Your Sporting "Age"

Well, the "age" thread was so much fun for all of us this week, I thought I'd offer a little different take on it to close the week.

What is your "sporting age?"

It has been said that sportsmen and -women go through three phases in their sporting life:

- As sporting "youth" we want to get-get-get. It's all about numbers. Catch (and/or kill) as many/much as possible

- As sporting "adolescents" we want the trophy. Numbers are no longer important, we've caught/shot plenty. Now we're going for the big one.

- As sporting "adults" we are content just to be outside. If we catch fish, great. If we catch a big one, great. But if not, we're happy we were outdoors.

So where are you?



You can be a fish recycler, too. Let 'em swim.


Active Member
ummm, im not sure. I truly enjoy just being out there. But I like to catch atleast one when im out so im not sure where im at?? And of course the more I catch the better it is....but it all comes back to the fact that I came out to get out and I enjoy it no matter how many I catch or dont catch. I guess I did a good job of not answering this one :dunno :dunno :dunno

~Patrick ><>

Old Man

Just an Old Man
I used to know it all---but now I forgot it all.

I think you are looking for the wrong answers. I think that most people on this site just like to get out in the Great Outdoorsand enjoy themselves. I don't think it's about how big it is or how many I caught and killed. I did this in my youth and now the fishing sucks. I thought that we would have fish for all time. Boy was I ever wrong. You have people of all ages out there doing the same thing. Catch and release. If I would of done this earily in my life of fishing I think there would be more out the to play with.

When the limit used to be 16 fish. I know that was a long time ago. We used to keep 16 fish out of streams and these were natives. Now I go back to these same places and all that's left are little ones.

Sorry for the soap box thing but I think that I would of practiced C&R back then there would be more to do the same thing to today.


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
I agree Jim

I never got to see those days. But I saw alot better fishing then now. I am one who loves to fish. But I prefer to either get others into fish (a free guide I guess) or just being out there. Catching a fish is a bonus. I do catch fish, quite a bit actually compared to some. But, I will give up prime slots to friends who don't catch much.

I do remember my Dad and my Grandpa talking about old days. I remember seeing the old pics with TONS of big salmon and steelhead between only a couple anglers. But, myself, starting young I remember some damned good fishing. I remember easily having 8-14 steelhead days consistently. Sometimes a bit more. I got quite the fill on amounts I caught (we did release some to keep the bigger fish back in the 70's). But, it is funny how attitudes are different depending on the person. I know older gents who have to catch fish on a regular basis. Have a friend of my Dad's who pouts like a child if we catch fish, and he doesn't (won't even congratulate a nice fish, will only watch his rod). But, when he catches and we don't, we high five him and cheer him on. It's all in overall attitude. Now, my daughter (who's 8) has picked up my mentality, but hasn't caught a ton of fish to date (I had caught over 1000 steelhead/salmon by 8 years old, but helped me out living right off the Puyallup River, so fished there almost every day we didn't go to the OP). She just loves to be outside, and throw her spinning rod (I have an old fenwick steelhead spinning rod setup for her). She casts really well, and has a great time in the boat too. If she catches she's happy, but just being out with Dad fishing she's happy. She admires fish when I bring them in, and simply has a good time.

So, I guess my daughter is an adult at 8. But our friend Lenny is still a youth at 68. I'm just a fisherman. :7
No apology for the soap box needed with me - it's yours and mine the same. My favorite ironic quote is "I don't get it, we used to take them out of here by the bucketful. I just don't get it."

I supose by the deffinitions provided i'd be an adolesent, as i am a self admitted "head hunter." i get goofy over big fish, darn near obsessed, to the point i'll sacrifice catching many fish at all for the chance at a big one. don't know if i'll grow out of it anytime soon? somehow i doubt it.
What is my sporting age?
Well I think I have gone around this corner more than once. Any more it is to be on the water and do everything right as I know it. Always refining what I am doing and trying to figure out what I didn't learn before. It seems to be an endless circle and just keeps going on and on. Any more it doesn't make a difference if I catch something, it is what else did I learn!
That is a pretty good non-answer in my book!


Stephen Mull
Can ya believe that age is such a hit on this site? Anyways, I think I fall under all three categories. I think being in the outdoors while tryin gto outsmart fish is an overriding emotion that keeps us all out there. Often, I forget that that is what I really enjoy. The other two are more cerebral, whereas the outdoors one is more of an emotional experience. Just my two cents.

Well, I'm definitely not as obsessed as I used to be, and I think I've gotten over the big-fish thing, at least with trout (I've caught plenty of toads and have decided they're ugly freaks; 14" to 20" is all anyone should reasonably ask of a rainbow).

But I will say that it's still more fun to catch fish than not, and I'd rather get more than just a couple. Having said that, I find there are now days when I hardly get off the sticks, content to watch my pals do the catching while I row. These days, if a fish gets off a few feet away, I'm actually glad that I don't have to mess with releasing it. And the other day, I called it a day on a favorite lake, without even bothering to troll from my tube on the way back to the take-out. I'm calling that getting old; maybe it's growing up, finally.

Now having said that, I still don't have that much patience for the "it's just great to be out" business. Sure, I love being outdoors, but if I just wanted to take a nature walk, I wouldn't have to drag along a thousand bucks worth of crap. My boat has one rule: if we're getting hosed, the first chap to say, "well, it's nice enough just to be on the river" gets to row the rest of the day.
Somewhere in the middle

I gotta say I'm somewhere in the middle between all three. I'd like to catch alot, if that's not going to happen nailing a trophy is nice, but just being outside knee deep in it is all I really need. Hows that for a blanket reponse?

Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member

That is funny. I guess I couldn't agree more. But for me, I've caught alot of steelhead/salmon in my young 33 years. Way more then most who are twice my age. I prefer to more be the guide anymore. But, don't get me wrong, I LOVE to catch fish. But it's not a priority. I love the look in my GF's eyes the first time she had a take down by her first big salmon. Or the way my kids looked when their plug rods went off and they yelled "I got a fish Daddy!". Don't get me wrong, I like to play them myself. But I do enjoy running the rivers too. Grew up whitewatering, so love just being on the rivers. Usually in whitewater parties, we'd do alot of BS'n on the easy stretches. Kind of best of both worlds. I have a chance to catch fish, get a work out on sticks, and have the comradary of good fishing buddies. I don't have to catch a fish every time, but when I do it's a bonus.

Big Ben

What about the "UNCLE" stage?

I guess this would be my stage. I feel no need to "truck driver" about the good old days like steelheader69. I have caught the 20" browns, the 6lb. smallies and the endless salmon. I take my young nieces and nephews out sometimes and feel pangs of regret when they limit out on tax funded hatchery fish. Thank God I still have a river, where I grew up, to fish that doesn't rely on the State to catch a trophy.
I should offer a response as well, I suppose, since I pitched the question.

I would have said that I graduated past "youth" and into "adolecent" as a warmwater angler, because I was really over catching a lot of fish, and spent most time fishing "big," eliminating smaller fish and targeting only the largest. But as flyfishing, especially for coldwater fish, has taken over as my predominant interest, I have regressed to the "youth" phase, where I don't specifically need the fish to be big, I very much delight from every one of them, and catching a lot of fish really makes my day.

As in all forms of maturing, I have my moments of "premature maturity" where I genuinely feel the deep satisfaction of having just been fishing, but honestly I always have more fun when I've been catching - and not just fishing.


Jerry Daschofsky

Staff member
What about the "UNCLE" stage?

What did you mean by the "truck driver" comment. You lost me on that one. Was it because I like to take cargo instead of doing the fishing?

Actually, I do fish rivers that do have decent native populations. I know about 4 rivers that still have little pressure and still produce the native runs similar to what I remember back in late 70's. Yeah, it sucks having hatchery fish, but for some people out there wanting to catch a steelhead/salmon, if it wasn't for them they'd have none right now. They'd probably have alot of the rivers shut down. Plus, I grew up mostly fishing the big species (salmon/steelhead/sturgeon), and I never cared much for trout, crappie, etc. Once they shut them all down, my gear with go into storage. May do some trout, but that's about it.

Oh yeah, nobody ask for those 4 rivers. I won't give them up. Maybe when I come close to dying I'll spill my guts. ;) But until that day, you'll have to :beathead They are very finite runs, so you have to know when/where to fish them.