Poppy's Spey Casting Forum
Register Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment   Page 1 of 2      1   2   Next
Darryl Rigets

Member
Registered:
Posts: 77
Reply with quote  #1 
Numbers

I have been reading a good number of fishing related books this year, maybe because of the weather.

Most are steelhead fly fishing related, I have noticed that there are a good number of individuals that keep track of the number of fish they catch. In their diaries or journals they take notes of the pool or run, the fly, the size of hook, fish size etc.
Some catch a good number of fish. For example, one book describes this fellows (the author) guided trips over a 30 year span he goes to the same rivers year after year. He has over the years caught and released hundreds and hundreds of fish. On one trip over a two week period I added up all the instances and he caught and released 49 steelhead and that wasn't his best year.
There are hundreds of fishermen that fish the same rivers and I suspect many catch good numbers of fish as well, how many keep track of the fish they catch I don't know.

I did not realize that so many fly fisherman were so concerned about numbers, it always seemed to me that that sort of thing was a bait or gear fishermen thing.

I have always been happy with a fish or two per day per month or less. Over a year I might intercept 6 or 8 fish. When I travel to Rivers like the Thompson or the rivers in the Skeena watershed like the The Bulkley or The Morice or The Copper if I catch a fish or two over the period of a week I am very happy. I spend some of the time visiting or taking photos or just sitting on the rivers edge taking it all in. Numbers have never really entered into the equation for me except for one or two fish per trip.

I suspect when you are paying for a guided trip its all about numbers to make your trip worth the money.

I just wonder what impact the numbers thing has on numbers of fish that successfully spawn.
I work in the fish habitat field so I am well aware of what the studies suggest when we compare interceptions by native and commercial fisheries and that there is a huge suggested difference between them and the sport fishery. I am not positive but I don't believe many studies include all of the fish caught and released by sports fishermen from all the river systems that have steelhead.

I know of fly fishermen that stay in Spences Bridge on the Thompson for weeks or months and fish every day.

Just saying I am not positive that the fish interception by sports fishermen is all that insignificant. I  wonder why some fishermen have to catch so many fish to satisfy their need of proving themselves successful and then keep track of it in such detail? Maybe its just those that plan to write a book?
 
Don't get me wrong, I am not saying that keeping a diary is a bad thing its the diary's and journals that I have read about over that past few months that brought me to the realization of how many fish are caught by some fishermen.
It makes me wonder if there should be some sort of limit on some rivers.

I suspect some of the data recorded in a fisherman's diary are fudged a little but even if you subtract the 10%-20% bull_hit factor some guys still catch a lot of fish.
Jonathan Barlow

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 146
Reply with quote  #2 
Darryl;

You raise some really good points here. I fundamentally believe that fly fisherman /steelheaders are divided in to two camps - ones that count every fish and ones that fish for the learning process. I flatter myself that I fall into the second bucket. I suspect that a lot of the numbers guys beef up their numbers, where the "students of fishing" either don't say anything or downplay their success. Case in point is my brother, one of the fishiest guys I know, who never ever talks about catch rates. His philosophy has been " I used to count stuff all day at work, why would I do that when I am fishing?"

As to expecting results from a guided trip, that may be the case sometimes but I took a day of guiding a couple of years ago. We turned the guide on to how we wanted to fish and the catch rate was one fish for two of us for the whole trip. The bonus was the close friendship we now share with the guide, even though he smokes all my cigars.

I know some of those guys who spend weeks on the Thompson too. One of them, spent 19 days the year before last and had one fish. He was delighted.

I think it really comes down to if the steelheader can get to the point where their ego is out of it, then numbers don't matter and it is all about the experience. By extension, if you think of hero shots as simply a reflection of the fisherman's ego, then you have to wonder when you are looking at someone's album that's all hero shots; "Wow, that ego is getting in the way of some really beautiful fish. "

Anyway, a kind of meandering way of saying I totally get you.

__________________
http://barlowphotoarts.blogspot.ca/
Hated Banker, Photographer, Ne'er do well
FRSCA-Founding Member
Ken Campbell

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 102
Reply with quote  #3 
Not bad for a hated banker. I think, (as you two, and my Father do) that fly fishing for steelhead is truly a gentleman's sport. As such something banal like numbers would ruin the feel of the thing. More to the point for me is the taste of it, the aroma, the evanescent nature of the pursuit itself, that and drinking my brothers whisky.
__________________
Just because I look stupid don't mean I ain't.

Caledonian Heathen
FRSCA -Founding Member
Bruce Kruk

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 357
Reply with quote  #4 
It really is more than just catching a fish........it's the journey not the prize that keeps me coming back.
Hanging with good friends, a great cast, a perfect drift even though there was no grab, a nap on shore or in the boat while friends go thru a great piece of water.
The fish are just a bonus!

__________________
Bruce Kruk
Team Gaelforce
Speyed trout guide on the upper Columbia
Mark Stangeland

Avatar / Picture

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 21
Reply with quote  #5 
A definite change of mindset has taken place as far as how I approach fishing anymore. I have caught lots, I have caught big, I have caught them using a preferred method or fly. Now it's so much more about the people and places I get to go to share time with on the river.

I must quote brother Marty here once again because it's so true. " Yeah steelhead are the goal, but not the point"

Hands down some of the best times of the last two years was sitting around after a good day on the river talking to Poppy and the brothers in the pasture over a good meal and some Scotch. We caught many fish in that pasture.......

That banker guy always shows up about the time the steaks are done and the sippy teas are chilled. I think I left you at least one cigar....
Jonathan Barlow

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 146
Reply with quote  #6 
Just wait Dude, you're hooked on the Lanceros now...
__________________
http://barlowphotoarts.blogspot.ca/
Hated Banker, Photographer, Ne'er do well
FRSCA-Founding Member
Poppy Cummins

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 699
Reply with quote  #7 
The numbers no longer mean much to me either. As I've gotten older my body is punishing me for the way I treated it when I was young so I've slowed down quite a bit when hiking and wading. While I still get pretty excited with the grab and a screaming reel I get a lot of my pleasure from listening to a riffle, smelling the river, looking at my tackle and flies, visiting with my friends when they visit, tying a fly now and then, talking to kids about fly tying and fishing and listening to their excitement, talking to Daisy and the other dogs that visit here, and helping people get the right tackle that works for them.

The above are some of the things that have become part of "steelheading" for me. If I get a really bad need for catching a number of shinny fish I go crappie fishing. They're silver, you can usually catch a lot, and they are so good to eat.

__________________
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
Todd Hirano

Member
Registered:
Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #8 
While I fish for the total experience and am not a numbers guy, I can't help but keep track of each fish I catch because I catch so few of them!!  Whether due to my chosen methods or just my fate in typically not being the one who catches a lot of steelhead, I treasure each and every steelhead I encounter.  While I love catching just as much as any one, the reality that I am one who has to make extra thousands of casts for each steelhead makes my rare successes sweet.  As already mentioned, the comradrie of good friends, being in special places, and enjoying the blessings of being out in God's creation is always enough.

Todd

__________________
My Blog:
Dry Line Steelhead - Oregon
http://toddhirano.blogspot.com/
Bob Greenberg

Member
Registered:
Posts: 36
Reply with quote  #9 
Numbers are certainly not the whole thing.  As Albert Einstein said:

"Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts."

rg
William Olson

Member
Registered:
Posts: 37
Reply with quote  #10 
I have kept track of my pursuit of steelhead and salmon since day one.  Every day I have fished, fish moved, hooked and landed are recorded.  The flies, how deep, where in the pools, water temps and conditions.  Wildlife spotted.  Interesting encounters with others.  Mundane encounters with others.  Deep philosophical reflections on self, family, relationships, rivers, fish and so on.  Basically recording the moment, not just body counts...

Every once in a while I will go back and read some of the stuff.  Interesting to see how my perceptions and inner feelings have changed over the past two decades.  Some things I am every bit as passionate...others no longer have a hold on me.   

I like catching fish.  Sometimes even a lot of fish.  And big fish.  Difficult fish.  Most like the ones that stick out as 'memorable'.  But I like fishing A LOT more than catching.  Have always been that way, water is where I feel most comfortable.  Especially moving water.  Even better if that water touches the ocean and happens to contain native and wild salmon and steel.  For now it contains possibilities, the experience itself is intoxicating.  For me these fish complete the circle of this cycle, the glue binding the experience.  Not the catching but the fish themselves.  Big difference between body counts and the potential of something special, whatever that may be.

In recent years my journey has taken a different turn.  First and foremost the life change of taking a very part time hobby and making it a 'career'.  This opened the door for some extended trips, the stuff that always made my teeth hurt I wanted it so bad as a younger man.  Just like 'The River Why', my new found 'ideal schedule' pretty much burned itself out in short order.  You can get too much of a good thing.  Except there are Atlantic salmon...they are my 'dream fish'.  Hopefully I will never be able to get too much of them!!!  
Wayne Peterson

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 3
Reply with quote  #11 

I will admit that I tend to count grabs vs. fish landed when fishing with friends, and then talk about it after the day is done.  But I don’t keep track over a longer period of time.  Meaning that I don’t count for the season or year, just for the trip.  It makes the campfire more fun to me I guess.


__________________
Tight Lines,
•`•..•´•`•. .•´•`•¸. , . .><((((º>
WAYNE PETERSON / RIO Products
Todd Hirano

Member
Registered:
Posts: 53
Reply with quote  #12 
I just had some throughs in response to the OP's statements on the impacts of catch and release on survival and spawning success on steelhead, some that have been hooked/landed multiple times.  I recall seeing some studies done on C and R mortality (I think on the NFS website) and can't recall the specifics, but I do recall not suprisingly, that the best C and R survival rates being when single barbless hooks are used and higher mortality with bait and multipoint (treble hooks) used.  At any rate, C and R fishing even under the best conditions with anglers fishing single barbless hooks/no bait and careful handling of fish landed leaves some impact, even if a small percentage of mortalty.  

My paradox is that while I like to think of myself as a mellow, laid back guy, when I'm out fishing, I fish with the persistence, concentration, and determination of of a person who wants to catch as many as possible, can't deny it.  Thankfully, my chosen methods inherently provides limitations on numbers of steelhead I'll catch in a day or season.  Fishing a swung fly full time and also fishing a dry line in winter generally keeps my tally well below those fishing gear/bait, indis/eggs, and skagits/tips.  However, even with these self-imposed restriants, some folks (usually not me) will experience the banner days where crazy numbers of steelhead can be caught on the swung fly.  When is enough - enough?  The most steelhead I've landed in day is 3 (on skaters).  I feel pretty satisfied with one steelhead in a day's fishing and any more is just gluttonous to me.  Not a problem I've had to deal with yet, but if I had a crazy day of catching, I know I'd have to stop myself at some reasonable number in consideration of the impact I'd be having on the fish. 

Todd   

__________________
My Blog:
Dry Line Steelhead - Oregon
http://toddhirano.blogspot.com/
Ken Campbell

Avatar / Picture

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 102
Reply with quote  #13 
So here's an interesting question. If indeed one fish in a day is enough, do you quit for the day if you get one in the morning? I had a dream sequence morning a few years ago where I landed three fish in the space of an hour and a half. I quit for the day. I've slacked off terribly after a morning success. I may be just lazy.......
__________________
Just because I look stupid don't mean I ain't.

Caledonian Heathen
FRSCA -Founding Member
Richard Harrington

Junior Member
Registered:
Posts: 13
Reply with quote  #14 
At the very least, Ken, I think I'd have stopped for a nap, then decided how I felt.
Bruce Kruk

Avatar / Picture

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 357
Reply with quote  #15 
I recall a day on the snake that was just stupid......after the third or fourth fish I stopped enjoying what is so special about what we do and was consumed with getting the next fish in and off so I could move on to the next......in the end when I reflected on the day I was disgusted with myself for my greed. To say the least that will never happen again and enjoy every sight and sound and drift of my fly like it might be my last and am ever thankful for whatever the river gods offer up.
__________________
Bruce Kruk
Team Gaelforce
Speyed trout guide on the upper Columbia
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.