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Old 03-14-2012, 06:14 AM
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Default A sporting chance

This post is not meant to be contraversial in the least. This is what makes me tick. In my fishing i've developed a saying that i've stuck to describing my style of fishing. "I'd rather catch 1 an hour as 10 a minute". Meaning that if i've succesfully landed a nice fish on a 4 wt rod then i will always drop down a notch and try catching on an even smaller rod and so on. I watch people on the river with their spinning rigs and Zeco 303's mounted on the mother of all rods ready to hook up, throw the rod over their shoulder and walk up the bank. Comical it is. I know no one here does that. This is only an observation. We all know that the size and flow of water will determine many times what rod will and can be effective. Several places i frequent, the water allows one to gamble if you will and use gear that some would consider out of place. That's me. Some structure that allows the fish to tangle in of course and if so desired the fish can make a run far more south than i have line, but seldom do they. I've hooked fish i never saw. That's my memory. I dont land every fish i hook but i do land a bunch of em and they aint for the faint of heart. My favorite rod and most used is one i had built to my design. It's a #1, 7'6". Slow action as you can imagine. Sometimes it takes awhile before the fish knows he's hooked. I can just about feel the difference in the bite of a small fish versus a large fish. You can feel em when they think about grabbing the goods. Oh you bet i'm always doing a mental on my suroundings and the flow of water around me. Most times when i hook a fish of size with that lite rod everything around me shuts down. People just stand and watch. It really kills em when i land it and release it. My largest to date on the #1 is 7 lb 5 oz rainbow. No i dont fight the fish to total exhaustion. I call it exercise as you would a horse. I'll encourage you to back off a notch and put just a bit more sport in your sport if the situation fits. It's always in the back of your mind, "Can i do it?". It is in mine. Without a challenge i lose interest.
Eddy
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Old 03-14-2012, 06:56 AM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

Yep, I like to call that the quality over quantity factor.
As fly Angler's, I think we all have some sort of commonality there. I think we like the method, theory, and discipline of our sport. Otherwise we wouldn't spend so much time and money on it. We strive to be true masters of our sport instead of numbers chasers.
Having said that, with practice, I think we eventually blow the hardware throwers out of the water with the quality (and sometimes quantity) of the fish we are blessed with.
I realized this early on in my fly fishing when I was hooking into fish in the fall when most of the other guys were quitting for the season. That was fun.

As a side note; I love being one of few fly fishers in my area because even if the fish are pressured, I can still show them something that they haven't seen before.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:02 AM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

You seem to be a person who fishes for the "sport" of it, and that's a great thing. Like a person who researches, gets all camo'd, stalks,and then shoots his prey - with a telephoto lens. We really do need more sportsmen, like yourself to preserve and promote the sport and the existing fisheries.

On the other hand, there are people who fish to eat. I know some of these people who (dispite EPA or Conservation Dept. warnings) eat self-caught fish more than once per week. Sometimes out of habit, sometimes out of ignorance or gluttany, and sometimes because they otherwise wouldn't eat.

When I see the family with the handfull of Zebco 303's mounted on broomsticks, carrying their 5-gallon pails and lawnchairs down to waters-edge, it reminds me of the days so many years ago that my Dad taught me to filet a panfish, so that there was NO wasted meat, as it was wasteful to catch and keep fish, if you weren't going to eat the entire fish. I also sometimes reflect that at least that family will "work" for dinner tonight, instead of the possibility of just putting their hands into the public pocket.

My final reflection when I see someone fishing like that is how fortunate I was to have a Dad and Grandfather who both loved the outdoors, both loved to fish, and both loved to pass it along. While growing-up, whenever I was at my Grandfathers house (about 150 miles away), we would go fishing EVERY Saturday morning, but the rule was that we retired after we caugh the two fish that he, Grandmother, and I would eat that night. That way there would be fish left for next week. And his favorite form of fishing was trolling in a 14' aluminum row-boat with a 8hp E-rude, with heavy trolling rods, lead-core lines, and Mooselook Wooblers (he had virtually every color and size made!). At the same age, Dad used to gather-up 4 or 5 neighborhood fathers and/or kids and go off for some bait or spin fishing every Saturday morning. We'd sometimes bring home what seemed at the time to be a burlap bag full of crappie, bullhead, pickerel, perch, and an occasional bass, which we would tediously filet (we'd grind the pickerel into patties), and then split-up between the family's.

Both Dad and my Grandfather are gone now. In my basement, I have what's left of their tackle... That's the items that I haven't already given to my two boys, who have BOTH also learned the joy of fishing. My boys are both ultra-light spin fishermen, as that's what I was until recently. Both occasionally keep a fish or two to eat, but both also enjoy catch and release, and I hope to introduce them to fly fishing this season.

So I guess I've had the opportunity to just "pass it on".... And sometmes those folks that you see fishing in ways that confuse you, or turn you off, just don't know anything different, because they had no one to pass it on to them.

I'm headed to the basement now, to look over some of Dad's and my Grandfather's tackle.... Thanks for the opportunity to reflect......
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Old 03-14-2012, 08:56 AM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

I would rather stay with a heavier rod than risk the health and life of a trout or steelhead just so i could get the added thrill or a more intense fight. A prolonged landing fight can easily kill a steelhead. Extremely light rods on a big river like the Deschutes, with big flows, is irresponsible, imo. I stay with rods i know will bring fish to hand quickly enough i may be catching them again next year.

If everything you catch is destined for the table, well, ok then. However, if you are releasing fish we as fishermen have a responsibility to be proactive in ensuring the survival of the fish we catch.

I guess if you are chasing pan fish and carp it is one thing, if you are targeting trout, steelhead, char, etc it is something else entirely.
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Old 03-14-2012, 09:14 AM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

Quote:
Originally Posted by vans View Post
I would rather stay with a heavier rod than risk the health and life of a trout or steelhead just so i could get the added thrill or a more intense fight. A prolonged landing fight can easily kill a steelhead. Extremely light rods on a big river like the Deschutes, with big flows, is irresponsible, imo. I stay with rods i know will bring fish to hand quickly enough i may be catching them again next year.

If everything you catch is destined for the table, well, ok then. However, if you are releasing fish we as fishermen have a responsibility to be proactive in ensuring the survival of the fish we catch.

I guess if you are chasing pan fish and carp it is one thing, if you are targeting trout, steelhead, char, etc it is something else entirely.

I completely agree. You have to find that balance of sport and ethics. I try to balance my rods to the conditions as well as species I may encounter (Not targeted, but MAY encounter). I like to have a good bend in my rod and a few good runs during the fight, but I also want the fish to be brought to hand unharmed and released the same way. This applies more to the sensitive species like trout, char, and muskies.
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Old 03-14-2012, 01:21 PM
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Cool Re: A sporting chance

Well one thing is great about pushing 70 around and that is by the time you get here you've about tried everything you can think of including the Zebco 33 and even earlier darlings such as my prized Langley Shorty and the Square based solid glass rod, a True Temper I think, that it rests upon. Still has a nice spool of the color change every ten yards Ashway line on it and still makes a great catfishing outfit!

As fishing goes I stick to my guns when I say to each his own as it takes all kinds and as long as they obey the law, and fish often they are most generally fine folks. I'd much rather see folks catching their own for consumption rather than buying fish from the store and thereby supporting the Commercial fishing industry which, by and large, has the most abysmal record when it comes to anything resembling conservation.

There's an old say that goes, "teach a kid to fish, show him how to catch lots of fish, then introduce him to catching big fish and somewhere along that journey you've created a fisherman for life." A variation of the same philosophy applys to fly fishing but instead teach a kid to fish with a cane pole, then if the above is practiced, he'll soon want that Zebco, then perhaps an Abu Ambassadeur, followed by Spinning outfits and finally a fly outfit. In no time, he'll graduate from the Eagle Claw flyrod he found at Walmart to graphite,and from general fishing to fly shops, and then one day you may find him fishing cane but instead of a cane pole, it'll be an Orvis Wes Jordon, or a Payne.

The neat thing about fishing is that there's room to always grow and there's always another challenge from fishing for records, to trying a new style, say Tenkara, to going light, to fishing the salt flats, etc etc.
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Old 03-14-2012, 03:50 PM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

Hi Eddy,

We all roll different I guess, I have some light rods but I use them on little bitty streams where a big fish would be a 16" one. For many years I used only an Orvis 7'9" Far & Fine #5 and I used it for everything except king salmon, something told me not to do that Anyway, as the years went on I bought some more rods but found myself still reaching the old Far & Fine. I got good at landing fish with it no matter large or little. Then I came here and after 4 and a half years I bought a Spey rod in #9. I did this because many rivers here offer no room at all to back cast and the 13' length made good sense. I learned how to work that big rod pretty good and since any river I fish in can surprise you on any day with a salmon or steelhead much larger than you may have been counting on I took to using it for almost all my fishing. The big rod does not remove any of the cool factor from catching a fish for me, even if the fish is a 1 pound trout, I just get em in quick and cut them loose. When a big one takes hold I don't even have a split seconds worry about the tackle, I just reel it in and either cut it loose or bump it off if I'm fishing salmon for food.

I still get a couple days each year with my little bamboo flea rod on the small brush choked streams and I enjoy every minute of it and I use the old Far & Fine every fall for some trout fishing. I do tend to match the rods and the lines to the expected size of the fish I'm going after because they might all be large today. Back in the north east I had days where you would catch a whole bunch of average fish and then get one that weighed 5 pound that was unexpected, when that happened I might be outgunned but I landed some of them. Here in Ak. heavy rods and lines just work better although I'm sure some people are fishing ultra light even here.
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:10 PM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

How about we stoke the fire a bit...

I think the idea of giving the fish a "sporting chance" by moving down a rod size or changing to lighter tippet is akin to shooting a deer with a .22.

Why use something smaller that makes it "harder" for you to catch what you are going after.

Use what is appropriate based on size and reputation of the animal.

If I'm fishing on a winter tailwater for your average 10-20 in. trout, a 5 wt will cover your bases.

Just like if I'm hunting deer, a .270 is about the middle of the road bullet. Why disadvantage your self and risk endangering the animal?

Ex. Why shoot a deer with a .22 (small bullet, low velocity, poor knockdown power) when you could use the correct size bullet to take a deer down with 1 shot.

Compared to fishing to a fish with a 0/1/2 weight that takes you forever to land the fish or that you risk breaking your fly and tippet off with the fish, leaving the fish to deal with a hook and line that could snag on something or negatively effect the fish in other ways.

I guess the other side of this is to use a 9 wt. rod with 0x tippet to fish for a 10 in. trout would be akin to using a .50 bmg to hunt prairie dogs...

I guess what I'm trying to say is that this is not a situation where using lighter tippet or a lighter rod gives the fish a more sporting chance. If you want to give the fish a sporting chance, jump in the water and splash around before you start fishing, that should make it a challege to catch them!
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Old 03-14-2012, 04:40 PM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

I've heard that the majority of professional poachers as well as hit men use the lowly .22 caliber! Hmmmm wonder why? (part of that reply should read they don't miss) I watched a tarpon fly fishing show just the other day where a couple guys plus film crew hooked into a nice sized tarpon of about 140 lbs or so and then proceeded to have that fish drag them around for well into two hours plus. Now I know that some Tarpon, like Trout, fight harder than others but this didn't seem to be the case as it most surely appeared that the angler wasn't using good fighting techniques from what I could see on the TV. Consider this, "Last tarpon season, former Olympic downhill skier and fly-tournament champion Andy Mill caught 70 tarpon that weighed over 80 pounds, and it took him no longer than 27 minutes to whip any of those fish. In fact, he landed all but one fish in less than twenty minutes." that's from the Florida Sportsman site, and you can see what I am getting at.

An expert with a three weight will land a trout several times faster than a journeyman with a five so when your skills, equipment and more get really honed finer than frog hairs, it's normal to go lighter for many folks. Along with that fishing for trout in near freezing waters with an air temp in the 40s is a far cry from fishing in the mid summer conditions that many of us fish in. Cold air and water give trout an extra edge in a long fight, landing and release, while warm is a killer. If there's any doubt and it's summer use an adequate weight rod for your skill sets to land the fish easily and fast.

Going with that too little gun analogy, it would be more appropriate to compare using the deadly .243 versus going with the .270 or even the 300 mags that many use. It's more than enough gun in the hands of an expert but it does give a sporting edge since it's not a long range round and requires a bit of sneaking in close to get your deer.

An adequate tippet is as likely to improve fish mortality as is adequate rod. Go too light in your quest to join the 22/22 Club and you risk killing fish in the summer months.
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Old 03-14-2012, 07:28 PM
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Default Re: A sporting chance

Different strokes for different folks i guess. It's good that we all dont go for the same thing. If so there would be need for only one car manufacturer. All for one brand of TV. All for the same style of women. Now that would be a disaster as would if we all used the same equipment. I guess that's why some use big stuff and some use small stuff. No right and no wrong. Simply different methods to the madness....and opinions. The analogy of deer hunting? I'm not even gona go there. Some might think i do that wrong but i ruin no meat and never have any blood shot meat to deal with simply because i dont eat ears, brains and eyeballs. Now figure that out. Dont ask me what i shoot. Always been puzzeled at people that go deer hunting for meat and they shoot the deer through the front shoulders ruining several pounds of meat. Some would say "Well where else would you shoot em?" Never mind. Thanks for the "Opinions" guys. This might raise the question of "How confident and familiar are you with your equipment?" I've never claimed to be a good tracker simply because i dont get any practice.
Eddy
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