Saturday, April 23, 2016

Full Cry For Sea-Run Cutthroat Trout!



Your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing guide.
Catch and Release, fly fishing only!

Full Cry!


They posted these all over the place last week.
  When I was a young teenager I discovered the magical world of horses. Every chance that I got to ride a horse, or just be around horses, helping out at the farm and stables, etc., I was there. By the time I was sixteen years old I had left school, left home, and I was working with horses. I was in "full cry." That's an old foxhunting term, for the baying of the hounds, when the hounds have scented the fox, and they are hot on the trail, running hard and chasing down the fox. They won't give up, and nothing can stop them. It is an electrifying sight.You would never forget the sight of thirty or forty big hounds, racing across the countryside, spilling over the hills and leaping the fences and stonewall, filling the air with their mad, blood lusting, saliva slinging baying. 

   Right now our sea-run cutthroat trout fishing season is in jeopardy, due to being mixed up in the permitting process between the tribes, the state, and the federal government. And so far the co-managers have not been able to come to an agreement about the seasons, etc. Our salty cutthroat fishing is stuck in there somewhere, between the coho, and chinook, and the endangered species act, and a few centuries of hate between negotiating parties. Despite the fact that almost no one ever catches endangered or listed salmon species while they are sea-run cutthroat trout fly fishing, there are concerns about encountering those fish with our barbless hook flies. One thing that I have heard mentioned is that cutthroat fishermen may be hooking juvenile salmon on trout flies. I have seen that! 

  In my 15 + years of guiding on the saltwaters here, maybe six times we have caught salmon smolt. That's six smolt, total. I have a rule: If you catch a salmon or steelhead smolt. Stop fishing and move! Do not continue fishing when you know that there are smolt moving through an area. It's that simple. In the thousands of days of fishing that we have put in cutthroat fishing here, in the tens of thousands of hours, in the hundreds of thousands of casts, we have seen only a half dozen or so of real, ocean run salmon, caught on trout flies from the beaches. They all swam away handily, keeping the fly, after snapping off our four pound test tippets. One or two were easier to get into shallow water, in a minute or two at most, for an easy release. That's the threat?!
   
Here's a few notes on this:

Background:

http://wdfw.wa.gov/news/apr1916c/

http://www.seattletimes.com/sports/state-and-tribal-fishery-managers-at-an-impasse-on-puget-sound-salmon-fishing-season/

This one is being updated frequently: 
http://nwsportsmanmag.com/editors-blog/puget-sound-salmon-talks-back-on/


   So here's what I think we need to do. We need to show our support for our Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife managers, who have stuck their neck out in this process, refusing to sign off on stopping our catch and release cutthroat fishing in the saltwater. This time they have been working to protect our fishery, and our fishing.

    If ever there were an opportunity to demonstrate to our state fisheries managers what the significance and extent of the sea-run cutthroat trout fishery is here, the importance it holds for our community of conservation anglers, and the financial importance it holds for our state, this is the time to do it. They have been working to keep our catch and release game fish season open, for sea-run cutthroat trout, through this mess. They have continued to negotiate with the tribal co-managers. They have stood up for us. We need to make sure that they know that we stand in solidarity with them.
    I am sharing contact info for our Governor and WDFW managers. Please let them know what sea-run cutthroat trout fishing means to you, and what it would mean for you to lose it. If they can't come to an agreement, that could happen. They need to know how much you want to see them manage the gamefish season separately from this salmon war.

Let loose the hounds!! 



   Please write in support of our WDFW managers, thank them for their efforts on behalf of the angling community, and request that they keep our catch and release sea-run cutthroat trout fishing season open!

Governor Jay Inslee 
https://fortress.wa.gov/es/governor

WDFW Director James Unsworth 
jim.unsworth@dfw.wa.gov

Ron Warren Assistant Director Fish Program 


John Long WDFW Salmon Policy
john.long@dfw.wa.gov

P.S. I am optimistic that this is going to work out. So far we are having a great spring season for cutthroat on the beaches. Give me a call, or drop me a note, and I will tell you all about it.

This is probably the most relaxing way to fish for sea-run cutthroat.
One angler, maybe two, one day. Call or write for details.



Your Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide and Instructor

    I am guiding fly fishers on the Olympic Peninsula beaches, rivers and streams. We walk and wade, or row along the shorelines in the dory, fly fishing for sea-run Coastal Cutthroat trout in freshwater and saltwater, and in the rivers for Cutthroat trout and summer steelhead. This is all strictly catch and release, traditional, barbless single hook, fly fishing only. Lunch, snacks, soft beverages, and use of some equipment is included. I also offer personalized and private fly fishing and fly casting instruction for beginners through advanced casters. I would be happy to help you plan your Olympic Peninsula fly fishing adventure, for all levels of ability, beginner to expert. Public presentations, Naturalist Guide, rowboat picnics, tide pool and  river trail day trips. Please call, write or email for booking details. Now booking for April through October and beyond. 


Bob Triggs
Little Stone Flyfisher
P.O. Box 261
Port Townsend, WA
98368

Licensed Washington State Guide 
Certified Fly Casting Instructor
Trout Unlimited Aquatic Educator Award
2006 W.S.U.Beach Watcher / Water Watcher graduate
U.S.C.G First Aid/CPR/BLS/AED/BBP/HIV Certified

Phone: 360-385-9618


1 comment:

Unknown said...

Here is my letter I wrote:

I'm writing out of concern that the co-m a management impasse between the tribes and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife will impact the catch-and-release sea-run Cutthroat Fisheries Puget Sound and Hood Canal. This fishery is critical to more people then both sides realized. My 7 year old daughter and I have practice catch-and-release fishing on a weekly basis since she was old enough to hold of rod and many conservation minded people do the same.

I've been fishing Hood Canal for sea-run cutthroat trout for 16 years on a near weekly basis. On one occasion did I catch smolt. We quickly left that area and ended our fishing. The same practices need to be in place if possible.

The differences between a catch-and-release fly-fishing single barbless hook and having gillnets stretched from every single point from north of Dewatto to Tahuya on both sides of the canal and in many cases in the middle of the canal are not anywhere close to equal. I have had gill netters arrive in an area, circle me while I was anchored, and drive me out. I've had gill netters in the Skokomish River drift down and try and trap me with their nets before I realized they were even coming. It was difficult to run into the brush to get out of the way and not drown.

Thank you for fighting for conservation. I practice catch and release and believe that if the recreational fishing closes, so should the gill netting. At the same time, this should not include catch and release searun cutthroat fishing or seasons.

Thank you for your support.
Josh Zarling