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Catch & Release Salmon Fishing;

Posted 06-22-2011 at 05:04 PM by Hardyreels

If you've read other entries here you know we have an annual limit on harvest of king salmon. I'm at 3 and will hold out for either more big ones or a nice male fresh in. I went out very early today and used the same fly that has caught the fish so far this year. I'm very much in the 'if it ain't broke then don't fix it' club and things worked out well. Almost everything that is, I don't know how long it will take for me to learn to check all the settings on my camera before taking pictures. Way back in May I took a five day float trip during which time I got some fabulous photo opportunities, why then have there been no entries showcasing the pictures and telling the story? Well................ that would be because I shot 89 frames before ever bothering to review any of them. When I did take a peek I found that I was shooting with my white balance set for indoor / incandescent light sourcing. This is not good, not at all, especially on bright sunny days like I had. The photographs all came out a weird blue and are not good at all.

Today I did it AGAIN! You don't know how I talked to myself when I saw that I had caught and released two nice salmon and screwed up the pictures of them. The rule is, do not remove any fish that you intend releasing from the water, so I just played them in quickly and took in the water shots. This was a quickie, point it and push the button deal. As the action slowed down there were a group of Jacks that started showing and I soon had three of them on the hook. They were so bright that they must have made a bee line from the ocean, these were very pretty fish. After taking a picture of one I did a 'review' and that's when I discovered that I had done it again............. The camera is a Nikon D80 and I shoot manual speeds and focus almost always, so not only was it a light thing it was a focus thing too.

With that as a preface, here are the pictures that are distinguishable out of 15 taken. Putting aside the image issues it was a good morning with 5 fish caught, two adults and three Jacks. I guesstimate the size as 20 - 24 pound range because of the girth, they were not huge but you knew you had a fish on when they took off. I have been wondering how many a fellow can catch if you don't kill the first one. The problem arises when you have no salmon meat at all left from last year. This makes it hard to say, 'oh I'll just let you go and catch another' there are plenty of people who don't get one in an entire season on a fly rod so letting the first one you get go is a tough call if you like to eat fish. Now with approximately 65 pounds of it in the deep freezer I'm a little more kind & gentle to the poor rascals.

These are the salvaged photos, I corrected it on the last Jack. That fly in their jibs has been a hero

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

This was a male but he didn't want to hang around in the shallow water for close ups. I had to grab the tail, get the hook and he split without formalities.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

A nice bright jack, these would be good game on my five weight but with some 40+ swimming around out there that isn't going to happen.

[IMG]Click the image to open in full size.[/IMG]

I am going to continue chasing them until they start to ripen, then I'm done. I have seen pictures of deep rose / burgundy ripe fish and they aren't that cool. As the fish ripen into maturity the meat softens as the proteins are breaking down, once they are to that point they are fully into spawning and to disturb them is not a good thing to do. I have seen hens loose their eggs under the stress of being caught (not by me) and males blow their milt all over the shoreline gravel where it will do no good at all, only to be turned lose a little nearer to death than they were before the guy hooked them. The hidden message is this, if you miss the front run and even the stragglers don't cast over or near the red ones. I've had guys tell me they didn't see them but unless the water is really turbid and very deep a ripe fish sticks out like a sore thumb. Whether you're fishing The Great Lakes or the Pacific North West cut the spawners a break, OK
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Comments

  1. Old Comment
    Davo's Avatar

    Trials and Tribulations

    Ard

    Another great adventure!! Loved the photos, even the blue ones. Hope someday to enjoy the wonderful fishing adventures you share for myself.

    As for the camera troubles, we have all had them and some of us many times. A couple months ago I ended my trouble while spring fishing on the Snake. I've known for years that my camera is not water proof. Yet on the particular day I forgot caution and just sliped in my jacket pocket. A couple minutes later I sat on the edge of the raft to tie on a new streamer creating just the right angle for the camera to slide out of my pocket , bounce off the side of the raft and land in six inches of water. So now my worries over cropping someones head out of the photo or being out of focus are over. At least till I get a new water proof camera!! LOL
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    Posted 06-22-2011 at 07:21 PM by Davo Davo is offline
  2. Old Comment
    milt spawn's Avatar
    Ard, I have a question about the jacks. Are these immature fish that spend just 1 year in the salt? Ard, I have another question. Are they all males? Thanx for the report! milt.
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    Posted 06-22-2011 at 10:03 PM by milt spawn milt spawn is offline
  3. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by milt spawn View Comment
    Ard, I have a question about the jacks. Are these immature fish that spend just 1 year in the salt? Ard, I have another question. Are they all males? Thanx for the report! milt.
    Yes these are fish that have been out for 1 - 1.5 years. When they return to fresh rivers they can not go back, They die. No they are of both sex called jacks for reasons I can only guess.
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    Posted 06-23-2011 at 07:01 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  4. Old Comment
    milt spawn's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Hardyreels View Comment
    Yes these are fish that have been out for 1 - 1.5 years. When they return to fresh rivers they can not go back, They die. No they are of both sex called jacks for reasons I can only guess.
    Is this prevalent in the other 4 Pac salmon as well?
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    Posted 06-24-2011 at 07:20 PM by milt spawn milt spawn is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Vans's Avatar
    Good stuff Ard.
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    Posted 06-27-2011 at 12:54 AM by Vans Vans is offline
  6. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by milt spawn View Comment
    Is this prevalent in the other 4 Pac salmon as well?
    I have caught Jack Silvers but no sockeye or pinks. I think it has more to do with the fact that the sockeye and pinks are only at sea 2 years while the silver are 2 - 3 and the kings 3 - 4. I will need to verify these facts.
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    Posted 06-30-2011 at 09:33 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
  7. Old Comment
    Hardyreels's Avatar

    Jack Sockeye;

    I caught a sockeye Jackfish on Saturday July 23.
    permalink
    Posted 07-25-2011 at 05:26 PM by Hardyreels Hardyreels is offline
 












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