Low Holers and Other Trash Species

Posted on August 2, 2013


Leaving my favorite fishing hole today. This is a place where I once caught 6 wild trout 15-17″ in 30 min, and once took 3 salmon on 3 successive casts. A place where, although some days were harder than others, I’ve never failed to catch a fish, although it’s been getting harder and harder lately. As I’m coming up the trail a gear guy comes along, carrying a metal cooler and a spinning rod. He said a friend “caught a big one in here last week.” I asked if he put it back. He said no. I asked if he was going to put them back he said “Well, I don’t keep anything under 14-15 inches ” (This by the way is a huge wild mountain trout, one reason this spot was once so special. Taking the big fish means you are taking the best and most reproductive of the stock. AND anything over 18″ on this river is classified as steelhead and you can’t take it anyway. Besides, you cant take a fish on bait and put it back….So much wrong with this statement)

I said, “Well that explains it, it used to be full of 17″ fish.” Then I told him I thought that the hole had King salmon in it, pushing the trout out and perhaps he should just fish for them if he wanted something to keep. Just the fact that my car was already parked at the hole and he was planning on fishing it anyway pretty much pegged him as an asshole since the entire rest of the river was empty. I guess it’s just as well that he didn’t show up when I was still fishing.  Pretty much blew my entire day. In WA there are no stocked fish, yet people still treat these rare resources like a put-and-take fishery. I’d rather see all of the rivers closed than see the resources get treated this way.

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