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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
It seems that we are having a bit of honesty occurring here on the board. Well, I am going to get honest here. Now, I am not trying to target anyone but I am going to say my piece.

I am having a big problem with some of the pictures posted of salmon caught. Most of these fish are very dark leading me to believe they are spawning or very close to spawn. I believe that targeting fish on their spawning grounds is, at the very least, un-sportsman like and at the worst, illegal. I cannot nor will I ever understand targeting fish that are this far into the spawning process. I believe this type of fishing reflects badly on fly fishing and fly fishermen should hold to a higher standard.

I apologize if I have offended anyone here but I had to speak my mind. Honestly, if it turns out that the consensus of the members of the board thinks that the targeting of salmon this far into the spawning process is proper, I will leave.

Thank you,
Kerry L. Stratton
 

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Kerry, I hear ya about the targeting spawning fish, I dont like to do it, nor try to for that matter. As for the picture of the fish I posted, I wasn't targeting kings at the time, nor was expecting to catch one, and for gosh sakes, it was the biggest one I have ever caught. In fact I only saw a few caught all day. And the chums I was catching were all good fish, not nasty spawners.
 

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Hatchery fish...why are they any different? Are you honestly trying to tell me that because the lack of a fin makes them any different? OK...I have just thrown my own hanging rope into a tree, but come on...how do you know that hatchery fish don't mate with native fish? Something to ponder the next time you CR a so called native fish...it could be a biproduct of a "throw away" hatchery fish...yet considered a native. Am I missing something here? :DUNNO
 

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Honestly, if it turns out that the consensus of the members of the board thinks that the targeting of salmon this far into the spawning process is proper, I will leave.
I can't say that I disagree with Kerry's post. But I must say that I'm growing a bit weary of folks threatening to "leave" this forum over this that and the other issue. Isn't it just a liiiiiiittle bit childish? This is not a club. It's not a church. Its not a political party. Its just a very helpful (and often entertaining) on-line source of information. Take what you want, leave the rest, and be as nice as possible in the process. I get my feathers a little ruffled from time to time too, but "leaving" won't change those I disagree with or make them go away. As long as I can pick up a useful bit of information from time to time (and as long as Bob Lawless keeps posting stories) I'll keep checking in here. I hope you do to. :HAPPY

db

"If I don't catch them today, I'll catch them another day." Art Flick
 

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Be the guide...
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I'm no expert by far, but here's my .02 cents...

Finding redds is pretty simple (most of the time).
Salmon tend to spawn in the shallower water with a least a little to alot of current and even in the riffles and shallow water at the head of pools.

When the salmon makes the redd (like a nest), it 'sweeps' and digs the rocks and gravel with it's tail making a slight depression in the river bottom. You'll often notice the redd is a much lighter color than the surrounding river bottom because of the fresh digging\sweeping\clearing of the rocks and gravel. They are usually around 2 to 5 feet long by about 1 to 3 feet wide. Spawning salmon will be on or very close to their redds when not feeling threatened and will often become less wary the further in the spawning process they get - making them easy snagger targets.

When wading, pay close attention to the river bottom don't step in those spots that look like they may be redds - and don't walk to close on the down stream side where many of the eggs surely end up. In fact, stick to the bank if possible. When standing in the river casting, be careful of the old cast, step down, cast, routine as it becomes easy to forget about watching the river bottom and just trying to feel your way with your feet...

Fishing deep fast slots and deep pools is usually a safe bet when trying to avoid 'targeting' spawning fish. Of course all salmon (other than jacks) are trying to spawn, so it's really a judment call as to when they are on or off limits.

Personally, i prefer to catch bright fish - mainly because the tend to fight better, and if legal to keep, they certainly taste better. But I avoid fishing over obvious redds and take extra caution when wading in an area that may have redds.

You will also notice that the snaggers really like to target the redds because the fish are in plain site and in fairly shallow water.

I think targeting any fish that is willing to freely munch your fly is fair game as long as it's legal. The main difference to me is thinking about how I would rather spend my time - cathing a bunch of worthless boots that are about to spawn, or working a little harder to find the fresher fish that I may actually get to eat. If I'm just into C&R than I keep trying to get the fresh fish, and if there are no fresh fish around (like on the green river by hwy 18 right now), I don't even bother fishing for them.
 

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My dad used to say that if a guy had one foot in the fire and the other in ice. On the average, he would be just about right. I would say that having Bob Lawless on this site pushes us way over average. I can't even begin to tell you about the wealth of info or the friendships I've developed here.

As far as jumping into the fray of another controversial issue, I gotta go. I will take what I need and leave the rest. It ain't worth contributing to these threads. They are dead ends.

Now another Spey clave, that is something worth while.

Matt
 

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I feel the same way; targeting fish on redds or walking on redds that you can see is pretty bad etiquette.

BUT, I really wonder how often we catch fish that are on spawning beds that we can't see. Some people think that these fish are actually more likely to strike on their redd; sort of protecting their territory.

Of course, all of the steelhead and salmon that we catch are on their spawning runs; these are all ocean fish that are spending a portion of their adult lives here. We do our best to revive them, to send them on their way healthy, and that works in the majority of circumstances, but we all know in the back of our minds that we are having an impact, even if it is minor. One day someone is going to release a study that shows that even good C&R fishing has some kind of impact on the fish. I don't know what it will be; fewer eggs, a little less strength to get up that last rapid, whatever.

If we are really serious about never harrassing spawning fish, then I guess we shouldn't be fishing for them at all. It's a painful message but one that I think is true. I never intentionally target redds, but I also fish all the time over good steelhead holding water that undoubtedly contains redds that I can't see. Personally, I guess I'm not ready to give that up yet.


Circlespey
 

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Just curious,
somebody said that it should be alright to catch (or snag?) spawning hatchery fish...

How do you discern which redds are dug by native and/or wild fish and which redds are dug by hatchery fish? Seems to me that once you've snagged, exhausted and probably killed a spawning fish it's too late regardless of whether it's got an adipose or not! I know there are rivers and runs where you can pretty much bet you'll be into wild native fish or hatchery "zombies" but, come on, let 'em spawn. Killing spawning fish is not the answer. We'll never 'clean' out the genetics until runs we manage the runs and hatcheries better.
 

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A redd is where salmon have laid thier eggs. Recently on the NF stilly, I have seen plenty of redds, a circle of clean rocks in the river. fish will usually be on top of them, protecting them until they die. I have been fishing the stilly with my 5 wt rod and 5X leader and tippet, 90% of the time with size 16 or smaller dries. I have risen two salmon on a small dry, but thankfully never hooked up. I was shocked by it! they would bust me off instantly anyway. The SRC's are my target, and are often right behind the spawners. I have never caught anything but SRC's and a few smolt(not targeting) in the stilly. all on dry fly's. looking for my first Stilly steelhead this winter. :THUMBSUP YT
oops, I forgot, I caught 2 SRC's on spiders too.
 

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NOW I'M NOT GOING TO EVEN VENTURE A GUESS, BUT I WOULD BET A LOT OF US REALLY DONT KNOW THE REAL NOMENCLATURE, OR ITS ORIGIN OF A LOT OF THE TERMANOLIGY WE ALL USE... I'M SURE I'LL BE CORRECTED, BUT TO ME ITS LIKE A NAME THAT WE ALL USE FOR ITS INTENDED PURPOSE, BUT DONT KNOW REALLY WHY... ALL I KNOW THAT IS ITS JUST ONE WORD THAT IS ON A HUGE LIST...
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, maybe saying I'm going to leave is a little over the top. Here is why I say that. I see on this board a certain attitude towards fly fishing. An attitude that seems to not care about the traditions of fly fishing. An attitude that cares not about the fish or the water be it river or lake. Yeah, you guys pay it lip service but that is all I see, lip service. I don’t feel any sincerity here. I guess I don’t want to be a part of that attitude. You have convinced me of that.
 

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


It's really hard not to walk over spawning beds as there are fish spawning at different times of the year. First the were the Kings in the Stilly,then the Coho,then the Chums, and last but not least the Steelhead. So If you fish the Stilly mainly the N/F you are wading walking over redds. You just can't get away from it. The next best thing would be to stop all fishing in river so all the eggs can hatch. Is that what you all want that way we wouldn't be targeting spawning fish. We just wouldn't be fishing any more. And then we'd all become grumps.

Jim

edit: After what I wrote I sat and thought about it and it didn't make any sense. But being that it's already out there I will just leave it as such. I don't think I seem to know much about anything.

Jim
 

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One big differenc I see with hatchery fish is that they have escapement goals to make (they try this sort of with wild fish, but I'm not convinced the counts are very accurate). If they make the escapement goal, then they have enough fish to ensure a good future run. If they don't get enough fish, they can do emergency closures to protect the fish in the river so they have a better chance of making it to the hatchery (where they'll be bonked for their eggs).

If the hatchery no longer needs the fish to bonk for the eggs, then why not let anglers harvest (legally) some of the remaining hatchery fish. In fact, many hatcherys recycle fish - dumping the live fish into lakes and rivers where they can be caught again.

To think that fishing for a salmon in the salt is more 'right' than fishing for a salmon in a river seems pretty weird to me - unless the stock is at risk and they really need as many spawners back as possible - then they should just shut the river down and figure out ways to protect the fish in the salt so more can come back next time...
 

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Sorry but I have to say something here??

"Yeah, you guys pay it lip service but that is all I see, lip service"... how do you know this if you do not see that particular person actually fishing? Pointing fingers at a group is going to ruffle feathers and ruffled feathers bring out defensive attitude originated posts.

"An attitude that seems to not care about the traditions of fly fishing."... I was brought in to flyfishing by the grace of God and no one man. I brought myself into the sport and have used common sense in the way I fish, target fish, catch fish, release fish, and enjoy my time in the wilderness. Because of the way I became part of the sport I had no tradition taught ethics, for lack of better terminology. Does this make me have an attitude?? I do not know, maybe??

Maybe someone could post about their traditional ways of flyfishing and enlighten the younger generation of tatooed, attitude having, idiots that seem to be plagueing this board of traditional born flyfishermen?

I do apologize but I guess Im just getting tired of feeling like a part of a group that is being targeting for being younger and fairly new to the sport. A group that maybe does not support traditional standards for some unknown reason. I LOVE FLYFISHING and I think this site is excellent. I have learned alot here. However I have yet to see traditions posted, although I keep hearing alot about not being traditional?? Please help me, and the rest of my group, understand what we need to do.

Thanks
~Patrick
 

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Ceviche, if you don't know what a redd is, you should probably learn more about our rivers and fisheries before stomping off into the water. Looks like the above posts do a good job of explaining to you how to spot a redd, but some time in the field looking for/at them will give you insight into where they are usually located, and how to know when fish are on their redds spawning.
 
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