Things have started to change in the PNW for anglers and wild fish. No longer on the O.P. in WA state are you allowed to harvest a wild steelhead. Other changes include no bait , no barbs and in a very small section of the upper Hoh river , no fishing from your boat. To me as a guide and a wild fish advocate I am very excited to finally see the changes made into law. This might help recover the dwindling runs of wild Steelhead on our beloved Olympic peninsula rivers. It is a very good start , but , we really need the native tribes on board as well...no more netting the last of these majestic icons of the PNW . We all need to be involved in a comprehensive plan to protect wild fish , wild people , and at the same time work towards a mutual goal...healthier runs of all fish on the O.P. !
If sportsmen are going to have a future catching wild fish in the PNW we HAVE to work hand in hand with the native peoples. My idea is to create a new treaty with our friends to enhance our fisheries and other natural resources that can be sustainable for future generations. In other words show them the benefits of tourism , heritage tours , wildlife tours , fishing charters , cultural classes and maybe even small scale casinos ? Trying to do something that highlights their culture and traditions without long term destruction of the natural resources .
As I write this its mid January 2016 and I feel that for me personally this might be the last year guiding the O.P. for wild winter Steelhead ...just wrestling my own demons that haunt me when land a big native fish , and then well...when I don't . My enthusiasm has not faded for wild places and wild faces , but now I see too many faces and not enough wild places .
I am always looking up river river around the next corner for the perfect run...lets make 2016 a year of conservation and exploration !