Pay To Fish?

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

  1. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

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    Do you do this, or have you? If not, do you want to?

    I have mixed feelings, mostly against it. I go to two places at least one-three times a year. One is a lodge with several small lakes that hold trips on steroids. Lots of 8-10 lb. trout in them, some larger. They don't usually fight all that hard, but if you want to get large trout, there's your place. I just never count them when talking size. I usually go with a group of guys that only get out a few times a year, and they want to get good fish. Understandable, but it's still catching someones pets. Henderson Springs.

    The other place is a small lake that has some excellent strains that do fight, or can. Last time up I was practically spooled by a 23" Eagle Lake trout, but that's unusual. We pay $150 a day and it's great for trying new techniques and catching some good fish during a lull elsewhere. Still, it's not real and I don't confuse catches there, or in any pay to fish lake, with those in public water.

    Some exceptions for me are fishing rivers or streams on private land where the fish are wild. Arcularius Ranch on the Owens River, which was I think the #2 fish per mile river in the U.S., was $85 per night per rod with lodging and fishing both days. It was, and is, a true blue ribbon river, but a decade or so ago was turned into an exclusive fishing resort for the SoCal fancy boy crowd. Nearby Hot Creek is/was the #1 fish per mile river, and has public access. Hot gets crowded on the weekends and has a very fancy crowd from El A usually, but it's still great water.

    I think pay to fish trips are best for a social outing with a group, and I don't think you learn much on pay to fish waters.You do, however, get a limited number of rods on the water, excellent access, and safety. I'd like to try a few others, but I'd much rather fish great public waters in Central Oregon or the Eastern Sierra that do hold large trout, and where you have to work at it.

    Do you have an opinion on this, or a favorite pay to fish venue?
     
  2. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

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    I've never fished somewhere like that, and I'm not sure that I would. The closest thing to that I've done is dropping some dollars in the donation box at Caddy Lake. If I was going to pay $150 to fish a lake for stocked trout, I would just get a buddy and hire a guide to put us on fish in a river so we could use his boat.

    I was in Colorado a few months ago, and the guys camped next to us were part of a private fishing club. They paid an annual fee and then rod fees each day to fish the private sections of the river. It totaled out to be quite a bit of money. They had some impressive fish, but they were no more and no better than the ones my dad and I were catching in public water. The river wasn't crowded either, so I'm not sure what benefit they gained from their expensive private club.

    You are probably right about the social aspect of fishing spots like those, but I am confident enough in my ability to find good water and catch fish that I don't see that as being worth it to me. Plus, finding and exploring new water on my own is at least 50% of the fun and adventure for me. Fishing is about enjoying yourself, and everyone should fish whatever way they enjoy the most. If that is paying money to fish private land with your buddies then more power to you, but I don't think that is my cup of tea.
     
  3. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

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    I used to belong to a private fishing club on the Middle Fork of the American, which is very wild, very unaccessible, and holds wild Browns. It was not too bad, $1000 a year, but for those wild Browns in a camp that was frozen in time with an original gold rush grocery store building, still standing and completely unrestored, and a whore house next door in the same condition, it seemed worthwhile. Two years, and I caught only poison oak. That was enough for me.
     
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  4. fredaevans

    fredaevans Active Member

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    "I was in Colorado a few months ago, and the guys camped next to us were part of a private fishing club. They paid an annual fee and then rod fees each day to fish the private sections of the river. It totaled out to be quite a bit of money. They had some impressive fish, but they were no more and no better than the ones my dad and I were catching in public water. The river wasn't crowded either, so I'm not sure what benefit they gained from their expensive private club."

    My guess is these were business men 'doing deals' over dinner and Single Malts. Many-many years back I was a minimal part of this. The 'why of that' is I actually had a Coast Guard Pilots License to run the chartered boat. Can't remember the ladies name but she was in charge of meals; we got the two front bunks under the boat bow (NO HANKIE-BANKIE!)

    Last trip didn't work out so well. Picked up the six in Lake Union and twenty minutes later their 'Lady Friends.' :) That I wasn't prepared for .... going through the Government Locks into Puget Sound their collective wives decided to drive down and give them a 'fare well wave.' You get one guess as to how that 'Puppy didn't Hunt.':mad:
     
  5. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

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    That pretty much describes some of our group, and I was squarely a part of it for many years. I'm mostly done with all that, and do not miss it much. We're all in the same business, and as we get older we become more mellow, as the thrill of deal making becomes somewhat ephemeral. GREAT story, Fred, LOL!
     
  6. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    I'll bet that was a nervous trip back to the dock for those fellas.
     
  7. Darryl Pahl

    Darryl Pahl Active Member

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    I have a yearly Hancock permit that I really value. Not so much to pay to catch fish, but I consider it worth it to pay to enjoy fishing more.
     
  8. GAT

    GAT Dumbfounded

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    If you pay to play golf, why is that any different than paying to fish? When you buy a fishing license, you are paying to fish.

    It isn't for everyone but nobody is forcing anyone to visit a pay to play fishery.

    All the pay to fish facilities I've visited are nicely kept and the lakes hold very large trout that I can not find in a public lake... not these days, anyway. Of course, this doesn't mean I can catch them but just because you pay to golf, it doesn't mean you'll do well.

    So for me, it is an option. I don't see the NW going the route of England anytime soon where public fishing is very limited with the majority of fishing spots requiring some manner of membership or daily fee for you to fish.

    If you're not into paying the price to fish at a pay to play fishery ... don't go.

    Besides.... there's a lot to be said for the solitude at a pay fishery that you will not get at a public fishery... sometimes the quiet is worth the price.
     
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  9. weiliwen

    weiliwen Active Member

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    Good point, Gene. I've only gone to one pay-to-fish place, and for me it was free, and I had a very good time. It was a small place with, if I recall correctly, Kamloops rainbows in it. I'd say it would be a cool place to teach somebody to fly fish with high probability of some success and a decent chance of a real lunker. If I recall, the price was something like $75 per day, a lot less than a guide.
     
  10. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

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    The difference to me is that whether you shoot a 76 on a private or public course, you still shot a 76. Private lake fish are stocked several times a year and the quantity is controlled. Holdovers are pretty rare. I do not believe that landing a 10# trout from a private stocked lake is the same as from public water.

    Pronghorn is one place I want to fish. The reports are pretty good, although you might need two or three days there to get what you're after. The owner gave our club a good presentation, and I think their stock is better than many. Any place that has Kamloops is for me. We used to get them all the time down here in public waters that had some non DFW (county or chamber) plants, but I haven't hooked one in two years.
     
  11. JayB

    JayB Active Member

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    Seems like the pay waters would be a good place to take enthusiastic newbs, kids, spouses, etc. Essentially anyone who may not be able to endure the sometimes looooong spell between the first cast and the first catch. Some folks never get hooked on the drug if they don't feel the tug....
     
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  12. David A.

    David A. Upside down.

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    I like the idea on private lakes, but not on rivers.

    A private lake with a maintained fishery can't be a bad thing even if all it does is lower fishing pressure elsewhere.
     
  13. stilly stalker

    stilly stalker Tuna sniffer

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    There used to be a pay to fish section on the Lyre river. So....worth....every....penny

    Now there aren't any hatchery steel in that river, and unless
    You can target chums...it isn't worth it
     
  14. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Almost as embarrassing as hiring a guide.

    Go Sox,
    cds
     
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  15. scottybs

    scottybs Active Member

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    Negative on the rivers, it's a slippery slope. Spring creeks that already run through someone's land so be it.
     
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