What motivates you to fish for steelhead?


Tight line takes ain't no fakes!!
I'm 45 today. I feel 25 still in my head but my body is starting to tell me otherwise. Knees start to squeak,shoulders pop,etc. I have been thinking a lot about why I fish. It's changed much over the years.Why do I fish? What gets me up at dark thirty to chase an ever elusive quarry? I have been through the whole gotta catch a lot of fish, gotta catch big fish, gotta catch them on floating lines and dry flies and floating line thing.

Now it seems,catching fish,while still the goal, has become somewhat secondary to the time I spend with others on the river. I have spent thousands of hours by myself fishing over the years, and I still enjoy it. But I have found a new real joy in fishing with, teaching and still being taught by friends and others I meet on the river. I am enjoying watching my 4 year old soon take interest in fishing and watching him on the river with a switch rod in his hand and a dry fly on the end swinging for steel is an amazing site.

The pressure to always catch fish is slowly fading away, that is saying a lot because I am a highly competitive person. But now in my mid years I don't fish like a 20 year old anymore. I fish a little slower, I think about stuff more. I have more knowledge, I cover water better, I waste less energy on things that are not efficient. I am less swayed by what the crowd is doing. I have a deeper appreciation for those that came before me. I can go longer without touching a fish then I used to. I am less frustrated by a fish less session. I enjoy just being alive and able to still scramble around in the rivers I love.

So what motivates you to fish for steelhead? How has it changed as you have changed and grown older and wiser?


Active Member

Great post. I wish I could answer your question as well as you have. I will be 56 in 2 days, have been fishing for 46 years the last 32 yrs with a fly rod. guess the only reason I keep fishing for steel is because I just flat out love to do it!


Not New, Just rarely post...
See auto-sig below...

Granted Mr. Buchan was speaking to fishing in general, and not specifically steelhead. But since first reading his quotation I thought it applies very aptly to steelheading.



Well-Known Member
I fish, therefore I am?

Andy's quote from Buchan sums it up as well as anything. I've been at it a little over 40 years and not bored with it yet.



Recreational User
So what motivates you to fish for steelhead?
The usual motives...chicks, money, bling.

The more steelhead I catch, the more I want to make them do what I want them to.

These days, it's topwaters, sunup to sundown. Not to say that I won't take a break and go in after them, but those fish are just salve for the wound. The real game is making them come all the way up to eat your fly.


Active Member
I like the history, culture, and the ultimate sense of happiness steelhead brings to my life. Simply put it is my passion in life and it provides meaning to a life where we get up, tie our shoes and go to work. Without it I don't think I could stand the monotony of life.


Being out there...Most of the sports I've been in, I wasn't happy unless I was at the top...I couldn't stand being mediocre...
With fishing, I've told myself if that day comes I'm done...so far so good and I'll be hitting 53 this year...

Corny as it seems it's the call of the wild in most regards, the insanity of being out in all extremes of weather doing it..the long drives ...wild things in wild places...Given a choice between lots of hatchery fish on an ugly river or the chance of a long skunk on a wild beautiful one...and I'll take the skunk everytime....also like Pan said, the link to our pasts and how others have fished for them...All of it and then some..

I have a hard time understanding or fishing with those who can only complain about not catching fish or how others are...I choose to fish this way, I love fishing this way, the numbers sometimes come and sometimes don't..but at the end of the day..If I'm smiling and can say..."that was a good day" then that's all that matters...and any day I'm fishing for steelhead is a good day..
Me personally I do it for the cold weather, rainy days, Skunking day after day, crowds, falling on slimy rocks, braking ice off your guides, Having a gear guy low hole you, digging your hook out of your shoulder/neck on a windy day. It all goes away when THAT fish rolls on your fly. The cold day turns warm, clouds open up, skunked no more, crowds are gone, Give a shit less that you just wiped out on the rocks, made cleaning the ice off your guides worth it, giving you a reason to laugh at the gear guy instead of getting pissed about it, and you forgot all about the hook that was in your neck.

It is what it is........A GOOD TIME that makes for some of the best memories :thumb: