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#840990 - 07/28/08 12:01 AM The Mighty Caney
madMax
4 Point


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 130
Loc: Middle TN

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There seems to be two hot topics regarding the Caney lately:

1) It needs better regs and more trophy fish.
2) The river is too crowded to fish.

Hmm.. I wonder what would happen if we had new regs, a slot, and trophy trout fighting each other for our flies and corn nibblets every trip... we'd have one hell-of-a crowded river thats what!

Not only would there be more pleasure floaters searching for treasure but you would have 10x more guides, "meathunters", and more people/fisherman period. Look how packed the river is now, with trophy regs one can only wonder what kind of crowds & "commercializing" this river would attract. I guess the point is that we cant have it both ways. This is a freakin "put and take" fishery people, enjoy it for what it is, and be thankful it's as good as it is.

From what Ive seen there are 3 groups of us

a)Those in the upper crust, the 100% C&R flyfishing and tournament elite, "Gimme gimme those trophies!" (Disclaimer: NOT TO OFFEND : this is a very small BUT outspoken group. ALOT of C&R guys are very good people who dont push their beliefs on anyone...)

b)Those on the bottom, "meateaters", "Fill that bucket till it overflows Jimbo!"

c)And finally, the mighty group in the middle. Those of us that fish with all gear, for all species of fish, and yes sometimes we eat all of them "Who the heck cares what they're doing, Im going to enjoy this God-given resource for another day..."

I should put this man's quote in my sig line: "big fish should be a suprise not an expectation." -Stalker

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#841370 - 07/28/08 09:34 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: ]
gil1
12 Point


Registered: 04/06/07
Posts: 6339
Loc: Nashville, TN

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I'll have to agree with both of you. I remember using the argument with the TWR Commission that if they implemented new brown trout regulations, people wouldn't be bypassing the Caney to go fish GA, NC, KY, and AK anymore. To be honest, I din't even buy my own argument but I thought the TWRC might.

Well, now we're here. People are coming from afar to fish the Caney. They are spending their money here, just what we wanted, and it is sometimes shockingly crowded. "Be careful what you wish for" is starting to make sense to me.

Months ago when I was jousting with Tubs, I kept saying that he and others with his harvest mentality would decimate the fishery. The fishing would stink again, and people would stop coming. Again, I'm not even sure how much I believed my own argument because I knew deep down Tubs couldn't really hurt the fishery that much. But the hordes can. And they already have.

As far as I know, there is no answer to the crowding issue. "If you build it, they will come" is coming true. And my favorite Yogi Berra line, "Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded" is coming true too. Many of my friends and I have discussed that we can't bear the Caney on a weekend anymore.

But, yes, we can regulate and protect and make the fishing better. I know that many folks disagree with that mentality, and I don't know how to change or solve that. If the rivers are destined to be mediocre stocker catcheries, then so be it. All I'm saying is that there are plenty opportunities for folks to put and take with no regulation except a 7-trout creel. No size limit, no slot, no nothing. In fact, in the urban stocking program (usually called the food stamp program), folks are encouraged to kill trout because the trout will die anyway. The folks that don't care about quality fishing have tons of places to go to fill their creels.

So why should we "enjoy it for what it is" if it can be so much better? Why does it have to be strictly put and take? Why can't we have it all? Instead of having it catch and release like many folks want or catch and kill like many others want, why not a middle ground? The meathunters can fill their creels, and the trophy fishermen still have chances at some bigger fish. Those that think that is an elitist view are just plain wrong.

So why can't those of us with a different mentality have a few streams we can go to with a little bit more regulation? Unlike in the urban stocked streams, we'd like a better shot at a 14-inch fish, or even a 20-incher. The fishery has the potential to grow fish. Why not use that potential to make fishing a little better?

This site has visitors from all over the state, and the Caney dominates all trout discussion. Mark my words - If this keeps up, in a couple of years, nobody will mention the Caney much because it will be dead. It'll be highly regarded on the canoeing sites. Folks will just find another trout fishery to kill fish in.
_________________________
It is not the killing ...; it is the contest of skill and cunning. The true hunter counts his achievement in proportion to the effort involved and the fairness of the sport.

Dr. Saxton Pope

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#841385 - 07/28/08 09:54 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: gil1]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41849
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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Oh ity kills me to say this. But there is a lot of merit in both of the two early posts. You are both right. But you are only recognizing and arguing one facet. It is a bit like fixing an oil leak when the brakes don't work.
_________________________

Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

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#841588 - 07/28/08 11:25 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: bowriter]
stillinscrubs
4 Point


Registered: 08/16/07
Posts: 351
Loc: nashville, tn

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MaxD,

I think you left out one group....I will call them group F....they don't think the Caney can be any better and are the type of people who will always revert to the "why try" mentality.....very unAmerican if you ask me....I think this is bred out by our politically correct society and "gimme something I never earned mentaily" that will ruin this country if not checked....

The Caney Fork has tons of potential that is untapped and being ignored by those in the TWRA who continue to choose (a conscious act on thier part) to do nothing.....no action, period. The river has plummeted from its recent high about 16 months ago....far fewer large fish.....but still many....the reason over harvest of the quality fish...not trophies just good mid grade worth the trip fish....4-6 lb bass as a comparison....

I have never heard so many people whine for the status quo in my life.....Middle TN, especially the region around the Caney could benefit from some economic, yet sustainable, stimulus.....


Oh and Gil....stick to the carp.

And all you guys whinning about over crowding take a trip out to a well known western river and tell me about crowding.....


Edited by stillinscrubs (07/28/08 11:26 AM)

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#841665 - 07/28/08 11:56 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: madMax]
madMax
4 Point


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 130
Loc: Middle TN

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I didnt mean for my point to be "Why try?" But more like.. Why cry? Why cry about how crowded the river is in one post, but push for quality regs that would in effect increase crowds in another? Dont get me wrong, Im all for better regs on the Caney, they would definitely improve the quality fish even more. They would also increase the quantity of people that visit the river everyday. So if you support creating an even better fishing destination for people throughout the region dont cry about the crowds and just enjoy it imo...
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#841673 - 07/28/08 12:02 PM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: stillinscrubs]
Unicam Administrator
Grumpaw
16 Point


Registered: 12/13/00
Posts: 19369
Loc: Dallas, GA. & Cookeville, TN

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Changing this around a bit....what about the overall health of the river? I have seen more and more heavy grass in the Caney. Is this normal for a river that had a huge die off only a few years ago and a water level that rises and falls as much as it does? In the last 10 years we have gone from a few spots with grass/weeds in the water to much much more, the increas if you dont see it every day or every year is startling. As for the population of trophy trout....They are there. I have released a 6lb plus brown and released a 9 plus lb rainbow from that river. You should not catch them every time you go, but like hunting, persistence and patientce will pay off.
_________________________
"Gun Free Zones are for VICTIMS!"

John 15:13

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#841773 - 07/28/08 01:13 PM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: Unicam]
B.D.
8 Point


Registered: 03/24/08
Posts: 1484
Loc: Hendersonville TN

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Two things:

1. If you're asking me to choose between a well-managed, but crowded river, and a river that sucks so bad that nobody wants to go there, I'd rather have a good fishing day on a crowded river. Yeah, the crowds stink, and I think large scale canoeing operations should be MANAGED just like the fishery is managed. And for the same reason: too much exploitation of either resource ruins the experience for everyone.

2. I take exception to the insinuation that fly fishers are all "upper crust" or can't see the middle of the road. I fly fish, but I like to keep a few fish for the table every once in a while too. I'm not the only one - I saw 3 or 4 fly fishers with stringers of trout at Betty's Island just yesterday. Heck, the very REASON we're advocating a slot is so that everyone can get a bit of what they want. Meat fishermen still get to take home 7 nice trout, and the trophy fish get protected.

In my opinion, people who argue that they won't tolerate any management for trophy trout are just as unreasonable as people who say the Caney should be 100 percent catch and release.

bd

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#842033 - 07/28/08 03:27 PM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: ]
bowriter
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41849
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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Why has noone mentioned the fact that (as far as I know) more trout over 8# were caught out of CF in the last 12 months than any river I know of in TN ? (I know little about the catch on the Clinch.)

I agree, a trophy fish shouldn't be a once in a lifetime experience. For me and some others I know, just fishing the CF, it has been more frequent that once a month. My trophy trout catching, if you want to call it that, goes back a long ways. I have somewhere a picture of me with 9# brown and 5# rainbow I caught the same day in the late 70's. It was before I even had a beard.

The trophy fish are in that river right now. They are catchable. Even Tubs proved that. But how many would there have to be for fishermen who refuse to use the tackle that most often catch those fish to be happy?

No, this is not a rant against flyfishing. As I have stated a few times, I started with a flyrod, got pretty good with it. Many of my friends, even Gil, use the whip switch. Gil and I fished together one day and as I recall, he caught as many as I did. Mine were a tad larger. I don't have a thing against them and I don't keep any trout, so that isn't even in the mix. But if you are going to match the hatch, then use the right equipment and fish when the big fish are most catchable. There are plenty of them, more than you would ever dream.

I just haven't been shown that a slot limit would increase the survival rate on rainbows significantly. I'm not sure a study has even been done. Now eliminating rockfish from the Caney would dang sure jump the survival rate. \:\) And while we are at it, have you noticed the plethora of blue herrons?

But I will say this...totally unsubstantiated. Them there brookies should all be C&R. I love them pretty blue bullets.
_________________________

Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

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#842095 - 07/28/08 03:48 PM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: ]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41849
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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So you think QDM should be statewide \:\)
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Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

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#842176 - 07/28/08 04:18 PM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: ]
bowriter
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Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41849
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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But you see, Capt. You are looking at trout fishing the same way some hunters look at deer hunting. That being, "What would I like?" That is the basis of QDM. That is why I support it 100% on private land and oppose it 100% statewide.

Biologically and ecologically, it is not needed. The management program inplace is biologically and ecologically sound. It just doesn't meet your criteria. And neither you or I should be allowed to force our positions on the majority.

And that is just exactly what I have been saying from the start of this whole magilla.

If I was the only one fishing the CF...or any stream, I would close it to bait fishing, go with single, barbless hooks and make it all C&R (except deeply hooked fish) regardless of fish size.

But I have aged and wizened a tad. I realize, I alone, can't pay the freight to keep that river going. I realize, depsite the volumes of rhetoric, the majority of CF fishermen don't want any changes. We who post on this forum are just as those who post on the serious deer forum. We are not the average. And neither you nor I or Brian or Gil have one bit more rights than Joe Nightcrawler. And regardless of what we want, what we know would be good for the fishery, our opinion is not one whit more important than his.

I predict next year will be a slow year on the CF. It runs in cycles and I don't like the grass situation although it does provide superb cover. But the river is due a downturn. And I also predict it will be blamed on bait fishermen...and probably me.

But I will continue, as I have for almost 35 years, to go catch all the fish I want with some big ones mixed in and if a bait flinger asks me, I'll tell him where I think he can catch some fish.

I came to realize many years ago, the CF is not my river, or yours, or Brian's or Gil's. It belongs to all of us. We should all have an equal voice in it's fishery management. I think we have that now. Is it as good as it could be? No. Not by some standards. But it is as good maybe as it should be.
_________________________

Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

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#842792 - 07/29/08 12:05 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: madMax]
madMax
4 Point


Registered: 04/09/08
Posts: 130
Loc: Middle TN

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I never said all flyfishers are uppercrust elitists. If you poke fun or judge the gear and techniques of others on the water..then you might be an elitist. If you confront fellow fishermen and tell them the importance of releasing legal fish they choose to keep, then you might be an elitist.

I'm 23 and when flyfishing I use a flyrod thats almost as old as I am(gift from Pops). Ive heard the jokes and we have been confronted many a time over the years while taking home fish. Of these people 100% were either C&R only flyfishers, OR they were wearing sponsored clothing. These are the outspoken few "with different goals" that I refer too as elitists.

Back to the regs- Lets assume that all "classes" of Caney fisherman out there supported tighter regs and slot 16-20" on rainbows. It gets passed and the quality of fish caught on average increases (rainbows). Word is out, 20"+ rainbows all day on the Caney, come and get you some! LEts then assume that discussion re this river continues to increase dramatically via word of mouth, articles, forums etc. More fishermen, larger fish

Then for the sake of math lets say that 300 people visited the Caney per weekend before the regs were in place:
-50 of these people practice 100% C&R on every trip.
-100 of them keep their limit of rainbows on every trip.
-The other 150 keep rainbows on occasion, otherwise its release.

After word is out about big rainbow mania 600 people now visit the river on Avg per weekend.
-100 people C&R 100%
-200 keep their limit of rainbows outside of the slot on almost every trip
-And 300 people in the middle.

MAth is the same in the end, 300 more fishermen, bigger fish, & essentially more fish kept overall. How do we offset this? More stocking? sure there might be tons of good rainbows the first few good years but isnt overharvest even more possible when you look at it this way? There are so many things to take into consideration.
I think either way the Caney will cont. to grow in popularity and crowds are going to increase regardless. Sometime in the future some kind of action will be needed.. whether its regulating commercial traffic, new regs, more stocking, etc. I hope this is one thing we can all agree on. Making everyone happy, I guess thats a whole diff story...


Edited by MaxD (07/29/08 01:05 AM)

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#842934 - 07/29/08 06:58 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: madMax]
Hangnail
12 Point


Registered: 11/30/00
Posts: 7259
Loc: Murfreesboro, TN

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Geez. All I can say is I'm glad I don't care for trout on the table. Like Bowriter said, you shoulda been there in the late 1970's and early 1980's. It was sweet and I've never been a huge trout fan because I don't particularly like to eat them.

The similarities between river trout fishing and deer hunting and the modern outdoorsman pain me greatly. I'm sick and tired of reading about manufacturing trophies of each. Defeats the purpose on so many levels. There are huge trout in the Caney that are far too smart for 99.5% of the people that fish it. If you don't believe me, don a wetsuit and snorkel a little while on one trip instead of fishing the whole time. I'm afraid many of you are really wanting big, dumb trout. Same as big deer. I shudder to think what fishing and hunting will be like in twenty years. We're getting more like Europe every day.

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#842979 - 07/29/08 07:42 AM Re: The Mighty Caney [Re: Hangnail]
bowriter
Non-Typical


Registered: 08/31/02
Posts: 41849
Loc: Lebanon,TN USA

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I'm afraid Hangnail hit it on the head. As I have said so many times, there is no lack of "trophy" trout in the Caney...both Brown and Rainbow. I don't know this from a biological standpoint. I know it from an experience standpoint.

I am not a fisheries biologist. My study field was and is ungulates, specifically elk and whitetail deer. I have had to learn a little about fishery biology because of my duties in AL. But that has nothing to do with trout. But I know a healthy fish when I see one.

I can tell you, there are more big fish in the Caney today than there ever were 30 years ago. I know that because I have been fishing it that long. For ten years I guided on the Caney, sometimes four days a week. I have watched and studied that river. I have seen trout in the deep water in front of Brent's dad's farm (Kayak Boy, as Gil calls him) that would scare you. I caught a rainbow there that topped eight pounds. The fishing is better right now and has been for two years, than I have ever seen it.

But that river is so cyclical. That is going to change. It always has. We are due a couple slow years. That will be blamed on a number of factors. But 30 years ago, we just said it was a down cycle.

My concern is not with the fish or the fishermen. My concern is the safety factor involved with floatcraft flotillas. It is a recipe for disaster. Inexperienced paddlers in small boats, few if any of them wearing pfd's is just asking for a tragedy. That river can and will kill you if you mess with it long enough. Add to that, the inherent fog and unexpected generation and no knowledge of the river.

Properly done, it is as safe as nay water. Improperly done, no orientation, no warnings, just get in and paddle, somebody is going to get killed.
_________________________

Constipation has ruined many a good day. Not as many as stupidity, though.

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