In case you haven't noticed, the anglers have arrived and the river
is getting crowded. Anglers that came early to avoid the crowd,
are the crowd.
With the extra numbers on the river we should pay a little more
attention to streamside etiquette. To make sure you and other anglers
enjoy our waters, please observe the following fishing ethics.
> Give other anglers adequate time and room to fish the
> NEVER enter the water immediately below another angler.
We don't push through to the front of the line at the theater, supermarket
or ski hill, and we shouldn't do it on the river.
> Please rotate. Upon landing a fish, the downstream angler
exits the pool and returns to the head of the pool, allowing the
following angler to fish undisturbed fish.
Three of us went to the Kitimat River a couple of months ago to
fish Chum Salmon. It is a popular spot and you can not expect to
have the pool to yourself. There was a visiting angler from Italy
on the pool and he was not moving and working the run. We explained
to him how to work the pool, and the rotation method. "Ah,
Rotundo, Rotundo" he smiled. He had never fished that way and
appreciated the input. We got to know him, where he had fished,
what he fished for in Italy, etc. We helped each other land fish,
gave him some pointers and had a thoroughly enjoyable day. When
the visiting Italian angler left he thanked us profusely saying
he had a great day. By involving him, he became part of the group,
instead of a lone angler, and we all had a richer day because of
> Boaters should give a wide berth to bank anglers and
waders and throttle down if possible.
River manners also involve the proper handling and release of fish.
> Please play fish as quickly as possible.
> Keep fish in the water. Fish to be released should NEVER
be skidded up the beach. All fish to be released should be landed
in a couple feet of water so they don't injure their eyes, gills
or remove the protective slime.
> Always handle a fish with wet hands. Do not use wool
gloves as they have been found to remove the slime and leave the
fish vulnerable to fungus attack.
> Do not try to remove the hook on a deeply hooked fish,
cut the leader instead.
> If you are taking pictures, compose the picture beforehand,
focus and have everything set up. Then lift the fish for a quick
picture, and back in the water. Studies have shown that a fish out
of the water for a minute has only a sixty- percent chance of survival.
(All previous issues are stored in the ARCHIVE
for your convenience)
> Hold the fish upstream, supported under
the pectoral fins and tail, and release the fish only when the fish
is fully recovered and strong enough to swim away.
The best pressure is peer pressure, and if you want
to preserve your enjoyable experience on the water, you may have
to gently remind some anglers that this is the way we fish here.
If you condone bad manners and say nothing then you are really
saying it is OK to act that way.
We are privileged to be able to enjoy this resource. Please respect
the fish, the rivers, the land and other anglers.
How's the fishing?
Enough of the sermon, how is the fishing? Well, most
of us have heard that the steelhead index is up and it certainly
is better than last year. Anglers are reporting that many of their
steelhead have net marks on them. We don't enjoy a steelhead's incredible
beauty being marred but at least it was freed of the net to make
your day. The rivers up until tonight, Friday the 13, are in great
The Coho Salmon opening has meant more anglers on
the river to add a tasty Coho to the fall larder. The limit on Coho
is four per day, BUT, and we repeat, BUT only one per day over 50
cm.-20 inches. In the Kitimat and Nass River system you are allowed
four Coho per day, BUT only two over 50 cm. There is a season just
opened on the Babine River for Coho. Limit on the Babine is four
per day BUT only one over 50cm.
We have heard of some steelhead being killed, and
when questioned, the anglers said they had purchased a steelhead
stamp, so therefore could kill a steelhead. I wish anglers like
that would end up in my court if I were a judge. We have also had
confirmed stories of anglers killing steelhead saying they thought
they were Coho. Again if we don't say anything to those anglers,
are we saying it is OK?
Ceramic rod guides are a quantum improvement over
the guides of yesterday but they can also crack if banged or the
rod is dropped. If the guides are cracked they will chew up your
line like piranha teeth. Check your guides frequently with a magnifying
glass, or run a piece of nylon stocking through the guides to see
if there are any sharp edges.
If you use a spinning rod and your line feels rough or breaks easily
check your line guide on the bail. A faulty bail or a groove cut
in the bail also chews up line badly.
Enjoy your weekend.
Check the Photo page for
more Babine Weir grizzly photos.