Does tradition matter while steelheading

Discussion in 'Fly Fishing Forum' started by Steelheadjunky, Feb 23, 2006.

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  1. Steelheadjunky Member

    Posts: 66
    Redmond, WA.
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Coffee and Trout
    No I am not talking about the Stilly.

    I catch fish in all different ways dead drift, swung, skating, deep sunk wet fly, greased lines. I also don't fish all traditional flies but what I do is pay attention to the traditon of what fishing for steelhead is. Respect for the resource, hard work, more then just catching fish and not taking short cuts.

    It is about respecting the resourse. You can be a nympher that repsects the resource and puts limits on yourself and you can be jerk that swings. It is about fishing a fly not a piece of jewerly. It is about respecting other on the river which is sorely lacking these days. On average who moves through a run better a bobber fisherman or a swinger. Like I said on average.

    And it isn't about inovating. Heck some of the flys I fish aren't considered "traditional" say a foam skater but do I feel that they stay true to the tradtion of steelhead fly fishing. Heck yes.

    I can see that the menatlity is so entrenched here that getting fish at all cost is all that matters or that I am fine with so buzz off. I guess I just have to put my blinders on.

  2. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0

    I usually pack 2 rods - one rigged for nymphing and the other swinging. The rivers I tend to fish aren't exactly loaded with easy to find steelies. So the challenge is less in the technique and more in the quary (sp?).

    I also find and ejoy the challenge in learning new techniques and approachs to fishing. I'd get bored if I had to fish the same way for the same species day in and day out.

    Also, when targeting hatchery fish - is there anything wrong with fishing in a way that is more effective and efficient - especially if you hope to harvest one or 2 for dinner (and remove them from the wild gene pool...).

    But if what you enjoy has to do with making it harder, less efficient, and more challenging in general - why not just skate dries all winter? Surely that would be more challenging, it would 'respect the fish', and would offer similar machanics to the swinging that you love :confused:
  3. Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

    Posts: 4,031
    Olympic Peninsula
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    Deceased Equine.
  4. Dick Warnke was Pram-Man

    Posts: 761
    Federal Way Wa
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    DEAD HORSE...iagree
  5. o mykiss Active Member

    Posts: 1,308
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    It's like the Shiites vs. the Sunnis in here. :(
  6. Tim Cottage Formerly tbc1415

    Posts: 1,693
    Outer Duvall
    Ratings: +249 / 1
    Although originally well intentioned, this subject quickly deteriorated into senseless argument. At this point it might be wise to follow the instructions in the attached document.

  7. stokes Guest

    Posts: 0
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    Swinging dead horses is the only true path.
  8. Desmond Wiles Sir Castaline

    Posts: 812
    Snohomish, Wa
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    I like the last comment warning the reader to remove the horseshoes first! That's funny!:thumb:
  9. Salmo_g Active Member

    Posts: 7,567
    Your City ,State
    Ratings: +1,697 / 0
    Does tradition matter? Not just while steelheading, but anytime? It matters only if you choose to make it matter to yourself. You cannot make it matter to anyone else unless you have some sort of coercive control over them. Tradition matters about as much as personal moral and ethical values, with personal being the key point. Whose traditions are you asking about, Steelheadjunky? Mine? Your's? Your father's? Just for fun in discussions like this, I've occasionally said, "you're only fly fishing if you're using a split cane rod, a reel made in Englund, a silk line, and gut leaders." In which case I don't fly fish, cuz my silk line got all sticky and wouldn't cast, and my gut leaders all dried up, so I discarded the lot and am satisfied to fish with plastic fly lines and nylon leaders. Traditions matter only to those who choose to accept them and adopt them as their own. And threads like this clearly demonstrate the futility of suggesting that there is only one true and correct tradition any more than proclaiming only one true God. Fortunately, it's not a life nor death matter; it's about fishing, which disciples of this BB know to be far more important.

    Funny, I've never caught a steelhead while nymphing, but not because I had reason to think there's anything wrong with it. I thought an angler swings a wet fly or fishes one nymphing style depending on the nature of the water in front of him. A broad pool invites a swung fly, making the technique both pleasant and efficient. However, it's nigh on impossible to execute a wet fly swing in pocket water or deep narrow slots. I was under the impression that the nymphing technique was simply an adaptation to fish such water, rather than walking on by on the way to the next broad pool that accomodates the wet fly swing.


    Salmo g.
  10. Jason Baker Member

    Posts: 776
    Ft. Mill, SC
    Ratings: +0 / 0

    Great post! we may not always agree, but I can certainly respect an opinion like this one. Thanks!
  11. Roper Idiot Savant

    Posts: 4,314
    Glenraven Ranch
    Ratings: +796 / 1
    Let's keep it simple here. Tradition only matters if it matters to you. What anyone else does is their business, not yours.

    Respect those people and their actions if they deserve it.

    You're lucky to have a Father that taught you anything at all. Heck, some would say you're lucky to have a Father. (don't forget to capitolize Father next time, it's a sign of respect)

    BTW, I have enjoyed several responses, Zen, Backyard, Ibn, just to name a few...:thumb:
  12. gordon New Member

    Posts: 102
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    Dead horse, but here's my two cents anyway. Flame away afterwards.

    The one thing I completely disagree with is folks who believe nymphing is more technical or challenging than swinging a fly in the winter. I don't know many folks who consistently catch winter steelhead on swung flies because it is difficult to master and the technique requires lots of time on the water. Most people in today's world don't have the patience to learn such a technique, they want instant results. Ever wonder why so many people fish indicators and glow bugs or nymphs? Its because it is easier to catch fish that way. That said, I could care less what any person fishes with as long as they stay out of my hair.

    On that note though, I personally believe that fishing with indicators is like riding a bike with training wheels.
  13. FT Active Member

    Posts: 1,243
    Burlington, WA
    Ratings: +103 / 0
    The use of flies was mentioned back in the B.C. era in a Roman book wherein the author mentioned a river that would be in modern day Croatia that was fished by locals with lure comprised of reddish-brown feathers wrapped around an orrangish-brown wool body having reddish-brown feathers for a wing that was cast upon the stream with the use of a long rod (modern length would be 22' or so). This feathered fly floated upon the stream and the speckled fish in the river found it very enticing and lept upon it, thus hooking themselves.

    This written about 2200 years ago, so obviously fly fishing has been around a very long time. It is also obvious that long, 2-handed rods have been in use for fly fishing for a very long time as well. In fact, the single-hand fly rod is only 200 years or so old.

    What I'm getting at is that I really don't care what type of fly you use, the type of rod you use, the length of the rod you use, indicators or not, swung, skated, or dead drifted because none of this really gets to the heart of the fly fishing tradition. The fly fishing tradition when looked at in a global perspective has to do with the history of fly fishing. And the more a flyfishing person knows about the history of flyfishing, the more knowledgeable s/he is. This then allows the person to experience fly fishing in a more aesthetic fashion and allows him/her to converse about fly fishing with non-flyfishers without ever mentioning the catching or hooking of any fish whatsoever. In other words, by knowing about the history of fly fishing (and by that I don't just mean since 1960, I mean going back at least 150 years), a person is more well-rounded, more knowledgeable, able to converse with others about the sport for hours and never cover the same ground twice, expands his/her thinking, and can better see how what is going on today in fly fishing is not always that new or inovative.
  14. ssickle1 Slow and Low

    Posts: 171
    Hood River, OR
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    Tradition means getting rid of your fiberglas boats and $50k SUVyou pull it with. Or how about the $700 gneration X rod your fishing. How about all the exotic materialed tied to hooks. I don't think so.

    You don't need an indicator for any style nymphing if you know what your doing. That's asuming you realy don't careabout catching fish.

    No nymphing on the GR? what about on the float?

    Traditional. Yep let's go back in time. It was so much nicer then??

    I think Zen aid it best. Looking for secluson to get away from the elitists is the answer for this guy.
  15. Rob Zelk I swing, therefore i am.

    Posts: 606
    Steelhead Central
    Ratings: +0 / 0
    I'll use an indicator on water that calls for it, like small streams, where places to swing are very limited. But on a big river with nice sweeping runs, I'm all about the swing; I'll swing when I can, I think its more relaxing than fishing an indicator. Remember though, i'm just pontificating here. Do what makes you happy and I will be happy, because when you go trout fishing, indicator and tradition seem to be more overlooked. Though I guess we cannot forget about the dry fly enthusiast's thoughts.

    As for using only unweighted spey flies, without sinktips, long bellies, etc., it seems there were less people, alot more fish and alot less jet sleds to scoup you in the rearing days of steelheading, and I'm not fishing the Babine, so I do what it takes to get a fly where it needs to go, so I have a good chance of getting one of the few fish left. I don't think this is about tradition but about preference. Because, I don't believe anyone is really traditional in the truest sense. It's not really all about the fish, no matter how you do it. Unless you miss the most fulfilling aspect of the fishing you do...

    "Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after. "

    -Henry David Thoreau
  16. Les Johnson Les Johnson

    Posts: 1,590
    .Redmond, WA
    Ratings: +6 / 0
    When all is said and done it is just fishing -- not brain surgery. It would seem that however people enjoy the sport and for whatever reasons that they use different techniques really doesn't matter. What is important that it should be about the fishing, not just catching fish.
    Good Fishing,
  17. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,763
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,784 / 0
    I have a tradition of taking a virgin steelhead fishing every year. What I mean is someone that has not caught a steelhead on a fly. Although if I were a little younger a virgin maiden would be nice also. I take this so called virgin along hoping to see them catch their first steelhead. Yes, I am a voyeur also. So, in keeping with tradition any virgins out there want to go steelhead fishing? I really could care less how you present your fly but we will be hitting water conducive to swinging.
  18. troutingham Member

    Posts: 260
    Ratings: +1 / 0
    Steelheading is about listening to your reel scream and wetting your waders when you see a powerful metalic missle skyrocket in's also about the one you had on that was so big you never could beach it but your buds 10 years later are like "damn I wish I could of seen that fish"..Steelheading is magic ,determination and the massive rod thrasher power they provide to make anyones heart explode into a million rythyms.....
    Tradition is the same hook that penetrates the rainbows lips to send everyone coming back for more.....
  19. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    When I see a guy on the Stilly with a dink float and a jig on the end of a fly line it almost drives me into a violent rage,as far as steelhead and atlantic salmon go,it's a way us colonials can redeem ourselves by being sporting in our pursuit of these wonderful game fish.No indicators or add on weight not tied in the fly or other nonsporting methods,the late Mike Maxwell often used a floating line and a very real looking stone on a dead drift on a almost slack line letting the fish chew on the fly and turn and hook it's self at it's own accord,very sporting and fair to the fish.
  20. chadk Be the guide...

    Posts: 5,057
    Snohomish, WA.
    Ratings: +41 / 0
    Please tell me this post was a joke :confused: :confused:
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