No Hoh?

First, this is a management mess.  Or a mismanagement mess.

The roots of it go way deeper than WDFW or The Hoh tribe.  The idea that salmon and steelhead runs could or should be managed under the MSY model the state has been dragging around for years is a complete farce.

Second, there are some great guys at WDFW trying to make this broken system work.  And I don’t blame the Hoh tribe here at all.  They don’t deal with the state, and I wouldn’t either in their shoes, the state is all screwed up here, their data sucks (proposed closure is based on punch cards from 2007) and they have no real working knowledge of how anyone, tribe or sport, is using the river.

Here is the deal.  WDFW is apparently deciding NOT to open the Hoh river at all this spring or early summer to sport fishing.

The Olympic Peninsula Guides Association, and many others have been urging the state to take action for years to help preserve this run to allow continued sport fishing.

By and large the response we got from WDFW was that either that the fish were fine, or, there was nothing they could or would change about the sport fishery unless the Hoh tribe also made significant changes.

When we suggested season changes or going to selective gear we were told that this would “place an undue portion of the conservation burden on sport fishermen”.

In other words, if the tribe won’t cut back, we won’t.

This year we saw a complete about face.  At North of Falcon the state implied that it would not be opening the Hoh at all, and when asked for specifics as to terms, they would only say “Tell us why we should?”.

At the same meeting a state WDFW representative twice laughed out loud at questions asked about summer fishing on the Hoh and would offer no information about what the states plan for the river might be.

Later, Mike Gross of WDFW was kind enough to offer some insight into this position.

He explained that some folks at wdfw believed that if they shut the sports fishermen out completely they could then force the tribe to cut back on summer kings or take legal action if they did not.

Shockingly it turned out the Hoh tribe did not give a shit what the state said, and they sure as hell were not scared off by the empty threat of legal action. They called the states bluff in a grand fashion.

Before we got to North of Falcon the Hoh tribe had let us know their proposed net schedule was. And it did not change significantly after they heard about the “sport fishing closure”.

Additionally the tribe is not responding, or even speaking to WDFW at all.  They are going about their business the way they see fit.

So sport fishermen will be off the river at least until August 1.  The tribes will have both Ceremonial and commercial openings as of May 1.

There are a couple silver linings here.  The state will finally go to selective gear at least for the summer.

That’s super cool, it will save a few summer kings, but also be a huge boon to native summer steelhead and cutthroat.

And all of a sudden WDFW seems genuinely interested in the data the guides association has been collecting.

Here is the rub.  This was an effort to use sport fishermen, and the business that cater to them, as a political tool.  WDFW made it clear that if people lost jobs, if people lost access to steelhead and trout fisheries that are in good shape, that’s fine, as long as it leads to political gains against their co-manager/adversaries the tribes.  Even, if in the end, it did not lead to real recoveries in fish stocks.

The goal here was not protecting summer kings (WDFW biologists have stated that a complete sport and tribal shutdown would likely not recover the summer king run, as it is believed that the bulk of the over harvest is happening at sea.) The goal was to force the Hoh tribe to the negotiating table, this did not happen.

So whats the take away?

Thousands of people drive all the way out to Forks every year to fish these rivers, at this point, with the current bag limits, none of them are coming here for the promise of Maximum Harvest.  The maximum sustained yield model no longer serves the state of Washington, we want, and deserve, something better.

We want diverse and healthy ecosystems that support a wide variety of healthy runs and native fish.  If we want that, we have to manage for that.  Washington’s MSY model works against this by measuring a rivers value only by how many pounds of salmon meat it can produce a year.

Lets do better

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

The fish are doing well, the managers are struggling

The fish are managing, the managers are struggling

 

Posted in Salmon Fishing, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Steelhead Fly Fishing Gear, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Fish catching continues, open seat for spey day

Hey,

I have an open seat for a spey day on May 29th,..That is you can share a boat with Steve, and pay $225.00 for the day.

DSCN2025Tatrawee was in town from Thailand and decided to try his hand at spey casting, this was one of the fish he landed today.

June, my friend, is almost here.  And you want to catch steelhead.  So you should come in June.  Summer run steelhead cage match starts June 6.

gettin ready to scoop

gettin ready to scoop

As for right now we are catching a mixed bag of winters steelhead, summer steelhead, lots of trout and the occasional spring Chinook.  The opener on June one will open up much of the Park water, June 6 will open up everything else.  Expect the summer run steelhead fishing to run pretty well until the August Hoh opener, with summer Coho showing in July.

perfect fish

perfect fish

We will be fishing mostly the Bogachiel, Calawah and Quillayute for summer fish, with Occasional trips to the Queets or Quinault until August.  Then we add in the Hoh, and wait for rain.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Posted in Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Salmon , steelhead,Trout, trout , trout.

We have been catching a lot of fat cutthroat on fry/smolt patterns, some damn nice ones too.

Otherwise its typical May spey fishing, great weather, no crowds, a fish a day or so, maybe a late winter steelhead, maybe an early summer, maybe a springer.

The springer fishing has been a little bit slow, but we have been managing a couple a day on hardware, and we are moving toward the peak of the season.

The big river openers start on June 1, and then again on June 6th.( And again August 1…just wait for my net post)

We still have some slots for the summer steelhead opener.  This is a great time to get in on some early summer steelhead and some great dry fly trout action.  This is a cool deal, don’t miss out.

a nice place to be

a nice place to be

June steelhead are the most aggressive we get all year, we can often do a lot of sight fishing and with the low water this season they should come in ready to eat dry flies.

FullSizeRenderLooks like we have another opening in the May 30th Spey workshop.  Send me an email if you are interested.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Posted in Fly Fishing Classes and Workshops, Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Summer Steelhead Fly Fishing Report, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged , | 1 Comment

First fish a long of the season

Awesome day the other day, Tim came out for his first day of steelhead fishing, and his first day on the water of spey casting, and landed a nice 11 pound native hen.

She cracked a big stupid orange fly out in the middle of the river in heavy current, like spring fish will, and pulled and jumped like hell.

I got to cast briefly at a couple of rolling spring kings and not get them to bite, and we both caught some very nice cutthroat. Saw maybe 2 other anglers. A good day, I forgot how much I love this season and doing fishalongs.

It tends to be just the right amount of fishing for me, with a bit of guiding, casting instruction and lunch fixing thrown in.

I am going to throw May 14 and 28 into the fish a long pot.

Olympic peninsula steelhead

Olympic peninsula steelhead

A fish-a-long is essentially a guided fishing day where I take a bit off the price and fish right a long with you.  You will get help with casting, presentation, gear and fly selection and tips on figuring where your time is best spent.

Pricing 1 angler $275.00

2 anglers $400

3 anglers $500

Like all our guided trips lunch gear and flies included.

On another note. I am still seeing soooo many steelhead spawning beds.  The spawn started early this year with the warm winter flows, fish were on the spawn in good numbers in the upper rivers in early January, but it just keeps going and going.  Its really cool.  Hiked a little spring creek the other day, beaver pond after beaver pond swirling with native fry.

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Forks Wa

Posted in Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Salmon Fishing, Searun Cutthroat Trout Fly Fishing Report, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged | Leave a comment

Spring Chinook

Fly fishing for Spring Chinook,

Probably a bad idea, but here I go again.  There are some times, places and conditions where OP spring Chinook come well to the fly, but making the stars align in your favor is tough.

Still we persist and occasionally prevail, in the mean time we generally hook a steelhead or two in the attempt and swing some very beautiful water.  If you are in the mood to be truly challenged, and probably frustrated and spey fish some exceptional water, this is all you.

From now until about the first week of June we will be running spring salmon trips.

Springers on the fly are tough to come by, but persistence pays

Springers on the fly are tough to come by, but persistence pays

Gear fishing for spring Chinook

Blasphemy, I know, a fly fisherman offering gear trips.  Here is the deal.

These freakin things are better on the table than anything I’ve ever eaten.  If you want one you can go to the market and get a 4 day old fish for $30.00 a pound, or spend the morning with a gear rod in hand. They pull really hard.

Fun to catch no matter how you do it

Big springer on a plug

 

Jim Kerr

Rain Coast Guides

Posted in Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Salmon Fishing, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | 2 Comments

You could be catching a big fish

Right now.

Its true.  We still have some gear fishing for springer catching specials out there.  Yep, still swinging some chrome bright steelhead, and if you want to look down your calendar just a little we have a June one opener coming up, and a 1st Saturday in June opener, and well other stuff.

Summer steelhead?  Yep, right around the corner.

Nice fish Jeff

Nice fish Jeff

Megan with a unmarked spring king, Thanks Ryan

Megan with a unmarked spring king,
Thanks Ryan

Workshop Schedule is looking like this

Good Spey fishing workshop

April May and June is two handed rod season here, its my favorite time to fish, and a great time to help people develop their spy catching.

We will be offering several spey workshops, the first two are focused on the techniques that consistently result in hooking steelhead and salmon on the two handed rod.

The format of this workshop is a little different in that I limit it two three guests so that we can float a river. This way we can fish and discuss water that regularly produces fish.

We will have plenty of time on the river time to sharpen your casting but more importantly work on doing what it takes to get a fish on your fly.

The goal is to help you hook more fish on your two handed rod by overcoming challenges of casting, presentation, and reading water.

These workshops are on Saturdays so you can make a weekend of it if you like, learn some new spots and tricks and then take what you have learned fishing on Sunday

 

 

Workshop includes

6 hours of on the water instruction, casting presentation, gear and fly selection

A ton of awesome spey rods and lines to mess with.

Bring your map and we will make notes on rivers and run timing

Lunch and drinks

Work shop dates

Sat May 9, Saturday May 30th

 

Costs

$150 per guest

email jimkerrguides@mac.com for info

Jim Kerr

rain Coast guides

 

 

 

 

Posted in Fly Fishing Classes and Workshops, Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Salmon Fishing, Steelhead Fly Fishing Gear | Leave a comment

Fish a long dates, Spey Workshops

Hey,

Everyone wants to spey fish better, here are two ways to get started.

Fish a long dates

A fish-a-long is essentially a guided fishing day where I take a bit off the price and fish right a long with you.  You will get help with casting, presentation, gear and fly selection and tips on figuring where your time is best spent.

I have fish a long dates on May 1,8, and 15.  We also have lodging if you would like.

Pricing 1 angler $275.00

2 anglers $400

3 anglers $500

Like all our guided trips lunch gear and flies included.

 

Spey fishing Work shop

This is a full day workshops where the main focus is learning effective spey fishing techniques. We will float a section of river, break down the runs, discuss gear and flies and really work on effective presentation.

The focus of the day will be growing your skills and understanding of effective spey fishing, not necessarily putting a fish on your line.

Cost is 150.00 per angler, three angler limit

If you have a group of three we can work a rate on lodging

Dates,

May 2, 9,30, and 6

big steelhead

big steelhead

Jim Kerr

Rain Cost Guides

 

 

Posted in Guided Fishing Deals and Specials, Winter Steelhead Fly Fishing Report | Tagged | 1 Comment