Steelhead reports

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by sinktip, Feb 10, 2003.

  1. As I sit here in awe of all these winter fish reports, I was wondering if I could make a request.

    For those of us that either have not taken a steelhead school or are just not as acomplished in bringing these fish to hand, could you please try to include in your reports the following:

    1) Where excatly the fish was caught and how to get access to this spot.
    2) What fly the fish hit. Size, pattern and tying instructions welcome.
    3) Brand and length of leader.
    4) Exact time of day.
    5) A rough description of where the fish took with specific rocks or other items included for reference.

    and finally

    6) a listing of the 10 to 12 other guys you were with
    on your group outing. A picture would help as well so any amateurs could hit these guys up on the river for advice when they run into them.

    I know it would take a bit longer but the above information in all reports would be really helpfull for those of us just learning the sport.

    My apologies to the majority of you who are already meeting these requests. Thanks for the reports, I feel smarter everyday.

  2. :rofl
  3. Good luck getting people to tell you where they catch there fish. Those are usually closely garded secrets. You pretty much just have to go out and do some exploring to find your own hot spots. I to am new to the steelhead game and am after my first winter steelhead. I know if I had a spot that produced steelhead consistantly and not very many people knew about it, I sure wouldn't tell anyone. Don't get me wrong I like and will help out others on just about any aspect of fly fishing except giving up my hot spots. Infact If I see someone not catching fish and I am I will usually go out of my way to give them a few flies and any advice if they want some.:beer2

  4. You are kidding right?:hmmm

    I've never caught a steelhead, but from what I can gather from reading alot of posts here is: Nobody is gonna give up that kind of detailed info...the realistic choices are to get out there and cast or pay for a good guide...

    Book learnin' is cheap...Time on the river is priceless

    -Lord of the Flies
  5. Sinktip,

    I guess I missed the joke? But maybe there isn't one. As I know you are no rookie and in fact a very accomplished steelhead fly fisherman, are you uspet that others are having success? I have fished hard this winter with nothing to show for it. Oh wait, I almost forgot, I just like being out there, enjoying the outdoors and the beautiful rivers we are blessed with. But, then again, maybe I missed your point.:dunno YT
  6. I don't think sinktip is asking to much. If and when I catch my first winter run Steelhead, I promise to spill my guts complete with pictures, witness statements and their credit reports, maps with specific casting techniques for each square foot of river that I catch them on and a step by step instructions for tying the fly. It is the least I could do for the thousands of veiwers who filter through here each day. I beleive all members of this board should feel obligated to do the same.


    "Everyday that you wake up and decide not to go one less day you'll go fishing." Forrest Maxwell
  7. Guess his humor is just a bit more subtle than the Red Green Show. . . .
  8. I used to know it all---but now that I'm older I seem to forget it all.

    I think what he asked for was not out of site. And as for what mattzoid wrote is all right also. But if he fishes with me and catches one I will throw him in and take his fish NOT. Mattzoid is a big boy I don't think anyone could throw him in. If I was lucky enough to catch one I will tell all Because If I did I couldn't keep it to myself.:smokin

  9. Whitey,

    Excuse the sarcasm in the above post. No, on second thought, don't.

    I am actually thrilled that others are having success. For one, that means the early fish are coming back and with the disaster that was the hatchery return this year, every wild fish back counts. I also like nothing better than the look in a fisherman's eyes when they get their first steelhead. I would rather watch this than hook one myself and I assure you there are few things in life I would choose over a steelhead.

    Like you, I fish hard all winter. Spring, Summer and Fall too for that matter. Your having nothing to show for it is about par for the course this year. I have been fortunate (or just plain lucky) to have had some sporatic success this winter. Not as much as I would like or what I had grown used to prior to say 1999, but enough to keep me going. Like you said, I enjoy being out there and the fish are just the frosting on the proverbial cake.

    Which leads me to the reasons for the post. My "issues" are posts that concentrate angling, turn flyfishing into a team and numbers sport and to a lesser extent clogging of the river.

    I begrudge nobody the chance to fish. Over the years I have learned rivers either by trial and error or by witnessing other anglers there and fishing there the next time. Forgive me if I get a little elitiest here but there is a certain noble quest to learning a river. The rewards can be much more than the actual catch results. What I see though is a move away from this and a push for instant gratification. Go to the internet and find out where to go, what to use, and get in a line once you get there as every other yahoo has read the same thing. I don't fish Buck Island but I do know those that have religiously for years and suddenly there are 4-5 times as many people vyeing for that piece of water.

    I freely agree that my opinions reflect a philosophical bent that not all share. To me though, steelhead fishing is not a contest or a party. It is an intensely personal endeavor that I partake of either alone or with a close friend. For the life of me, I cannot understand why 15-20 guys would want to get together and do a flotilla. And then this same group won't go on a section of river they don't know, not because of river danger, but because they don't know where the best runs are. Is the new group of steelheaders so damn lazy that they need their hands held? Come on people, take a chance, you might learn something.

    I tend to be an early riser and I hit most of my runs at first light when walking in or I am on the water before first light when floating. This being so, group floats do not impact me (plus I read these boards and find another river to fish whenever there is a sleepover or steelhead school planned). I imagine that joe fisherman is not so lucky though when he decides without consulting the all powerful internet oracle to just put his boat in at Sultan and float to Ben Howard. Imagine his surprise when he finds Team Selfish anchored in every run between the two spots.

    Finally, to me at least, steelhead are a special quest and deserving of our respect and worship. Their capture should not be a numbers game. Nor should all the details of the catch be shouted across the wavelengths. If you are blessed to come in contact with one of these special fish, feel the flush of pride and the sense of blessing, for like it or not, you are not worthy. Maybe even brag a bit by saying hey I caught one. Keep the rest of it between you and the fish.

    Now I am sure there will be lots of take your BS and shove it reponses and so be it. Maybe I am overly sentimental about the steelhead experience but from what a number of true steelheaders tell me, I doubt it. The way to become a steelheader is to work at it, learn from it, and become dedicated to it. For those that want to take shortcuts, mine is just a lone dissenting voice. I am confident though that while you might catch fish, you won't reap the true rewards of the sport.

    Bye the way, Circlespey, that is a very pretty fish. You did good.

  10. Have to say this is my first post here at this great site Chris has provided. While never posting I come over from time to time and enjoy the enthusiasm from so many new to fly fishing.

    Not sure what sinktip was trying to say but after reading the reports here on this site and the success that some of you had for the first time I would assume he was trying to say that the great traditions of fly fishing have always been to stay somewhat low key when talking about your success.

    By keeping your success a little more quiet you have a far better chance of success next time out. If you start telling not only your friends via fly fishing websites where you caught fish you may just end up with more than friends knowing. The more people fishing a run the less productive it will be.

    Fly fishing for Steelhead is not like gear fishing as there are limited runs on all of our rivers that one can swing a fly through. With gear there is miles upon miles of holding water. Every time you mention where you got a fish, even what river will in the long run effect your ability to succeed again. I'm new to fly fishing for steelhead and I've been at it for just 25 years. But in those short years and early on at that I boasted far too much about fish caught and where and ended up with friends bringing friends who brought friends.

    Hope you continue with your success and I've enjoyed meeting some of you on the rivers from time to time. Keep posting pictures of those fish you release, they are great to see. But hope some of you understand that by posting where caught you may be wrecking your own chances and others of enjoying a good day on the river.

    Once in a great while I bump into sinktip on some river. He is one of the great old timers who catch steelhead with the very best of them and has done much on the political front to help save our wild fish. He is a good man and no matter how wierd he is I believe he was trying to say what I said above.

    Keep fishing and keep catching.
  11. Wonderful stuff sinktip. I agree with you 100%.

    I took off at 11:30 today, drove to the Snoqualmie and fished one cigar's worth, through a run I knew would have been hammered in the morning, just so I can have some quiet time with a river and possibly a steelhead everyone passed over.

  12. I think, Sinktip, that you are battling an enemy that exists only in your head. If "the quest" a la Lancelot is a fun part of steelheading for you, that's very cool. But it's unfair to project that upon people who don't share your "kick." Nor do I guess that many on this board (or in general) are seeking your sanction or approval. Steelhead were around a long time before you came along, and will be around a long time after. With such resentment oozing from I post like yours, I must question if your "definition" of a steelheader is anywhere near where I set my goals: happy, open, inclusive, proud of my achievements, and seeking stewardship of resources by teaching others in an open and positive manner.
  13. I agree with sinktip about the group outing thing. I have relocated personal trips after finding out about a group outing on the piece of water I wanted to fish. I have no desire to participate in a party on the river. But I also realize that many people do. As much as I enjoy being by myself in nature, they enjoy sharing it with a bunch of friends, at the risk of sacrificing a little fishing. It's their river as much as it is mine, why choose to bash that group and label them as selfish?

    What difference does it make if people want to take shortcuts? I agree totally that there is far more reward in sleuthing and finding your own fishing holes and having them produce for you. The feeling of success is magnified many fold. Few fisherman take the time, but the loss is theirs and not mine. Why berate them for it?

    Personally I am tired of the "look at my success, but I'm not telling you squat" mentality I have seen in the postings. If your not willing to give up a few tidbits, why post? How many people peruse this site just to look at pretty pictures of fish and pat people on the back?

    I like to take shortcuts every now and then myself. I don't like the implication that I'm a lesser person for it though.

    I should add that I'd change my tune if some of my hotspots were broadcast all over the internet.
  14. Gee sinktip,I took your post as strictly humor. I, for one, will gloat a bit on taking a steelhead in special instances i.e. high water conditions when everyone stayed home, or in a place no one else would think to swing a fly. I will not post pics or give out times, runs, flies, techniques unless the info is very vague. Those that know me, know the rivers I fish, could figure out where and how I catch my steel.

    I see nothing wrong with a little chest beating. Especially when one lands their first steelhead. I remember my first steelhead on a fly very well. It was in a very well known run on a very well know river about dusk. I had been fishing by myself all day. I was alone with no one to share my excitement. She was a chrome bright hen, which tape out at 36 inches. I have not caught a hen that big since and only one other steelhead larger. She was the hardest fighting steelhead I have landed. I will always remember removing the fly, taking my time reviving her and then watching her swim away exited yet sad, like some love I would never see again.

    Yeah, these fish are special but you can still gloat every once in awhile. Just be cool about it.
  15. Nailknot,

    You may be right but something tells me that the enemey as you put it exists in a lot of other peoples heads as well. A fair number on this site, a lot more on other sites and even more on those that don't believe the internet has any place in fishing.

    I hope you are right and noone is seeking my sanction or approval, if they are, they need to get a life. I am just expressing my views. If it causes someone to stop and think, so much the better.


    I agree totally that if people enjoy fishing as part of a caravan then more power to them. Where I view it as selfish is when the above mentioned 15-20 guys monopolize a river. Lets see, Sultan to Ben Howard has Two Bit, Eagles, Thunderbird, Golf Ball, IRS, Jack Daniels and the Afternoon Hole. There are a few secondary waters as well but these are the main ones and I would bet even these are not all known and will be floated over. Six runs for say 15 guys. A maximum of 2-4 per run depending on the run and you have easily clogged that section of river.

    I would never say you are a lesser person for taking shortcuts. I might think you are lazy though but that is only my opinion.
  16. Kerry,

    I agree with everything you said. Go ahead and gloat, hell even share a picture if you got one. Your "They're back" post was priceless on that other site.

    Where I personlly take exception is the "we fished this run and used this fly and the fish hit 2/3 of the way through the swing behind that boulder and I had 12 pound Maxima and the frigging Smoozley line system that Joe Blow sold me and my 22 buddies and I all got our picture taken with it. By the way, this steelheading thing sure is fun and easy, hope to see you all out at the run next time."

  17. Sinktip,

    I thought about the party fishing thing and I recant. You could say that it is being thoughtless. It is a good point, and yes, If I stumbled upon one of those scenes unknowingly, I would probably just pack it up and go home.(although I don't know that the people necessarily have selfish intentions)

    As to the laziness, I believe you called me damn lazy. I might think your ugly, or even damn ugly, but my mother raised me with enough manners to keep my opinion to myself sometimes. (for the record I've never seen you, and I officially don't find you ugly, damn ugly or any derivative of ugly)
  18. Derek,

    For the record, I am damn ugly. Point well taken though. As for the lazy comment, I said might call you lazy and I admit that was flipant. My mother raised me better too.

    Hey we all probably cut corners. I know I do if the river is close to going out, I check the USGS site before I drive there. I am very guilty of that one.

    I just don't see the need to bare ones soul about evry aspect of the fish you hooked. As someone said above, you do this and it is you that gets hurt next time.

  19. Sinktip,

    I hear what you are saying. Did you notice the first reply to my "They'e back" post was asking where are they.

    For those that want to know. Well, they are in some run in some river in some state and I thinks if you get out and swing a fly you just might ketch yourself one.

    I spent hours and days hanging out with other steelheaders. I begged to go along. I watched and listened. I read. I think some of the guys I pestored so much they finally told me where to go, (or took me) and what to use to get rid of my sorry ass. I stood in the cold water, the rain, the snow and wind and threw flies for days and weeks and months.

    Geez, this is what I am doing now. Oh well what ever works.

    Go out and have some fun and try a new place or 2. Who knows you might catch one where nobody else has tried. Then you can gloat.

    I'm outa here. I think I can make it to the river with just enough light left to fish the whole run. bye!
  20. This is great, I knew my words would spark a good debate! Now let me get my .02 in.

    I for one do not believe it is right to take photo's of Native Steelhead. That's right, big statement. E-mail me the nasty and wicked responses, leave it off the board. Just fishing for nats is harming them, But I am a greedy bastard, so I allow myself that privilege. Taking photo's only adds to the harm, ya I know, If your good, you only hold the fish up for 3 seconds. 3 seconds too much. Native fish should be held in the highest regard, everything that can be done to help them on their way home should be done. If that means No fishing, Hell, I'd go and cast a hookless fly just for the pure joy of remembering the power and grace of these great beasts. Nats are Brutes? NEVER! Thanks for reading my rant, hope you enjoyed it and can respond with soemthing that has some thought to it.

    Sinktip, you are a gentlemen and a steelhead scholar, kudos to you. that go's for the rest of you people too, a little debate is good for the soul. I think enough locations on the sky have been releaved for the sake of this argument, let's just leave the poor old Sky out of this, It gets hammered enough. :smokin YT

    Now that I said that, Do you guys call "golf balls" the spot with golf balls all over the bar? I call it something else. I think a guy must hit balls off his back yard on the gravel bar. great spot though?;)

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