But liberal limits and a fish trap are certain not to guarantee elimination of the big, beautiful fish, which are currently planting and fertilizing eggs. And there are undoubtedly hundreds more - maybe thousands - that are too young to spawn this year, thus making them difficult to capture. Fisheries management is an inexact science and managers admittedly don't really know how to handle this situation in a multiple-use/conservation-minded area keeping as many folks happy as possible. It's an experiment that will be evaluated when it's over.
So we fished. Within 15 minutes, Liz landed three around 20 inches - it probably goes without saying that the level of "sport" was low (we didn't fish over redds or anything, but we might as well have). These fish were absurdly aggressive - in some holes, two casts was an extended dry spell. But this trip was more about having fun while helping conserve a unique fish in an incredible place, than it was about sport-fishing. We have no illusions about our success.
|Big smile now...|
|Fish til you giggle...|
|Like a boss|
And they tasted great...
|At the fishing access site...|
If you recognize this fishery, have at 'er and help conserve an endangered fish. Keep in mind, however, that it's small water and a fragile ecosystem that probably wouldn't appreciate throngs of anglers.
We hate to lose this tremendous fishery, but if not for the efforts to rid the big and beautifuls, the creek would be closed this time of year and we'd never have the opportunity in the first place.
Regardless, we indulged for one weekend. It was something most lifelong fly anglers will never experience, and we appreciated every second and every fish. Hopefully this was not a final goodbye.
|Copyright Liz Juers|