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Technique effectiveness: nymphing with a strike indicator vs streamer fishing


monger
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I think it depends on which kind of nymphing one chooses. I used to fish the 'corkies' all the time, and caught some fish, but nothing to write home about. I even tried 'naked nymphing' which doesn't involve any kind of sighter or indicator. 

When I switched over to Euro-style nymphing, I was into fish almost every outing, even through the winter. Obviously the Euro technique isn't the best choice for every situation, but as a wading angler, this technique has given me more fish in one day than I had caught in a year trying streamers, swinging wet flies and dries.

I need more experience with streamers, so I need some time with my 6W. Obviously @monger you are a master of the streamer technique...getting bored? 

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Some days the fish prefer nymphs, some days streamers, the odd day dry fly's. So...depends on the day to answer that question. 

I do think though that a fish doesn't care how he is caught and no one method is more 'okay' than the other. A quick release is key in all situations. 

I did watch the recent seminar and am guessing this question by Monger is influenced by that presentation.

Of note, the biologists indicated that a fish caught more than 1x a year will result in a declining fishery. They base that on a study by Jim Stelfox on little tiny Quirk Creek. Question: Is that number applicable to a larger river with such a healthy trout population such as the Bow?

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Yes the data from Quirk Creek is not necessarily representative of what is going on in the Bow.

I am just wondering about angling techniques as the government seems determined to change angling pressure to decrease the catch rate on the Bow. If the goal is to decrease the number of times fish get caught, should we not exclude the most productive technique on average? And the information offered said that fishing from a boat was better than from shore. So  how can we limit our technique the most effectively from a boat?

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On 11/6/2021 at 9:18 AM, rodofplenty said:

Is that number applicable to a larger river with such a healthy trout population such as the Bow?

I think it’s been proven that the Bow does not currently have a healthy, sustainable trout population… 

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C&R angling did not cause the decline in fish populations on the Bow. The 2013 Flood had significant impacts on the rivers Benthos, Riparian area's and Hydrology. Recovery of these natural systems has been slow. The Cumulative Effects of miles and miles of Rip Rap (loss of Riparian areas and disturbance), in-stream construction projects (Bow, Elbow, Highwood, Sheep rivers), harmful flow regimes, (Ghost flood mitigation release of water in May and corresponding high sediment flows), poaching and increased avian predation, have caused further stresses and contributed significantly to the delays of the Bow rivers recovery. Slowly, in the past few seasons, we are seeing these vital, natural systems begin to normalize, with a corresponding recovery of all fish populations, (Rainbows, Browns, Whitefish, Suckers, Ling Cod, Pike, Bait fish species). The Bow is an amazing, resilient river....

ps. Pelicans suck more than bobber's....though bobber's suck a little too, but, fish however you want. Enjoy!

 

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Sorry Monger, I see what you want to achieve in your question.

Probably not rocket science to say that multi-fly nymph fishing accounts for most hook-ups on most days.

I have subsequently talked with a fellow who is part of the team looking at the Bow and he indicated studies from other major rivers in Montana show that getting the catch rate down to 2x would be the goal. Also, it appears that our rainbows in the Bow are most affected, not the Browns.

There will be more to come to help us all get 'up to speed' on the science behind the findings. After talking to this fellow, I feel more confident with what will end up being proposed.

And yes, I believe 'fishing methods' during certain times of the year will be changing.

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Well, as someone who sat on the Stakeholders engagement committee who got to see first hand how fishery managers collected (ESTIMATED) much of the data that they used to come to their conclusions regarding the status of the Bow fish populations, I will say that the majority of the  committee's Stakeholders that I have spoken to are far from convinced that the government has got it right. Unlike the AEP fish techs and biologist who spend a few days a year electro fishing 2-3% of the Bow fish population and "guessing" the rest, there are some folks who spend a 100 days or more each year on the river and over the years (decades), have formed a wider angle perspective on the subject. As usual, the government did not seem interested in listening and did most of the talking. Many Stakeholder committee members, myself included, walked away shaking their heads in disbelief. The AEP narrative was apparent in last weeks PR Webinar presentation where they gave the general public a brief summary of their conclusions which was focused on "Recycle Rates", their new buzz word, which they created to sell their case.

 

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What do you know about it, Brent? You were not involved in these meetings. I think that the experience, knowledge and perspectives of some of the committee members (Jim McLennan), would be highly regarded by most in the angling and scientific community, for good reason. The role of the committee was to question the AEP's data collection methodology, assumptions, conclusions and to raise concerns, give insight, perspective etc. The general consensus was that they were not interested in listening.

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Folks had a good reason to be upset over the river closure. The government had no water temperature data to justify the closure where as the Guides were taking water temps everyday. The Bow is a Tailwater system fed by a cold water source at Bearspaw dam. Hoot Owl fishing restrictions would have been a reasonable measure. This was brought up recently with AEP and they agreed that in the future Hoot Owl restrictions on the Bow will likely be the remedy if the conditions meet the threshold for action.

I agree, Brent. One or two fish on the dry is a successful day for me. If I don't find any risers, I don't even make a cast. I spend most of my fishing time observing insects, river conditions, fish movements and lots of endlessly interesting and amazing things the river reveals each outing.

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On 11/7/2021 at 10:58 AM, monger said:

Yes the data from Quirk Creek is not necessarily representative of what is going on in the Bow.

I am just wondering about angling techniques as the government seems determined to change angling pressure to decrease the catch rate on the Bow. If the goal is to decrease the number of times fish get caught, should we not exclude the most productive technique on average? And the information offered said that fishing from a boat was better than from shore. So  how can we limit our technique the most effectively from a boat?

 

Rather than try to determine the most productive technique (which will undoubtedly put a large number of noses out-out-of-joint regardless of the outcome), would it perhaps be better to consider first a single barbless hook restriction on all fishing on the Bow?  That is, no multi-fly rigs, just one at a time, and all flies (or any hardware, etc.) used must have no more than a single barbless hook?

 

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I agree Toolman that the 2013 flood did the greatest amount of damage to the river. It is also apparent that the river is taking it's sweet time in getting back into healthy shape. 

It is simplistic to think that we can have a giant effect on things by catching less fish. There are indeed a number of factors working to depress the fish population.

I agree things are going in the right direction, but we are still far from where we were in 2012. There certainly is less bugs around, but it was encouraging to see nice trout with more meat on their bones this summer. Another scary factor to consider it the rising number of Prussian carp in the river. They will be very hard on the prey items in the river. It is so unfortunate that folks have no clue of the ecological disaster they have initiated by dumping/moving carp around.

Changing your angling techniques (hopefully for the short term) is a way we can lessen one of the stressors on the fish during the rebound. Are we so desperate to catch a fish that we can't sacrifice a little bit? You could challenge yourself to try something a little harder and maybe learn something new. Perhaps that would make you a better angler (rather than just a world renowned worm thrower).

These thoughts equally apply to the mountain streams where the Cutthroats are under greater pressure ever year. Why not challenge yourself to catch them by not nypmhing. It is doable if you take the time to improve your skills a bit and challenge yourself.

As for guides not will to give up anything so they continue to profit from a stressed public resource....I have no words

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Some of us wonder if Whirling Disease might be slowly eroding the Rainbow trout populations on the Bow (As it has in many US rivers), but AEP says there is no Whirling problem. I don't have any hard evidence to argue the point. AEP is saying that Rainbow recruitment is not a problem on the lower Bow, so WD is not a likely factor. However, there hasn't been any scientific investigation conducted on the HIghwood river tributaries, where the majority of Bow Rainbows migrate to spawn, and where WD could cause high mortality to eggs and fry. If any WD infected juvenile trout survived their first year in the nursery tributaries, it's unlikely that they would be able to swim back down to the Bow river with the returning adults, post spawn, the following year. And, even if a few infected juveniles did make it back, they would likely succumb to predation very quickly. This might explain why AEP has not found any infected Rainbows in the Lower Bow during their electro-fishing surveys in the Autumn/Fall.

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