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Author Topic: "The Creel"

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"The Creel"
OP: September 08, 2017, 08:18:21 PM
Years ago (ok, MANY years ago) A creel was a standard piece of Fly Fishing gear. As essential as a net, no fly fisherman would enter a stream without one. Old paintings and pictures, with a fly fisherman knee deep in a stream, a wicker basket creel acrossed his back, netting a trout... These are the pictures I love, those were the days I dream of, how simple and wonderful things must have been!!!

Today, the theme is "catch & release"... It is a wonderful conservation tool, that turned into a movement!!! In many places, we have fishing that surpasses our wildest dreams! I practice catch & release most of the time. However, I do enjoy trout grilled over an open fire, when I'm camping! Keeping a few fish to eat, is not a crime. As long as they are legaly caught & kept, they are mighty tasty!!! But it is... WIDELY frowned upon!

Usually when fly fishing, I use my old fishing vest. It's comfortable, and feels like an old friend. I have memories of many wonderful days spent fishing with that vest on, and personally I think it's "lucky" lol! My old basket creel is many years long gone... Replaced by several differant bag creels over the years. Sometimes if it's HOT, I'll take my bag creel, put my fly box, and a few other things in it, and go fishing...

Last summer, I was fishing the Esopus Creek. The water was low, and gin clear, however with the releases coming out of The Portal from the bottom of the Schoharie Reservior, the water temp was about 60 degrees. I parked my truck, doned my old rubber hip boots, grabbed my Orvis 5wt, slung the bag creel over my shoulder and headed down to the water. There were 2 Gentlemen fishing, one working a bend and the other the riffle below it. I waved & nodded a greeting, which was returned half heartedly, and proceeded down to a slow boulder strewn section below. I tied on a Black Nosed Dace streamer and proceeded to short swing it around the boulders. I kept watching the other 2 Gentlemen, and it was very clear they were watching me? I had given them both plenty of room? They seemed to be closer together now, and apparently they were NOT happy! Shortly after, I hooked a nice Brown! After a few jumps and a short tussel, I brought him to hand, unhooked him, and let him swim away... I'd been fishing a few hours and I was sweating though my feet were numb, time for a break! So I headed up toward the 2 Gentlemen. The one said rather gruffly, "nice fish"... "He was, Thank You!" I replied. "How many more you got" the other asked rather curtly... I told them "none" which seemed to peev them even more...?? Then it occurred to me... They had been "eyeballing" my rather "heavy looking" bag creel!!?? I reached in the bag, pulled out a surprisingly still cold can of beer, popped the top and took a drink. Then, I offered to share! (I actually had 2 more) They declined, and walked away shaking their heads and grumbling... Apparently, a drinking fly fisherman, is worse than keeping a few fish!!??
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Re: "The Creel"
#1: September 08, 2017, 08:41:59 PM
Harumph.

On the Esophus the creel should contain a silver flask of Mackinlay's single malt Scotch. 

Tsk, tsk.

Good story. 
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Charlie P.

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Re: "The Creel"
#2: September 08, 2017, 09:18:01 PM
    As soon as you said The Creel all I could think about was the fishing scenes in "A River Runs Through It".
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Re: "The Creel"
#3: September 13, 2017, 08:20:23 PM
absolutely nothing wrong with keeping trout where legal and the fishery can stand it. In fact, I believe it is one of the sublime pleasures of the sport to eat a trout fresh from the stream, preferably on the banks of the stream where you caught it. And an Artic Creel will keep a beer pretty cold.... 
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Re: "The Creel"
#4: September 14, 2017, 08:05:38 PM
I concur where legal and fishery can handle it...

When living in MT we kept a few here and there at times. In PA on the hammered creeks with madding crowds, not so...

I caught the same big brownie 2x in one day, albeit he fought less vigorous the 2nd time... I don't like to play them long in colder water as they build up lactic acid or so I read and can die after being released.

Where they're pressured HARD, and no natural reproduction, once they're gone, they're gone!

Too much "Put and take" mentality by the "crank up thru the top guide" types out there...

Conservation is an informed way of thinking--- not a set of rules!
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Re: "The Creel"
#5: September 14, 2017, 11:31:25 PM
I was fishing the Big Hole last month and had a good day regarding the quantity (between 35 & 40) of fish taken.  The quality though was a little on the small size compared to other rivers I normally fish, nothing over 17-18 inches.  When I commented on this, the local I was fishing with said 20-30 years ago it was normal to catch a few less fish, however one usually caught several over twenty inches.  Now, with the prevalent catch and release mentality (which I am guilty of practicing more often than not) there is an over population of fish and the lack of food makes big fish less common.  I agree with his assessment.

There isn't anything wrong with keeping a few fish in most rivers.  When the whim hits me, I tend to keep a couple of 12"+/-  for dinner and release anything smaller or bigger.

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