I am writing this blog in response to fly fishermen jumping down center pin, spinning guys and bait fisherman throat about the dead steelhead found on the PM-Flies only.
It looks like everyone is getting cabin fever because the arguing has started. Some of you may have seen the picture above posted across media sites and so on. If you have no idea what is going on, there has been dead female steelhead on the PM- Flies only, No kill with their eggs ripped out and left to rot. Let me be the first to say I do not support the killing of fish unless they are going to be eaten. It’s a shame that someone will put that much effort into catching a fish and leaving it to rot with it’s eggs zipped. I kill a couple of fish every year for bait where it’s legal but the meat is always eaten by a loved one or me.
I am getting sick of is all these fly guys jumping on the ban wagon of that the person killing these fish in the PM flies only are a “center pin fisherman” or a “spinning fisherman.” Well, how the heck do they know that? What if it’s a fly guy who killed a hen to chum with egg flies in the fly only section? I have never done it but heard it’s a really effective method. My point is, who knows who is killing these fish in the flies only. I don’t know a single steelheader who chums with skein. If you ask me, I think it is a stunt of a fly guy who is killing all these steelhead to make us bait guys look bad. That fish was probably killed, had the eggs stripped and then put in the snow next to the house just to get everyone riled up. People must be really bored.
What I am also sick of is these fly fishermen making them selves’ sound so elite. Like, they are a lot better than us bait fisherman. I know of more fly fisherman who snag intentionally then guys who bait fishes. Obviously, not all fly fisherman do but I am trying to make a point. Who gives a crap what you fish with, as long as it’s legal. I could care less if you fish a fly rod, a pin, mooching, or a Barbie rod. I question a lot of fly fisherman and there ethics. However, if it’s legal, why should I judge how you fish and try to make it illegal? I use to fish beds but then I figure out how to float fish a 5 eggs bag in a deep hole and catch steelhead consistently. To me, it’s a whole lot more fun then flossing fish on beds, or fishing a fly for that matter. Like I said though, who am I to judge how someone fishes so who are you to judge how I fish.
As for banning chum, I am so sick of hearing about this. There are so many fishermen who have no clue what they are talking about when it comes to chumming. Who ever has chummed, knows that chumming is never a guarantee for a big number day. Sometimes it works and sometime it doesn’t. If you have used chum, you would know this. I have seen a hole not produce so I threw a hand full of chum with no luck. Come back to that hole an hour later and nail a couple of fish with or without chum. It has happened many times. Chumming does not shut down a hole for the rest of the day like I have read on the Internet. Also, I know a whole lot of guys who chum and I don’t know a single guy who uses steelhead eggs for chum like guys have mentioned. It’s all salmon! I also know of only one kid who takes more than a 16-ounce bottle of chum down to the river. This kid takes trash bags full of chum. I do not agree with this at all and neither does any steelhead fisherman I know who chums. Not all bait fishermen are bad guys and should not be looked down upon by the fly ballers because no one is better than the other.
I am sick of reading from guides and flyshops about how we need to ban chumming or how fishing bait is so wrong. I am starting to re-think what shops I want to support who want to ban my way of fishing. There is no evidence that these practices are harmful to the fishery or I would not be doing it. Guys I know who fish bait or chum only kill fish they are going to eat. So the fish killed is being used regardless if it’s used for bait or not. The guy who is stripping fish of eggs is a disgrace to all fisherman, not just “bait fisherman” and we should all work together to find this “fisherman.”
So please fly fishing buds, back off of the blaming and picking at us. It’s only dividing us more and will never work because I will always fight for my right to fish the way I want and that is using bait under a bobber Lets work together to end poaching and just enjoy being on the river with each other. Who cares what you or I fish with?
I hope everyone can get out from behind the computer screen and fish. It’s been a long winter. Good Luck!