Enthusiast, Fisherman, and Anglers

There is a new wave of fishing that has started to take place and some of the trends mixed in with all the different walks of life multiplied by an expanding growth ratio, and you see where I am going with this. All the thing I just covered equal more and more people fishing for steelhead. Even with all these new characters there are three main groups of people that you spot on the river.
I have take the time to closely look at all three people you might encounter on the river in a day. We will start with the Enthusiast. His age does not have to be defined or the gear he fishes. What will give the enthusiast away is the glow of excitement on his face, he or she also has an ear that can catch a good fishing conversation for well over a mile. The enthusiast loves fly fishing, he is early in his fishing career that he has no passion for any particular species but instead is ready to try and fish for anything. At this point the enthusiast will find any information on the mere subject of fly fishing great and he will make any experience a learning one. What this fly fisherman lacks is confidence he or shes lacks of time on the water which does not give them a good background of knowledge. Now this is where this person can make the jump to the next stage or if not careful they can stumble down a path that may even lead to a longer journey to the next stage or the frustration can kill their freshly budding excitement pushing the enthusiast away all together.
The next person that we will be identifying via this essay is the Fisherman. This group of people is the largest, but it has to be. A fisherman has defined that he is more than a enthusiast. He or she has taken the time to now have built up a hunger for the fish that he finds worthy of the chase. The love that the fisherman has fed and nurtured has started to define what he does on and off the river. Now his time spent on the river is never bad or held in disappointment. Now he or she is able to try new approaches and has the now knowledge filled back ground to be able to know when and where to make adjustments in the game. Their alarm clock set a bit earlier and evenings filled with fly tying or a book on the fish that they love. The fisherman now knows where in the world the best fishing for his highest pursuits are located, maybe he has even planed a trip to go or even been multiple times. The fisherman’s abilities can be at the top levels, his casts beautiful, top notch gear, and might even have that uncanny second sense if you will to find fish and fish able water. With all that the fisherman has he still can better himself in ways to be more involved in the sport that has now hopefully brought he or she so much joy. The fisherman’s at some point comes to the crossroad to make the next jump, but this jump means much more than the last one he may have made so seamlessly. This next jump is where most people cant cross, the commitment needed on the other side is usually outweighed by other things that life brings to their tables…
Now we have reached the pinnacle of the list. The man or women that has done the things need to be at the top, The Angler. The angler at first might not stand out in appearance. As their gear is looked over it may seen dulled and not anything really special, but then again it has been part of who the angler defines himself to be. The anglers age can vary greatly, the amount of money that an angler has can only really be noticed in the rig he or she drives to the river. What make the angler an angler is passion. The excitement that grew into love is now passion. The last step made from fisherman to angler can be seen on and off the river. An angler has separated themselves by making changes in he or she life to not conform to the normal flow of grid lock. The passion shared by anglers has caused huge events that have led the angler to live a life based on the things they can do to keep themselves on the river and the fish alive. The angler has a day to day relationship with the rivers and fish they love, a bond that binds to their very soul. A day spent with one of these individuals can never be overlooked. The knowledge of the river going well beyond the water. These people become guides, writers, and almost all are part of the great ideal of conservation. The anglers life as become as much a part of river or a fish as the seasons that bring and change them. So the next time you are out and identify one of these special folk, listen to what they have to say but also admire in even a small way that what they are doing even effects the future of your fishing.


FFFFFish on!!!! Screamed my client from the top of a great piece of steelhead water. I watched as his rod buck with every twist of the fish and as I made my way up to his location I gave confident words of encouragement as the shooting head sizzled out into the green powerful flow of the Deschutes river for the second time. Now as we stood together slowly guiding the perfect catch toward my hands, we saw the fish for the first time. A fine fish perfect form tip to tail, robust green, many dark spots to contrast just a hint of a pastel pink from the tail to the gill plate, Heavy for her length of only 21 inches.
Just a small one… a wimper of disappointment in the mans voice. Almost at a loss for words with my heart breaking for the simple fact that this man had no idea what he had just accomplished. Fought good didn’t she, I said. Yeah hit my backing on the first run, he replied. What more could you ask for?
Well I read that the average size for this river was 5 to 8 pounds. It is, I shot back. That fish was maybe a bit over 4 pounds as I calmed myself. Are you a gambling man I asked? A bit he said. Your odds of catching one that size are about as good as getting a 10 pound fish aren’t they. Hesitantly he said, well I guess so. Not in the mood to go into the proper mind set of a true steelhead angler. I simply patted him on the back and said keep your fly in the water and the rivers you fish will teach you what you need to know.
The fact of the matter is with trout guys its inches and steelhead guys it is pounds. In the end what does it really mean. Not a damn thing, that’s right not a damn thing. For those of us who fish the size is the last thing on our minds. I mean are we trying to compare fish like we refer to a women breasts. I hope not, I hope those of us who fish we see something more than that.
When we look at the health of a stream, there are keys to know how healthy the ecology of a stream is. Water temps, dissolved oxygen, insect species and habitat, all those aside genetic diversity is what relates most here. Genetic diversity is simply the size and age range of fish in a streams ecosystem. A healthy stream has a wide range of fish where there are equal numbers of members in each size and age category.
All that this comes down to is if every where you fished the fish where all the same general size shape and color. We will also say you caught them on basicly the same fly. The only things different in the equation would be the back ground and the take. In the world that I just drew for you things seem kinda boring, but in this world their would be no I caught a big one or I got a little one, their would only be the fact that you fished and you fished the best water to the best of your ability. That in it self would be a fine reward for a day on the water.
Now I now going to lie about getting a bit excited when I catch a big one, but I wear my smile the same for the small guys too, and some day I just smile for a day well spent casting.
“Big or small, shit, your lucky the steelhead ate your fucking fly at all. Quote John Hazel.”

You make the rules

Tying flies, the most artistic and original way for steelhead angler to separate him self on and off the stream. The world of tying materials is growing so fast it is hard to keep up with, matched with the growth of the sport of steelhead fly fishing the combination has know limits of creation. A fly shop with a great selection of tying supplies are not everywhere but thats the beauty of the internet huh.
What I would like the readers of this post to get out of this blog is to except that with your flies their are no limits. The world is full of different muses, a womens shirt you saw at breakfast, a christmas decoration on the tree at a relatives house, or my favorite the colors of the sky during an early fall evening. Add these muses in with the long list of new styles from tubes to inturders the look of a fly can be the shape of ones imagination. Then the work starts like a painter with his brush. Flash or no? Natural or man made fibers?? Solid or stinger hook??? Then the color combos. I will be leaving these to you but some of my new favs are yellow and blue, blue and orange, and yellow and pink. I have caught fish on some and not others but thats fishing and no matter how bad or awsome the upcomming season might be I will not let that tell me what colors or flies to fish. As an angler the act of going fishing is above all. With hook filled vises I leave you, Travis.