Friday, April 29, 2011

The Bamboo Rides in the Cab and other Musings

So it was off to the Deschutes for my first visit of the year on Wednesday last. So what if the river was running at 6500 cfs. So what if I had to go through The Dalles to get to Maupin since there was still snow on the Government Camp summit and so what if gas is nearly $4 a gallon....I was going.The Columbia Gorge continues to be awe inspiring along I-84 and I have often looked at the palisades along the river and think of how it has remained virtually unchanged. I imagine Lewis and Clark's Corp of Discovery must have marvelled at the Columbia Gorge as they passed on their way to the Pacific ocean over 200 years ago.
The hillsides along the highway from The Dalles to Maupin were green and lush from the almost constant rain and even though I much prefer the usual route I take to get to the Deschutes this route had it's own charm. When I arrived at the Deschutes there was just a hint of the summer to come in the air. The smell of sage and the occasional blue winged olive greeted me as I inspected the olive green water of the river. I was somewhat disappointed in the height and color of the river but I was still very pleased to be there.
I fished in all of my usual spots with only a few takes for my efforts but it didn't really care that much. I had just finished a very wet and truncated winter steelhead season so the change of pace was much looked forward to.
I think that maybe an angler has gained some degree of maturity when he can visit a river and not be discouraged but the lack of angling success. I guess that in my 38 years of fishing for trout,salmon and steelhead here in the northwest I would hope to have matured enough in my outlook of this passion called fly fishing to appreciate the river and it's surroundings.
I took along my most prized fly rod on this trip. It's a bamboo rod that I actually participated in the construction and I never let it ride in the bed of my truck, it always rides in the cab. It gets lovingly wiped down with a micro-fleece towel and if the weather if damp, hung on a special rack to dry for a few days.
Like clockwork the afternoon wind came blowing up the canyon but this is the Deschutes after all and the wind is just a part of this river and it's canyon.
To me the Deschutes is like a dangerous mistress that you are so attracted to that you just keep coming back. It's an addiction to this river that there is no cure for and to be away from it for a few months of winter is much like a tortuous withdrawal.
I will always come back to the Deschutes as long as I am physically able to because I love it and like that mistress that I mentioned earlier I just cannot stay away.
If gas goes up to $5 a gallon I will still come back because the bond is just that strong and my bamboo rod will ride along beside me in the front seat where it should be.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Harvest Mentality Revisited

This was originally posted a few years ago and while it may seem like I am just being lazy or cannot think of anything to complain about I just felt this needs to be said again.
I have never claimed to have the answers and I know many of you reading this are a lot smarter than me but I do know this much.
We have got to get serious about conservation and if it means sacrificing to do it then it's pretty it! You might have to give up a days fishing once in awhile to be involved but you can never do anything so important as far as conservation goes than getting involved even in a small way. Know this though friends and if ever there was anything of use that I have written here then hopefully this is one of those rare items.
Posting on an internet forum has never, ever saved one wild salmon,steelhead or trout...not once. I've would be hypocritical to rant on here if I didn't put some efforts with my time and meager financial resources.
I have zero desire to make any money on this blog and besides who would pay me?
There are some public proposals that will be discussed in the coming months that put wild salmon, steelhead and trout in jeopardy. Please take a look at these proposals when they are posted on ODFW's website.
Please go to meeting and be a voice for wild fish. Please write and make the ODFW commissioners aware of how you feel. Call you legislator and make his life miserable with your complaints if you feel strongly about something.
I would never ask anything of anyone without being willing to do the same myself because that would be the height of hypocrisy but I feel it's just that important....thanks for reading

When I first started "The Quiet Pool" almost 5  years ago what I had in mind was sharing my thoughts on fly fishing, politics and conservation. I've linked some interesting articles along the way and hopefully those who have come here have enjoyed what I've shared here. I've ditched the politics for the most part but the fervor for wild salmonids remains.

I feel compelled to focus on the plight of wild fish and their habitat as I see a general malaise towards them. The prevailing sentiment throughout the north west fishing scene seems to be "I gotta get mine" and that is truly sad.Many people think that we have this bottomless population of fish to harvest and that they will always be there. They think that it's their right and the states obligation to provide fish, specifically salmonid species, for them to kill. In some coastal regions the harvest mentality is such that endangered wild fish are of little importance because they cannot be killed. Take the plight of the coastal cutthroat trout for instance. These last remaining coastal wild trout are endangered but those of the harvest mentality want to kill two a day with the minimum of eight inches.You have to wonder what people are thinking don't you? Listen folks by all means kill as many hatchery fish as possible! These are the fish you want to harvest because you are indeed doing wild fish a favor by killing them. Releasing hatchery fish back into the river is irresponsible and just plain dumb but some get the warm fuzzies by doing this....go figure!
I wish I could write lofty and poetic prose on the wonders of fly fishing but as I've written before I feel our remaining wild populations of steelhead, salmon and trout are faced with a very real danger. You've heard the old saying "I've seen the enemy and he is us" haven't you? With the general indifference that is more and more becoming the norm I feel it's my obligation to speak out in whatever way I can.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Are People Really This Selfish Or Are They Just Stupid?

The news that Native Fish Society has sent notice of it's intent to sue Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, NOAA and others because of the situation concerning the Sandy river has brought out all kinds of opinions on the internet.
I shake my head in disbelief at the  utter stupidity of some and the selfishness of others. The old cliche of fly fishing elitists has surface yet again and while some of us fly fishers can indeed come off that way in other circumstances but this situation is different.
This is not a fly fishing versus gear fishing fight it's all about saving a population of wild winter steelhead and forcing a state agency to live by the law.
For your amusement I have selected a few of the more jaw dropping statements by "sports" fishermen

*I have not corrected any spelling in these quotes

- NFS solicits fisherman to promote preservation by spreading fear and absolute distortion of the facts. This lawsuit is all about differences in ethics, not science....
- I love to catch fish, if we put the screws to the hatchery program and they have to stop what does that leave... oh thats right an ESA species and can I catch those... umm no
-  I dont know about the group but if they are fly guys maybe they are mad do to not catching any fish while I am slaying them on spinners all day long
- NFS preys upon ethical values such as catch & release and spreads its disallusions that wild fish can simply be restored by shutting down hatcheries....
- The track record of groups like the NFS speaks for itself - you can claim it's not a fly vs gear/bait move - but it's smoke & mirrors, as their next most likely step is to push for fly only regs to go along with C&R only.
- Native Fish Society is enemy #1 for sport fisherman!
- I suggest for all of you that are not familiar with the composition of NFS membership, google the blogs; "The Quiet Pool" (Thanks for the public plug Ty) OR "Whitefishcantjump"   These guys only wish is to have these rivers to themselves so the can swing flies by themselves.

That is just a few of the better ones and while it is funny it is also disturbing that supposed sportsmen think this way. Are they stupid? When it comes to facts and an understanding of what is going on then I would have to say yes they are absolutely stupid when it comes to wild vs hatchery matters.
Are they selfish? Without a doubt! They are are only concerned about how many fish they can catch and kill.
This is the exact reason why I have never gotten involved in any issues others than wild salmonids conservation. I could not care less if these so called sports fishermen get more salmon and why I think they are little better than the gill netters they claim to despise.
I am not saying that all gear fishermen are this ignorant or selfish...far from it because I know many that care about our wild salmon, trout and steelhead populations as much or more than many fly fishermen.
This is all a symptom of a much bigger illness. Our rivers and our wild fish have been mismanaged to near extinction by ODFW and other state and federal agencies.
I know many of these arm chair biologists but I never see any of them at any meeting where allocation is not the topic. They hide behind their computer keyboards and mouth off while never getting involved.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Native Fish Society Serves Notice

Native Fish Society along with Pacific Rivers Council served 60 day notice of their intent to sue ODFW and others for violation of the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act.
The litigation intent and other pertinent information can be found by clicking on this link.  Sandy River Litigation

Monday, April 11, 2011

Frankenfish is Coming To A Supermarket Near You?

Remember that old TV series "The 6 Million Dollar Man"?   Oscar Goldman says "We have the capability to make the worlds first Bionic man. Steve Austin will be that man. Better than he was before. Better. Stronger. Faster."
Well apparently someone thinks they can build a better and BIGGER salmon and the consequences of these fish could be disastrous
Check out this article from the New York Times   Frankenfish Phobia