Why Steelhead?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Muskypicker, May 8, 2011.

  1. Muskypicker

    Muskypicker Member

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    So after a lifetime of conventional fishing, this is my first year of pursuing fly fishing full time.
    The more about fly fishing I read, the more I read about so many people truly obsessed with steelhead fishing. Can you help me understand? What is it about steelhead that makes people so passionate about pursuing them?

    Chris
     
  2. Evan Burck

    Evan Burck Fudge Dragon

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    It's one of those things that can only be explained through experience. Everything about steelheading sounds miserable: worst weather, solid skunkings, repetetive step swing routine.... But there's a mystique about steelhead that I haven't found in any other fish.
     
  3. bkerbs

    bkerbs Member

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    You will not understand until you feel the tug. The tug is the drug.
     
  4. Matthew Gulbranson

    Matthew Gulbranson Resident Swinger

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    If I really knew the answer to this question I could be rich. But alas, I am not, and I keep buying more things to continue my addiction. That's really about the closest I can get to answering your question. I thought steelheaders were crazy before I started. Now I am just another addict/junkie like the rest of them. Kinda like hookers and blow, you just don't know until you try it a few times....just sayin'. (sorry, just had to slip that in there somewhere).
     
  5. Buck

    Buck "Ride'n Dirty."

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    I think it's more like misery loves company. Steelhead fishing is (as mentioned) time wasted, humbling, expensive, and conducted usually in shit weather. Each one of us, that has put the time in knows what a pain in the ass the first one is, so, if you want to really know, do your time. Lots of good info on this site, lots of good shops that can help you with gear, and best of luck.....Sucker!



    J/K.....(kind-of).
     
  6. Muskypicker

    Muskypicker Member

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    I look forward to reading more responses. Not too sure how many chances I will get to hunt any Steelhead out here in Colorado...

    Fishing for Steelhead kind of reminds me of fishing for muskies, or so it sounds, but musky fishing was usually in decent weather.
     
  7. dreamonafly

    dreamonafly Active Member

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    I got 3 word for you... " it ain't easy" ..
     
  8. Plecoptera

    Plecoptera Active Member

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    You don't necessarily have to fish in crappy weather to catch steelhead. I've caught them while wearing shorts and sandals, but it really depends on when and where you are fishing. Lots of guys prefer winter/spring steelheading, which is going to offer the worst weather.

    To understand steelhead fishing you really do need to get out and do it. I guess you could compare it to muskie fishing in that you are putting in a lot of time for the chance of catching a trophy sized fish. The experience is different though. Part of the reason its so popular among fly fishermen over here is because other quality fisheries are not readily available. We don't have the rich trout streams they have just to the east, or the trophy lakes like BC. Sadly enough most of our steelhead runs aren't doing so well and are no longer able to withstand recreational fishing pressure.
     
  9. LD

    LD Active Member

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    Read Dec Hogan's book. As close as you will get to understanding without doing it.
     
  10. RoyS

    RoyS Member

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    Proof he's never hooked up with one...

    RoyS
     
  11. Citori

    Citori Piscatorial Engineer

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    Roger that...
     
  12. jeff bandy

    jeff bandy Make my day

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    Come on guys. Tell him the truth.

    The best part about fishing for steelhead is...








    We really don't like catching fish, just fishing.
    :rofl:
     
  13. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    why do we fish for steelhead?

    becuz we are fucking sadistic morons who like camoflague and gortex. we have a celebrated short attention span, it lasts about the length of one presentation. on the hangdown, the withdrawals strat to kick in immediately and we begin to fiend for the next cast. So we make it... next thing you know a week has gone buy and you have ate nothing but hotdogs, cans of chilli, cheap beer, and coffee for the last 5 days of 33 degrees and raining, with 15 mph wind.
     
  14. Rob Allen

    Rob Allen Active Member

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    Why steelhead? I am not sure I wish it wasn't true now my steelhead addiction is waning I grow more and more tired of steelhead fly fishing every year mostly because of the attitudes of so many people who pursue steelhead. Mostly the people who see steelheading as some extreme sport that's all about the rush and the excuse of being on the river as a reason to drink like frat boys or using it as another left wing outing to smoke dope like hippies. Another turn off is the guys out there just looking to put numbers of fish on the bank so they can post pictures of them and make a name for themselves.
    The only steelheading i am interested in doing anymore is in a few select locations with a few select friends..

    Still i cannot bring myself to move away from steelhead!!!! Every time i think about moving to make more money or to live a happier lifestyle, ( life in the Portland/ Vancouver area is hectic and horrible) i just cannot bring myself to do it.. Like it or not I am still a steelheader.. and a whiner.
     
  15. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    On an average day steelheading I meet one or 2 people. I can't see how people are a problem here. Those that I do meet are just fine. Seems like a random cross section of society to me.

    To answer thequestion. Swinging is the reason why. That and the math.

    Go Red Sox,
    cds
     
  16. Old Man

    Old Man Just an Old Man

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    I fished for the fish of a 1000 casts for many, many, many years when I lived in Washington. I caught a few with flies and bait and spinners. I guess I tried it all. I just got tired of fishing in the shitty weather. Now I fish for Brown trout and I find them just as exciting as having a Steelhead on the end of my line.

    I guess what it boils down to is what trips your trigger.
     
  17. Dustin Bise

    Dustin Bise Active Member

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    you might enjoy steelhead fishing more if you lay of the judgement/contempt for other people? Just fish for yourself and who cares what other people on the river are doing (within limits).

    best of luck with enjoyment, and stuff. dustin.

    i gotta agree with charles. I have met many people on the river that i could stereotype, but it is extremely hard to apply a sterotype to steelhead fishers, since they are all ages and from all walks of life. :)

    It sucks that other people enjoying steelhead reduces your enjoyment of them, but so be it.
     
  18. Han Double

    Han Double Member

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    because the only thing worse than wanting something badly is to finally get it.

    its also the natural progression of the sportsman and his ego. the rifle hunter eventually finds archery, the bowhunter trades his compound bow for one that is primitive and goes after elephant with it.

    just as the bait fisherman turns to fly fishing. I imagine in a lot of ways its how people hang on to an obsession that consumed such a large part of their life instead of admitting that maybe ______ just ain't doing it anymore, so through tons of work and depravation they take on the ultimate to reach what is considered by many the pinnacle of the sport just to once again find their rocks and get them off.

    for many people steelhead fishing is like theoretical physics and space time engineering, in the way that there are as many rules as there are contradictions and mysteries can become fact with so little effort that fact can also lead back to mysteries. they study water charts and fly patterns and look for answers to the unanswerable.

    and for many more still, steelheading is a form of martyrdom. they head out in the nasty weather in hopes that someone will notice them heading out into that nasty weather and maybe if they are lucky enough they will hear that someone utter "he is hard core"

    and many people just like to fish for steelies because they are fierce grabbers that put on one hell of show and if you believe in catch and release, then really thats all there is.

    or perhaps its a combo of all of the above.
    there are no answers.
     
  19. Panhandle

    Panhandle Active Member

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    You have to be pretty ducked in the head. We're a rare breed of self centered masochists.
     
  20. golfman65

    golfman65 Guest

    there are two types, summer and winter....there is IMHO no contest..Summer fish are aggressive, will come to your fly, will take dry flies, small bugs etc. There is no greater rush and the weather can be anything from shorts and wet wading to your normal winter gear at the end...
    Think of your trout fishing, if you do that, but your trout go into the teens and if very lucky 20 pound range and fight like nothing else I've caught (fresh water)

    Winter, hmmm I often ask myself why as well and the above answers are all correct...You have to have something inside you that makes you smile in the worse conditions because you are out there...Can be said of both to some degree as the seasons change over..but for the most part, winter steelheading used to be about getting out there and not seeing many other lunatic's...lots of hiking..lots of casting practice...lots of head scratching...

    Sometimes I think just like Rob..it's over romanticized...If they were around in numbers like they used to be, we would be hooking a lot more and maybe it wouldn't sound so romantic instead of like what it is, Medevil....lol...but when you get the fever, it will change you...

    I don't think that has to do with steelhead as much as it is to just be out fishing...Steelhead are the reward...but for me, It wouldn't matter if it was trout, bulls etc. I gotta admit, swinging smaller rods and flies for the other species gives me as much pleasure...better if you hook a chrome bar while doing it..

    I see just as many crazy bastards out fishing in other parts of the country where there are no steelhead and to be honest, in a lot worse weather then we claim to have out here...but that said...When you meet another steelheader, whether from PNW, Russia, BC, Midwest...you only have to say..."Steelhead" and with the right ones, you'll get that smile and nod of the head...not much else needs to be said..