What has happened to "traditional" steelhead flyfishing?

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by TomB, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. Bob Triggs

    Bob Triggs Stop Killing Wild Steelhead!

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    Kevin fishes for "Lawn Trout" though :clown:
     
  2. Big K1

    Big K1 Large Member

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    Bob does to! Less hassles that way. It takes serious skill to swing a fly properly on the lawn. Hint on fly selection "Steelhead bee" :rofl:
     
  3. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast free bird

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    The guy Monday with the canoe on the Sauk said he'd never floated it before, but claimed to know what he was doing. It appeared he did not know what he was doing because a.) he was on the Sauk in a canoe, and b.) he wrestled his boat down the bank from the highway only 1/4 mile up from a boatlaunch.
    The last canoe I saw on the Sauk was upside down with two very cold guys bobbing down river with it. My friend and I picked them up across from where the guy monday put in.

    As for traditional flyfishing, I don't care how you fish. Nymphing doesn't hurt the fish any more than any other method. To add a little more variety to your arsenal, try swinging small, thin bladed spoons.
     
  4. NorthernSteel

    NorthernSteel New Member

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    Thought I should wade in on this one. Personally, I have never even seen anyone nymph for steelhead, although I hear they do it a lot back east. With that in mind, on the one hand I am of the sentiment that whatever technique you wish to employ so as to catch fish is really your perogative. On the other hand I wonder why anyone would ever want to deprive themselves of the overall satisfaction, and sheer heart-stopping action of hooking up with a steelie on the swing.

    Personally, I have probably fished a dozen days in 2005. All of those days have been with a two hander of varying lengths and weights, and have yet to touch a Steelhead. Even if you told me that I would be guaranteed of a fish if I threw a bobber and egg, I wouldn't do it. Why? Because there is something magical about casting the spey and swimming a fly on a run that is just made for it. Catching a fish, well thats just a bonus...

    Just one mans opinion I guess.

    Thought I should add that the above opinion comes from a very biased source, I mean I love to swing flies so much I I predominantly swing wet flies to trout in the summer rather than throw a dry or nymph!
     
  5. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    Head,
    Its not possible to swing flies through a lie that is 3ft deep and 3ft wide and hope to catch fish. When u have cross currents and seems surrouding it, and exposed rocks infront and behind, swinging isnt an option. Its not possible to get a fly down deep enough. For example, look at this pic [​IMG] . The water that stripedbass44 is fishing in that pic is about half as deep is at is wide, or much more so as the pool reaches its head. A swinging presentation would put the fly infront of the holding fish for a time frame of about 1-2 secounds, and it would be right at the surface. There is almost no chance the fish will see the fly, and even lesser of a chance it would react to it, especaily in water below 42 degrees. Im not sure which rivers you are fishing, but most of ours tend to run between 50-150cfs. Have you tried swinging flies in that much water? Most of the fish choose to hold in the deepest pools, near wood and other struction, so getting the fly down to them with anything other than a tight line nymping presentation is often impossible. In what way does swinging take more skill that nymphing? Im not understanding that part of the equation.

    Kerry,
    Just look at the rivers within 50 miles of Walla Walla excluding the columbia and snake. Small water to say the least. The methow and grand rhonde, and klickitat are some of the only river i can think of that are even remotly close to me that are in washington where swinging could be effective. But hey, i can ride my frikin bike to some of the rivers where I can nymph up some tasty hatchery fish. Its pretty sweet when u can catch a steelie after school and make dad really happy with some bbq later that night.
     
  6. pwoens

    pwoens Active Member

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    I have to say that even on rivers such as the touchet and tucanon, I never use an indicator, I always swing or strip. Nothing against indicators cause I use them all the time trout fishing, but I would much rather swing for steel mostly cause thats the only way I know how to catch them

    personally, I see nothing wrong with using indicators. If you want to be a true "traditionalist", walk to the stream :clown:
     
  7. _WW_

    _WW_ Fishes with Wolves

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    Traditional Fly fishing? Define please…

    Traditions, such as they are, may best be used to describe a fixed point in time, or perhaps even better, an era. As environmental conditions evolve, newer equipment devised and different methods of presentation discovered to be effective, it can only be appropriate to begin a new chapter in the continuing perceptions of tradition. When desiring a return to or a longing for past traditions one needs to choose between which hash marks he is referring to. Or to put it plainly the traditions of which era? The 50s? The 80s? The 30s? The 1830s? or yes, even the 1990s? In biblical times fishing was traditionally done with nets and the thought of doing it solely for recreational purposes probably unheard of. And what traditions there were most certainly subject to be waived in the interest of survival.

    Once-upon-a-time it was deemed proper etiquette to present the fly only by casting upstream to rising fish, and only rising fish with a properly greased representation of what the hatch of the moment was. Although it’s obviously technically feasible to attempt this on the Skagit in February, I think I would rather stay home and watch Jimmy Houston kiss bass on the lips. Following tradition for tradition’s sake is better experienced as a study of the old ways for educational purposes. Do it to glean an understanding of where we have been and how it helped us get to where we are now.

    Ever notice that most Steelhead fly fishermen’s early attempts at tying result in shrimp patterns? Or egg patterns? Some traditions die hard. But when they do, new ones are forged.

    And never forget; tradition can also be an anchor, a ball-and-chain-like impediment to progress that sometimes not only benefits the fisherman, but the fish too. Tradition can be divisive, disruptive, and damaging to the sport. Holding one’s methods and preferences above those of others, a version of elitism if you will, does the sport no good. At a time when the very fish are endangered to the point of extinction in some cases, anything that brings division to the rank and file of recreational sport fishermen must be avoided. A sad thing indeed if the sport were to die from lack of fish while we argued the merits of various casting and presentation techniques. Far more constructive to direct your passion towards endeavors which benefit us all instead of expounding the virtues of this over that.

    And believe it or not, the fish once it decides to strike, is oblivious to your technique…trust me I know this from personal experience.

    Fishing, and fly fishing in particular was once defined by those who practiced it and enforced by those, who by virtue of owning the land, owned the fishing. Now it is defined by law and transgressions of this law punishable in court. We as the practitioners neither own, define, or enforce that which we do. Nor do we, except by the most impractical, obtuse, red tape laden, and inefficient methods, have any say in our sport. And for this great privilege we are charged an annual fee that seldom changes to reflect our often diminishing opportunities. And yet, I still consider myself fortunate to be able to fish when I can. Why this is will be fuel for another topic on another day.

    Having said all this there are some traditions that deserve continuity and preservation. Traditions that all of us need to revere and practice on the water. Next time you’re suited up in fleece, neoprene, studded felts, polarized lenses, breathable rain gear and casting space age graphite rods with precision machined disc drag reels spooled with Dacron backing, PVC fly line, and monofilament tapered leaders, (with or without strike indicator), try to practice a little tolerance, some courtesy, and try to enjoy the camaraderie of your brothers in the sport. Because when our fishing preferences are stripped of their prejudices and pretensions and exposed in their most basic form; we all simply cast a lure in the hopes of enticing a fish to strike. Everything else is just window dressing.

    ....WW (5.0)
     
  8. Jerry Daschofsky

    Jerry Daschofsky Moderator Staff Member

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    Well said, couldn't have said it any better WW. You have a seat in my driftboat anytime. ;) :thumb:
     
  9. Zen Piscator

    Zen Piscator Supporting wild steelhead, gravel to gravel.

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    Very nice WW. Most of what is being said here is banter between good friends. I would hope that a devision in favored techniques would not seperate people who are united for a common cause. I would have to vote your post as one of the best first posts i have ever seen.

    Peace,
    Andy
     
  10. Lostinwater80

    Lostinwater80 New Member

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    Damn WW! Very well said. thanks for sharing
     
  11. Trevor

    Trevor New Member

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    Well put, WW...

    ...and welcome to the board.

    Trevor
     
  12. cmtundra

    cmtundra New Member

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    Liked that quote from WW as well. As somone else on this board likes to say (& me too), "It is what it is". I don't see technique much as a moral issue as long as it's legal & not hindering someone else's fishing efforts. As the old hymn goes, "When all of life is over & our work on earth is done...", -aint nobody gonna give a rat's arse whether you swung, or nymphed, or chucked, or slung(?).

    Tom B., sleep on the wet spot & we'll all still love ya' in the morning! Hell, I'll even respect you cause' you've caught way more steelhead swinging than I have by any & all methods. Cheers to you :beer2: if for no other reason than that I loved reading the thread. Tom, you can have a seat on MY driftboat anytime....except for the problem that I don't have one yet...as long as you don't mind my Peanuts gang collection of bobbers, I mean indicators. :rofl: :rofl:
     
  13. Roper

    Roper Idiot Savant

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    iagree iagree iagree BTW, nice entry into the forum... :thumb: