August 22, 2022
As the subtle shift from summer to fall begins across parts of the North American fly fishing world, there’s news from the International Game Fish Association of a Florida fly angler who broke his own snook catch-and-release world record in a matter of days this summer. More news below...
Hoot Owl Reg Changes in Montana?
On Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022, the Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks (FWP) Fish and Wildlife Commission will meet in Bozeman to consider lowering hoot-owl temperature threshold for native fish.
On the table is lowering the temperature threshold to close waters in designated cutthroat trout streams to 66 degrees for three consecutive days and lowering the threshold in designated bull trout streams to 60 degrees for three consecutive days. The current threshold is 73 degrees for three consecutive days for any trout stream.
Montana FWP adopted ARM 12.5.502 in 2008, authorizing the department to implement angling restrictions or even angling closures during periods of drought and warm temperatures pursuant to criteria in ARM 12.5.507. Such rules are intended to minimize impacts to fisheries from anglers during periods of high temperatures, low flows, or both, all common problems during the summer months as climate change continues to push its way onto the landscape.
Hoot owl restrictions have become commonplace in Montana over the past few years. Last summer, there were 33 restrictions and/or closures implemented.
UPDATE: At the Aug. 25 meeting, the Fish and Game Commission unanimously voted to approve the new hoot-owl temperature thresholds in cutthroat and bull trout waters. Details to follow.
Flood Tide Goes Up for Sale
Following the recent news of fly-fishing industry giant Simms Fishing being sold to Vista Outdoors, it looks like another industry company is up for sale. Flood Tide Co., started by artist Paul Puckett more than a decade ago, is looking for a buyer.
“I am both excited and saddened to report that after 11-plus years we have decided to explore the potential sale of Flood Tide and our incredible brand and work product. With that said, I think it is important to note that I am very open to continuing a relationship with Flood Tide’s new ownership group in whatever form makes sense for all parties," Puckett told Angling Trade.
Anyone interested in obtaining more information can e-mail Charleston Business Brokers’ Marc Williams.
Americans Win Medals at World Flycasting Championship
The 6th World Flycasting Championship were held last week in Norway, where more than 90 athletes from 12 different nations competed.
While Norway and other European countries won their share of medals, 18-year old American fly-casting sensation Maxine McCormick used her 20/10 vision and famed fly casting prowess to once again wow the crowd with four gold medals.
“On the precision course, Maxine McCormick threw 80/80 points in the preliminary round (of the Women Trout Accuracy competition), a world record regardless of gender,” according a report from the competition. “18-year-old McCormick eventually became a four-time world champion.” The New York times once called her the Mozart of fly casting
Master Spey caster Whitney Gould added four medals, including a gold of her own in the Women’s Spey 15,1 Distance category.
On the men’s side of the Trout Accuracy competition, McCormick’s dad Glen McCormick took home gold while Glen Ozawa brought home silver.
Other American medals won at the 6th World Flycasting Championship include:
- Veteran Trout Accuracy, Chris Korich, gold
- Women Trout Accuracy, Audrey Wilson, bronze
- Men Trout Distance, Henry Mittel, silver
- Women Trout Distance, Maxine McCormick, gold
- Men Seatrout Distance, Henry Mittel, silver
- Women Seatrout Distance, Maxine McCormick, gold
- Women Seatrout Distance, Audrey Wilson, bronze
- Veteran Seatrout Distance, Chris Korich, gold
- Men Salmon Distance, Henry Mittel, bronze
- Veteran Salmon Distance, Chris Korich, bronze
- Women Spey 16 Distance, Whitney Gould, silver
- Men Comb 1-4, Henry Mittel, silver
- Women Comb 1-4, Maxine McCormick, gold
- Women Comb 1-4, Whitney Gould, bronze
- Veteran Comb 1-4, Chris Korich, gold
- Women Comb 1-6, Whitney Gould, silver
Hardy, Artic Silver, and Greys sponsored the competition.
West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days Approach
The Fifth West Yellowstone Trout Spey Days will be held from Sept. 9-10, 2022.
"We are thrilled to be partnering again with the Custer Gallatin National Forest and hosting our Trout Spey Days event right here in West Yellowstone," said a news release from the Big Sky Anglers fly shop. "As always, there will be a lineup of great presenters, and a number of reps on hand from a variety of gear companies, showing off their goodies and letting attendees try out rods and lines for themselves, on the water. We are fortunate again to have Simon Gawesworth as a special guest and presenter this year."
Due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns, they are requiring that people sign up for the event beforehand. There is a $25 fee. Those who attend will receive exclusive discounts the week of the Spey event; children under the age of 15 can attend for free.
For more information, visit the Big Sky Anglers website or call (406) 646-7801.
McKinney Fire Spurs Klamath River Fish Kill
A large fish kill has been observed on the California section of the Klamath River after a debris flow event resulted from the ongoing McKinney Fire, burning in the area.
Photos released earlier this month from the Karuk Tribe document large numbers of dead fish between Indian Creek and Seiad Creek, about 20 miles upstream. Fortunately, the bulk of the fish appear to be suckers according to Dan Bacher of The Stockton Record.
“Tens of thousands of fish, including suckers, juvenile salmon, lamprey eel, crayfish and resident trout/steelhead have perished in this fish kill,” Craig Tucker, consultant for the tribe, said in the Bacher-authored story.
A huge debris slide, which doubled the river's flow, took place on August 2 and 3 on the mainstem of the Klamath and on neighboring Trinity and Salmon rivers.
"This led to dissolved oxygen levels dropping to zero for four hours on the nights of Aug. 3 and 4, according to Karuk Seiad Creek water quality station,” said Tucker. “The result was a fish kill. We know the impact is limited to 50 miles in the reach between Humbug Creek and Indian Creek. The fish we are seeing in Happy Camp and below are floating downstream from the ‘kill zone.’”
The Klamath River is a vital stream in the Pacific Northwest, being the second largest salmon producer in California.
ODFW to Host Public Meetings on Plans to Treat Heart Lake
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) will host public meetings in Lakeview and Klamath Falls on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 to outline plans to remove brown bullhead and fathead minnow from Heart Lake in order to improve the trout fishery.
ODFW will use rotenone to remove all fish from the lake, which is routinely stocked with fingerling rainbow trout.
According to a press release: “In recent years, the agency has stocked an increasing number of legal and trophy-size fish in order to provide a quality fishery. Fingerling trout are an economical way to stock trout, especially in a productive water body like Heart Lake. By removing the brown bullhead and fathead minnow, (Justin Miles, ODFW fish biologist in Lakeview) hopes the fingerling fish will have a better chance to reach legal-size.”
Montana FWP Again Asking for Public Comments on Madison River Crowding Issue
Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) is once again seeking comments from the public on recommendations for commercial use and recreation management on the Madison River. FWP will host several meetings to engage the public on the current proposals.
The Madison River Work Group presented recommendations to the FWP Fish and Wildlife Commission in June, but the Commission decided to seek comments from a “broader public” on the recommendations for “a longer comment period than the rulemaking process requires.”
The public comment period is now open until October 14. Click here for more details or to make a comment.
Lynn Burkhead is a Senior Digital Editor.