Pay To Fish?

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

  1. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,054
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Home Page:
    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.
     
  2. Kyle Smith

    Kyle Smith DBA BozoKlown406

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Messages:
    2,718
    Likes Received:
    838
    Location:
    Bozeman, MT
    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.
     
  3. Brian White

    Brian White Recovering Bugmeister

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    Further from MT than I'd like (B-vue, WA)
    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).
     
  4. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,400
    Likes Received:
    512
    Location:
    WA
    I hardly have enough dough for gear, tying material and road trips...so 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 it...my 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.
     
  5. Shad

    Shad Active Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    Messages:
    124
    Likes Received:
    114
    Location:
    Elma, WA
    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.
  6. LCnSac

    LCnSac John or "LC"

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2011
    Messages:
    1,054
    Likes Received:
    297
    Location:
    Sacramento, CA
    Home Page:
    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.
     
  7. Brian White

    Brian White Recovering Bugmeister

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2009
    Messages:
    494
    Likes Received:
    185
    Location:
    Further from MT than I'd like (B-vue, WA)
    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.
  8. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

    Joined:
    May 12, 2009
    Messages:
    2,004
    Likes Received:
    985
    Location:
    seattle, wa
    The Quinault?
     
  9. Vladimir Steblina

    Vladimir Steblina Retired Forester...now fishing instead of working

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    968
    Likes Received:
    443
    Location:
    Wenatchee, WA
    Home Page:

    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.
  10. Alexander

    Alexander Fishon

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2004
    Messages:
    1,400
    Likes Received:
    512
    Location:
    WA
    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)
     
  11. inland

    inland Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2003
    Messages:
    633
    Likes Received:
    87
    Location:
    .
    Pay to play steelhead or trout? Nope. Pay to gain access to private and controlled rod atlantic salmon water? Yep.
     
  12. Tyler Axel

    Tyler Axel Buenos Hatches Ese

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2014
    Messages:
    322
    Likes Received:
    203
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    Yup, that looks like it. I don't specifically remember the name of the club, but the river we were fishing is on their list so that was probably it.

    I can definitely see some situations where a private club like that would make sense, and if I received a membership as a gift I would utilize it without a doubt. Also if I had lots of disposable income and a limited amount of time to fish then something like that would be a good option. But right now I can think of better things to spend the money on, and without any children or serious relationships I find plenty of time to fish. I'm exploring new water every weekend and 1 or 2 days during the week (rivers/lakes within an hour or two from Seattle that I can hit after work). I get on a lot of fish and totally enjoy the heck out of myself, so I can't come up with a good reason why I would pay money and change my system. It just doesn't seem the same to me. It's kind of like shooting planted birds on a private piece of land. I wouldn't do either unless money wasn't a concern and I only got to fish/hunt once or twice a year. But this is an activity where you can do whatever you want, and everyone should fish the way they enjoy the most regardless if they are paying for it or not. That's the best thing about a sport like ours with no rules (except for the extensive WDFW fishing regulations of course).