Can you fly fish with hookless flies in closed waters?

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

  1. Trapper Badovinac

    Trapper Badovinac Author, Writer, Photographer

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    Let me be devil's advocate.
    Game Warden: What are you doing?
    You: I'm fly fishing with hookless flies.
    Game Warden: This river is closed to fly fishing.
    You: I'm not fly fishing because my flies have no hooks in them.
    Game Warden: You just admitted you were fly fishing.
    You: I misspoke. I'm not fly fishing.
    Game Warden: If you walk through the woods with an unloaded gun are you hunting?
    You: Yes.
    Game Warden: The purpose of closing this water is to reduce the stress on fish. You may not be stressing them by playing them but you are stressing them in that they are rising to your fly but with no chance of getting any food. When no food is available, trout, especially stressed trout, will stay in a holding lie. They don't get food, but they don't burn energy. What you're doing is illegal because it stresses the fish and that is the very purpose of the closure.

    In the end, it would likely end up being at the discretion of the LEO. If he writes you a ticket and you take it to court, it could end up being up to a Judge. You'd have to ask yourself, is it really worth it or could you just go somewhere that's not closed to fishing.

    Trapper
     
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  2. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    During the now-closed season that used to be prime spring fishing for "winter" steelhead, I'm left feeling desperately misplaced, like a eunuch guarding the sultan's harem. I'd be happy enough if I could "fish" with yarn or a hookless fly, just to es
    experience a momentary headshake. I've wished that the WDFW would recognize this very human need and make some kind of provision. But there is a problem with enforcement: wardens would have to closely inspect the equipment of everyone they see fishing hookless. It would waste a lot of time that, with their reduced numbers, they don't have to spare.

    Wasn't it Chief Joseph who said something like: "If you stop us from hunting, we will hunt mice, for we are hunters"?
     
  3. steeli

    steeli Member

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    My take is if you want to do some fly casting practice just go find water that's open.
    Game closes water's for a reason, plus why invite others who see you to second thought and join in the _ishing.
    Notifying game enforcement is one thing, but a good intentioned person who knows the rules might see you differently.
     
  4. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    You can go out and cast yarn as much as you want. The burden of proving that you are actually harassing a fish is on WDFW Law Enforcement - and unlikely event. "I know that little tug on my line was a stick - I've felt it numerous time before your Honor!"
    The problem is that it does nothing to help re-open a watershed that evidence indicates should be open.

    I would like to invite each and every one of you to "fish" hookless on March 29th at The Howard Miller Steelhead Park in Rockport. Gathering to begin at 9 AM.

    Instead of trying to skirt the regulations one at a time, let's all meet up and take part in an effort to get the regulation changed. Last year the Skagit escapement numbers were nearly 50% over the escapement goal.
    Basin by basin steelhead management is the key, but it won't happen unless we ask for it! And keep asking as publicly and as loudly as we can - within the law.

    I understand that the Skagit is not in everyone's wheelhouse, but this type of Distinct Population Segment (DPS) management is coming to a stream near you - in your lifetime! - unless something is done to get the powers that be to change their management approach.

    The single most important event you can attend to help effect this change is the WDFW Commissioners Meeting April 12, 2014 in Olympia. You don't have to speak, just show up, spend an hour of your time, and raise your hand in support when asked to do so.

    Last year the event got some notice by the right people at WDFW and NMFS. Last year's event managed to give the large wheel of government bureaucracy a minor shove. The wheel is just beginning to move, but not yet with its own momentum. It's time to push it again.
     
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  5. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    I am a little confused on the commissioners meeting date. Is it on April 5th or is it on April 12th?
     
  6. jwg

    jwg Active Member

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    according to Websters:
    Full Definition of ANGLING: the action of one who angles; especially : the action or sport of fishing with hook and line

    WDFW definitions Angling (Hook and Line Fishing) Fishing for personal use... with a line attached to a pole...

    WDFW Freshwater Rules
    Tackle; Hook and line angling only...

    Without a hook its not angling. Arguably, its not fishing either.

    jay
     
  7. Pat Lat

    Pat Lat Mad Flyentist

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    When you remove the point its no longer a hook. Myabe its shank and line fishing.
     
  8. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    Thanks for reminding me Kerry! The meeting in Olympia is on the 12th - my post above has been edited to reflect the proper date.
     
  9. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    It's called casting practice - which should just about bring us full circle on this thread. :)
     
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  10. Richard Olmstead

    Richard Olmstead BigDog

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    Heck, virtually all of my time fishing for steelhead over the years was "practice", even with a hook on the fly!
    D
     
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  11. Krusty

    Krusty Krusty Old Effer

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    You've got to admit that comparing the plight of flycasters denied hookless practice casting on closed waters is a bit of a stretch relative to Chief Joseph's tribulations.
     
  12. Nooksack Mac

    Nooksack Mac Active Member

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    Krusty, I would never try to match our tribulations with those of the Nez Perce, which would be a fool's bet. My point is that people have inclinations strong enough to be considered innate, but that are often unrecognized and supported by other people in power. Whether it's a D. C. beaurocracy dismissing Navaho's urge to use ceremonial peyote, or school Nazis in a tizzy over shouting and running around during recess, the list of failures to live and let live is endless.
     
  13. Parisalexander

    Parisalexander New Member

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    Hey y'all, if you can't get to water to practice, tie yourself up a "grass leader". Very simple: I use 30# hi-vis maxima tie a loop at the butt section and then nail knot sections together every 6-8in till you've reached around 9'. Leave the tag ends until you've finished then go back and clip them to a 1/4in. Really provides stick on the ole lawn.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  14. Krusty

    Krusty Krusty Old Effer

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    I guess I need a snow and ice leader for practicing in Spokane.
     
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  15. Jim Paget

    Jim Paget Active Member

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    Just to let you know, the Fidalgo Fly Fishers ran a spey clinic on Young's Bar this past Saturday. We notified the Department of Fishing and Wildlife and they had no issues. We were all using yarn, or some similar variation.