why has steelheading become so popular?

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Panhandle, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    What use to be a sport pursued by a minority of awkward flyfishermen, has now become as popular, if not more so, than trout fishing. While the economy tanks and flyfishing in general has taken a hit in terms of paying a guide or paying gas/lodging to sponsor a trip, steelheading flourishes. Steelheading is more expensive, you have to drive more, and the return is shit. This goes against everything our modern society is based on; economy and immediate gratification. Internet, two-handed rods, hatchery programs, etc? Interested in perspectives.
     
  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    I think because it's one of the only ways for us to truly have to work for something rather than the instant gratification like you have pointed out. Humans by their very nature want what they can't have.... I think that applies here.
     
  3. Ed Call

    Ed Call Mumbling Moderator Staff Member

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    It is not. Nothing to see here, no fish to catch. Better off watching football.
     
  4. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Despite the general information that instant gratification is a distant long shot, the internet, the media in magazines and video and DVDs, uber hi-tech tackle, and the prevalence of guides who flaunt their success rates suggest that I have the potential to beat the odds.

    Only since the early 1980s has it been possible to walk into a full fledged and equipped fly shop, plunk yer VISA gold card on the counter, and walk out fully equipped to persue steelhead. Prior to that, you had to seek out the separate and various vendors who each supplied part of the gear you needed to effectively persue steelhead. And there was no such thing as a steelhead fly fishing guide to take you out and show you how it's done. So of course it wasn't popular.

    There is so much information, magazines regularly print steelheading articles - look at national magazines from the 60s, 70s, and early 80s and such articles were non-existent. The number of print and on-line articles plus books, plus guides make it possible to simply purchase one's way into the steelhead fly guild, altho that alone doesn't make one successful. But face it, it sure as hell helps.

    I've witnessed the progression of ever-easing access into steelhead fly fishing. It's directly correlated with the YUPPIE boom of the 80s, the dot.com boom of the 90s along with the internet, plus the GONZO perspective on outdoor pursuits, ala Outside magazine, leading directly to fishing videos, and the "you too can be a part of this hot action!"

    When anybody uses terms like "epic," "gonzo," "awesome,"fan-fuckin'-tastic," "steelies," steelface," and god knows what the fuck else, it's beyond obvious that the nature of the pass time has been irrevocably altered.

    There's some perspective for ya, Pan.

    Sg
     
  5. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Mumbles, for such a nice guy, how is it you're such a fuck-tard?
     
  6. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    One time you took me out in your boat and told me trout fishing is silly and steelhead are better. I listened.
     
  7. bennysbuddy

    bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

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    I'm not sure steelheadind has become more popular it just seems that way, there are less good rivers to fish so the ones that still have a few fish get hit pretty hard.fly fishing is more popular because in years past you had to make your own shooting heads, it was the same deal when 2 handers came along most guys were fishing home brew lines.Nowdays you have the internet fourms to advise you what rod to buy & line to use. There was no up to the minute fishing reports other than what your fishing buddys knew via the phone. But what do I know I started over 35 years ago at the spreader hole below deer creek
     
  8. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Benny,

    There are way, way more steelhead fly fishermen these days. The number of rivers with decent runs of fish has little to do with it. That's a late term minor effect overall.

    Congrats on being a Spreader Hole old fart. Many I knew have passed on.

    Sg
     
  9. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    Dustin, you misunderstood me. I said steelheading is silly, cause it is, and trout fishing isn't, cause it's not.
     
  10. John Hicks

    John Hicks Owner and operator of Sea Run Pursuits

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    It has gotten more popular here. Out east it is still a trout fishing game. Although like Salmo said, with the saturation of articles touting the wonders of catching 40" rainbows, more people out east will take a weeklong guided trip out here. I would have to say though that I would rather fish behind, in front, next to them than 80% of the people that are from here. They are much more happy and understanding of conditions than most of us. I have yet to have someone on a week long trip from somewhere else get in my face because I asked to fish behind them.
     
  11. Yard Sale

    Yard Sale Active Member

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    Bobbicators and skagit lines....
     
  12. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Your Preferred Olympic Peninsula Fly Fishing Guide

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    Answer to original question: Advertising.
     
  13. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    I've been going the opposite direction the past few years actually. Where 8 years ago almost %50 of my pursuits were for steelhead, I haven't intentionally fished for steelhead in over 3 years now. More and more fishermen were showing up, yet the numbers of fish (at least in my neck of the woods) continually declined. After seeing this trend go on, I started to feel like there were more fishermen than fish and eventually just gave up. Now that I have discovered some productive trout & smallmouth waters within reasonable distance, those fisheries take up the majority of my fishing time.

    I blame population growth... If there is money to be made from steelhead fishing then people will exploit it.
     
  14. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Why would you hunt for Lemurs when you can kill a Gorilla?

    The yuppification of modern society and the loss of masculinity in the majority of culture has the effect of causing the minority to rebel in a misguided effort of saving their manhood. So, you get a shit ton of guys trying to prove their worth by catching the biggest thing they can. Once the trout guys realize there's something bigger - they're hooked. Oh wait, it's "hard work" fishing for steelhead? Even better.
     
  15. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

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    ^ is this you?

    It certainly is not why I fish for steelhead or why the majority of steelhead fisherman fish for them. I used to fly-fish for trout with my grandpa and then one day in August he took me gear fishing (using spinners) for something called 'steelhead'. Not really knowing what it was we were after we set off. Sure enough that first day I caught a nice little 23-24" wild fish. From that moment on I could care less if I ever caught a resident trout again so long as I could keep catching steelhead. It wasn't long before I thought 'this would be amazing on a fly-rod' and the rest is history as they say. I dont catch steelhead to be masculine and neither do any of the guys I fish with. If I was worried about saving my manhood I would just leave out the whole 'fly-fishing' thing when talking to people.
     
  16. JesseC

    JesseC Active Member

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    Not pointing fingers, I just think that the concept is why a lot of people have gotten into the "sport".
     
  17. Ryan Nathe

    Ryan Nathe Member

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    I see what you are saying, and to a degree I agree. There are a few guys running around out there trying to put up big numbers and video taping etc. and pimping a resource, but I think they are the noisy minority.
     
  18. Chloe's DAD

    Chloe's DAD New Member

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    i fished for steelhead ever since my grandpa taught me how to hold a rod and he always fly fished and i never had the chance cause i lost him at a young age but i chose to fly fish for a challenge not for the bandwagon so you can sit on the couch and watch football all you want since is a corporate bandwagon and there is no challenge sitting in front of a box drownin your sorrows on the nfl sucking when a monster sea going trout drowns my fly.:thumb:
     
  19. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    I flyfish for steelhead because it makes me really happy.
     
  20. SpeySpaz

    SpeySpaz still an authority on nothing

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    I flyfish for steelhead because I enjoy banging me heed against walls;
    but I'm not a snappy enough dresser for golf,
    and I'm too lazy to take on global warming.
     

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