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By the end of last year, I decided that I would focus on fly fishing I have been fishing lakes for the last 5 years. I really miss the casting and reading of the water, and more importantly trying to match the hatch. All of the recent salmon developments, further validate this decision. In fact last year I only hit Winni 3 times (one on a charter with Travis). The reason, was really lake access. The changes at Glendale pretty much ended my 4 years of great access. Instead, I hit many trout ponds and lakes including some good waters with multi species where they stock browns and boy noone fishes for them and they get big. Most of these lakes have limited deep water so you know where to go.
I will also do a fair amount of bass fishing with the kids and Stripers in the ocean. I look forward to spending time on the quality trout fly fishing only waters also since they were all my stomping grounds pre-motorboat. I am really looking forward to it this year.
We are very lucky to have such a diverse fishery in NH and New England. So giving salmon a break for a year or two is fine for me.
I do feel bad for the many guides and local businesses where this potential supplemental income loss can be tough to deal with. I hope you all find your ways through the potentially tough times this may cause.
I would like to thank Travis, Jason and Adrian for helping me when I started fishing Lake Winni. They each shared bit of info to this day I consider very private it was very helpful in learning just enough about Winni to keep wanting to come back. This information was not mine to share on the board so I didn't.
A good friend of mine who I fished Winni several times was concerned about the amount of information posted on the site during its infancy and I was surprised not to see him post anymore, but I knew he still spent plenty of time on the water. At that time, I along with many on this site enjoyed the new WEB 2.0 technology called social networking. This is our facebook and twitter - just a simple bravenet forum. Very effective and in fact, I would guess that many people enjoy reading the board and messages just as much as fishing at times. That is a good thing.
The downside is the multitude of information, products, and locations opened the fishery to many people. In many ways this helped fuel the local economy in a positive way - lots of trips etc. I don't think unless we start tagging smelt, will we know if this information explosion resulted in the decline of the fishery.
Keep in mind that the similar explosion of bass fishing tournaments and re-release points also may have had a massive impact on the salmon also. The release points at these tournaments displaces the most aggressive predator in the lake from coves and shallow water - to points that border very deep water in the center section of the lakes. Bass will also school and when released if they see shoals of smelt will swim and feast on them as a school. We also do not know just how much the lake trout populations may have an affect also.
This is why deep water ecosystems are still very difficult to predict.
Remember our natural resources in this day and age are managed by people for people. No one is to blame and everyone is to blame. The key, like anything is moderation. Great fishing days today may mean poor fishing days tomorrow. Enjoy these outings as there is no guarantee they will be there in the future. I beleive they will be but a what price. I would be surprised if any new regulations will ever be repealed once put in place.
We have been fishing the Winni Derby for the last 3 years and it was a lot of fun - especially on the radio. But this replaced the guys' weekend up in Pittsburg. So looks like I will be heading north - I have yet had to deal with Didymo (now that's another problem too) and I look forward to getting back on the Conn Lakes too.
I think the details of slot limits, # of fishing rods, and other specific details will help - but I also believe that bass relocation is a major problem!! Don't you think the catch, cull and release of bass, makes them hungry to replenish their energy and hook wounding also?? I do. I think these tournaments should be managed differently with rotating re-release points and in areas where there is less deep water so as they spread back out they don't go after the smelt as much.
I hope you all have a great 2010 fishing season. There are many options. You are all very passionate fisherman and I am sure your will have fun times this year. This is a setback and a realization of the fact there are always greater forces at work.