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PostPosted: February 20th, 2003, 10:13 pm 
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Wanna-be Maineiac

Joined: December 15th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Montana
I will agree with these findings 100 percent. You just have to look at numbers to understand this. Rivers like the Bighorn that had 8 thousand fish per mile now have a few hundred. While catch and release does work you will have to ask yourself "How many times can a fish be caught and released before it dies"? When you see fish with 5 flies in there mouth it makes one wonder. When you have 1,000 fishermen a day in 13 miles of water? Well you do the math. <BR> <BR>One other thing that I feel hurts fish in a big way is people using 1 and 2 wgt rods and light tippets on larger fish. While these rods are fine for small fish and small streams I feel that they hurt far more fish than they help on our larger rivers and fish. You just can't play and land larger fish on these light tods and tippets without doing the fish harm. The smallest line size that I use is a 3wgt. I know that I can land larger fish in good time with this size line and rod. I have seen many fish die when the smaller rods are used on our larger rivers and fish. I know that people think that they are releaseing fish in good shape because the fish swims off looking like it is good shape. When in fact they turn belly up down stream and die. <BR> <BR>I have found that it is a very rare day when I have to go below 6x to take fish. In truth it is the persentation that is the most important part of the game. You just have to get the fly over the fish before the leader and it has to be drag free. You do not need 8x or 9x to get a fish to take. you just have to persent the fly in the right way. Good Fishing. The OldGuide

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PostPosted: February 21st, 2003, 7:55 am 
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While I do agree there is some mortality rate I don't believe it is that high because of the fish you do catch that have been caught several times when I am fishing highly pressured rivers I see people catching lots of fish and not once have I had belly up fish come floating by me. Maybe I am just naive but I don't think it is as high as reported just my opinion.

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PostPosted: February 21st, 2003, 9:32 am 
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Steve; <BR> <BR> I wish you'd posted a link to that study--I'd like to read it. <BR> <BR> I'm no scientist (and never pretended to be); but I'd like to see his "controls". How come he's getting a 30 % mortality rate when every other study done on Salmonids gives a C&R mortality rate between 3 and 4 % (for fly caught fish). He's getting a 10 times mortality rate? Strange..... <BR> <BR> And, by the way. WHAT C and R? Is he using Fly only; Barbless hook? Is he using ALO? (Single hook or treble?) Bait?? All of the above skewer the figures. I'd take this study with a rather large grain of salt until I see his proof, and his scientific methods. <BR> <BR> Dave M

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PostPosted: February 21st, 2003, 10:41 am 
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You would think that we would see more dead fish on C&R waters. I hardly see any. Maybe a couple a year. I am sure that OG sees more but I still doubt that fishing C&R/artificial lures has a large impact on mortality. <BR>As for the ultra light fly gear, I really don't think that many people fish with them. When I worked at big flyshops, we would only sell a few a year. OG, do you have a lot of clients bringing 0-1-2 weights on trips?


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2003, 12:59 pm 
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I think you don't see the dead fish because they usually take a while to suffer and die. sometimes as muchas a full day. I have seen studies that indicate that all trout start to suffer from stress at a 70 degree water temperature. Which makes me keep a stream thermometer with me at all times, and has me make a plan "b" if the water temperature is over 65 in the morning. It is important to know though what the water temperature is between 4 and 6 pm because that is when it is warmest. I think too that too many anglers don't use a net to land their catches. I use mine most of the time.

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2003, 2:06 pm 
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I think the whole context of the study must be stated in water temps above 70. I was actually surprised that the figures were that low because i would have estimated them as higher.

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2003, 9:32 pm 
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Joined: December 15th, 2001, 1:00 am
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Location: Montana
Frist let me say that we get many people here fishing 0,1, and 2 wgt rods. You have to remember that people all over the country buy thses rods and come here to fish. While a store there may sell 2 or 3 of these rods in a season there are many stores around the country that do like wise and a lot of the people that buy them get to Montana to use them. <BR> <BR>I think that the problem that we have is that we kind of live in our own worlds. We know what we do and how we do it. But what you have to think about is that there are one heck of a lot of people out there that do not think as we do. While you and I amy play a fish fast and do all that we can to make sure that the fish is released as it should be many do not. <BR> <BR>Here in Montana I have seen it all. Spending over 100 days a year on these rivers you see just about all there is to see. The good the bad and the down right ugly. People that know better seem to lose all of there smarts at times. I had a fellow that I had guided for 4 years. We were fishing the Missouri River. He landed a 22 inch brown trout and because he wanted to get back to the fish that were working he took the hook out and just throw the fish over his shoulder into the water. We had a few words over that and that was the last time that I took him fishing. I have seen people keep a fish out of water for many minutes taking picture of that fish. I know that the fish died. This happens a lot not just now and then. At times it seems that people go brain dead. And believe it or not Pictures kill a lot of fish. <BR> <BR>Rivers like the Mussouri and the Bighorn get hit so hard that catch and release does hurt them. While it helped them for some years how many times can a fish be caught and released without doing it harm? When you think of 1,000 fishermen in a 13 mile streach of river day after day it is easy to see how catch and release can hurt fish. Not all people will handle a fish right. I would guess that half of them don't do it right? While catch and release gave these rivers a longer life it is starting to show in the numbers of fish per mile. The Fish and Game may say one thing but in private I have had them say a different thing. They in no way want to lose the number of people coming to this state to fish. There is just to much money in it for the state and the Fish and Game. I guess you can't blame them. <BR> <BR>There is nothing scientific about this just being on these rivers for many years and seeing first hand what is happening. Catch and Release does work but not all of the fly fishermen out there think and act as we do. I think that we have to remember that point. Good Fishing to you all. The OldGuide

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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2003, 10:22 pm 
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Anybody ever fish hookless dryflies in high-stress water? I've only heard of it being done, never done it myself on purpose, though by accident a few times with the rusted out nasty old fly from the old box dunked in water too many times. I think you'd get a lot of the joy of dry fly fishing, without actually stressing the fish by playing them. This seems to make sense for fishing a lot of summer evenings, when the water is warm and the fish are feeding on surface dries. <BR> <BR>I usually just fish bass and pickerel in the hot months.


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PostPosted: February 22nd, 2003, 10:42 pm 
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A couple of observations: <BR>It seems to me that the problem on the Bighorn and the Missouri is not C&R but it is having 1 fisherman every 69 feet for 13 miles! <BR>I don't necessarily see rod weight as an issue here - my favorite rod is a wispy 2wt and while I don't catch a whole lot of big fish, I 've caught enough to know that I can't horse in a big fish on a 6X (or 5X) tippet any faster on my 5wt than my 2wt. <BR>C&R mortality rates will always be debatable, but as long as we're fishing, I think it's hard to argue that thoughtful C&R flyfishing causes the least damage to the resource. <BR>Man! it gets like this every year at this time!Think Spring!

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2003, 12:49 am 
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Brian- I think you missed my point? I could be wrong? <BR> <BR>You maybe able to use a light rod and do well by the fish that you catch with it. Most people can't. There are all different skill levels in fly fishing and most people just can not handle that light of a rod properly when playing large fish in western rivers. I have seen people play fish on these light rods until even good guides could not bring the fish around. They just do not know how much pressure they can put on a fish with these light rods without breaking off so they play the fish way to long. <BR> <BR>As for the Horn and The Missouri you are right there are to many people. But you also have to understand that most of them do not know how to release a fish or take a picture of a fish properly. They lay the fish on the bank or a rock, find there camera, get things set up and snap a picture. This can remove the slim from a fish and having a fish out of water that long can kill them. Even if they swim off they can still die. They may not know better but some do. They may just get caught up in all of it. You have to remember that all fishermen do not think alike and do not have the same skill level as you or anyone else. We have to try and think as they do. Hard to do but it does help to understand some of this. After guiding for better than 35 years I have seen about all you can see on a river. Remember the old saying that "10 percent of the fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish" Now think of that in skill levels. Or in knowing what rod they should really use, or the way to release a fish, or play a fish, or even take a picture of a fish. We just have to try and think as they do. Not what we can do. I hope that you can see my point. The OldGuide<BR><BR><font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: OldGuide on 2003-02-22 23:54 ]</font>

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2003, 7:13 am 
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i once saw an angler on a pond catch a fish almost every cast for about one half hour. He released all those fish very quickly but one floated belly up. He was on shore and i was in my boat so i went over and tryed three times to let the fish go. I gave this angler the dirty look and waited for him to say something but he just showed no remorse at all. I took the fish home and ate it. The thing is this guy is a experienced flyfishermen and involved heavily in his local tu chapter.( I found this out at a later date. ) <BR> <BR>In current i think that two weights are totally inadequate to play larger fish. There is some advantage with a shorter rod, i see brians arguement about the tippett stregth being equal on whatever size rod. But it is when the fish do allow their heads to be turned that the 5 weight will play the fish easier in my mind.

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2003, 10:47 am 
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Location: Rockland, Maine
Where do barbless hooks fit into this discussion? Often when I use a net with barbed hooks I have the hook barb getting caught in the net and making it very difficult to release the fish in a timely mannner or in the water because I can't get the barb out of the net. If I pinch the barbs down to give the fish a better chance, I find that I tend to play the fish longer than I would if I didn't have to worry about losing it. I have many cut holes in my catch and release netting which I would sooner replace than kill a fish.

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2003, 11:51 am 
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RJ, as the original post stated <BR>"an alarming number of released fish will die despite the anglers best efforts." It's a fact of life and fishing. We all kill fish unintentionally; they may not all die in front of us but many die later from shock and fatigue regardless of how carefully handled and released. <BR> <BR>I’m trying to understand the point you were attempting to make in you post above. Was the “dirty look” given this “TU member and experienced flyfisherman” one of regret for the fish or distain for the fisherman? You stated he caught a bunch of fish and released them all quickly. Did he make a best effort to protect each fish? Seems like if he “caught a fish every cast” and only one floated up he was doing his best. If you felt this guy was out of line I certainly would like to know where you think he went wrong. It might help me save more fish. <BR> <BR>Catch and release fishing is going to kill some fish, beginning fisherman will kill more, experienced fisherman will kill less but all of us will kill some fish inadvertently. <BR> <BR>Al <BR> <BR>

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PostPosted: February 23rd, 2003, 1:11 pm 
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I have followed this post with interest, and Al asked a good question, which I hope gets answered. <BR> <BR>On a different slant, here are two points about catch and release: <BR> <BR>1) First, careful release may be important, but it is less of a consideration than many would like us to believe. For example, about eight years ago, DIF&W put on a fish-stocking demonstration for several hundred outdoors writers from across the country. A DIF&W plane flying a little over 80 miles per hour dropped brook trout from a height of about 100 to 200 feet into the Stillwater River near the University of Maine, Orono campus. They were good-sized brookies, and damned few of them died then and there. The speaker said mortality is low from aerial stockings. In short, if I decided to throw a released fish as hard as I could at the surface, it wouldn't be traveling 80 miles per hour. That's something to think about. <BR> <BR>2) I have accompanied fisheries biologists on electro-fishing expeditions on several occasions. They put the fish into a pail of water, carry them around for an hour or more in warming, stagnant water and later weigh and measure the fish, which leaves a layer of scales all over the measuring box -- if the fish are browns and salmon. I have also watched fin clipping, which is more of the same -- scales in thick layers around the clipping box. <BR> <BR>Biologists handling fish for research and stocking with airplanes add far more stress to fish than most novice anglers do, and the fish swim on. <BR> <BR>Here's another point. Most of my life, I stop salmonid fishing when the water temperature reaches 70 degrees. (I'm not talking surface temperature, either, but rather, down close to bottom.) I never did this to save fish, though. I did it because such temperatures create lousy fishing for salmonids. <BR> <BR>Steve, this is definitely not aimed at you, but on these boards in the past, I see people picking away at catch and release, which is good. It makes us think more seriously about the practice. However, with all things equal and depending on salmonid species and water temperatures, 2 percent to 4 percent caught on flies die after release, 4 percent to 5 percent on artificial lures die and 30 percent to 90 percent on bait die. That is science, not whim. Of course, 100 percent of the fish we kill for the frying pan do not survive. Obviously, catch and release is the future.


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