12 months of steelheading

#1
So I moved to Portland OR. last February with high hopes of catching steelhead. Spent my

whole life trout fishing with a fly rod. I had only steelhead fished once, before moving from

Lake Tahoe CA. I got off to a good start, some of you may have read my first post two fish

on the Sandy, just dumb luck. I since have learned to put together a decent spey cast.

NOW I am in a slump, yeah I know I just started and have to pay my dues. 12 months and I

am 5 for 9 :rolleyes: thats fishing solo mission average 8 full days a month. I have blown

out my Cloudveil 8x wading boots, busted my oly 790 camera. And today I snapped my

redington RS3 spey rod:beathead: So here I am one year in and ready to do a total gear

overhaul. 5 for 9.:confused: I aint going to Quit.....:rofl: Anybody got suggestions for new gear.
 
#2
Dude.....where do I begin....

Just don't even for a second begin to think fly fishing for steelhead is a numbers game. I and I would guess everyone of us struggles with this every now and than. Remember, you are swinging flies for steelhead instead of a dozen or so techniques that are proven to be more effective. Anyone who tries to dispute this is an idiot. It is not up for debate, it is what it is, you chose this lifestyle and this species and how to catch it. Accept it. I don't get guys who brag about catching steelhead on a fly, if you want to brag, go use gear and actually catch tons of fish. Swinging flies on a spey rod is a completely different thing.

When I say to not concentrate on numbers I mean it, there is absolutely zero chance that from now until the day you die that your numbers of fish per year will continually increase. It simply does not happen. In my 15 or so years steelheading, I have gone from zero fish seasons up to 20 fish seasons and back down again, fishing the same mediocre Washington waters the whole time with most fish being caught in these tiny windows of opportunity when a flood of fish come in and most decent anglers get one per day maybe more (when I say decent I mean anybody who has ever caught one so you are good enough). If you look at the numbers it is a high and low thing, kind of like being addicted to drugs. I would guess a bad season would be zero and a good season would be 1 or more where I fish. I fish about 150 days per year for them even when the fish aren't in "season". Most come between Jan. and April.

In summary, remember you are choosing the most difficult quarry around these parts, and the most difficult way to catch them. There is no magic bullet, there are no secrets, no nothing, except a river, and you. The steelhead is simply a blessing when it comes but it isn't to be expected.
 

Buck

"Ride'n Dirty."
#3
It's not as hard as Jason has made it sound. Catching trout is really easy......

Steelhead, did he say steelhead.....Ha! Your screwed!
 
#4
summary, remember you are choosing the most difficult quarry around these parts, and the most difficult way to catch them. There is no magic bullet, there are no secrets, no nothing, except a river, and you. The steelhead is simply a blessing when it comes but it isn't to be expected.
__________________
Props: on the postive reenforcement. Perhaps I lost sight of the true reason for steelheading, or fly fishing for that matter. I just thought that as my skills progress, I would become more successful. Good news, looks like Redington may come thru on the warrantyptyd
 
#8
Finally got winter fish after 2 years. I love every moment of it. Enjoy the casting enjoy the people enjoy the river. the fish are the bonus. It is a great disease.
 

Ed Call

Well-Known Member
#9
5 for 9 rates as pretty high from what I've heard. I only hope to get 9 chances, maybe 9 total, not even 9 annually.
 
#11
I am still skunked after more than a year, and still looking for my first one. Something about the chase that keeps me coming back, and kind of obsessively too. I am scared to think of what will happen when I finally DO catch one!! :eek:
 
#12
Thats why they call it fishing and not catching!!!! Dont give up yet!! Actually you live near me, quite while you are still ahead.... Leave all the water to me!!!!

Just kidding... Shoot me a line if you want to meet up some time and we can cry in our beer together about not getting any steel.
 

CLO

Future WFF Mod
#13
5 for 9 is pretty good depending on how many days you were fishing. Maybe you should try new rivers? Gear problems get me down too especially when you break a rob but sometimes there are great deals on the site and ebay/craigslist. I bought a brand new reel for 45 dollars and a brand new rod for 12 dollars. If money is problem search ebay, thats what I do. Good luck.
 

SpeySpaz

still an authority on nothing
#14
It's not as hard as Jason has made it sound. Catching trout is really easy......

Steelhead, did he say steelhead.....Ha! Your screwed!
screwed indeed.
my last hookup was a big bruiser that I had on for fifteen minutes, worked in to the shallows twice, kind of crawled downstream towards, and eventually lost. All I ever saw was part of his back, and he was impressive.
That was in November I think. It's all a BLUR.
Fish of a thousand casts, my ass. This makes muskie fishing look like a cakewalk. More like ten thousand.
 
#15
5 for 9 your first year? Fuck the broken rod and quit the sniffling hardcharger! Grab a 12 pack of the good stuff, jump on the internet and go research Burkheimer and Meiser spey rods. After an ass kicking rookie season like that my friend, you owe yourself a real fishing tool and they come with a lifetime warrenty to boot. I am Burkheimer Pro Staff and definately partial, but I love the Meiz and especially Mike Kinney's MKS rods and always will. Then tomorrow when you shake out the cobwebs give one of the boys a call and treat yourself. They will hold your hand and walk you through all of the tough decision making. Who cares about the credit card, it needs a good workout anyways! Think of it as a spa day for men! Congrats on a great rookie season and that trick new rod properly lined and fitted for battle may help you avoid the dreaded sophomore slump. Tight lines and congrats again. The Coach

Hell if you are in Portland, drive to Washougal to Kerry Burkheimer's shop and tell him Coach said you need a new weapon of graphite, cork and titanium. Spring is coming my friend and the horns of battle are sounding! It time for the damn Natives and you don't wade into battle with native steelhead without some firepower.

:beer1: