Saturday, February 7, 2015

What makes a Steelhead Fly Fisher?

A lone man standing in shallow water before a white water rapid fishing for steelhead
Fishing the Sandy River in Oregon
First and foremost, to become a successful steelhead angler one has to make a mental commitment to accept the challenge of fly fishing for steelhead and also to take the risk of getting skunked. Some statistics say that on average it takes a beginner about seven years of fishing before he or she catches their first steelhead. It’s kind of a bleak outlook when a novice is facing these odds, but the time can be shortened drastically by going with someone with experience. Also, the beginner needs to read, watch videos, go to clinics, and most of all put the drift gear away and go with fly fishing only. Finally, the angler must have a dedicated interest in learning the techniques and follow the three Ps for success: Patience, persistence and passion.

An interesting case in point occurred years ago in my fly shop. Once or twice a week, a young gentleman would come into my shop and inquire about the techniques and equipment to hook winter steelhead. He maintained that he was a mechanical engineer, and he would constantly ask many questions hoping that I would give him some concise and meaningful answers. I was eager to help and would always try to give him the information that he needed. Then he would go out and fish without any luck and invariably return to my shop and and ask more questions. When I gave him my answers he would curiously say, “Interesting!”

His persistent quest for knowledge finally came to a head when he started following me around on the river. I got a little annoyed so I tried to diffuse a confrontation. I politely told him that he needed to branch out on his own, talk to other angers and if he stayed with it one day it would happen.

Finally, after what seemed like months, I tactfully told him, “Listen, catching steelhead isn’t rocket science. You don’t need a slide rule to catch them! Just keep trying and you’ll catch one before you know it.”

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please read our terms of use policy