Thursday, December 11, 2008

I'm gone, I'm gone, I'm gone, I'm gone, I'm gone

I have left the Steelhead Site. Last night I saw another thread get started that was nothing, but argumentative and I had had it. I used the word "fuck" in my goodbye post hoping that it would get me permanently banned, so I couldn't even go back in a moment of desperation. why did I leave? you probably don't really care, but I will tell you anyway.

I left the site because it had lost any and all positive messages. If a guy caught his first steelhead and took a picture of it, upon posting the picture he would be critiqued by a bunch of lame ass lamiods because he had miss handled the fish. No one shared anything but unwanted opinions.
The other thing is that I really don't like guys that fish centerpins, and it was full of 'em.

I recently read an article by Bill McMillan in an old issue of the Osprey. In the article Bill talks about fishing the Skeena system and meeting a guy who is in the same lodge, who has been catching around 10-15 Steelhead each day. The guy is using an indicator technique, and he credits Bill with leading him too it in one of bills early books. This makes Bill kind of sad, because the way he sees it, this guy totally missed the point. Bill stopped using this technique, he wrote about why in the book. The technique put the fly right down in the fishs face and took alot of the choice out of the fishes fins.

This is not a critique on indicator fishing for steelhead. I went up and did some on the Door last spring and discovered a sport that really can celebrate the nature of steelhead. And that is what the guy on the Skeena was missing. He was there at prime time, the fishing was really good the steelhead really strong, and he knew if he got a grab when his indicator feel. He didn't get to feel the rush of energy from the fish grabbing and then turning on the fly, the fish didn't follow the fly half way across the pool, but he was catching more fish than anyone else in camp. He may as well been fishing walleyes with jigs or salmon with roe (that may be at the edge), because he missed so much of what makes the fish and the river special in his quest for numbers.

This is what I believe the "pinners" do, they see catching a steelhead as a sign of bonafide and they want that recognition, so they catch as many as they can. They become greedy their challenge to them selves focussed around numbers, nit a caring for the fish or the sport of fishing. They catch every fish in a run and think it is a good thing. It is like the guy who fishes gravel in the fall for salmon here in the great lakes, and then upon hearing that some guy caught 4 kings in Alaska say " 4 kings I could do that in an afternoon, the fishing is better here, and I'm a better angler", missing the ever lovin point.

Numbers mean almost nothing, catching just one more steelhead, time and time again means everything. I feel the grab of a steelhead so rarely and sometimes feel that I am going crazy without. I want to be in the moment with that steelhead more than I want to be bragging it up later. But to get to that moment I want to utilize the exiting nature of the steelhead when I am able. I am on a big summer river, I may start with a sink tip, but as a catch a fish or two I start to swing my flies closer and closer to the surface. I am wanting to see the boil of course, but I am try to really move that fish to the fly, instead of bringing the fly to the fish. I use the nature curiosity (or is aggressiveness, I don't know) of the steelhead. And that was the point of Bill McMillan's story, evolve you technique, when you can, to take advantage of how great steelhead are.


Erik Helm said...

Amen brother! What you wrote is poetry to my eyes. fish to the fly, appreciation, involvement YES!
The Steehhead site is lame. I recently signed up again only to be disappointed that the same goobers were doing the same thing on that board.
I met Ann. Sam on the river. A good fisherman but as far as civilized goes, not really. The Steelhead site seems to have decayed into a sort of boast and roast board. The Wisconsin Flyfishing page has evolved into a self contained group of posters that know each other and only respond to each other's posts and UMFF is mostly a toss. The ten people that post there..well.. I get shit for using the term gravel raper because I guess those guys are the ones I see on the river flopping splitshot and glo-bugs.
I am now posting mainly on the Washington page. Far more knowledge, and participation.
This whole thing kind of makes me embarrassed for WI.

Stephen R. Nelson said...

Yeah, I got a few negative PMs emailed to me today in regards to my post. Well that is how it goes. I guess as long as we can surround ourselves with a small group of guys who love steelhead as much as we do we are lucky enough.

This weekend is looking like it will be relatively warm up here. If you are going to head up anytime give a shout.

Anonymous said...

Yes guys the Wisconsin section of the Steelhead Site is pathetic and an embarrassment. I only go there once in awhile and it always ends up making me wonder why I'm wasting my time again.

Shaq said...

Awesome post! Thanks! There are a few swingers in the GL's walking away from the crowds and swinging the pushy tails. Keep it up!