Pay To Fish?

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by LCnSac, Aug 20, 2014.

  1. I agree. NO WAY IN HELL.... i would rather drown powerbait at a free access lake.
    I am thinking about my grandpa, and how embarrassed he would be if i went to a pay to play fisherie.
  2. I utilized my state's wonderful stream access law to wade along Thompson Spring Creek on the Milesnick ranch. Man was I glad I didn't pay $100 for that shitty night of fishing!

    I have mixed feelings about the MZ pay-to-play operation closing down. They were good stewards of two important lower Gallatin spawning tribs. But I no longer feel unethical slogging through the muck to get up their creeks!
  3. DAMN!!!

    And I get pissed when I pay the Korean $10 to fish for a day....
  4. We all pay to play with our taxes, I just don't want to pay it twice. As Kyle stated above, with the Montana access rights, I've not found a need to even look at one of the pay to fish places.

    Sent from my little square phone thingy...
  5. I also get the Hancock pass annually. That unlocks a big array of lakes and streams that don't have extraordinary fishing, but do have extraordinary solitude that's close to my home. I'm happy to pay for that.

    I've also done a pay lake 3 times that is spectacular and I might go another time or two, but by then probably it'll be boring.

    Someday I'd like to pay to fish a beat on an English chalk stream, just because.
  6. I've gotten over my aversion to guided trips. So far all of my trips have been with old buddies (Scott at the Confluence in Bellingham) or Friends-of-Friends (Tom Bullock in Clarkston, Rip King out little old Walla Walla). I consider them friends as well now.

    Pay to fish? I would if I wanted to fish it. It's all about me.

    At least my fishing.
    underachiever and GAT like this.
  7. I'm sure I'll never get the urge to do it. Just something about it rubs me the wrong way plus I'm too frugal with my money to blow it on something like that. I fork out enough each year buying annual or short term fishing licenses in usually two or more States plus a bevy of access passes (National Parks, NW Forest, Discover Pass, etc). While catching large fish is certainly nice that's not why I fish. I like the solitude and exploration aspects of it the most. On top of it, there are hundreds of public water streams that I haven't yet fished in this State, let alone elsewhere, to keep me busy.
    Matt Baerwalde likes this.
  8. I close out the spring fishing season by spending four days at a private lake. It is a good way to end fishing for the season.

    There are plenty of public lakes that are quiet with nice fish. But that experience of finding an uncrowded, public lake with large fish is the exception. And you never know when it will become the next internet hot spot.

    The other nice thing is that catching large fish is what fishing in the west was about until a few decades ago. I know people that no longer fish in Montana since the fish are so small these days!!

    Is it worth the money. Yes, now that I am spending money rather than saving it!!!
  9. If you enjoy the fishery I suppose it's up to the individual to decide if it's worth the $. It seems most pay fisheries are lakes and stillwater fishing doesn't have much appeal to me. I don't understand the feeling some have towards guided fishing. For local rivers I wouldn't hire a guide but if I'm traveling it's always nice to see a river from a drift boat and hiring a guide is far cheaper than buying a boat, the vehicle to pull it and paying for a place to keep it for the 360 days it doesn't get used. If a drift boat is involved my wife will also participate if even only as a passenger in the boat.
  10. As old as I am, I have never paid to fish anyplace. But I'm not a big fish person. I'm just as happy with fish up to 16" as most people are with a big fish. Small fish on a small rod is what I'm happiest with. Plus fishing alone. And I get to fish alone a lot. Just about every time I go out. It's quiet and you can listen to the sounds of nature.
    Brookie_Hunter and Kyle Smith like this.
  11. One reason I switched to stillwater a long time ago was to avoid the crowded rivers. I cannot remember ever feeling crowded on a lake. I'm lucky because I almost always fish weekdays; the larger impoundments with a lot of rec traffic are non starters for me on the weekends. The Delta is dangerous for us small craft folk all summer, and I tend to avoid it until Labor Day.

    We still have big fish here, but they're on the eastern slope and a 3-5 hour drive so it's not a day trip. The west slope has never had big fish, so we just gear down, thus the interest in fiberglass. I still prefer big fish, and sometimes paying for access to them is worth it.
  12. Where did these supposed big fish of years gone by take off to? I can think of some freak of nature fish caught in Montana in the last decade or two.

    There was that 12-pounder caught between the lakes on the Madison. Then there was that 30-inch brown pulled out of Rock Creek last year. People catch 4-8 lb fish all the time on the Jeff. Finally, we held the rainbow trout world record not too long ago.
  13. Brown a shade over 20 lbs and 35 " + caught on Big Hole four or five years ago by some guy dragging a nymph (he killed it).
  14. I hardly have enough dough for gear, tying material and road I can't see myself ever paying to fish anywhere... it's also why I don't pay much attention to pictures of people posing with MONSTER HOGS...many times (I know not all the times) those are caught in "special" waters. If I had the money, I probably still wouldn't do philosophy on fishing is just different.

    If I were offered the choice to pay to play fly fish for pet fish or spin fish for fish off public beaches or river banks I'd put my fly rod down and bust out the hardware in a heart beat. But that's just me, I don't mind those who would do it different though. to each their own.
  15. Nothing wrong with pay to play fisheries or hiring guides in my mind, as long as you've got the money to spend. I really don't, but I pretend I can afford to hire a guide a time or two annually, and while I have caught a lot of cool fish in a lot of cool places on my own, the experience of fishing with a (good) guide has made for several of my most memorable days on the river. I know a lot of guys who are great fishermen, have their own boats, etc., and still pay to fish with guides once in a while. Seems to me there's a lot to be said for having nothing to do on a fishing trip but focus on fishing....

    In the end, it's all about perception, and what makes you happy is what you should do.
    shotgunner and Alexander like this.
  16. Only fished Montana once, and it was one of the most memorable trips ever. Early 90s, and we were all broke from the recession. Budget was $500 for 5 days for each of two of us, including air and car rental. We came in at about $515 each, and the last night's hotel was nasty and we didn't eat in the fancy places, nor did we have guides. We didn't get anything much over 18" but the quality and quantity of the trout was superb. We loved every minute of it and I will be back next year.
  17. I'm really tempted to hire Derek Young from this board (not trying to exclude any other guides on this board by the way - just don't know their names). Seems like a good guy, seems to know the water really well, and he serves cold beer. If he has some of those Orvis Superfine glass rods on board that makes for yet another powerful incentive.
    Lugan likes this.
  18. The Quinault?

  19. I was quoting a friend that no longer fishes Montana. He fished while working as a professional Forester in the late 60's and early 70's. So he had an in to information and access. He still does.....he lives in Montana. And he would rather have his memories from those days than making new ones today.

    I remember a guy stopping me in a Forest Service campground in Montana. He just started taking his family camping and fishing. He had caught a fish and wanted me to identify it for him. It was a 28 inch rainbow trout. I measured it. The year was 1972. I doubt that anyone will catch a 28 inch rainbow these days fishing IN A Forest Service campground, even in Montana.

    I have to give Montana and Idaho much credit for limiting the kill of trout in their streams. That really did help arrest the decline, but population growth of anglers has negated many of those gains.

    For every generation "those were the days my friend, we thought they would never end" refrain is based on THEIR experiences only. The west has changed since 1960....very rarely for the better.
    Kyle Smith likes this.
  20. hhhm Montana, I loved fly fishing there. While living there for a few years I had the nice opportunity to befriend some local fly fishermen who took me along to fish "no name" rivers, not FAMOUS for Trout, not yakked about in magazines at nauseum (though I'm sure they've been mentioned here and there, personally I've never noticed), that hold BIG West Slopes, BIG football shaped chunky rainbows and large, slender, Bull Trout . All you need is a raft and chainsaw... that was fun and that was only about 5 years or so ago. Once the icing on the cake was while trying to play a 24” West Slope Cut to the net two BT’s were savagely attacking the cut all the way to the net, crazy cool! (edited)

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