Monday, November 30, 2009

Today is It!!!

Today is the final day to send in comments to the WDFW Commissions regarding 2010-2012 Sportfishing Rule changes. There's some important conservation proposals that need public comment, along with some strange ones like setting aside the best small-boat bottomfishing in the state for the dive community.

Here's a link to the proposals

Send in your e-mails on this final day... this was my final paragraph

"Washington State has seen dramatic declines in all of the fish stocks. To act as though there are fish populations immune to overfishing and decline is just putting your head in the sand. The best time to act for the future is to protect populations when they are abundant and not wait until action is beyond necessary. This goes not only for rockfish, but all other fish populations in the Northwest. The time to pretend that the past management that put our fish stocks on the brink will continue to work on the few remaining stocks deemed healthy is over. In 50 year, will the pictures of wheelbarrows full of rockfish from 2009 be perceived the same way as pictures of stringers of 100 trout from a century ago? You stand on the brink with the power to lead our fisheries into the next century with the knowledge that comes from watching management failures and using updated science. You can march into the future, or be dragged backwards by the institutional inertia of failed policies. It’s your choice, but we are watching and future citizens will judge you on what you do now."

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How things have changed

Found this passage while re-reading Steelhead Paradise


At the other extreme, I have a strong prejudice against the huge, two handed rods still widely used by British fishermen. I have found them very clumsy to handle, and not necessary on any streams I have ever fished either for steelhead or Atlantic salmon. My friend, Al Swinnerton of San Francisco, advised me that the Alta in Norway is just such a river. The swiftness of the current, the huge wet flies used, and the large size of the salmon all combine to dictate the use of unusually large and powerful tackle. It is only under such a set of circumstances, however, that I would concede the desirability of employing these old-fashioned 'telegraph poles.'"

My, how things have changed. Now, these old-fashioned "telegraph poles" are standard equipement on almost all steelhead rivers... of course they really are not telephone poles any more with the shorter and lighter weight spey rods. I know I really enjoyed fishing a 5/6 Loomis Metolius this fall. It held up throwing relatively large flies with tips on both the Deschutes and a Lake Erie trib. The trout I caught still were enjoyable and I didn't feel overgunned on the one bright lake-run steelhead I briefly hooked.

Hopefully, I'll still remember how to cast an old-fashioned "pencil" on smaller waters and the salt.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Feels Just Right

Finally have put stakes back down in the Pacific Northwest. It just feels right to be back after a long absence (September 2005).

It's always interesting how people determine what defines "home." For me, it seems the draw has always been the place, and the Pacific Northwest just feels right. After 15 years of living in one area, I guess it's normal to feel connected to the area. 4 years away does little to make that feeling go away. Of course, Central Oregon is different from Western Washington but a desert river with steelhead, salmon, and native trout beats a desert river with foreign brown trout. While the NW fisheries have been so damaged by hatcheries, one can still find native fish in their proper place, not just found in a few high mountain lakes and streams.

I look forward to exploring new areas and of course spending some time relearning fly fishing for steelhead. My few trips so far have been a lot of fun, of course without touching any steelhead. The lack of fish has not been without rewards though. The smells and sounds of the river are always a treat. From the juniper and sage along the river trail to the odor of rotting salmon resting along the river bank after hopefully having a successful spawn to create the next generation.

I've been watching the river flows for my favorite coastal river, and it looks like anything I learned about the river last February will be worthless, as the massive flows will wipe the slate clean and make each trip this winter a scouting trip. What's strange is that this is exactly what I love most about this stream and I look forward to tromping through the tangle of stream side brush with the ground covered with a new layer of glacial mud.

This blog will serve as a sounding board for me. I will post about fishing, tying, conservation, and basically any random thing I feel like.