Posts

The importance of the first time

A wonderful time for a first time steelhead angler on his first steelhead trip

Well the title says it all. The first time at anything can and is often times the most valued experience that can make or break a view or passion from an activity.

Looking back at a handful of my own firsts in life, I can say some have been amazing, Others very trying, Some regrettable, while a very few have been absolutely amazing.

My brother with a Redfish on his first saltwater trip!!

I think fly fishing in general and even more so Spey casting for steelhead. The act of steelhead fishing alone is never a 100% thing. Coupled with most first timers fear of a new rod with a casting motions that seem to have more moves than a hip hop dancer. Positive affirmations is this game are so hard to come by. Needless to say Spey casting can look and seem overwhelming.

A group of angler taking their first steps into Spey casting

This is why I give so much attention to the beginnings of a new Spey caster. They need the positives reinforcement that they are making steps in the right direction. Even if they are small and seem unimportant. Affirmation is the key to building good techniques and toughening the skin of steelhead for the work to come. The road in out beloved sport is met with as many hardships and loses as it is meant with victories. The casting is one of the only parts about this wonderful event known as angling.

Now as we all take our second and third attempts and new things we learn more about how these things can fit in our lives and how we can grow into them. But getting through that first go, is a crucial part of any new activity.

Even the first steelhead of the year is an amazing event and I have caught a fair amount of steelhead!!!

I have recently been told, “Learning is SOOO hard!”. Never have these words been more true than on the brow of a great teacher. Find the instructor that compliments you and than stay open minded, you never know what you can learn or even teach in the end.

This season has been the best down year I can remember. I won’t soon forget some of the small and large victories as well and the wonderful people I have guided along the way. It is not quite done but I can say I am already looking forward to the next step in my journey as a guide and outfitter. Hope everyone is getting out fishing and kicking lots of fish ass!!

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.

Tough Seasons Make Success Sooo Much Sweeter

 

When this is your first Steelhead all you can do is smile.

When this is your first Steelhead all you can do is smile.

We have all seen the low numbers of steelhead this season. The ones you will encounter will be better and those brought to hand so much sweeter. The fish around are a bit bigger, just further between. Remember to wear you hat and smile right, and maybe a touch of luck. Get out and fish!!!

Could not have been a HOTTER fish, dandy!!

Could not have been a HOTTER fish, dandy!!

He could not resist to flash!!

He could not resist to flash!!