The Binary Language of Steelhead Fly Fishing

The long but anticipated connection.

The long but anticipated connection.

Steelhead, oh Steelhead….What a crazy fish. Might drive a person crazy, I know I already am. For the past two years thing is the Steelhead world have been a bit tough. Sometimes it has seemed luck was the only real way to find any success. Of course having fewer fish does not help, but there is more to it then that. The pursuit of a completely reactionary anadromas rainbow trout, who is turn off and or put down by any and seemingly everything. The water is too hot, the water is too cold, the sun is in there eyes, the water is off color, the water is too clear, the barometer is changing, full moon phase is in effect, too much angling pressure, you pick the one or common ones you hear or have used. To think any of us are deserving might be another pipe dream.

Even hatchery fish have their days where the stars align.

Even hatchery fish have their days where the stars align.

On the list of fish species that are difficult to catch on a fly, steelhead might not make the top ten. I would wager that Permit would be the top of most lists. Permit are even more crazy is that those fish are actually actively feeding. Now for the reality of the Steelhead picture to take hold, Steelhead are not really returning to the rivers to feed. The animal may not even have a clue other than hormonally or chemically they feel the call of ancestral past to push them to swim up river. Now  from the anglers view, The Steelhead needs to be in the taking mood the day I am going to be there, and be in the runs I fish, and find my fly and eat it because I drove here. Not be mean or break some peoples pride, but it seems like to fish are responsible for doing a lot of the needed work. As a guide my job is to facilitate the amount of variables and help to connect the angler to the fish, again I rely on the Steelheads reactive presents.

One of my favorite so called reasons for Steelhead not to eat flies.

One of my favorite so called reasons for Steelhead not to eat flies.

So with all this positive information I am writing down I have more to say. The only reason some of us know the past couple years have been off is because we have seen and fished in good years. We learn good from bad based on experience and after a couple days with the wonderful Peter Hayes. A fellow guide and great caster who told asked me if I knew what an experience was? Telling him maybe not his definition, he then told me “An experience is what you get when you don’t get what you want”. After Steelhead fishing for the better part of my lifetime, I can tell you I have had a lot of experience.

A Steelhead hardened angler chooses a new from of ammunition.

A Steelhead hardened angler chooses a new from of ammunition.

Better years will come and great days to follow, but remember your only in control of a couple of things and the Steelhead no matter how many or few might take control of their end of the bargain some day. Until then we are left with days of 1’s and 0’s the binary language of these amazing and highly addictive fish.

As crazy as these creatures can drive us, their beauty and mystery will always bring us back for more.

As crazy as these creatures can drive us, their beauty and mystery will always bring us back for more.

As the season pushes on…

The smile tells the entire story!

The smile tells the entire story!

Big buck in full colors, what a stud!!

Big buck in full colors, what a stud!!

On the brink of one of the oddest elections in our nations history, all I can do is turn to fly fishing. Like a new season brought forth with excitement, and change, Also come uncertainty. The last couple of seasons on the Deschutes have been tough to say the least. A number of reasons and theories and wild ass guesses I have had bend my ear. The truth is not a single one of us knows why or what to do about it. Pontificating ideas that pushes no course of action seems to be what we do best, as anglers. The only other thing I know is that if you don’t fish your odds of getting any just went to zero.

Caleb helping to put a big wild fish to the beach.

Caleb helping to put a big wild fish to the beach.

Bright fish on a bright day!

Bright fish on a bright day!

Chase the steelhead they have seen hard times before I am sure. I once heard a wise angler say that he was amazed we even had the opportunity to fish for steelhead after the way we treated our resources in the past. I will continue to push forward swinging flies no matter how tough it gets and I suggest a few of you come along with me. We may all learn a few thing, have a few laughs, and yes we may even catch a couple steelhead, lol.

Not everything below the surface is a steelhead...

Not everything below the surface is a steelhead…

Our Winter Steelhead trips are starting to book and the 2017 calendar is open. Lets get you all back out on the water in 2017 for more great times and stories. hope to hear from you soon. I hope to have new information about the film project ASAP. thanks for your patients on this it has been a massive and expensive undertaking>

The coolest fly tier I know

Click to close

Click to close

Now I think it is about time to do some blog posts on some of the folks in this wild world of steelheading I find interesting. Now I am not sure how many of you have ever heard of David Nelson, so listen up. He and his strikingly elegant flies are some of the most beautiful and original patterns in have seen in a long time. Fusing classic materials with modern appeal, Dave’s flies move and look like no others!!! Having seen his stuff work first hand and having spent some time with Dave himself, one gets to understand the person and the angler!!!

Click to close

Click to close

Dave started his commercial tying as a custom tier of Striper flies. His saltwater patterns are still some of the best flies going. Has his passions have changed Dave shifted towards the pursuit if Steelhead!!! It happens to all of us! The best part was when his addiction to steelhead happened he brought with him his unsurpassed creativity in fly design. This is good for the rest of us, and for Dave too I guess, lol. If Dave’s flies were paintings they would encompass a time frame from Da Vinci to Warhol. The secret is getting a hold of his patterns… Dave keeps to himself and buying does take a bit of time, but well worth it. So you can check out his website http://www.squimpishflies.com/mainpage.htm If for nothing else but some fresh ideas as to what modern steelhead flies can be!! enjoy

Click to close

Click to close

The last thing I can tell you about Dave is he is just a great person!! his love of speyfishing rivals my own! Cant wait to fish with you again brother!!