why has steelheading become so popular?

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

  1. Chris DeLeone Active Member

    Posts: 526
    Monroe, WA
    Ratings: +90 / 0
    Curt it wont be a "few years" - You will not see the CnR reg/season in this years regs for the Skagit. They had just under 5500 fish come back to the mighty Skagit last year and they guess that it will hover around the 4500 to 5500 mark for the next five to six years. We will not be able to even think about fishing the Skagit until 2015 or 2016. To get that fishery back we will have to see consistant numbers well above the 6000 mark closer to 7000 for a number of years. As we have discussed NOAA wants a 4% mortality on the PS wild Steelhead fishery - so with the tribs getting their share/percentage and the standard of a CnR fishery mortality of 10% on the estimated run size - we as CnR anglers are out.

    Bye Bye
  2. Smalma Active Member

    Posts: 2,795
    Marysville, Washington
    Ratings: +650 / 0
    Chris -
    Even if the returns were 10,000 wild fish I don't see any CnR season until the managers get some NOAA approval for impacts greater than that 4% Puget Sound aggregate.

    However with the push to end hatchery plants to create wild steelhead gene banks and/or budget cuts we are likely to see total winter long closures on many of the Puget Sound rivers (including the mighty Skagit) within a couple years.

    With budget problems and man power shortages no one sees the State (or the tribes for that matter) doing the basic work needed to put forth a proposal to NOAA for addition impacts needed to support wild fish directed fishing (such as CnR) when wild numbers increase.

    Tight lines
    Curt
  3. bennysbuddy the sultan of swing

    Posts: 2,262
    m-ville
    Ratings: +674 / 0
    I've been told that I need to trade in my hardys for a rocking chair & a plunking rod, this conferms it
  4. thewaker Tight line takes ain't no fakes!!

    Posts: 263
    Bend, Oregon
    Ratings: +3 / 0
    Easy access to affordable equipment.
  5. Dustin Bise Active Member

    Posts: 3,089
    509
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    Maybe I can offer some insight from someone new to the sport. Steelhead are just awesome. The river may be to crowded for your liking, but that is a condition of being human so wake up earlier, camp over night, float, etc if you want your solitude. Its still possible. I would say about 3 percent of the people i know flyfish for steelhead. Is it really that popular?

    My first steelhead rig would be valued at about 100 dollars new, retail. So I am sure that has a little to do with it. Also, anything that Patagonia reps is bound to become popular.

    Then there is the internet and media, we have flyfishing film tours, a movie industry, and countless magazines to rehype the same thing every 6 years.

    But even with all that, if you find a steelhead river and walk to a hard to access section, chances are you might have between 1 and 5 boats float buy while u eat lunch or nap. Might even have a nice cigar or beer with a fellow fisherman who has also put in some legwork.

    Just doesnt seem all that popular to me. Out of people i graduated with (class of 700) I only can think of MAYBE 2 that flyfish for steelhead.

    disclaimer : i dont have much experience in the matter.
  6. Yard Sale Active Member

    Posts: 338
    The Hood
    Ratings: +134 / 0
    On the plus side look at how we can affect issues(dams coming down, wild fish not on menus, hatchery issues) due to all the people who care about rivers nowadays. While I detest crowds as much as the next guy I realize the value in having more river keepers. That and I don't find it too hard to find open water with some effort.

    Man, sure are a lot of doomsday types on here....
  7. KerryS Ignored Member

    Posts: 6,697
    Sedro Woolley, WA, USA.
    Ratings: +1,744 / 0
    I would say less than 3% of the people I know even know what flyfishing for steelhead is let alone do it.
  8. Rob Allen Active Member

    Posts: 900
    Vancouver WA
    Ratings: +367 / 0
    I am not sure i subscribe to the theory that says the more people that fish a river then the more people that love and will be willing to fight for the river, I think people will fight for rivers they never fish and even for rivers they don't love. I think people care about rivers in general and if one is in trouble they will fight for it even if they never see it. I think crowds on a river cause more fish to be handled and turn good people away from the sport. I for instance know people who never fish the rivers they love anymore because of the crowds.

    Now back to the original question
    i think steelhead fishing has become more popular recently because

    1. there is a ton of knowledge out there makes it easy to cherry pick when and where the fishing will be good

    2. we are a more mobile society than ever before

    3. there are tools available now that make catching steelhead a thousand times easier than before

    4 a LARGE population of steelhead fishermen now a days are simple looking for an ego boost. it's important to them to be known as STEELHEAD FLY FISHERMEN. The perceive themselves to be the elite of the elite among fly fishers.

    5 rivers are becoming great places to drink lots of cheap beer and brag about it.
  9. gearhead Active Member

    Posts: 661
    Renton, wa
    Ratings: +45 / 0
  10. Flyborg Active Member

    Posts: 2,299
    Kalama, WA
    Ratings: +597 / 0
    Because it's fun.
  11. speyforsteel Degenerate Caster

    Posts: 316
    Eastern Washington
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    The moment you hook up with a 40+ inch freight train with a major attitude problem you'll know.
  12. Robert Easterday Member

    Posts: 47
    Culver, Oregon
    Ratings: +12 / 0
    Dustin,

    There will be a class reunion somewhere between Beavertail and Macks Canyon on the Lower Deschutes, Saturday morning, 5:30 am. You'll have a chance to catch up with the other 697.

    RDE
  13. EHB86 Member

    Posts: 92
    Puget Sound and Plain, WA
    Ratings: +15 / 0
    To answer the original question, I really think a lot of it is the "hunting" aspect, it takes some effort and when you do "occasionally" (and that's pushing the definition of occasionally, for me anyway) hook one it's a hell of a lot of fun and makes you want to "hunt" harder.

    As far as crowds go, if you look back at pictures of fly guys in their little boats all anchored gunwale to gunwale on the northern California and Oregon rivers in the 50's 60's and 70's, it's amazing that we can find the solitude we do. If you fish during the week and walk/drive a little bit you can generally find a pretty peaceful piece of decent water.