Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Brain Pin and the Stinger

To be clear, I'm not the fish police but I do feel a responsibility to point things out that just don't seem right to me in an attempt to promote some ethics in our industry. I was fishing the other day with a wonderful woman who was crushing big browns through some fast water and as we drifted through a big riffle, she hooked a hen brown with this rig stuck in the side of its head. Scott and I discuss the ethics behind this rig on The Montana Dream Cast. Click the link below to listen in.

The Brain Pin and the Stinger

What's the problem? A couple things. This rig is usually tied to about a ten foot leader with a bunch of weight on it. Guides will tell clients to cast out in the fast water and then mend their line down-stream, accelerating the flies and whipping them across the riffle. Anything that gets in the way of these flies can't avoid getting hooked. Sometimes the flies get flossed between the fish's lips and would appear as though the fish ate the fly. More often than not, they get snagged in the side of the mouth or head or other places on the body like this rig did in that brown.

The nymph used here is bigger than anything a trout would be eating on the Missouri right now. The wire worm is, well; aggressive to say the least and it's not that I don't use them but when we do, we dead drift them. We don't swing them. We also pinch down the barbs on such massive hooks like these. This person did not and as a result, the only way that brown was going to lose these flies is for someone else to catch her and lend a helping hand.

Mortality and even wounding fish is going to happen but we can cut it down a little by just being ethical. I see fish all the time that are missing eyes, they're left with gaping holes in their sides, or just sickly looking and some of it comes from these types of rigs. I hope we can come to some kind of understanding of right and wrong here. I guess we all have to decide for ourselves. Just know, as a client hiring an outfitter, you won't see this from me or any of the guides I put on the water.

Keep 'em where they live...

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