Forgive me for going on a rant here, but I feel strongly about an issue not usually talked about and I’m having a hard time biting my tongue.

Back in the early spring, I bared witness to the most disgusting moment of my fly fishing life. I came upon an obvious guide trip where the guide was generously spooning fish eggs out of a mason jar into the river just upstream of where his two anglers were simultaneously casting over a  large group of spawning Rainbows. I was disgusted that the guide not only felt it necessary to chum the water for his anglers, but also didn’t consider it his job to educate his anglers on stream ethics. When I learned of pictures being posted by another fly shop that clearly showed browns being pulled from redds, it drew me to an equal level of nausea.

Look, we all want to catch big fish and we have all made that cast before, but as guides, or staff, or as pro anglers it’s our job to promote catch and release, barbless hooks, rubber nets, and all other ways to preserve the resource that we all enjoy. A desire to protect the resource is generally what separates fly anglers from bait fisherman! Walking the line between catching large fish during spawning season and destroying the future generations is a line that many anglers come close to but try not to cross.

Interrupting spawning fish is just bad practice, and it’s generally obvious when it happens. This seasons run of browns had bad news written all over it when the flows in the Dream Stream dropped to a mere 35cfs. This flow presents a real “fish in the barrel” situation where these large browns are forced to spawn in only inches of water.

Here’s the first picture posted:

Nice fish, big brown, you should be proud of yourself. This female was obviously on a redd if she’s firing eggs. It’s one thing to interrupt her spawn but the additional stress of a photo shoot while she’s losing eggs is ridiculous. Dipshit #1 here is giving us a visual abortion of our next generation.

Here’s the next picture:

Same fish, caught in the exact same spot, different idiot. Dipshit #2 here continues to rape the resource. Nicely done guys, you should be proud, you are the new poster children for stream ethics. This is purely tasteless, disrespectful, and it reminds me of when I see pictures of people holding up large fish in their kitchen.

 If anyone has questions on the etiquette or ethics to which I have expressed, please email me and I would be happy to discuss this further. Ben AT frontrangeanglers.com

Respect your Catch,

Ben McGee
Front Range Anglers Guide Service