I had the pleasure of guiding two brothers recently, Andrew and Stephen Kersh. These guys are younger than my average client and represent my future guiding and the future of fly fishing. With a good attitude and the willingness to learn they humbly set out with me on their first day of winter steelheading - any kind of steelheading. The process of spey casting and swinging came quickly to these guys, as did "the fish of 1000 casts".
Andrew Kersh caught this fish, then like a gentleman let his little brother step in and finish the run.
UPDATE 2/12/14: The deadline for comments has been extended to March 10th.
ODF&W's Coastal Multi Species Conservation and Management Plan
(In the ODF&W's exact words) is being developed to address conservation and management of the remaining anadromous salmonids (salmon and trout) on the Oregon coast from Cape Blanco to Seaside.
Click here to read the CMP (conservation and management plan). This is pretty much the first step.
What we support...
- The plan establishes 19 watersheds as "wild fish emphasys areas". Three of these are new (Kilchis, Big Elk Creek, E.F. Coquille).
- An additional 15 rivers have only one hatchery program (inlcuding reductions to the Wilson and Nestucca Rivers)
- Sliding harvest management that changes based on run size
- Lower daily retention limits for average run sizes where there is high fishing pressure (North Coast stratum), inconsistent status information (Tillamook, Nestucca, Salmon, and Floras rivers), and a non-viable population (Elk River).
- Mandatory return of harvest tags
- “Wild Fish Emphasis Areas” should be defined and recommended as a formal, permanent designation
- Watershed health and capacity to maintain wild populations should have played a more prominent role in the identification of wild fish emphasis areas. The Plan should establish a process and criteria to add Wild Fish Emphasis Areas in the future.
- ODFW should withdraw harvest proposals of wild steelhead (Salmon, Big Elk, EF Coquille)
- ODFW should withdraw proposals of new releases of hatchery spring chinook in Yaquina and Coos Bays (100k each)
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife
4034 Fairview Industrial Drive SE
Salem, OR 97302
PLEASE send comments supporting wild fish!
ALL COMMENTS MUST BE SUBMITTED BY FEBRUARY 10th.
A huge thank you to the Wild Salmon Center for helping me sort through the facts and BS. wildsalmoncenter.org
Thanks for reading,
2013 was the best year ever! We started the year in New Zealand camping, touring the countryside, wine tasting, and mostly trout bumming around the south island. Thanks to you we had our busiest and most successful year of guiding ever. Also a big thanks to our right hand man Nick Rowell for pouring his blood, sweat, and tears into every day of guiding. After a long season of better than average fishing on the Deschutes Cairn and I discovered that we are expecting our first child, due July 10th 2014!!! What a way to wrap up the year!
December is our time off the river, to wrap up all the details of managing a business, and to concentrate on our family and friends who we neglect during the rest of the year. I will begin fishing on the coastal rivers January 18th. Until then I am still feeding off the memories of my last camp trip of the year with my good friends Nick, Mike, and Trevor. Here are a few shots that capture what our "end of the season" trip is all about.
Wishing you a happy, healthy, and FISHY 2014!
A long overdue fishing update from Maupin and the Lower Deschutes!
We have been on the river in case you were wondering! Little time for the blog and facebook so please accept my apologies and thank you for being patient.
September was spent doing three and four day float trips from Mack's Canyon to the mouth. Fishing was awesome, but the weather kept interfering. Each trip was accompanied by a bad ass lightning storm and isolated downpours. One storm in particular had my hair standing up, watching lightning strike the canyon wall across the river from us. It is counterintuitive to hunker down with no shelter but that is the safest bet during bad lightning. For at least 30 minutes it rained harder than I have ever experienced, even in New Zealand! Nick thought he forgot his rain jacket and his waders literally filled up with water. The best part was he had the jacket under his seat the whole time. The lower river blew out a few times in September, only once for more than a few days. But when the river was in shape fishing was solid. The best fishing was probably during our Tight Lines (NJ fly shop) trip. Coincidentally most guys on that trip fished skaters most of the time with awesome results. Dave Hess stepped into a run, saw a nose come up just twenty feet or so away, made a cast with a PDF bomber (bomber with foam instead of calf tail) and the same nose came up and ripped the fly off Dave's tippet. The next four casts produced two more fish, the third one a ten plus pound wild hen. Does it get any better?! Here is a link to some photos from this trip, mostly taken by Ken Packie.
This month I have guided a few multi day trips from Trout Creek to Maupin (one was supposed to be lower river but it blew out, the other was a steelhead/trout combo trip) as well as a few days from Warm Springs to Trout Creek (folks staying in Sunriver). I usually fish the lower river during steelhead season but I have been stoked to see a good number of steelhead in the upper river this year. Most of my days this month have been from Pine Tree to Mack's Canyon. This stretch has been fishing well, although there are a ton of Chinook in that area. I love that part of the river this time of year because you can fish floating lines all day by fishing the right spots at the right time and using good sun angles to your advantage.
I have heard a few thoughts on the fish this season being smaller than normal. I have seen some small steelhead (for northern Oregon standards) but I have also seen way more fish over ten pounds than usual. I think that because there are so many wild fish this year there is a lot more genetic diversity and less cookie cutter fish. Exciting to see!
Overall fishing this season has been consistently good, one of the better seasons I have seen. Here are a few recent photos...
Thanks for reading,