sacrifices to the river gods question [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: sacrifices to the river gods question

05-22-2003, 06:33 PM
So after suffering through a very very rough spring. I have come to the conclusion that I haven't paid enough homage to the river god's. So here is what I was thinking next time on the river:

1 can of beer and a good slug of yukon jack from my flask.

So what does everyone else think or do to keep the river God's happy.


05-22-2003, 07:05 PM
I always sacrifice a few flies;)
I have always found that the fishing gets better after breaking a rod too, especially if its early in the morning.

05-22-2003, 07:48 PM
The beer and Yukon Jack are a good tribute to the river gods. I can't think of a better way to start off - Just make sure you don't eat anything first. As my grandfather used to say, "Never eat on an empty stomach!"


05-22-2003, 09:13 PM
Perhaps "Celestial Virgins? " Been so long since I've known one I don't even rember how to spell it .... sigh.:devil:

05-23-2003, 02:32 AM
I always dump a fly or two in at beginning of season (usually not having my aim down, so hit a tree on other bank now or again). Always good luck to do that. LOL.

05-23-2003, 10:06 AM
Jeff, Jeff, Jeff,

One "can of beer and a good slug of Yukon Jack". All that is missing here is the type of beer. If you are thinking Miller or Bud Light then I guarantee this combination will work for you and you will soon be catching fish --- Bass but they will be fish.

If you are serious about getting the steelhead monkey off you back, might I suggest a dram of good single malt, a splash of a fine cognac or even a nice red such as a Chianti Classico or a Syrah.

As is the case with flies, steelhead deserve the best :cool:


Mean Mr Mustard
05-23-2003, 10:14 AM
Paganists, all!


05-23-2003, 10:20 AM
This is the way I was told by an old Steelheader.

One fly per fish. If the fish is wild. the fly is donated to the river. And the fish is released unharmed. If the fish is a hatchery fish, the fly is crimped to it's dorsel fin and the fish is released. This is proof to the next guy that catches this fish, that a fly guy caught it first and put it back so that he might catch it. When you leave the river for the day, whatever fly you have on, is donated to the river.


05-23-2003, 12:12 PM
Never met a good NW steelhead fisherman/woman who was not a Paganist, it just has to be that way so virgins are more than ok and even rarer than Sauk winter wild steel.

Jeff, don't know how old you are but the Yukon Jack is fitting enough if you are under the age of 28 to 30. In 1978 I remember gravity took down a half a bottle of that stuff between 0600 and 0700 on an empty stomach somewhere on the Madison River. The only sacrifice was me, I waded out into the river looked down to pull line out of the reel to make first cast of morning and noticed the river was moving down stream as it should have. Only problem damn river got me dizzy and I just fell forward and bounced on a perfect dead drift down river. Nasty stuff there Jeff, it will make you old early, I will take the liberty to say it's time for you to upgrade your sacrificing materials. And if you can't yet afford single malt, Cognac or Syrah as Sinktip recomended than ask him to donate the first bottle or two for your cause.

05-23-2003, 12:47 PM
Since I owe Jeff dearly for saving me from a good arse kicking, it would be my pleasure. :hehe:

Mean Mr Mustard
05-23-2003, 01:15 PM

Primitive ritualisms = fish on!


mmm - the neo-paganist

05-23-2003, 02:46 PM
My dear MMM,

As an educated man, I would expect you to realize that there is a scientific basis behind what you so flippantly refer to as primitive ritualisms. As any reader of Scientific Fisher or the Journal of the Montana Institute of Technology knows, these sacrifices are all chemical based.

For instance, the residual peat in a fine single malt scotch mimics the dacayed carbon 14 found in healthy riparian zone effluence. As I am sure you know, this DC14 is used by invertibrates (and salmonberry plants) as a growth hormone. In layman's terms, scotch makes steelhead think there is a big bug in the neighborhood thus igniting the predatory instinct and resulting in aggressive grabs.

Likewise, the tannins present in a fine red wine when picked up by an anadroumous olfactory sensor, and we all know how sophisticated those are, mimics the effects of a sulphite rush. In humans this makes your ears hot and tingley. Well I'm sure I don't have to tell you that a fish with tingley ears is a pissed off fish indeed. Thus, once again the offering yields more frequent and violent strikes.

Of course then there is the negative impact of the dioxins present in plastic flyboxes but I digress.

05-23-2003, 03:51 PM
Sinktip, you being an educated man with good sound explanations for what our Pacific Northwest Steelheaders do and drink as part of steelhead fishing sacrifice. How can you explain in a scientific way why our Mid Western brothers and sisters use such items as Shmidts or Animal beer and have been known to tip 7 & 7's often before the day of fishing as a sacrifice. They seem to have even a better sucsess rate at catching than we do out in the NW. Surely there must be a scientific reason for this. Could a less expensive sacrifice be more benificial?

Maybe we should start a new section called "JUST ASK SINKTIP".

PS Someday maybe you could explain the science about magic mushrooms also. You know we have tons of them growing in our NW pastures along the river when the Summer runs are here. I know many here on PNW steelhead section are getting to that age where thier interests are parting from middle age make money to a more spiritual journey through steelhead fly fishing.

mmmmmmmmm, Paganist steellhead fishermen of the NW rejoice June is almost here. Steven, was that you out practicing the perfect Spey behind your farm yesterday?

To all a good weekend!

05-23-2003, 04:06 PM
OC I have just turned 30 and I will always love Yukon. It is my drink of choice. I only drink the single malts when I am with Sinktip and Kush and enjoy it but just haven't developed the taste for it yet that will make me swap out the contents of my flask.

But you give me a good bottle of Syrah, Merlot, or Cab and I am in heaven. Learned that one years and years ago on the banks of the North Umpqua with by dad and friends. Oh how I love that stuff.

As for Beer as I get older I keep down grading but and your eally beat a good Guiness?


05-23-2003, 04:33 PM

Want you to know that Yukon Jack was and still maybe the official Fall drink on the Madison River in September and October. At Barns hole #2 just inside the gate from West Yellowstone a table is setup each day with all types of fluid enjoyment on it, food also. There are usually 3 or 4 bottles of your YJ on that table and in the past those bottles were empty by 11 AM. Now I want you to know that there were always 5 or more folks fishing that run every morning and any guest that might wander down was welcome to partake in gravity flow if they liked. But in 1978 the elder and wealthy statesman Charles Merrill stood naked in the middle of the run with a bottle of your favorite and declared Yukon Jack the offical Madison River drink. So drink on if needed and enjoy. But remember that stuff makes you old real fast.
I'll buy you a shot at the next WSC meeting we attend, unforunately I won't partake as I've turned into the Baby Budda over the last couple of years and our buddy "Ask Sinktip" just informed me by phone that stuff you drink turns into big time sugar when consumed. See you on the riva, summer runs are in.


05-23-2003, 04:41 PM
Sugar is good. Oh I will tell you it is the official drink of the North Umpqua too. We usually drink wine and Gin and tonic. But every once in a long while we pull out the bottle of Yukon Jack and that is when things get ugly. Last year if I remember right it was 2 or 3 in the morning out looking at flies and having I am sure a great conversation. The next thing I remeber I woke up in the morning still fully dressed in the middle of the living room. :)

But I will tell you what on a cold day in Feb while steelheading it sure does warm you up.

"Ask Sinktip" that is funny. We will have to have some fun with him this summer over that one. 9 days and counting.


05-23-2003, 04:54 PM
you guys are weird.:D

05-23-2003, 05:03 PM

Pot calling the Kettle black. :D


05-24-2003, 01:46 AM
I must be doing something wrong. I only bring H2O with me. What am I missing? LOL.

05-24-2003, 07:38 AM
Only fun, humor, and after enough JD, first you don't care if you catch fish, then you hope you don't catch fish.

And you walk back to the car performing a "fishing creel" - which is a form of dance - the way fishermen walk after imbibing in too much JD!:rolleyes:


05-24-2003, 11:46 PM

Those "magic mushrooms" found in the PNW forests will make a man fo even stranger things than the Yukon Jack. And they are also for younger men who have plenty of brain cells to lose.


Like you, I take H2O that is sometimes mixed with lemon juice to the river.


Not all of us PNW steelheaders are Paganist. We are all a little bit tetched though according to those who don't partake of chasing steel with the fly.

Mean Mr Mustard
05-25-2003, 04:24 AM

If memory recall is correct, those magic mushrooms were best found in pastures and not forests. And the best pastures were those with horses.

As to being tetched, you got it! Nowhere have I been as cold as wading hip-deep in a cold PNW winter rainstorm, and I served through two winters in Korea. Down aint worth diddly when wet... Thank the gods (paganist plurism) for gore-tex and the fleece wear!


05-27-2003, 08:11 AM
We are not weird. We are wired!!!

From my studies in the late 60's at Harvard as an ethnomycoligist I can confidently say you are right about brain cells. But, But But as in all the great tribes of ancient peoples there comes a leader of the people who demands that all blue collar workers do one mushroom journey a year and that all white collar workers do at least two journeys a year. And that everyone who is retired from tribal community affairs and who just fishes for steelhead must take many journeys in order to fully understand the river dance. Please don't worry that much about brain cells after we get done with mid life in the society most of us live in today we are lucky if we have any left at all, so what is there to loose.
FISH ON MY FRIENDS! 5 DAYS TO GO! Wonder if they are catching any stripers over on the other coast?

05-27-2003, 08:49 AM
I want to share one important thing I learned in life; never I repeat never drink out of the community wine bag at a Dead concert.

Strangest 3 days of my life.:whoa: :whoa:

05-27-2003, 09:37 AM
It just dawned on me that Steelheading is truly a counter-culture experience. That does explain quite a bit.


05-28-2003, 01:37 AM

Who needs the mushrooms when we can stand in a river during the winter that has a river temp of 36 degrees or so while an equally cold rain falls down on us for hours and hours on end in the hope of having an elusive "pull" from a steelhead. Or stand out in the hot summer-sun in 80 or 90 degree weather from near daylight until the sun goes down also in the hope of having a steelhead grab our fly.

Sinktip got it right, we are part of the counter-culture; otherwise, we take up something more socially acceptable like golf, or gear fishing to fill the freezer.

And we need to take as many river dances as possible, or else we will get afflicted with a fly tying addiction like Kush has developed with Intruders. And OC, you obviously got it as badly as I since you are also counting the days till we can legally fish for steel in our part of paradise. (I guess the magic substances of my misguided college youth still cause me to see through rose colored glasses.)

05-28-2003, 10:38 AM
" Tell me where are the flashbacks they all warned us would come?" -- Jimmy Buffett

05-28-2003, 11:14 AM
Jeff - I must concur: Guinness for me, as I have yet to develop the taste for the single-malt some of you savor. Of course, I also brew my own, and have been known to enjoy a nice hand-crafted Pilsner, brown ale, or full-bodied porter or stout stream side in wait of the next rising fish. The cool water of the mountain streams keeps my brew chilled nicely. A 22-oz. brew slows my casting stroke down juuuust enough...