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The Owyhee River, Why is it so good?

Posted on July 13 2015

 In my lifetime of fishing there have been two things that have had by
far the greatest impact on dry fly fishing for trout.

  The first was the advent of catch and release fishing.  This has
allowed fish to grow to adult size, spawn effectively and produce wild
trout stocks. It has put mature trout in rivers and added an element
of excitement to dry fly fishing. The chance to catch a trophy sized
trout in most rivers didn't exist 50 years ago. tHE OWYHEE RIVER IS NO
KILL FOR BROWNS.Rainbows are stocked and can be taken by anglers. The
difference in the two species in the river makes the clearest
statement possible for catch and release fishing.

The second greatest impact on dry fly fishing during my life time has,
unfortunately, been a negative one.  The proliferation of drift boats
and personal flotation devices has altered the very way trout feed.
The continual assault created by an uninterrupted line of boats during
peak fishing periods gives trout no rest.  Every pool is fished every
day, sometimes as often as every 15 or 20 minutes. No longer do pods
of trout lie just under the surface in productive feeding lanes
gulping food off the surface. Trout adapt, they feed less on the
surface. They learn to change lies while feeding, seldom taking more
than a couple of flies from the same lie. In short, they are much more
difficult for a dry fly angler to catch.

This, coupled with the aesthetic degradation of the very environment
in which  trout are found by the constant downriver progression of
boats carrying fishermen, many of whom are concerned only with their
own pleasure and who give little or no thought to the effect they are
having on the wade fishermen, has served to changed the experience of
the average dry fly fisherman on today's major trout streams in what
can best be described as an unfavorable way.

THERE ARE NO BOATS ON THE OWYHEE. Five minutes on the river will show
you, in no uncertain terms,what boats have done to dry fly fishing.


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