll convert him to the good side! :WINK We have a similar argument on Labradors vs. Chessies(we're both hunting fools). But of course he's just nuts having any faith in chessies over labs. Why do men insist on arguing when they're always wrong? There's a mystery that'll never be solved! :TONGUE
 

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I am not a big fan of bait fishing, especially when its the powerbait and worms folks.

I recently released a nice 10" planted trout form a form of hell. A worm dunker cast off their bobber and hook. The bobber floated on the surface and the worm enticed a trout to eat it. Then the bobber started moving about. It was about the size of the Goodyear blimp, and the fish could not go any deeper than it would allow.

I was able to get to it with my canoe, and I found the trout hooked near the gills deep in the back of its throat. I snipped the line off short, and released it. I was not bleeding when I did this, or I would have probably kept it.

Bait fishing is not really catch and release in places like this, the fish are hooked too deeply. I'm not against folks fishing for steelies with bobbers and eggs, as that's a totally different story where the fish hits the eggs savagely as a lure or fly.

I started fishing with bait fishing, and I would start a child that way, too. But I would add into the equation that which I have learned about conservation. And conservation is what is devoid of so many of the "hook em' and cook 'em" bait fishing crowd.

Rob
 

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It's true that not all the trash is left behind by bait fishermen. Some of it is left behind by kids who head out to the lakes to party with friends, have a few beers and float around on inner tubes. Some of the bait fishermen may actually be Hispanic farm workers looking to to put food on the table for their families. They may or may not know the fishing regs (or even speak or read English) but they work hard doing a job that most of us wouldn't do no matter what.

The main thing is pick up your own trash, pick up anything left by others and have a good time on the river. No sense on spoiling your day fretting over how someone's fishing and if they're picking up trash. Life's too short!


Greg :THUMBSUP
 

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I believe it's against the law to release most fish if legal to be kept while using bait. So if you catch a 4" inch trout in most lakes with bait you have to keep it as part of your limit for the day which most bait chuckers don't do and since the fish usually swallow the bait they end up dieing when there released. :ANGRY
 

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Yep, you're right about bait. You must keep them if legal to do so (can't keep a fish under size limit). I do believe only fish you can C & R while using bait within size limit is salmon/steelhead.

Remember guys, it's normally the guys who borderline poach or do poach that leave crap all over the place. And if you think how much stuff is left behind it's FAR from how many people have fished there. I've fished alot of the heavily fished streams, and for the amount of garbage left (which is still too much) is far from the amount of people having been there. I do my part, I clean up the mess, eventhough I didn't leave it. I always pack a garbage bag in my vest and clean up when I can.

Steelheader69
"You haven't lived until you've run a cataraft. Friends don't let friends run Outcasts."
 

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Kaari,
First I’d like to say I hate to hear you anyone arguing over fishing techniques, especially between to people who care about each other. Try to put your differences aside, there is room for both opinions. I used to be a die-hard bait kinda guy up until about 5-6 years ago when a couple of co-workers that were avid F/F’ers showed me the light. Since then I have enjoyed the art of fly-fishing. Oh I’m still learning but I can tell you, if your boyfriend thinks the thrill is in the catch then this alone should convert him over. I’d safely say that I have caught and released at least 10 times more fish F/F’ing then I ever did bait fishing!!! One reason is your moving around much more, covering more water, hence more fish, much more. And nothing gives me more pleasure than to give a beautiful 24" RB a kiss, release it, and see it swim away for another day. So you see its not about ethics, its about choice, if he wants to use bait, fine, as long as its legal where he does it, I have no problem with that and I hope you don’t either. I’ll tell you something else that’s a lot of fun. Go with him to his favorite bait lake and let him go at it while you F/F right by him. My guess is you’ll out catch by a bunch and then make sure he sees you let them all go, after you hold them high enough for him to see every one of them!!! haha I do this all the time and I just get a big sh*t eating grin every time! Don’t tell him what to do, show him how! Good luck!
Jim J.
 

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Just ask yourself how many bait fishermen you know who have converted from fly fishing. When is the last time you heard someone say, "I grew up fly fishing and did it most my life. But then I learned about night crawlers and never picked up my fly rod again"? Meanwhile, 9 out of 10 fly fishermen are converted spinners.

As for trout -- they're either in your soul or they're not. I think I was probably a trout in a former life.
 

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CWUgirl,

First of all I think it is important for you to know that flyfishermen are definately on the top of the IQ list and are much, much better looking than any ol' baitfisherman.
Take me for instance, a young high spirited lad like myself could rightfully treat you better than you have ever been treated.

Okay, now that I got that off my chest, here is my response:

Many of you gentlemen can relate to this, spin fishing with worms and a small bobber and suddenly realizing that if you hook on one of those grasshoppers or periwinkles to your hook and huck it out there that your odds get better. They even get more better (I.Q. testing), as soon as you start understanding a fish's habitat. Flyfishermen naturally are proactive in understanding the Science of fish. How else can you explain all of the Latin they communicate with? Ephemerella Grandis ring a bell? Yakima River?

Flyfishing carries on a long drawn out tradition that has evolved from back when Dame Juliana or Issac Walton were writing about feathers tied to a hook and cast out with long flimsy poles. This tradition is where the excitement comes into play. We become boared with just catching fish after 10 or 20 years, we need to challenge ourselves so we introduce a particular style to our technique. Hence Spey fishing, it was introduced from the writings of A.E. Knox in the mid 1800's and brought to Washington by the way of Syd Glasso and our penninsula favorite, Rod Haig-Brown. The influence of Spey flyfishing defines the need for style and technique in order to catch fish. This technique is very effective but if you look at the efforts of learning the technique and how to tie the flies, you are going to have to spend many days with no fish. Fishing with bait takes all of the thought out of catching fish. This is especially true when you introduce waters where hatchery fish congregate and fishermen are basically given fish to catch. You no longer have to actually look for them.

I don't believe in purism but I like it when people are very passionate about a particular activity. Flyfishing gives you the oppertunity to spend every penny on the gear, work in the industry as a shop guy or guide and allows you to buy useless things such as trout printed plates and flyfishing specific "style" of clothing. This sort of behavior announces the fact that you are a pure flyfisherman. Or a "trout bum" which is a more common name.

Although I don't speak for the majority of my fellow fishermen, I would suggest dumping the ******* boyfriend cause he ain't gonna make it very far if he is just seeking the "thrill" and not the rest. Instant gratification leads to things like sitting in front of the TV for too long and eating nothing but McDonalds and getting fat. Not that there is anything wrong with that.

Bait isn't wrong, it is just boaring.
 

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After the fish in the lake have been in the lake a few weeks or if they are native I will put my fly rod against anyone using power bait any time. I will also stay at least even with some one with worms or minnows. Spinners forget about it they do not stand a chance. I myself took up flyfishing because its a good way to get back in touch with the fish on the other end. Trout are a small fish most of the time and to really feel them to full effect I feel you need light equipment whether its a spin rod or a fly rod. Otherwise your boyfriend will not get the full effect. Of course a trout on a med action spin rod is not much fun. If you can not get him on a fly rod have him use a ultra light spin rod without pop gear or anything heavier then a small split shot for weight. If after that if he still feel trout are not fun he will not be changing his mind on the subject. That ok because fishing with other partners is not cheating. I myself switched over to fly fishing from spin fishing a few years ago. My spin rod since picking up a flyrod gathers dust in the closet and I have been trying out other fish to catch using a fly rod including bass, perch, steelhead, and whitefish. I will be trying out salmon and src this July in Puget Sound to really feel the fish on the other end. I also want to learn to catch rockfish and ling on a flyrod. For me it just something about a fish on a flyrod. Once I started I fell in love. As for learning catch and release that is something I have done since I turned 16 many years ago and I was still fishing with spinners. Sometimes I wonder who has been caught me or the fish. :WINK :WINK
 

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When I was a little boy (late 50s early 60s), I used to fish for Rainbow in the Snoqualmie forks and Issaquah creek using periwinkles (aka caddis larvae). Here's how:

Find a periwinkle, remove the larvae from its case and impale it on a salmon egg hook longitudinally (so the larval body completely hides the hook). Drop the baited hook into a riffle and let it drift out into the trailing pool. If there are fish in the pool you'll get a hit right at the end of the riffle or the very beginning of the pool.

The problem with this method of fishing, I soon learned, was finding enough periwinkles to satisfy the dozens of 4 inchers that took the bait before a trout of any size would get it. After awhile it's just not worth the work just to pick up another immature trout.

With this as background, you can see why nymphing pocket water with bead-head nymphs, was so compelling to me.

I don't have an ethical problem with using bait. It's an excellent and efficient way to catch fish. However, my perception, correct or not, is that bait fisherman almost always kill their catches. Now, this has nothing to do with bait and everything to do with the predisposition of the bait-fisherman, but the association is there. Two other minor problems: First, unregulated bait fishing can pollute a fishery (e.g., escaped minnows). Second, bait fishing has a higher mortality rate than fly or lure fishing. This is probably because fish are more likely to swallow the bait.

Having said all this, I prefer to mooch for kings using whole herring.

Cheers,

Michael
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
4 stars, lol.... Unless you've got really hot 26" 12 gauge weatherby S/S that would make a girl drool, however, I'm afraid I will have to stay with my ******* boyfriend. I'm sure from that pic, though, you gotta fight the ladies away. :YUM
I just can't leave my bottom fishing, *******, chessie loving boyfriend, however... He looks like a Cabela's model, lives to hunt, and is at least willing to try out fly fishing.... and he owns several hundred duck/geese decoys... You wouldn't like me anyway- after Sept. 1 I won't fly fish again until February (after all the bird seasons are closed).
During the middle of next month I'm going to BC, an hour north of Kamloops, to go fly fishing....I think he wants to learn how so he can go next year- he's not at all pleased I'll be there with 16 men in the isolated wilderness. :DEVIL Serves him right for calling trout garbage fish. I'll be up there drinking canadian whisky with my boys and he'll be at home all alone.
I'm sure you'll find a good looking girl out there on the river... Either that or you'll start giving those trout the eye....
:WINK
~Kaari
 
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