The most recent edition of NW Flyfishing has an article about steelheading on a certain river that I had never heard of, reminding me that so many articles in this magazine have 1)overhyped fisheries that can't handle more presssure, and 2) explained in at least three articles how to target bull trout in rivers where no legal fishery exists. Furthermore the hype articles about steelheading never mention important conservation points, like the fact that current populations are less than 5% of historic abundance, habitat continues to decline and the state continues to manage way too much for hatchery steelhead, hurting the fishing experience for all of us. I can't bash the mag and the business in itself because I think it's fine if people want to make a living off of guiding and selling equipment but I'm saying that endless glorification of steelhead rivers in this state gives people the wrong assumption that this is a great state for steelheading. Ok, maybe relative to California, but not what Washington is compared to what it was just a few decades ago. I'm as green as green when it comes to steelheading, but in just the couple years that I've been fishing for them I've seen a proposal to list PS steelhead, and more and more science saying that the hatchery steelhead the state continues to dump in our rivers by the millions are threatening the very survival of our wild populations. I don't know how the heck any of these authors can be complacent with the current state of affairs. If I was in the steelhead biz I would be irate that we have to chase hatchery fish that don't like to bite our flies (the state selects hatchery steelhead to not bite, after all!) and that the state and tribes work with an absurdly low baselines to manage our populations. I haven't read this article and refuse to do so but in the ones that I have read I know the authors scarcely mention the dire state of affairs in this state. Wouldn't the steelhead biz be a lot more profitable if we had more wild fish to chase? No wonder so many people have resorted to fishing at places like Reiter or Cook creek...that's about the only place where a new steelheader can fish if he or she isn't willing to dedicate dozens and dozens of days learning the complexities of wild steelhead run timing, behavior and ecology to catch one of the odd wild steelhead around. I'm not going to let this be the rant that complements the rave of the magazine...we have the opportunity to 1)make management better getting involved in and giving money to angling conservation groups like the Wild Steelhead Coalition 2) support land trusts who protect habitat by giving money/volunteer time to land trusts like the Western Rivers Conservancy or Hoh River Trust (by the way one of the things about this website that I love is that it can bring people together to support these groups) 3) support groups who add to the scientific understanding of steelhead like Wild Salmon Center, Washington Trout, Native Fish Society. It seems to me that one of the obvious problem is that those of us who are new to the steelheading game easily accept the state of affairs...I think that's terribly dangerous and I think that anyone in the steelhead biz should do a better job of challenging the status quo.