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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I have a question.

I know you need to have a PHD in linguistics to figure out the WDFW regs book, but after years of study I think I have it figured out. Today on the N.F. of the Stilly my Bro-in-law and I had a very interesting conversation w/ two other fly guys about the regs.

As I understand the regs you can not legally target any salmon species on the N.F. The other guys were fishing for chums and my bro told them the river was closed to targeting salmon. This message did not go over to well yelling accross the river and we sounded like a couple of A-holes. Our intent was more to be informative than jerks but it was not the best appoach on our part. This led to a five dollar wager on if it was legal to fish for chums. After a walk back to the car and a study of the regs. I found that in one section salmon(chum, coho, pink etc) are under the entire game fish category but in another section they are listed as separate from game fish.
As I understand all rivers are closed to salmon unless specifically noted under the special rules section. But this can be confusing as the regs also say a river (like the N.F.) is open to all game fish (CnR of wild steelhead and legal to retain two hatchery steelhead).

So what gives? Is the NF closed to salmon? There are tons of people up there targeting them, so you may think it's open. Also, is it closed to DollyVarden/Bull trout? That's what we were targeting but after the session with the regs it looks like we were in the wrong too? We decided the bet was a push as the regs suck and we both left not sure what was the hell was legal.
 

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Formerly Tight Loops
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It's pretty clear to me, saying "catch and release except for 2 hatchery steelhead, which may be retained." That's at least during the summer FF season.

The rest of the year it reverts to the wintertime circus, then the regs change to "statewide rules".

Don't get tangled up when the river is governed wholly by special rules, like the NF Stilly. The special regs cover all species in the river, so nothing defaults back to statewide rules.

Rob
---------
Genetic pollution damages wild
stocks, bonk those Hatchery Zombies!
 

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Just an Old Man
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What do I know---I'm just an old man

Salmon are not classified as game fish. They are food fish. And no you can't keep any Salmon on/in the N/fork. I was up there today fishing, but with all of the Chums in the river it is not too hard to hook one when you are fishing for other game fish. And no,you can't fish for Dollies/Bull trout either. If you could it would state in the special regs.

And no I'm not a lawyer but I seem to read them all the time lately. In fact I keep one by my computer. To give insite on questions asked.

Jim
 

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The North fork is only open to fishing for steelhead and cutthroat. Everything else (salmon & dollies) is illegal to target. Both Dollies and Salmon are legal to taget, only when specified under the special rules section of a specific river.
First time I fished up there in late fall, I also saw several people tagetting and catching salmon. Many were catching/snagging them right off their redds. With the number of people that fish for salmon up there, it does tend to confuse people who are not clear on the regs. Every so often though, game guys will go up there and really clean house.

I would agree with what others have said, that it's difficult not to catch salmon sometimes. I think if they really don't want people catching salmon in there, the river should be closed completely until most of the fish are done spawning. At least the upper river, just from October through mid December. I don't even fish it in the late fall anymore, just because of what I've seen in the past.
 

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I was up there with the oldman today. My game plan was to throw things that might wash off the redds thinking the cutthroats are feeding on that. Tied a black/white/pink hair ball thinking it might look like a chunk of meat and egg patterns. Stupid chum don't seem to care what goes by their face. If they want to, they bite it. But I don't seem to catch any cutts this way. They are not feeding off the surface like they were before the chum runs.

Are their guts so full of chum eggs and flesh that they will not take to a fly? If that is true, why even fish for cutts during the salmon runs? There has just got to be a better way to have fun until the winter run chrome starts.

Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for confirming what I thought about the rivers closure to targeting salmon. Also, thanks for clearing up my question about the Dolly's.

So if it is so clear to you guys that you can't target salmon in the NF Stilly why do so many anglers go up there to fish for them? These are not toothless ******** either, but what seem to be reasonably intelligent anglers. Is this some unwritten, never to be talked about idea that although it is illegal it's really ok to do and if someone asks what you are fishing for the answer is "steelhead or sea-runs"?

Seems to me if it is such a problem and to avoid having the state shut down the river a local fly club (or the WDFW) would do well to put a couple signs up at each major spot (Forston, Hazel, etc) stating the fish you can legally target. That may prevent the river from having special regs imposed (like when weighted flys were banned 2 years ago to protect the kings) or being closed completely.
 

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Flaccid Member
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being politically correct sucks

i dropped my copy of the regs in the water and the words blurred....arghhh. when does stilly nfork go back to gear chuckers allowed?? my dad is a gearchucker (the good kind) and that would be fun to hit the nfork. just thinking. maybe there would be less people hittin that up. everywhere is madness. these chums sure are fun though a steelie would be nice.

~sean~
 
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