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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 06-24-2014, 09:04 PM
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Default how often do you keep your catch?

i have just gotten into fly fishing and i have been immersing myself with the information available online. however, i noticed something and i wanted to ask yall who have been fly fishing for a while.

do you guys keep what you catch? in my opinion, there is nothing more satisfying then catching lunch/dinner.

ive been ultra light spin fishing for a while and i noticed that i have never seen a fly fishermen keep their catch... hopefully in the next week or so i will have my own fly rod set up and i plan on going camping into western maryland and catching dinner.

i realize that many trophy areas are catch and release but would it be looked down upon for me to keep the fish i catch? i am sure there are fishermen who fish the savage river in western maryland, i want to ask what the creel limit is because i am unsure. i know for fact that brookies are a no go.

if so, how do you recommend me keep my catch fresh while i continue to fish the stream?

cheers.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:33 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

I keep any fish I mortally wound, for starters. It doesn't happen that often, but figure 3-5 trout a year (I probably fish 50+ days) usually when they take a streamer in the gills.

I try very hard never to kill a wild trout. Ditto the holdover stockers with a year or more "in stream" -- these are part of the next generation of big, high-quality fish in my river, so I try to let them grow.

There are basically three situations where I go fishing for dinner:

1. Stream is full of cookie-cutter 11" trout from a recent stocking. Puts lots of pressure for food & habitat on native fish. I bring a few home for my mother-in-law: fresh trout are the currency of good will on that front.

2. Backpacking where trout are not native; catch dinner from a high-country lake. Example: brookies and rainbows in the lakes of the Yosemite backcountry.

3. Pickerel. Certain warmwater lakes and ponds here you can't turn around without catching one. Many fishermen around here despise them; just about nobody keeps them, so there is very little pressure on their populations. I enjoy fishing for them -- they make a vicious attack and the large ones give a good fight, and I know some ways of preparing them that render them bonelessly delicious, so when I get into some bigger ones -- 20 inches and up -- I often bring one home.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:39 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

Never…I am one of the crazies that doesn't like the taste of fish.
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Old 06-24-2014, 09:48 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

Here in MIssouri, we have several state parks that have hatcheries and rearing ponds, and they stock the streams that run through these parks with trout daily. If I fish in these parks, I will keep the fish.

When I fish outside the parks, in our wild waters, I catch and release, unless as mirabelasunshine says, the fish is mortally wounded.

Having said all this, I seldom fish in the state parks, so I guess the short answer is I do not keep the fish I catch.

spm
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:28 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

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Here in MIssouri, we have several state parks that have hatcheries and rearing ponds, and they stock the streams that run through these parks with trout daily. If I fish in these parks, I will keep the fish.
When I trout fish, it's generally in these same parks. I keep a fish or two each day for cooking over the camp fire.

Otherwise, normally only when fishing with others who keep fish.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:52 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

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Never…I am one of the crazies that doesn't like the taste of fish.
Count me in the group

Love halibut, cod, monkfish but never had a liking for the pink fish, i.e. trout or salmon.

Now good sushi salmon, thats a whole other ball of wax, sign me up for a truckload.
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

I just don't like fish very much, so I rarely keep any caught on the fly or otherwise. Maybe 5 fish a year. However, when backpacking in the mountains I often keep fish from lakes that aren't hurting in population. It's both a bit of a tradition and a luxury to have fresh trout in the mountains. A pan full of "fish stick" brookies is always welcome. To be honest, I like bluegill or crappie way better than trout.

Click the image to open in full size.
(cooking for 3 in that picture)
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Old 06-24-2014, 10:53 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

Just know the reg's for the water youre fishing. Don't feel guilty about keeping a couple now and then. As you mature as a flyfisheman, you may have a change of heart... Or you may not. Its all good

I used to keep the first steelhead of the season. The brightest fish. it was usually in July and January. Those early run fish were plump and dime bright and their flesh was a deep orange. It pleased my wife and neighbors. I personally don't care for the flavor.

Now, I cant remember the last time I kept a fish.
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Old 06-24-2014, 11:49 PM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

All my life I was a beef eater (knock it off, you know what I mean)...Literally for years I ate a "steak a day". Oh sure sure, loved pork, but hated chicken and fish, about the only seafood I liked were clams and shrimp.

However....I recall my Dad telling me the reason he ate steak well-done vs. my ultra-rare was that as he had grown older it improved the taste and now frankly, he just didn't like beef as his tastes had changed. "Didn't like beef?!?!" Why that's ridiculous, absurd, almost even un-american!

Yeah, yeah.....I can't stand beef anymore except Heart and Liver...Mmmm...In any case more and more my tastes lean toward fish, to now prefering it above all else, so 99.999% of the time when I catch a fish I......release it.

Eating fish is one thing, and it has to be good fish, not liver trout like others mention. Yet cooking it another (don't ask me, I just never cook it right), and taking it home even worse. I'll eat seafood out 7 days a week if I could. Heck, I live on a lake with ultra-clean water, so clean we have fresh water jelly fish, but I just don't like the idea of killing and eating them (and have noticed even my hunting has begun to slip....Been there, done it, not to keen on killing and dealing with it like I used to).

That said, when I'm out overnight and fishing....I'll keep a fish. Just one, no limits, fish for tomorrow, fish to take home, any of that. Just one that I can sit down after a long day and cook simply over a fire, embracing the tradition responsibly and respectfully.

I judge no one unless they waste or take to excess, don't really support the "let um all go" folks in that if they were that concerned they'd not be ripping lips in the first place......and I've found a balance that I can live with.

No one has to agree in that only I have to live with myself.

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Old 06-25-2014, 04:30 AM
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Default Re: how often do you keep your catch?

I've gotten away from keeping trout. Wife doesn't like the taste of them. Occasionally I'll keep a couple if I know a friend or family member would like some, but I enjoy seeing them swim out of my hands. I kinda have Buddhist tendencies about preserving life and giving back to the Karma police. But if need be I'll gladly keep one or two and cook it for survival, hunger or camping reasons.
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