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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 3:56 pm 
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Jeff, I was down there for almost a year on a project. I took fly tying stuff and a few books with me to help pass the spare time I never had. Anyway, I had that book and Humphreys's then new book "On the Trout Stream with Joe Humphreys" he signed them both and gave me a wet fly.

After signing the book he told me he also was going to give me the fly he had just finished tying. I was delighted. When he told me he was going to give it to me I started thinking about something to put it in to keep it safe. Before I could even start looking he threw the fly into the book and slammed it shut. Well, it worked - the fly is safe and still there.

Fortunately, I had also taken three of Gary LaFontaine's books down also. Got all three signed.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 4:22 pm 
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I'm in on moving to single hook barbless ALO for a larger group of waters.

The one aspect of flyfishing that's worth mentioning (and that euronymphing includes) is that it generally keeps you fishing closer to your feet, which can be advantageous in more crowded water. A euronympher doesn't take up much space.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 9:19 pm 
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pushaw wrote:
I'm in on moving to single hook barbless ALO for a larger group of waters.

The one aspect of flyfishing that's worth mentioning (and that euronymphing includes) is that it generally keeps you fishing closer to your feet, which can be advantageous in more crowded water. A euronympher doesn't take up much space.


Interesting observation. And it helps explain why the etiquette issue is so tough to handle. If I'm sitting at the tail of the pool watching three lies where I expect fish to start rising when the hatch starts, three Euronymphers can come in while I'm sitting there, fish all three lies, not bother each other, and figure they are not bothering me.

But trust me, I would be some bothered by that. If they don't dry fly fish much, they might not understand why.

Big difference between FFO and ALO in Maine is that ALO allows trolling, while FFO does not. An ALO, no trolling reg might be appropriate for some ponds and lakes.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 11th, 2019, 11:24 pm 
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Hunter wrote:
maineangler wrote:
InTheTrees wrote:
Does anyone really "cast" while using any kind of nymph rig? Doubt it. It's more "lobbing" or "flicking" than anything. Heck some of the nymph rigs I see (with weights & flies) resemble some of the things folks use to jig for mackerel on some of the fish piers. :lol:

The only exception I see is tying a dropper on a dry fly setup.

Good point.
I’m tight-lining, with no indicator, not out more than 12 feet or so, for almost all my nymph fishing. The indicator is useless because you feel everything.
I just fell into this method fishing heavy water, and it was so successful I basically adapted it outright. Almost always a barbless, two-fly rig. In extremely rare cases I might tie on a third. It’s not The Euro method...I couldn’t even tell you what the heck that is. But I’m not casting fly line, either. With little effort, I find it very easy to lob my mono/fluoro 12-14’ leader upstream to start the drift. After 15 mins working my way up or downstream, it’s just reflex. I Don’t even think about it.
I’m fly fishing, and I’d challenge the warden to prove otherwise, as foolish as that may be.


So- in your example- assuming the nymph rig and split shot are weight enough to cast that setup- would you still consider it to be fly fishing if the angler is throwing it with a spinning rod? Same rigging, different rod. I wouldn't. Think of it this way- a dropper weight tied with a grey ghost, stonefly, etc... tied of the leader above could be cast with either a fly rod or a spinning rod (provided the dropper weight is sufficient to propel the rigging out there). Heck- you could probably even tie the rigging off to a slim running line and throw it with a spinning rod with relative ease. But- it wouldn't be fly fishing- and would defeat the purpose of the FFO management tool- which Titleguy pointed out.

No, I wouldn’t consider an angler using a spinning rod to be fly fishing.
Is that a serious question?
Fly rod, fly line, fly reel, flies. Fly fishing...

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 12:09 am 
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There are two definitions of flyfishing.

1. The traditional definition involves a fly rod, fly reel, a line of some sort and finally a fly constructed with feathers, dubbing, etc. Under that definition Straight line nymphing is still fly fishing.

2. The legal definition: All of the above but with the provision that the line must propel the fly. Under this definition it's doubtful chucking a couple of heavy flies on 20ft of mono qualifies.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 8:58 am 
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No, I wouldn’t consider an angler using a spinning rod to be fly fishing.
Is that a serious question?
Fly rod, fly line, fly reel, flies. Fly fishing...


My point was that if the terminal tackle can be cast and fished effectively with conventional gear, it’s probably not fly fishing by the Maine definition regardless of rod being used.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 12:12 pm 
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As with so much law in Maine, you can fill books with what the law does not cover ( also known as the "Lawyer's Full Employment Act"). I personally think that Maine's definition of "fly fishing" when used to regulate "fly fishing only waters" misses the point. Yes, regulating methods through tackle is necessary, but there is and should be a whole lot more that goes into managing a an FFO water than just that. Focusing on overly formalistic definitions as the sole means of regulation ignores the more effective holistic approach of managing salmonid waters. What about hoot owl regs like Montana when the water gets too warm instead of hoping for good behavior? What about protecting thermal refuges? What about considering the economic impact of the resource? New England states are terrible at recognizing the value of quality fisheries in connection with other spectacular and nearby natural resources.... Maybe some thought needs to go into that?


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 12:43 pm 
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Hunter wrote:
Quote:
No, I wouldn’t consider an angler using a spinning rod to be fly fishing.
Is that a serious question?
Fly rod, fly line, fly reel, flies. Fly fishing...


My point was that if the terminal tackle can be cast and fished effectively with conventional gear, it’s probably not fly fishing by the Maine definition regardless of rod being used.


But I’m not using conventional gear. I’m using fly fishing gear.
If anyone’s been pinched for not propelling their fly (s) with enough line out of the rod tip to make it unfurl, I’d love to hear about it. What was the Warden’s position on the violation, and did the ticket result in a fine? I would certainly be appealing one as far as legally possible.
It’s an absurd definition of the activity. I don’t interpret the rule as requiring you to actually cast. I often tell people who are tentatively interested in FF but can’t cast yet...tie on a streamer, get out on a river, find some current, peel off some line, drop your fly and let it get pulled downstream by the current, and retrieve. And figure out the casting as you go. I never thought this bit of encouragement would put them afoul of the law.

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 2:45 pm 
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titleguy wrote:
As with so much law in Maine, you can fill books with what the law does not cover ( also known as the "Lawyer's Full Employment Act"). I personally think that Maine's definition of "fly fishing" when used to regulate "fly fishing only waters" misses the point. Yes, regulating methods through tackle is necessary, but there is and should be a whole lot more that goes into managing a an FFO water than just that. Focusing on overly formalistic definitions as the sole means of regulation ignores the more effective holistic approach of managing salmonid waters. What about hoot owl regs like Montana when the water gets too warm instead of hoping for good behavior? What about protecting thermal refuges? What about considering the economic impact of the resource? New England states are terrible at recognizing the value of quality fisheries in connection with other spectacular and nearby natural resources.... Maybe some thought needs to go into that?

Totally agree! I’ve heard catch and release dry fly fishermen brag about catching 40-50 fish out of one hole in July and August. They are doing more damage than the guy who takes his limit and goes home.
FFO only works as a management tool because it limits the number of participants. It’s like if we wanted to decrease car crashes by only letting people with $60K cars drive. There would be fewer crashes, but the percentages would be the same. If you fish for wild trout with any kind of tackle you are going to injure and kill fish. If you don’t want to harm the fishery, then you have to limit your catch and stay away when the fish are stressed from environmental conditions. Put and take fisheries that can’t holdover fish are a completely different story.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 4:04 pm 
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I actually think Maine’s definition is a great explanation of the difference between gear and fly fishing in a very practical sense. I think it is the exact definition that we get from the LL BEAN fly fishing manual.

That said, while it is practical, it probably misses the mark on the language needed to determine if someone is on the right or wrong side of the law. Hence, you could get acceptable behavior (euro nymphing, flip casting, streamer swinging) that by definition could get pinched. I think the good news is that if one looks at the intention, there seems to be very little risk of getting in trouble

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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 12th, 2019, 10:09 pm 
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I like the ideal of being able to turn a fly over and aspire to it, but at the end of the day outlawing any other method would out-law most forms of fly fishing, most notably a thing-a-bobber style nymphing with chuck and duck method with streamers. In my experience wardens aren't going after lawful sportsman for the technic of a cast.

Tightsline nymphing is fine there's no objective criteria to reasonably judge based on the current standard. Anyone who says different is imposing their own self imposed limitation onto you. While hiring a guide you should be open to a new experience, but any guide who will not allow you to fish in a way you are comfortable should be fired right on spot.

I watch these posts and see people in denial about valid technics of fly fishing and who seem to want to limit access to streams to their own set of standards. What I have learn of tightsline nymphing has allowed me to use less weight in a rig to allow a fly to sink further, which makes my cast more natural. Most people who are using long leader rigs have very long, butt thick butt sections of leader which creates a much greater mass and weight then the fly it is casting.

I believe there is an arch of learning and in my experience I push one boundary a bit to far, before being enlightened to a better method. This is part of the process of learning and we need to allow others to follow in it.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 13th, 2019, 7:52 am 
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Quote:
While hiring a guide you should be open to a new experience, but any guide who will not allow you to fish in a way you are comfortable should be fired right on spot.


savageriver - I worked hard to become a Master Maine Guide. It wasn't easy. If you or any other client insisted on putting my Guide's License in jeopardy by using a method you were comfortable with but I thought was unlawful - well - you wouldn't have to fire me.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 13th, 2019, 9:28 am 
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This may sound odd but in a strange way it's an extension of titleguy's post about a larger view of protecting the resource. My sense that the state is undervaluing the resource comes from the fact that with one exception, I have never been approached by a Warden for a license check. Since one of my long-time fishing buddies is a retired Lt. from the Warden Service, I know that it is (or used to be) a standard, daily duty for them. That lack of oversight is in direct contrast to other places I've fished (i.e. Montana) where I've been approached as much as 3 times in one week.

As you can imagine, my warden friend has a lot to say about the current state of the Warden Service. But my own take is that it's a reflection of how well the State regards the resource.

So it's encouraging that folks here are showing the integrity to fish honorably. I do my best to do the same. But the reality is that very few of those who do not, are likely to ever be questioned.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 13th, 2019, 1:02 pm 
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I am positive that everyone reading this thread knows what the physical act of "fly casting" involves. Whether they want to admit it or not, they also know what the state rules intent is when it discusses the act of fly casting. With that in mind, those fishing on FFO water, that need to very from traditional fly casting technique to get whatever rig they have chosen out into the water, also know they may have varied from the states intent when it describes fly casting. I have confidence these people realize they may be flirting with trouble depending on how much they have "varied" their cast and equipment to accomplish their fishing goals. It is important to keep in mind ,depending on your casting method on FFO water, That you have left the act of determining your intent to gain an advantage up to the Maine wardens service. Personally I would not have much fun looking over my shoulder all day while fishing. We are also living in a world of cell phone communication. If you don't think others on the water who question your methods will call the "poaching hot line" you are wrong. Whether this call will result in a warden showing up is questionable, but possible. Keep that in mind.

I have worked on Maine FFO waters for 40 years. It is my experience that people interpret rules in a way that validates their fishing needs. It seems to be some form of denial. Nothing anyone says is going to change that. I also know that 99% of people who break the rules know they are breaking rules. In many cases they choose not to think about it because it will spoil what they consider to be fun.

The rules governing various waters in Maine are there to protect that fishery so we can enjoy fishing there for years to come. Isn't it a bit short sited to break ,or even bend, those rules ?

Any style of fishing is perfectly acceptable as long as the technique is legal on the body of water where it is being used.

I applaud this board for discussing this topic and others involving Maine fishing rule intent. I believe it to be educational to those who want to be educated.


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 Post subject: Re: Legal??
PostPosted: January 13th, 2019, 2:18 pm 
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savageriver wrote:
I like the ideal of being able to turn a fly over and aspire to it, but at the end of the day outlawing any other method would out-law most forms of fly fishing, most notably a thing-a-bobber style nymphing with chuck and duck method with streamers. In my experience wardens aren't going after lawful sportsman for the technic of a cast.

Tightsline nymphing is fine there's no objective criteria to reasonably judge based on the current standard. Anyone who says different is imposing their own self imposed limitation onto you. While hiring a guide you should be open to a new experience, but any guide who will not allow you to fish in a way you are comfortable should be fired right on spot.

I watch these posts and see people in denial about valid technics of fly fishing and who seem to want to limit access to streams to their own set of standards. What I have learn of tightsline nymphing has allowed me to use less weight in a rig to allow a fly to sink further, which makes my cast more natural. Most people who are using long leader rigs have very long, butt thick butt sections of leader which creates a much greater mass and weight then the fly it is casting.

I believe there is an arch of learning and in my experience I push one boundary a bit to far, before being enlightened to a better method. This is part of the process of learning and we need to allow others to follow in it.



I'm going to guess you either pretty young or came to fly fishing within the last 20 years or so. I'm right on the edge of old fart status at 52, but started fishing as soon as I could walk and fly fishing in Maine when we moved here at age 10 in the late 70's. I can assure you that in the 1980's--when guys a little older than me like Mike Holt, Hatch, Dave M and others had already been flyfishing in Maine for a while, there was no question in the mind of anyone I ever fished with that if you had weight on your line, you were not fly fishing. Weighted flies were a little grayer, and many people wouldn't use them but it was generally accepted they were legal if the weighting was not extreme. Sinking lines were legal-but-barely castable, and mostly used for trolling, which we knew then--and now, at least in Maine--was not fly fishing. There were rumors that some steelhead guys were playing around with weighted shooting heads, but I don't recall anyone out here using them. Believe when I tell you that if anyone at that time saw someonoe chucking a weighted nymph rig with a thing-a-ma-bobber in FFO waters, the warden would have been called immediately. That would have required a drive into town to find a pay phone, with a stop to get enough change to make the call.

Google tells me the Clouser minnow was invented in 1987. It might have been the first fly with added external weight that started making it into general circulation, but of course it was originally a bass fly, and FFO bass waters are pretty rare--or at least they were before the bucket brigade put bass into so many fine Maine trout waters.

It was in the mid-90's that I remember bead heads and various early styles of indicators becoming more and more common, and on forums, including this one, we had discussions about them, with questions like: Why is it ok to have weight on the hook under the dubbing, but it wouldn't be ok to have weight in a bead on by the eye? Someone would respond with, well, if a bead by the eye on the hook is ok, why not a bead above the eye on the leader? And if that's ok, why not a split shot 12 or 18" up the leader? To which someone would reply, if a bead head is OK, why not just let us tie flies on crappie jigs, and if those are OK, why not let us fish them on a spinning rod? Now you can buy jig hooks that are pretty much identical to crappie jigs, except that if sold for fly tying, they are a lot more expensive. (FWIW, I use to fish a lot with ultralight spinning gear, and there are nice spinning rigs that will easily cast lures as light 1/64th ounce and maybe even 1/100th, which is a lot lighter than one of Dave M's double tungsten bead stonefly nymphs or a tung-conehead bugger. I have tung head buggers that are too heavy to cast well on some of my old spinning gear. With 2 pound test, you'd be snapping them off all the time--which is why when I fish them on a fly rod I do it on 3X or even 2X tippet.)

It seems to me it was about the mid 90's that the flyfishing definition in Maine law was changed to allow weight, pretty much in all those forms.

If we really want to open the way to experimentation, an ALO or ALO/no trolling regulation is the way to do it. I don't see a lot of FFO regulations where I've fished around Yellowstone, though ALO is more widely applied than here--including all the waters in the park. I think there are still a few--the Madison?--that are FFO out of tradition. I've never checked, because I only have fly gear with me when I've fished out there.

I hereby predict that if proposed, a change of all of Maine's FFO waters to ALO will be extremely controversial. It might make an interesting poll.

In the meantime, if we have FFO waters, there has to be some definition that distinguishes between fly fishing and not-fly-fishing, and I think Maine's current one is about as good as any. If I were pushing the boundaries with something new or using a technique that Joe Humphreys wrote about 30 years ago, I'd check with my local warden before I did it on FFO water.


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