Steeliess reserved for experienced?

A player = A chaser. Sure it can happen with beads. You just don't get to feel it happen like this...

[video=youtube_share;EuMyApaM1Iw]http://youtu.be/EuMyApaM1Iw[/video]
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
How do you distinguish between the initial hit and the fight after? TallFlyGuy I have to disagree with you, I don't fish beads but I do nymph and I've had killer takes on the indicator so you can and often do feel the same thing as a swinger plus if you are visual, like me, you also can watch the indicator drop under. I honestly like watching the indicator dip more than feeling the initial take. In fact when I swing the indicator at the end of a drift and get a hit I'm often bummed that the fish didn't take it earlier so I could see the take. I nymph because I honestly prefer to watch versus feel the take. I get the sensation of the take the same way while I'm fighting the fish so with the indicator I feel I get the best of both worlds. In full confession I also love to chironomid fish with an indicator.

Ira..
 

dflett68

Active Member
A player = A chaser. Sure it can happen with beads. You just don't get to feel it happen like this...

[video=youtube_share;EuMyApaM1Iw]http://youtu.be/EuMyApaM1Iw[/video]
ok, but again, the guy in the video explains the "chaser" thing as a matter of predatory instinct. back to feeding again. you guys can say what you want about steelhead not needing to feed in freshwater, but there are some important distinctions between salmon and steelhead in that regard. fundamentally, salmon are going to die shortly after the spawn, but steelhead can do the whole thing over again - so sooner or later they do go back to eating, and in some cases it appears they never stop. defining them as players because they chase a swung fly and as non-players if they don't still looks like a handy way to back into a validation of the way you prefer to fish as the only most-sporting way.
 

dflett68

Active Member
the fact that fish have feeding insticts (predatory instincts) does not equal feeding. it has been said repeatedly that a player may indeed eat a nymph or bead. it is not what the player strikes but the fact that it is aggressive and will strike the first properly presented fly/lure/bait that it sees. do you wonder why so many people wake up early to fish steelhead? much of it is because it is your best chance to find rested fish and your best chance to find players. it is not the only time that players can be found, since anyone that fishes steelhead is constantly surprised by when, where, how steelhead behave and strike flies.

with dwindling wild stocks of fish, i think it is a good conversation to have regarding fishing efficiency and that impact on catch and release mortality. fishing less effective methods searching for a player not only reduces impacts but allows resting fish to rest. why was the deer creek pool closed on the n. fork stillaguamish? why was nymphing banned on the n. umpqua? is it a good thing that two winters ago estimates show that 70-80% of the fish escaping harvest were caught and released on the hoh? answer those questions for yourself. whether you agree with me or not is not the point. the fact that you are even asking the questions mean that you care more than the 90% of sportfishermen who do not.

if you have a passion for nymphing as some obviously do that is fine too. there are certainly other ways to minimize our impacts. don't fish out of a boat (create sanctuary water for resting fish). quit fishing after releasing x number of wild fish. lots of ways to reduce our impacts while still enjoying the sport we love. each of us has to make our own decisions based on our own unique set of morals.

hell, i do a ton of saltwater fishing in the summer. there are way more questions about impacts in those fisheries than a steelhead river. thinking about higher c&r mortalities, low mark rates, endangered species, and by-catch have my mind spinning at times. :)
great post chris, thanks. i do care, and thanks for giving me that credit even though we are not in total agreement on some finer points. i see the philosophy and love of the sport/resource behind what you're saying and i respect it a lot. and to that end, let's assume the "player" is a real fish and not just an idea. are the most aggressive fish in the river not the fish we would most like to see reproduce? and if so, are they not the fish we should most like to leave unmolested, rather than exclusively targeted? would covet your thoughts (and yours, salmo_g) on this question.
 

Jim Wallace

Smells like low tide.
First, apologies to those who are troubled by the hijacking of this thread. However this is the www, and discussions routinely have a tendency to wander. Some of us find the wandering interesting enough to continue.

Chris B.,

Thanks for posting that link. I'd forgotten it, and Bill's article should be on the list of required reading for everyone who aspires to fly fish for steelhead.
Sg
Thanks for recommending the article as "required reading." Indeed, it is some very fine writing and thinking. If any of you haven't read it, please treat yourself to it!

For the record, two of the four adult steelhead that I have ever hooked while flyfishing were from the same pool. One was definitely a "player," and one probably wasn't. They both took a globug under an indicator. Same season, but a few weeks apart, and a few years ago, now.

Funny thing, the day before the first one I hooked (in late Dec or early Jan), I read a thread here that proposed that a steelhead seen just entering thru the tailout of a pool is probably going to be a "player." As I was surveying the pool prior to fishing it, I observed a large buck jump over the weir log at the tail of the pool and swim over to the far side. I immediately stripped out some line and made a roll cast across the pool, landing it about 15 or so feet upstream from where I thought the fish might be. My indicator barely traveled 5 feet when it got jerked down, and it was fish on! Then, the "other player" in the pool made himself known. A huge Coho buck, in full on red spawning colors, charged the steelhead buck on the end of my line! Full-on attack mode, like "Get out my pool!"
There was an explosion, and my fish was off my hook and gone. The Coho buck made a victory lap around the pool and then went back into hiding. Ha! "Players!"

The other steelhead I hooked in that pool (in Feb) finally took my glowbug after about 15 casts upstream, guiding my indicator down along the seam as I stripped in the slack. I felt the strike at the same time my indicator went under. I got to enjoy the spectacular fight, but the chrome native made one last effort and got off when I asked my buddy to get my camera out of my pack. It was a fighter, but not a "player" by Sg's definition.

Since that time, I haven't fly fished for steel enough to call myself a steelhead fly angler. Sorry for the 'jacking, but I had to chime in.
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
Are you high on CRack?
No, it was an honest question. I believe that the initial take that you feel is a sub conscious destinction between the actual fight. Try it sometime, and I bet you can enjoy each hard pull after hooking the fish in the same way. So again do you think it is honestly different? Do I gain less because I can feel it this way plus I enjoy the take under as well? That is where I disagree with people trying to continue to tell me that feeling the hit/take is better than watching the indicator go under for all people. It simply is not the truth for everyone, if you like it better good for you but don't try to insinuate that I'm a druggy because I feel differently.

Ira..
 

DKL

Nude to the board
Seems like this player concept may make sense in rivers that do not have a healthy wild population and are void of hatchery fish. Therefore, you are reducing your effects on the wild population while still being able to maintain a recreational fishery. It also would appear based on this conversation, that catch and release fishing is measurably detrimental to the fish, and the real problem and not the matter of presentation, which begs the question of whether that practice should be maintained. I'm not sure I'm ready to believe that when I hook and subsequently release a fish, that its odds of survival from that point on are so low. Other than spawned out salmon, I don't see dead trout and steelhead throughout the rivers I fish. If the system has hatchery fish in it, those fish are there to be harvested and are competing with the wild fish. I thought the idea was to catch those fish and get them out of the system, whether they are a player or not. I feel like this thread has offered some interesting reads. For the record, I swing and do not nymph for steelhead. I have never heard of the player concept before, I just like swinging for fish. I find it easier to do, more rhythmic and relaxing. It allows me to look around at my surroundings and let my mind wander, but still lets me catch a fish. I've never thought negatively of those that nymph, only those that fish illegally and/or trash the rivers.

DKL
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
No, it was an honest question. I believe that the initial take that you feel is a sub conscious destinction between the actual fight. Try it sometime, and I bet you can enjoy each hard pull after hooking the fish in the same way. So again do you think it is honestly different? Do I gain less because I can feel it this way plus I enjoy the take under as well? That is where I disagree with people trying to continue to tell me that feeling the hit/take is better than watching the indicator go under for all people. It simply is not the truth for everyone, if you like it better good for you but don't try to insinuate that I'm a druggy because I feel differently.

Ira..
Don't sweat it Ira, I myself had a bobber addiction in my younger years. I use to get so exicted watching my cork line bob up & down as salmon hit my gillnet in southeast alaska, now I'm content watching just one float chronimide fishing!!!!!
 

Irafly

Indi "Ira" Jones
benny, you crack me up :)

Last January I helped out with some stergeon research by the Dalles Damm. I was fishing rod and reel to help tag and potenitally retain spawning stergeon. The Yakima tribe was also involved in the study but they used set lines under massive bouys. I can't tell you how amazing it was to watch those massive bouys being taken under by stergeon. I experienced the same elation watching a shark fishing show where these guys figured out how to catch and tag Great Whites using a multiple bouy system. Those dang creatures were able to take three or four of those massive bouys under in that show.

Ira..
 

skyrise

Active Member
Irafly, no worries. try float and jig sometime. and then tell me the fish didnt attack that jig. very deadly method.
ya there may be some difference between a jig (bead fly) and spoon (swung fly) but when the line goes tight, who cares.
you can argue over the methods and why they do this or that for years.
all i care is that they take my "whatever" and are not lock jawed like some stupid snoho coho.
i guess when it comes to fishing S/T/S I am a lot liberal (yuch word) and will fish it all (no plunking).
 

bennysbuddy

the sultan of swing
Irafly, no worries. try float and jig sometime. and then tell me the fish didnt attack that jig. very deadly method.
ya there may be some difference between a jig (bead fly) and spoon (swung fly) but when the line goes tight, who cares.
you can argue over the methods and why they do this or that for years.
all i care is that they take my "whatever" and are not lock jawed like some stupid snoho coho.
i guess when it comes to fishing S/T/S I am a lot liberal (yuch word) and will fish it all (no plunking).
What do you mean NO PLUNKING, If it wasn't for debates around fires on plunking bars , the worlds probems would never be solved. Plunking is the thinking mans game you have to have a stratogy to be a sucessful plunker, I've learned alot about fish migration paths due to plunking which has payed off while winter steelhead fly fishing
 
If all of you who are gung-ho about the take on the swing, you haven't seen shit until you've had one slam a vibrax spinner on the swing. I've swung up my fair share of steelhead on the spey, but the two (and only two) I've ever caught on gear were by swinging a vibrax, and ho-ly-shit was that take savage!