pic of the week

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall flush 09'...

Grey Reef is a truly fantastic fishery. It has held it own and managed to fair well as a wild trout river. A large part of it's success depends on clean gravel courtesy of the flushing flows. I would love to be sitting here writing about the success of last weeks fall flush. Obviously at this point we all know that didn't happen. I'm writing the following in hopes of maybe getting some outside opinions and maybe a little perspective.
Being involved in the outfitting business and making a living on this particular fishery, it only makes sense to have a FALL and spring flush. For reasons unknown to the common man the fall flush continues to get derailed, postponed, etc. Why is this??? Is it lack of water? Both Pathfinder and Seminoe Reservoirs sit at 70% of capacity, water levels not seen in nearly a decade and Alcova Reservoir must be rid of 10 ft of water before winter sets in. Well if it's not water, maybe it's because of some negative impact to the fish population? The flushing flows on Grey Reef are designed to clean the substrate of fine sediment/silt to improve spawning productivity...that sounds positive to me. I'm sure there is some minor form of mortality with the drastically fluctuating water. Maybe some poor little rainbow gets pushed into the path of a 10lb. brown trout and we know how that one ends. But seriously, regarding impact of a flush the positives (mainly increased spawning) out weigh the negatives.
I have made numerous phone calls, had various discussions with folks involved in the flushing process in the past week. I have yet to hear anything worthwhile in regards to why it did not happen. Last year it was bridge construction and this time, gate malfunction. Now I'm not calling bull shit but come on, really? I'm pretty sure there's 31 days in the month of October and somewhere around 30 in November. There's no reason it couldn't happen this week or maybe the next... We had a moisture laden year and there is no question as far as the silt buildup this season. We need a fall flush!!
In closing, it has become increasingly apparent that both the fishing and guiding community surrounding Grey Reef doesn't have a voice. Our opinions and feelings towards this fantastic fishery continually get overlooked. What's it going to take?
I hope to get some responses.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fly Only for Fremont, Let 'em go

The latest poll asked about the use of bait and catch and release practices in Fremont Canyon. This was an issue I hadn't really put much stock in until Ryan and Josh of Wyoming Fly Fishing brought it up at a Wyoming Flycasters meeting. 73% of us agreed that this little gem of a fishery should be a catch and release fishery and the use of bait prohibited.
Over the years I have become much more tolerant of bait fishing and harvesting fish. But, nothing irks me more that a fisher keeping the fish...often time too many fish...just to display their machismo. Knowing full well that these fish will be in the trash way before the dinner table. Bait fishing and catch and release have no business going together based on how trout eat bait...fish swallow bait.
So is this an issue that should be brought the Wyoming Flycasters attention? Should we pursue this regulation? Is bait fishing and harvesting a problem in Fremont? Has anybody actually seen a bait fisher being irresponsible or a fisher harvesting too many trout from Fremont Canyon? Or, do we want this as a feel good fly fishers club scenario?
My take on this one is Fremont would be better off as a catch and release fishery. It would also benefit from artificial lures only BUT only one hook/lure and it must be barb-less. This is a special place that is not only fun but will become, unfortunately, more recognized. Anglers are already traveling to fish this place as their primary destination. The more it gets used the more it will be abused. There is really nothing wrong with making a few small fisheries a true sporting arena, where it is commonplace to be whipped by the fish. A great day would include more defeats than successes. Having your ass handed to you by the fish can be fun while teaching us valuable lessons. This will be a hard pill for some to swallow, but it isn't meant to discriminate against people. Everybody would be welcome, you just have to learn to enjoy the challenge more than conquering.
Give some feedback on this, either side of the coin.
Erik Aune