Fishing has been very good the last 2-3 weeks, depsite the rumors and predictions of doom and gloom. Things really are looking good as we head down the home stretch of summer conditions.
The esteemed FWP has once again demonstrated their ineptness in imposing the "hoot owl" restrictions on pretty much every waterway that's worth a crap...except the Upper Madison and the Gallatin. Water Temps have been fine everywhere that you'd expect them to be. So the Lower Madison is warm...which is ALWAYS the case, and so are all of the lower end of the major drainges. It's how it is every year. We don't fish that stuff this time of year anyway. The Yellowstone from say Springdale up is fine.
The point is this....the hoot owl, closures, restrictions...whatever...do not save fish! They jsutify FWP's legal oversight of the management of our rivers. What do they actively do to manage our rivers and streams? NADA! They electroshock twice a year and turn ou their reports about a year behind schedule, The reports have to do with the numbers, size, and species of trout that inhabit certain sections of rivers. They simply monitor populations and may make changes to the regs based on the rudimentary resullts of the elctro shocking.
They can not show direct corrleations between population changes and water temperatures on any of the typical fisheries of SW Montana. The Firehole is not typical and it's not in Montana!
So, why all the hub bub? My tax dollars, in the form of licneses, (which are voluntary) are wasted away. FWP does good in that they buy land for wildlife and public access to recreational streams. They don't manage our wild trout fisheries though, so don't let the "Hoot Owl" restrictions make you think that they've got some sense! What's the difference between closing them at noon and 2, or 2 and 4? It's just propogandized BS. Furthermore...why not close Ennis Lake to fishing? Faulted Logic.
Anyway, fishing has been good, despite what FWP wants you to think! Trout are still eating Sculpins, Hoppers, and a gizillion different imitations of stoneflies, mayflies, caddis, and midges depsite what FWP might think. Concientous anglers that want to practice catch and release frequent places where the bite is on (fish really do slow down when the water gets over 73 or so)and take time to revive the fish. Ok I'm done with that little rant.
I really like FWP as an entity, but I've just seen too many episodes of bullshit behavior over the years. They made a big deal about us selling licenses, we had to hire an attorney and spend thousands of dollars to sell something that we make no money on! Then their accounting relies on faulted systems...they refunded me in excess of 4 g last year because of that! They tough talk on illegal guiding and outfitting, but let every felon with a hard luck story back on! A law is a law is a law. I'm tired of CONVICTED drug dealers being given the oppotunity to have a guide license. It's part of the deal and every guide or outiftter that has had a license knows that they will lose their license if they get caught committing a felony! So, why do they get their license anyway!!!!!!Then there is the issue of a couple guides and and teh son of the owner of one of the shops in Ennis last year that accidentally shot a couple of my guides with birdshot last fall. Oh yeah, did I mention that they shot the guys with BIRDSHOT while shooting at a HERD of deer CROSSING the river between between PRIVATE LAND, from a RAFT while NOT wearing ornage & they had another deer already in the raft? It took the FWP dudes about a month to follow up on the whole thing. The guys got a ticket for not wearing Orange. They still guide and have fishing licenses! So, think about some of thesethings next time you think that FWP really knows what it's doing with setting the various closures that spring to mind! Remember..our river and stream fisheries are wild trout populations (no hatchery), so ask yourself what expactly does FWP do to manage them?