why has steelheading become so popular?

On the plus side look at how we can affect issues(dams coming down, wild fish not on menus, hatchery issues) due to all the people who care about rivers nowadays. While I detest crowds as much as the next guy I realize the value in having more river keepers. That and I don't find it too hard to find open water with some effort.

Man, sure are a lot of doomsday types on here....

Rob Allen

Active Member
I am not sure i subscribe to the theory that says the more people that fish a river then the more people that love and will be willing to fight for the river, I think people will fight for rivers they never fish and even for rivers they don't love. I think people care about rivers in general and if one is in trouble they will fight for it even if they never see it. I think crowds on a river cause more fish to be handled and turn good people away from the sport. I for instance know people who never fish the rivers they love anymore because of the crowds.

Now back to the original question
i think steelhead fishing has become more popular recently because

1. there is a ton of knowledge out there makes it easy to cherry pick when and where the fishing will be good

2. we are a more mobile society than ever before

3. there are tools available now that make catching steelhead a thousand times easier than before

4 a LARGE population of steelhead fishermen now a days are simple looking for an ego boost. it's important to them to be known as STEELHEAD FLY FISHERMEN. The perceive themselves to be the elite of the elite among fly fishers.

5 rivers are becoming great places to drink lots of cheap beer and brag about it.
Just doesnt seem all that popular to me. Out of people i graduated with (class of 700) I only can think of MAYBE 2 that flyfish for steelhead.

There will be a class reunion somewhere between Beavertail and Macks Canyon on the Lower Deschutes, Saturday morning, 5:30 am. You'll have a chance to catch up with the other 697.



Active Member
To answer the original question, I really think a lot of it is the "hunting" aspect, it takes some effort and when you do "occasionally" (and that's pushing the definition of occasionally, for me anyway) hook one it's a hell of a lot of fun and makes you want to "hunt" harder.

As far as crowds go, if you look back at pictures of fly guys in their little boats all anchored gunwale to gunwale on the northern California and Oregon rivers in the 50's 60's and 70's, it's amazing that we can find the solitude we do. If you fish during the week and walk/drive a little bit you can generally find a pretty peaceful piece of decent water.

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