Can you fly fish with hookless flies in closed waters?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by CLO, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. I was just wondering if it's legal to fish with a hookless fly on closed rivers? I will most likely catch the same amount of fish as when using a hook but I just want to practice some casting.
  2. You're bound to draw attention to yourself, like the guy I called WDFW on today casting a bait rod on the Snoqualmie right above the FC bridge. If you have to have moving water, best to call ahead and let the WDFW know your intentions, so if a call does come in, they're aware of your presence and intentions. Take Aaron's Saturday morning casting lessons - they know he's there doing it.

    So, avoid the hassle and plan ahead.
    Ed Call likes this.
  3. WDFW Sport Fishing Rules p. 10:

    "Closed waters: A body of water where fishing is prohibited."

    Note that it doesn't say "catching" so if you're tossing a hookless fly/lure you're probably still gonna be cited by a gamie.

    Just my 2ยข!

    Disclaimer: I think I know everything but my wife often points out that I may be mistaken!! ;)
    FinLuver likes this.
  4. Look...if you want to divert the very limited resources of Wildlife enforcement from dealing with serious poaching issues..........
  5. I'm sure me casting my hookless line would prevent wdfw from busting a prominent poaching ring. I better not go...
    golfman44 likes this.
  6. I think without a hook, it would be hard to argue you are fishing.
  7. It's just one of those things where you are risking getting hassled. You can mitigate that somewhat by informing the WDFW that you are going to be out there casting or going somewhere that you are unlikely to run into anyone. But that still leaves you open to random law-enforcement interactions and/or nosy do-gooders. Will you get a ticket? Probably not if you really are casting with a clipped hook and don't have any real flies on your person. But to be honest, it probably depends on the mood of the officer you run into and your attitude when interacting with them.
    David Dalan likes this.
  8. Isn't the whole occupy Skagit crew casting with hookless flies at the event. I'd think that tying a piece of yarn to show that you are obviously practice casting would work, but people would just think you were a dirty nympher from afar:) or maybe a yarnie purist
  9. There is also the unfortunate side effect of others seeing you not knowing you are hookless and suddenly thinking the river is open for them as well. I know that's on them, but sometimes regardless of your intentions others copy inappropriately.
    Alexander likes this.
  10. Poor bacon grease on that slime line
  11. Or just go above snoqualmie falls with hook and all... the upper rivers don't close I believe
  12. I don't know about Washington, but California defines fishing as to pursue, catch, harass, etc, I believe.
  13. IF you do it, you better not have ANY viable hooks with you.
    You've probably heard the joke about the woman getting a ticket from WDFW officer. She wasn't actively fishing but there was a tacklebox in the boat so the officer reasoned she had all the necessary equipment. She counters with "OK then, I am suing you for attempted rape". He sez "but why". "Because you have all the necessary equipment with you". "Have a good day ma'am".
    Brookie_Hunter and CLO like this.
  14. Just tie a bit of yarn to the end of your line and leave the hooks (clipped and unclipped) at home. No hooks=no fishing.
  15. No, it's not legal to fish with hookless flies if the water is closed to fishing. However, you can practice your casting with hookless flies in closed waters, but it's advisable to notify WDFW LE ahead of time to avoid being hassled by them and cited for causing them to waste their time on you.

  16. That's how I practice casting (w/yarn) in the yard, alley and local parks from time to time. Neighbors always ask if I am catching anything. I say kitties. Ours is a decidedly dog neighborhood. The birds like our yard a lot, maybe cause I feed them too.

    I know Harry Lemire fished occasionally (for awhile at least) with clipped flies. No hook part. The grab was drug enough for him. But I'm not aware that he fished out of season. I doubt it.
  17. Don't have the text at hand, but as I recall, your action cannot interfere or disturb fish in any way. So by that interpretation you could potentially be breaking the law. Would guess it would be the call of the officer.
    Please post if you get a statement from WDFW about this.
    I got cited on Ft. Lewis for doing this in a closed season, but was thrown out in court.
  18. I will just use a piece of yarn and no hook, everyone knows yarn doesn't catch fish.
  19. My experience includes contacting the WDFW at Mill Creek; giving them information regarding intent to 'practice' casting at a certain time and place along with requested vehicle info (make, color, etc.) no problem. Perhaps my greatest worry has been the 'do gooder' who thinks he 'knows' and threatens property damage or what-ever. On one occasion, a WDFW officer stopped by, made a radio call to confirm my presence and then drove off.

  20. what if your line somehow snagged the fish around a fin or a gill plate?

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