Welcome to the all new West End
The other shoe has fallen. I never thought it would actually come to pass, but as of the first of July the Sol Duc, Bogachiel, Calawah all went to no bait regulations.
The goal of these regulations was to protect native winter steelhead and smolt, but they will have a profound effect on summer fish runs.
We also saw a long over due reduction in the sockeye limit. The Sol duc has a wonderful run of small sockeye, but sport anglers have keyed into them in recent years and are putting on some hard pressure. Dropping the limit from two to one a day will help keep these guys coming back strong.
My floats on July 1st and second were a bit interesting as it seemed many had not gotten the no bait memo, in total I saw 9 other anglers over the course of those two days. Three of them were openly fishing bait, in a manner that made me doubt that they knew it was illegal. I chatted with them about it and they seemed honestly surprised.
As a fly fishing guide these new regulations make my job a bit easier, as a conservationist I like to see sport angler impact reduced. I understand the frustration of anglers who see the large schools of hatchery kings in the Sol Duc and know that at this point of the season very few of them will be harvested without bait.
But those fish are native brood stock. If they are left in the river they will do it good. And for those that have the patience to try to coax them into eating without bait, the prize is that much greater.
Salmon are game fish, this is another step in treating them that way.
Rain Coast Guides
Good article Jim. Time to put that Borax away