Sunday, October 6, 2019

Angler Intent, Lies and Idaho Rules Buffoonery....

























We were mid float when our cell phones blew up with what we knew was coming.

The mighty Clearwater River in Idaho was to close to steelhead fishing as of October 1st.    It was almost like fishing through a funeral or a wake.  I lost my ambition to really give it my all when Idaho actualized what we all really knew what was happening.....

The steelhead fishery on the Clearwater was and is in a world of hurt.

Then a curious bit of news came out of the closure.  The season for Chinook and Coho would remain open through October 13th.

All anglers on the float collectively rolled their eyes at this detail.  Does Idaho really give a care about the steelhead fishery, or was the closure just optics/political theatre and leaving the Coho fishery open to placate angler opportunity.

My friend Billy said what we were all thinking, alas in jest.

"Guess we'll just have to start "Coho" fishing"

Wink, wink....nod...







































And then this happens.

Picture proof real angler intent, lies and Idaho DFG buffoonery.

First, if you have a stock of fish so imperiled that they feel the need to close it's season, then there's no reason that the Coho or Chinook fishery should have stayed open.  Period, end of story.  The short-sighted nature of that decision is without a doubt the craziest part of this whole story, aside of the fact that the closure centered on not having enough hatchery fish returning to make hatchery escapement.  Bi-catch of steelhead was and by the picture above is a certainty.

When another angler alerted me to this picture on Instagram, I really had to calm down before I reacted.  I thought long and hard about what was going on here.

First, what's the anglers intent...

Floating lines, spey rods and hairwings.   If you can bite through my sarcasm, seems like a totally traditional Clearwater Coho set up.

Second if you really believe they're going for Coho....then why post the picture of an accidental bi-catch for everyone to see?

Because it wasn't an accident to catch that fish.   What I really believe is that this angler, along with others I've heard of fishing for "coho" are just using the opening to continue thumbing their collective noses at the majority of the angling public who are following the rules.

And that pisses me off.

The state's wrong here.  Real anglers know it.

These anglers are really in the wrong here.  And deep down, I bet they know it themselves too.

It's a bad look, all around.



8 comments:

  1. Every tax payer from Idaho should fish for "coho" until the season closes. ID made a stupid decision closing the CW, and allowing extra salmon fishing was a fuck you to face of anglers from this state. Guys fishing the steelhead closure aren't thumbing their nose at other fisherman but the state of Idaho. That's an easy idea to take on the situation. Don't accuse me of being someone I'm not because I fished the CW and caught a wild steelhead yesterday...

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  2. Ironic that the same people upset with a comment not targeting other fisherman, but the state of Idaho and their idioic regs, will continue to fish WA steelhead. Ethically take a side and stick to it. Don't point the finger at fisherman. Direct the effort towards the organization to blame, IDFG.

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  3. I've called the governor and IDFG to complain about the terrible regs. That's not silent. I disagree with shaming anglers for taking advantage of a stupid regulation ID created. Blame the IDFG, not the guys fishing the same as everyone else in WA and OR.

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  4. Perhaps everyone should stop letting the corporate government distract them from the REAL reason that anadromous fish are nearly extinct: the damn DAMS.

    Either government officials everywhere are idiots or they are simply running a distraction campaign. Looks like it's working pretty well. The guy that wrote this post AND the people that commented on it are pretty well distracted if you ask me...

    I guess it's just a coincidence that the government is simultaneously ignoring the dams AND distracting the public with "stupid moves" like this constantly?

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  5. Squabbling over a 13 day coho/chinook season on the Clearwater (with incidental catch and release steelhead fishing) is energy misspent for actual conservation of steelhead in the inland northwest. Shaming an angler who fishes this season is an elitist ideology that possibly does as much harm as it does good in protecting the very fish we love by dividing an already small fishing community. As bait, tackle, shore, boat, fly and or spey anglers for steelhead we must stay united and lobby for real changes that affect water temperature, water quality, watershed habitat, dam removal, gill netting, etc. Idaho is closing the Clearwater to all fishing on Oct 13th, I think that speaks volumes and I believe IDFG obviously cares about its steelhead. Writing a blog piece with such an incendiary title is careless and misguided in an already extreme political climate. Lets stay unified and protect our steelhead for generations to come. I applaud anyone who fishes this short 13 day season for chinook and coho (and incidentally catches and releases a steelhead); may your joy and excitement cary over to protecting these fish and the fishery in the future. If Millsfly was so concerned about these clearwater fish he wouldn't have fished for them prior to Sept 29th (when we already knew this run was at a historic low). Millsfly I am truly grateful and appreciative of your involvement in real conservation for these fish; I just felt this piece was below the belt for you.

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  6. Sorry I couldn't figure out how to reply with my google account. I am John H. a local Idaho fisher and posted the above anonymous statement.

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  7. 26 likes to this photo.
    Some people just don't get it.

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