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PostPosted: March 25th, 2018, 12:31 pm 
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Dave M wrote "I believe I even remember reading on last years thread on this topic that a warden can ticket an angler for trolling if your anchored by only one anchor and the wind causes the boat to swing around while your fly is in the water."

I mentioned earlier in this thread that people would write pointing out the hundreds of legitimate reasons a fly can be dragged through the water while not being stripped by the angler. This is obviously one of those reasons. Ok. I've got one: I can be ticketed because when I fell out of my canoe I held onto my fly rod, and on my way to the bottom my fly was dragging through the water and not being stripped in.. If I got ticketed for that I'd complain too!

Let's keep our eye on the ball. Remember : common sense , pattern of behavior and intent.

Dave M wrote," I truly think that 99+% of us know trolling when we see it and when we don't". Dave I thought this too. My original post was aimed at beginners who might not be aware. It blew me away when I read some of the responses to that first thread. It appeared to me that many anglers were interpreting the FFO and trolling rules in a way that suited their fishing styles and not the way intended by the rule book. I thought I could help with some level of clarification. At least provide a base line to start from. That's why I repeated it.


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2018, 1:09 pm 
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Hatch, believe it or not, I think we mostly agree. I'd just like to see more consistency on both ends of the spectrum--what an angler do to avoid getting a ticket written, and what a warden can do to avoid having a conviction overturned by some smart-ass lawyer.

And like many things that seem obvious, when you try to capture it in writing, it's not as simple as it seems. I sit over at the Legistature's DIFW Committee Room for public hearings and work session on proposed bills. Believe me, getting these kind of details right is important.

As for the "Kennebago troll", that's what those of us who consider it illegal call it. I think the plain letter of wording in the rule book makes that obvious--"trailing a line rigged to catch fish behind a watercraft". Ditto for dragging the fly behind the boat while paddling or riding a 20 mph wind.

But I'm still trying to figure out how a line trails in front of a watercraft . . . .


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2018, 1:28 pm 
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Jeff Reardon wrote, "I'm still trying to figure out how a line trails in front of a watercraft"
Jeff, I am not often at a loss for words but you've got me on that one!


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PostPosted: March 25th, 2018, 8:50 pm 
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How many fish did the fellow catch with this method?

:wink:

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2018, 9:16 pm 
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Hatch, we agree on one simple point, that anglers should follow the regs.
Why is this particular reg enforced to the letter of the law, however, when other regs are routinely broken and hardly ever a warden around to enforce? My guess is that it's much easier for a warden to stand in a boat, or on the shoreline, with a high-powered pair of binoculars and spot infractions, then spring upon the offenders, versus beating the bush along deciduous-lined riverbanks.
These ponds may be your backyard, Hatch. I get it. But come on down to the Oxford Hills and Lakes Region (Sebago) and see the worm dunkers and metal chuckers on one of Maine's original Landlocked Salmon rivers. Which is S-5 and rated AA. Where are the wardens??
hatch wrote:
Trolling a fly gives the fisherman a tremendous advantage over the customary casting and retrieving .

So does a triple-fly rig "drifted" through a pod of fish holding in a pool in a river. But that's legal. And are Wardens standing there ticketing people for snagging fish (illegal)? Maybe so maybe not, certainly not in most places I fish. Does snagging happen? Of course it does.
I guess I have no pity for the fool blowin' in the wind all the way across a pond who eventually gets pinched. But the guy who gets turned around by a gust?
There's bigger fish to fry.

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PostPosted: March 25th, 2018, 11:04 pm 
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Maineangler, I can understand your frustration with watching infractions in your area and there being no wardens to catch the violators. There are plenty of fish and game infractions in my area that go uncontested by law enforcement. I don't think this has as much to do with the wardens patrol habits as it does with the fact that there are insufficient funds to pay an adequate number of wardens to cover their territories sufficiently. I am with you 100% with this frustration.

Maineangler wrote " I guess I have no pity for the fool blown in the wind all the way across the pond who eventually gets pinched,
but the guy who gets turned around by a gust. " Years ago a warden gave me this simple explanation to clarify the FFO /trolling controversy, "If the motion of your craft effects the motion of your fly you are trolling".

Now, there are of course hundreds of circumstances where the movement of the craft and ultimately the fly, is something unintentional and out of the anglers control. An anchored craft being blown around was sighted as an example in this thread. No one is going to be ticketed for his anchored craft moving back and forth as the wind blows it. I countered, tongue in cheek, "An angler could also fall out of his canoe, hold on to his rod and break the rule as he plummets to the bottom of the pond dragging his fly behind him." Of course not! I am making a joke to make the point that a warden is going to use common sense to determine if, by his actions, the fisherman is intentionally breaking the rules to gain an advantage. Common sense, pattern of behavior, and intent are all taken into consideration in the wardens judgement.

Now let me see if I can head off any other comments relating to circumstances occurring on the water that may discredit my FFO/ Trolling definition. Let me see; A water spout can lift your entire craft into the air spinning it around wildly causing your fly to drag in circles in the pond below. Here's another, a UFO could flash a beam on your fly and cause it to skim wildly across the water. To all you literal thinkers out there I am only kidding to make a point! :D


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PostPosted: March 26th, 2018, 8:06 am 
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I just use a 200' anchor line and drift all around per the whims of the wind, yet I'm still anchored. :lol:

kidding of course. :wink:

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PostPosted: March 27th, 2018, 10:24 am 
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Location: Twin Bridges, Mt.
My comment related to this is whether the fly and fly line sinking while moving could somehow be constituted as trolling. Slow sink intermediate fly lines take a while to get down to the depth a person might want them at. On the Blackfoot lakes you want to be stripping just above the weeds which are often 5-6' below the surface.


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2018, 10:53 am 
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A few years ago I was given a verbal warning for "trolling" on an FFO pond. I was in my float tube and while moving, I did not have my line and leader entirely on my stripping apron nor wound on the reel. I don't know the exact length of line I had out from the tube while moving spots but it was nominal and surely not with the intent of trolling.

Based on that interaction, it seems apparent that all line and leader needs to be off the water when moving in any manner (kicking or drifting). This isn't necessarily easy to do in a float tube with a 9' rod and a 9' leader. I certainly don't want to reel all the way in if I'm just moving a few yards. Since then, I've been grabbing ahold of the the actual fly while I kick or drift, with some of my line still in the water so I'll be able to resume casting without too much effort. Kind of a PITA but I don't want to be unlawful.


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2018, 1:49 pm 
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Montana man asked a good question. If I am in a craft fishing a sinking line am I committing a FFO pond violation because my craft may be moving and effecting the movement of the fly while my fly line is sinking to the desired depth?

Now we have to consider common sense, pattern of behavior and intent.

Is there a lite summer breeze moving your unanchored craft a couple feet while you wait for your fly line to sink or is a fairly stiff breeze causing you to move a considerable distance while you wait for your line to sink? Now you have left your intent up to the judgement of the warden. If this seems "picky" you have to consider the poachers who, while the wind was propelling their craft down the pond, could potentially be "waiting for their line to sink" all night long as their craft moves down the pond . Trust me . It does happen. So where is the line drawn? The wardens interpretation of the anglers pattern of behavior and intent.


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2018, 2:28 pm 
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hatch wrote:
If this seems "picky" you have to consider the poachers who, while the wind was propelling their craft down the pond, could potentially be "waiting for their line to sink" all night long as their craft moves down the pond . Trust me . It does happen. So where is the line drawn? The wardens interpretation of the anglers pattern of behavior and intent.


Pretty sure if that line gets behind the boat and you're not stripping you're trolling for sure. However an argument could be made that a swinging (with the aid of a drifting boat) line might, maybe, maybe be trolling as well. You'll have to discuss it with the warden.

The only FFO ponds I fish nowadays are Big and Little Sourdnahunk and I'm only fishing the Drake hatch on top. And as I think about it in 30+years I don't ever remember seeing a warden out there. Of course they could be on shore in the bushes.

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PostPosted: March 27th, 2018, 3:03 pm 
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Steve H wrote; " A few years ago I was given a verbal warning for trolling on an ffo pond. I was in my float tube and while moving, I did not have my line and leader entirely on my stripping apron nor wound on my reel. I don't know the exact length of line I had out from the tube while I was moving spots but it was nominal and surely not with the intent of trolling."

Steve you sighted a perfect example of the warden using his judgement to assess your intent. Hey, "the movement of your fly was effected by the movement of your craft" Technically, by the book, you may have been trolling.

Steve H wrote:" I don't know the exact length of line I had out from the tube while I was moving but it was nominal and surely not with the intent of trolling."

Perhaps I your mind you honestly had no intention of trolling but by doing what you were doing you took the risk of leaving your intent up to the judgement of the warden. The warden watched you, assessed the situation, and came to the conclusion your intent was not to gain an advantage by trolling. Because your dragging fly, while your craft was moving, technically was in violation, he decided to speak to you.

I used to put my fly in my hook keeper, while I still had line on the water of a ffo pond, then set my rod down in my canoe with the tip up in the air, and paddle to another location on the pond.

Then I thought "boy, my dragging line that is still out on the water surely looks like I'm trolling. Of course I am not because my fly is in my hook keeper in the canoe. The problem is a warden could misinterpret my dragging line as having a fly on the end and bust me for trolling.

Hopefully, the warden glasses me long enough to notice that when I anchor in my new location I am removing the fly from its hook keeper and false casting to pick up the line that has been dragging on the water. Bottom line is if the warden meets me back at my truck that night and accuses me of trolling on a ffo water I can explain what I was doing but if he chooses not to believe me I'm screwed. That's the world we live in. For this reason when I relocate on the pond I not only put my fly in the hook keeper but pile my loose line in the bottom of the canoe. " give them nothing to question"


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PostPosted: March 27th, 2018, 3:14 pm 
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Dryflie wrote: "Pretty sure that if your line gets behind the moving boat and your not stripping you're trolling"

Bingo!! Dryfly you are 100% correct! By the letter of the law if the motion of your craft effects the motion of your fly you're trolling.


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 8:08 am 
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Well this topic seems to have generated considerable interest attested to by the 800 plus "views" it has received to this point.

For those who think a wardens time could be better spent enforcing fish and game rules other than trolling on a FFO waters, keep in mind that the warden checking on a FFO pond is also checking fishing licenses, boat registrations, personal floatation devices, keeping fish under the legal length, checking to make sure the number of fish kept has not exceeded the limit, various alcohol related offences, number of people in a craft exceeding the weight limit of the craft, checking for worming, lure fishing, and checking to see that motor boats operated after dark have proper lights. I'm sure there are a few more offences to add this this list.

As a matter of fact with the exception of a body of water with a "no fishing" designation, I think a pond designated FFO presents the potential for fishermen to break more fishing rules than ponds and lakes with any other rule designation.

For those who think trolling a fly does not create a fish catching advantage over the customary casting and retrieving of a fly, I strongly disagree with you. The state Inland Fisheries and Game Dept dept disagrees with you also or why would they differentiate between the two?

With the amount of interest this topic has generated I think at least a few people have learned something and many people have been given something to think about the next time they fish an FFO pond.

For those who think I obsess about fishing rules.A big part of my job in the summertime is making sure my guests understand the fishing rules. Getting a ticket for a violation puts a real damper on a fishing trip. Some sports associate this negative experience with the camps and I don't see them again. Costs me money. I'm sure everyone can understand that.


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PostPosted: March 29th, 2018, 8:45 am 
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Hatch wrote; "As a matter of fact with the exception of a body of water with a "no fishing" designation, I think a pond designated FFO presents the potential for fishermen to break more fishing rules than ponds and lakes with any other rule designation"
Only one thing not mentioned is a new law.
No water crafts on the FFO body of water.
That would stop trolling.


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