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Poppy Cummins

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Posts: 739
Reply with quote  #1 
Here on the Clearwater River in Idaho we have a depressed run this year with numbers well below the 10 year average. With these very low numbers and talk in some circles of closing the river entirely to steelhead fishing some of us have been discussing our impact as fly fishers on the resource. While fly fishermen and fisherwomen probably have the least mortality impact of any gear method we still do have an impact. Some of us have broached the subject of limiting our catching to say something like landing one fish a day and you are done for the day. I am curious to hear the opinion of other steelhead anglers in regards to this subject. Good, bad, or ugly, what say you?
Poppy=Red Shed Spey Rod Pimp http://www.redshedflyshop.com FRSCA-Founding Member How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
Fritz Fiedler

Junior Member
Posts: 12
Reply with quote  #2 
I am considering a couple things. One, cutting off the hook point, so that I get to feel the tug, but that's about it. Not sure yet where to cut it off - all the way, half way around the bend, or maybe 3/4 way around the bend. Leaving more "hook" may give the chance to have a little fight, but allow the fish to come unbuttoned pretty quickly. The other thing I have considered is to use very light tippet, like 4 pounds or so, so the fish breaks off easily. Maybe these two approaches could even be combined, to make sure the fly easily detaches from the fish after it breaks off. I haven't had the chance to fish much yet, and maybe I'll wait to try these after landing at least one for the season.
Mike Bell

Junior Member
Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #3 
One and done would be fine with me, as one is a blessing and rare anyways. Also proper tackle and conscious landing practices . For instance keeping them in at least knee deep water away from the rocks. They're not having an easy time why should we walk into shallow water to make the fight easier on us.  Forego the hero shots and keep the fish in the water as well. The time you spend fumbling with the camera alone is wasted precious time let alone the time pulling the fish out of water. just my thoughts.
Joel nowlin

Junior Member
Posts: 2
Reply with quote  #4 
All very good points. What options do we exercise at this time.I don't know. But fly fisherman mostly are gear and gadget whores. Get dialed in and land fish properly without sweating the loss. Pull like hell and when they run let them. Get your knots tight and your bank etiquette right...know or see where you can land the fish safely before you do it.
The Clearwater isnt the catch game anyway...beauty abounds and the river is gorgeous in so many seasons and currents.
My honest take is be responsible, fish with integrity. The gill nets, fuel companies, whale killers, longliners, canning industries and the fact that a dumptruck of plastic goes into the oceans every hour of every day...its always the small guys who really get the big picture but are asked to pay the price. Then again I can't vote so woe is me
Brian Colin

Junior Member
Posts: 25
Reply with quote  #5 
We are having exactly the same problem here on the Tweed in Scotland with catches of Atlantic Salmon falling away from phenomenal in 2010 then dwindling to very very low this season.   Tweed is a river which for the past 40 years or so is noted for a late run of quite large salmon.   This summer we had a very unsettled river...either too low or up and down levels resulting in low May through August catches.   Now the September and October runs have failed to materialise and all that is being caught are very stale 'kipper' salmon which entered the river from May onward.

We also have had increased avian predation, the local coastline is absolutely full of seals and even the bottle-nosed dolphin has started to colonise the salt water.   Culling in any form can lead to a prison sentence.   But fortunately the East coast is free of salmon farms and the attendant problems of lice, escapes and cross breeding all of which have all but ruined the West Coast rivers.   We also in late 2015/early 2016 had massive flooding which will have done untold damage to the spawning beds...the effect of which is yet to hit us.

What to do?   We, collectively, simply do not know.   It is clear that there are problems at sea which we as yet cannot accurately define...costal netting is taking a very large quantity of our returning fish; but it always has.

The moves which you West Coast people are considering seem sensible and the advice implied in AJ MORRIS's post are essential both here and for you 'over there' where you appear to be more concerned than the British fisherman appears to be; so many just shrug their shoulders and change the subject.
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