Is Steelhead Fishing Passe? [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Is Steelhead Fishing Passe?

10-01-2003, 01:04 AM
Maybe passe is not the best word to use but the dictionary does describe passe as "Past the prime; faded or aged."

Anyways, Dec Hogan is in the process of putting together a new book on steelhead flyfishing. I've always enjoyed Dec's writing style and what he has has to say so I will definately purchase a copy. Our old freind Tom Pero :rolleyes: (publisher of Dec's new book under the label Wild River Press) contends that Dec's new book will be, and I quote, "a book which, if not the final word on the subject, promises to be an instant classic."

Am I not mistaken or is Pero claiming that the steelheading legacy has been formed and will not be added to? Could he also be claiming there are to be no more great techniques, flies, fishermen and rivers to be discovered? Or could Pero's massive ego just be showing through in the fact that he would love to be the one to have published the 'final word on the subject.'?

So has everything that was going to be discovered been discovered? Are we left with well...the leftovers?

...and please dont bring up Spey rods. I love them as much as the next guy and have for many years BUT it seems to me that to many, steelheading fishing is more about casting two-handed rods then chasing after steelhead (and our sport...steelhead flyfishing...could be suffering because of it).

10-01-2003, 01:18 AM
Don't let it go to your head Ryan. :hehe: ;)

I've been a lifelong steelheader. Flyfishing and gear. There is nothing that hasn't changed. Heck, Trey Comb's book has been refined many a times over the years. It's still a classic that will help anyone, but some things are a bit dated. Seasons change, fish change, techniques change. Eventually, something will come along that will spark new interest, or new techs. The day you say you have it all figured out, the playing field changes.

I feel, once you say you have it all figured out, you really don't. You can have an idea. But next thing you know somebody has a wonderfly/tech that really works THAT season. Next season comes and it's something different. Eventually, I feel there will be a change in all aspects. I'm hoping there will be the day they develop a rod with the weight of the high tech graphites, but the strength of the old glass rods of yesteryear. That will be the next step. Hopefully in my lifetime.

I just don't want to see this as a "fad". Too many jump into flyfishing for steelhead because it's "majestic" or "the in thing to do". It has to be a passion. Something that carries on both sides of the coin, whether you're a gear or a fly guy. You have to love the sport. So hopefully more get into the whole aspect of fishing, not WHAT they think the sport should be.

I'm looking forward to the book. I'll buy it. Add it to my collection of books. Funny to see how some of my books from the 1930's talk about salmon/sea run trout (steelhead) and techs to catch them. Vary differently to what you read today. Would love to see what will be in the stores as the "best book on steelheading" 30 years from now.

10-01-2003, 07:35 AM
Yup, Steelheader is right. No more "new" techniques??? Well, you west coast guys should come to the Great Lakes - and vice-versa.
You would swear you weren't even fishing for the same basic fish.

And the remarks about it being past prime - that remark has about as much sense as this: Congress wanted to do away with the patent office right after the Civil War. Seems like it was felt that everything worth while had been invented, so why bother with a patent office???

Any time someone pronounces "The End" for something, that's when our minds really become fertile. It's fun to be a traditionalist, but there are always ideas that no one ever thought of, and many are so simple, we slap our heads at being so dumb.

BobK :hehe:

10-01-2003, 09:15 AM
Ryan, great thread and it is sure to bring out many different responses.

Steelheader 69 put it wisely when he said it's in the passion. Passion will never be a completed subject and with each and every individual that passion is a new and entirely different subject.

Honestly what is a steelhead? It is a trout that goes to the ocean and comes back to the river. In doing so it never has the opportunity to know its home river and become conditioned to survive in the ways a resident trout would. The steelhead simply finds that magical formular within itself to live the moment, to live now.

If one fishes for steelhead for the difficulty in techniqes be it gear or fly then, well I won't say what I'd like. The basics of steelhead fishing is about as easy as it gets, read water, cast, make the right mend for that place in the run and hope you get lucky that your fly comes face to face with a rare fish that rarely feeds in rivers and that is agressive and territorially only at times. The steelhead is a primative fish and that is what makes the few that remain so hard to catch.

So that brings me to Ryan's question about pass'e the last word.
Dec, Pero, Combs and whoever writes a book on how to the proper techniques and all are writting about the exact same things we figured out on our own years ago. Ya they add a few little sub plots here and there. To read their books will be like reading Field & Stream, great title, same story as last edition just a few words changed. It is these folks mentioned above who strive for fame first and the most important, who homogenize each individual watershed into one with multitudes of robots all fishing as their god said to in his book. For many of us out there it is not the crowds who fish that is disturbing but the multitudes of robots sucked into fly fishing. There is little individualality left, there is very little tribal localisim left thanks to egocentric idiots who must put commercialisim first and their 5 not even 15 minutes of fame first over the real beauty of steelheading, passion and exploration.

10-01-2003, 09:59 AM
Interesting topic Ryan.

Last word huh? Last I heard, Dec was giving up guiding and moving to Utah. Pero publishing it huh? My guess is it can't help but be great. I can't wait to read it. The pictures should be uh, creative, and the chapter on techniques for fishing below other anglers I'm sure an instant classic. This might be just the thing to move the sport to the next level.

10-01-2003, 10:21 AM
Whatever else you can say about TP, he likes his HotPants. :hehe:

Maybe we'll get a chapter on the Dec-ettes (Skagit's Flyfishing Cheerleaders) to spice it up a bit?? :D

Last word? More like the last buck ($). When I asked Dec about the sudden increase in interest in Steelhead flyfishing (and corresponding increase in guiding rates) several years ago, he responded with a grin "Ya Gotta Make Hay while the Sun's Shining"!

Since he's moving to Salt Lake, I can only assume that (1) the Sun quit shining or (2) the Hay left a bad taste in somebody's mouth.

Still, I'll probably buy the book. Dec's a good writer and photographer and I'm sure he'll have some interesting things to say. And he's definitely lived Steelhead Flyfishing.

My .02,


10-01-2003, 10:55 AM
Steelhead popularity declining??? Probably. Kids have too much interests in other sports, computers, etc.

Hell, I'm not complaining - the rivers are too crowded anyway. But now, you see more and more boats, PWCs, kayaks, canoes, etc. - and MANY of 'em are NOT being used by fishermen.

The rod and gear companies are not having a good year from what I hear - is that because of the recession, or "other" factors, for example, no new blood entering the sport?

I heard one prominent figure say that we need another Hollywood "River Runs Through It". yeah. right.

But it's something to think about. Hell, once I mentioned to some folks that I fished and hunted. I was looked at like a monster, and heard as a reply, "Oh, we don't DO blood sports where we're from!"
Whoop - e - do! Look out, guys - lots of PETA people out there!


10-01-2003, 05:05 PM
Each stone turned reveals yet another stone needing to be turned... which one of you hardcores is going to figure out the Whidbey steelhead fishery on a fly? :devil:

10-01-2003, 05:17 PM
From what I've experienced and read of Dec, I'm sure the book will be entertaining and informative.

but "instant classic" ?? Isn't that in the same category as "jumbo shrimp" ??

10-01-2003, 05:49 PM

That was my point exactly.


10-01-2003, 07:31 PM
salty when poked with a blunt stick.

I think I'll wait for Trey's new book ... like I should get so lucky. Interesting how these 'new' how to books keep popping up; most of them are a complete re-hash of old news.

Or am I the one whose getting 'salty' now?

10-01-2003, 09:18 PM
Let us not forgot that Pero not too many years ago wrote that spey rods and lines had reached the epitome of design. Now he is going to publish an instant classic on steelhead fly fishing that just may be the last word on the subject. Hmmmm...... He certainly has an ego.

I also wonder how many steelhead Dec is finding in Salt Lake City. Interestingly, Dec was taught a lot by some of the old hands like Bob Arnold, Alec Jackson, Walt Johnson, etc.; but I don't recall seeing him acknowledge this in his writings. Unlike Trey Combs who gives a lot of credit in his writings to those he learned from.


The chapter on how to begin fishing right below other fisherman should be a classic and required reading for all! It has always been a wonderful experience to be low-holed by Dec so I could see the master at work with his clients. Yes, this is an experience every fly fishing steelheader needs to experience, since it provides such a wonderful opportunity to see how a master guide can get fish to the beach.

10-01-2003, 09:42 PM
The chapter on how to begin fishing right below other fisherman should be a classic and required reading for all! It has always been a wonderful experience to be low-holed by Dec so I could see the master at work with his clients. Yes, this is an experience every fly fishing steelheader needs to experience, since it provides such a wonderful opportunity to see how a master guide can get fish to the beach.

Am I going to have to change rule number 2 on my paper sacks?

10-01-2003, 10:42 PM
Originally posted by flytyer

The chapter on how to begin fishing right below other fisherman should be a classic and required reading for all! It has always been a wonderful experience to be low-holed by Dec so I could see the master at work with his clients. Yes, this is an experience every fly fishing steelheader needs to experience, since it provides such a wonderful opportunity to see how a master guide can get fish to the beach.

I have a chapter title for that one" There's no hole like a Low Hole :hehe:

10-01-2003, 10:58 PM
I gotta chime in on Dec... every encounter I've had with him on the river has been enlightening, educational or entertaining. He's taken time to come talk or show me a "fish trap" I didn't see while his clients were busy frothing the water. Even let me throw my pontoon boat into his drift boat and gave me a lift in that old suburban. That saved me from having to thumb back up Ben Howard Rd on a day when no one was left in the lot. He genuinely enjoys the river and it's steelhead, even when it's someone else's fish. I know we're all kidding around but Dec's pretty cool by me. I heard rumor he's in Salt Lake because of a broken heart, and a man with that much passion for life's gotta break pretty hard, I know I fall hard in that department when I fall.


10-01-2003, 11:31 PM
I heard rumor he's in Salt Lake because of a broken heart, and a man with that much passion for life's gotta break pretty hard, I know I fall hard in that department when I fall.

I spent a good portion of my life in that town and that's not to bad a place to "get well" if that's what ails him.
I'd like to meet him. I'm told he had a hand in the design of the Delta Spey lines which I like really well. He's always welcome at the Red Shed but hell so are all the rest of you. Superstars, jedi masters, steelhead bums, ne'er-do-wells, also-rans or any combination of the above. Take care, MJC

10-02-2003, 08:50 AM
I will have to look you up the next time I am on the river. How is the home river fishing?

10-02-2003, 10:12 AM
Everyone who visits that region should look up MJC. He has a real fly shop, one where I don't think he would mind if you sat on the front step and drank a beer, just like in the old days. But most of all and I hope I'm not embarrassing MJC that he is as good as person you would ever want to meet. I hope you all visit him if you are out that way. Sometimes I worry that he may get lonely out there in the boonies.:hehe:

10-02-2003, 12:15 PM
Ansolutely, OC.

I'm definitely planning on stopping by the Red Shed to pay my respects when I'm able to get over to some of my favorite rivers in the next month or so.

As for Dec, I want to second Juro's opinion. I've been lucky to know Dec for quite a few years and he's always been a fine person to run into on the river.

He gave me a lot of pointers when I was learning to flyfish for winter steelhead and even got me into the first one (a bright 16lb Skagit hen) that I was able to successfully land. In fact, I still remember him yelling at me to keep pressure on that fish. :D

He also emphasized courtesy on the river to his clients and never tried to low-hole another angler while I was with/around him.

Not disputing other's claims here, just stating my own experience.

10-02-2003, 01:00 PM
I've always liked Dec and his reputation. But the last time he low holed me that was enough. I will admitt that he pulled his clients out of the run as fast as possible when my displeasure was shown. Having been a guide I know the pressures that some clients can put on you. Some are just as nasty as can be and latter I heard that those two he had out that day were such clients. But never the less we all need to be aware of our actions on the river.
Still don't like the book idea, I know it's a free country, a capitalist country but one has to feel sorry for those that will feel the need to read the book to become a better steelhead fisherman. The beauty of going out and discovering each and every little secret on your own and to share them with a good friend or a friend someday to be is priceless. Steelhead fishing no matter by fly or gear is really a discovery of a new world, an amazing world. When one reads such a how to book or goes to one of these schools on steelheading, most from the many of new comer I've met on the river never gain that look of self discovery. They just never seem to become steelhead fishermen as we are and that we used to know, but that goes for all fly fishing anymore. I've noticed from the days of Ronald Regan on a change on the river of a "me me, me I need to know it all right now because I just don't have the time.
We have let many of our new comers to the sport down by allowing the over commercialization and time honored traditions of fly fishing to disapear.
As for TP that is exactly what I and many of those we fish with think of him, T.P.

10-02-2003, 01:27 PM
As with any sport there are famous people and all of these will have their supporters and detractors. The side a person shows to one may not be the side shown to others.

While I believe it is entirely pertinent for the board to have discussions of these people's skills, qualifications and practices, I would hope we could refrain from specific personal attacks and accusations without being able to document them. Should these accusations be made, I will moderate them.

If however in your opinion, someone is not a good steward of the resource, by all means give your opinion.

10-02-2003, 02:20 PM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by OC
Still don't like the book idea, I know it's a free country, a capitalist country but one has to feel sorry for those that will feel the need to read the book to become a better steelhead fisherman. [/QUOTE

I have to disagree. Getting your hands on, and reading everything you can find on a subject is not just an exercise in absorbing the "wisdom" of others for me. It is entertaining to see the passion, blindness, ethics, judgement, and just plain level of creativity of some of the people who have written on the subject.

I love finding passages where the writer contradicts themself, or better yet finding things I know are just plain wrong (at least I'm mostly sure there's a decent chance they're wrong... Mostly :hehe: )

Standing on the shoulders of giants may keep you from feeling the dirt between your toes, but as the fish of a thousand casts slowly turns into the fish of ten thousands casts due to circumstances beyond our control, it's pretty hard for a newcomer to make any generalities or discoveries. Especially the most important discovery. It's not that hard. The fish has to be there. Your fly has to be there. Other than that, there's not much to this sport we love.

10-02-2003, 02:51 PM
I am with Philster on this one OC. To my way of thinking, books on the sport do nothing to crowd our waters nor for that matter, help someone become a better steelheader. They do offer pleasure though on thos days the river is out, the fish not in yet or when it is simply too dark for even you or I to fish.

There are good ones and bad ones out there and I have probably read them all (some more than once). Like Phil, I enjoy the little gems that can be found like the narrative about a local guide on vacation landing an 18# fish brought to a surface fly he had spent the last three days developing. The written description tells of the sound of his large Hardy Perfect singing as the fish ran. There is of course a picture identifying him tailing the fish and in it you can easily see the Marquis Salmon on his Sage rod. (Bet I get at least some of you running for your library on that one :hehe: )

OK so maybe I nit-pick but I like the continuity problem. It makes the book a little more special. I like that it made it through. After all, some publishers would think nothing of photoshopping in a Perfect. :devil:

10-02-2003, 02:57 PM
If it wasn't for people writing books you wouldn't have (how should I say this) the "philosophies" you have, nor would I have mine which sometimes are at opposite poles. Books are what started our thinking to allow us to come up with whatever philosophies we have that made us who we are. Before we had this wonderful tool, in my opinion, called the Internet we only had books or word of mouth to learn from. Word of mouth instruction was very limited to some people. As a young person I spent thousands of hours in the outdoors mostly related to fishing trying to learn all I could but when I got my first angling books what a wonderful revelation that was. I will always treasure my angling library including the "how-to" books. Take care my friend.

10-02-2003, 08:28 PM

I agree that if a person simply picks up and reads books on steelhead flyfishing, he will not become a better steelheader. However, if a person spends some time on the river and then reads the books, he will become a better fisherman because he will be able to visualize what the author is speaking about and then put a small piece of it into practice.


I have been seeing the instant flyfisher, instant fly tyer that you speak of since the mid-1970's (the Carter years) mainly among well-educated professionals who got their high paying jobs due to the degree they earned. They then take some fly casting lessons, flyfishing classes, fly tying class, and a couple of guided trips; unfortunately, they then think that they are nearly experts on the sport. It is a function of their lack of life experience and their personal reality that the high-paying job they have is solely because of going to graduate school and getting the right degree for the times.

10-02-2003, 09:03 PM
As for me, I learn something new every day I am on the water. And here we are, grown men (I think), arguing about someone writing a book on our sport, which pits us against a creature with a brain the size of a pea. (And as often as not, "pea brain" wins out!)

We don't HAVE to buy the book, or read it, for that matter.:rolleyes:

As for me, maybe I will put it in my "Letter to Santa". Should be good reading, and maybe I will pick up an idea or two - or at least mull them over in my mind, and keep them in the background for future reference.

But keep up the discussions - I am enjoying the conversation and diverse opinions!

BobK :D

10-02-2003, 09:25 PM
Like others, I would read the book just for the entertainment value of it, something to do on a day when the rivers are too high, something to read in the ferry lines and while on the ferry etc. etc. etc.

I will also read the book to give me the oppurtunity to compare notes with a very knowledgeable and successful steelheader.

IMHO, eventhough there has been much written about steelhead flyfishing, it is hard to find the intricitacies of our sport in print. Everyone has a different philosphy when it comes to mending, fly angle, fly speed, fly depth etc., and it is those small subtleties within our own presentations that I enjoy reading about, comparing notes against etc. etc. ...and it is not because I feel I need the help (although every little bit helps) but because it helps fuel thought about the behaivor and the pattern of the fish we so dear love!

Anyways, in regards to Dec, I have not had any personal experiences with the man but I have not heard the accounts of low-holing and such. In fact, Bob Aid (back in the day, they were fellow guides on our local rivers) just the other day was telling me just what a gentleman Dec was.

Green Butt
10-02-2003, 09:40 PM
I"ll buy the book just to get insights into the guy and what motivates him. Aren't the unique individuals an important and interesting aspect to this sport? (whether we like or agree with them?) Also, I'm sure I'll get some new ideas.
While a flyfisher for 25+ years, I'm fairly new to the Pacific NW. I enjoyed all the books. They give insights to the history of the sport--the fish, the rivers, the flies,the equipment, the people who made the history. There are more players than the books tell, but at least a newcomer can get some sense of what's happened and a deeper appreciation for the sport and the fish. This forum does even more than the books.
As for steelheading becoming passe', Steelheader 69 is right. It's passion and the mystery of the fish; the rivers; the techniques. When the mystery is gone I'll probably quit.

10-03-2003, 02:27 AM
You know, this evening, I was dinking around, digging up some old posts and digging through the archives and it is amazing the wealth of knowledge our small little group of steelheaders have amassed here on Flytalk.

It is also interesting to see how all of us, as steelheaders, have all benefited from the transfer of knowledge and ideas on Flytalk...a few years ago, we were asking about this fly or this technique (as it was new to us) and it seems now we are perfecting those flies and techniques and inturn creating our very own contributions to the sport.

I hate to say it guys but there is no way in Hell a Pero offering can shake a stick at what we have collected and what we have to offer (and what will develop via us over the next Godknowshowmanyyears).


...maybe that is going a little far, a little over the top but oh well... :hehe:

Leland Miyawaki
10-03-2003, 06:49 AM
Is steelhead fishing passe'? I pondered that question last evening as I wrote in my journal:

"What a wonderful cloudy, misty, foggy day to fish the Snoqualmie. I began at 9am, when most of the early birds had departed. Around 11:30, I waded deep down into one run trying to maintain contact with the inside seam. I was up to my bellybutton and thought I would make one last cast into the run. I found two rocks with my feet and stepped up and balanced myself precariously in the current. I made as long a single spey as I could, almost falling off the rocks, waited for the fly to begin it's swing, then stripped off a bunch of line and threw it out into the current. Sure enough, just as the loose line straightened in the far seam, I had a take . . . and the damn fish came upstream! What a mess. What a cluster. I stripped as fast as I could and had to lift the rod straight up and back (a big mistake) and, of course, I couldn't walk backwards. It was a matter of time before the inevitable a splash, a wallow, a flash of silver, and gone."

I don't think the mystic has worn off if any of us can take the time to write a journal entry (or even remember for that matter) one little incident of a lost fish in a day of fishing and make it into something worth remembering.


10-03-2003, 10:05 AM
Leland, glad you are finding fish, but the splash, was that you or the fish? I usually go for a swim at that point.

10-03-2003, 06:21 PM
Some days a young fellow has to wonder if he is loosing his releigon. Was it that kind of day when you posted this Ryan?
I'm sure I have many times thought that the whole bloody sport was past its prime, then I find myself in a special place and time where its as good as anything I have had the pleasure to expierence to date. Theses events happen less frequently as of late but they still do happen.
As to great new inventions for the "Sport" I still fish with Cane and most of it is older than me. I do not care for the feel of silk lines rasping through the guides so I cast with modern fly lines and have been known to tie with some synthetic materials so I am not entirely opposed to new ideas but really could be talked out of using any new fangled "techniuqes" after all what's not to like about waking a greaseliner and having a nice boil and a pluck or having the fish come back multiple times befoer finally sticking it to shake hands and listen to the Hardy sing. I was under the impression that Ted Trueblood fished the Steelheads in Washington and Idaho that way over Fifty years ago yet I remember seeing it a new book refering to it as advanced steelheading. Maybe there really is not anything new. I remember once at a big public testmonial regarding Alaskan Fisheries one of the panel members said "well I'm sure everything has already been said, I'm just not certain everyone has had a chance to say it!"
I wish Dec all the success in the world in his new venture and do not be suprised if several other fellows or gals step in the waters where he stepped out.
I still try and reread the works of Haig Brown and recomend the same to all of you it always makes me feel better equiped for my life as a sportsman.

10-03-2003, 07:52 PM
"You know, this evening, I was dinking around, digging up some old posts and digging through the archives and it is amazing the wealth of knowledge our small little group of steelheaders have amassed here on Flytalk."

With the 'proper releases?' you could be very right; different chapters on 'what works for me and why.' Collectively, there must be well over a 1,000 years of fishing experience with long/short/freash/salt rods.

Would be 'a shame' to see all this just as "archives."

Bob Pauli
10-06-2003, 01:26 AM
I have not read a book that did not teach me something.

I have not met an experienced fisherman that did not teach me something, either by actions or words.

beau purvis
10-13-2003, 11:12 PM
when i started to read this post i really got -issed.had to go cool down for a while. then i read page 2&3. that moderated my feelings as some more thoughtful comments followed the caty ,nasty little bitch comments.I was rethinking my particapation on this site,some of you are probably saying ;so what.exactly!!I have fished with Dec for about 6 yrs.never seen any side of him other than love and passion for steelhead.for the resource and the sport.In an unselfish way.a passion for the history and the people.He once commented about how one of the great things about the sport were some of the many characters that are addicted to it.I have never seen an action on the river that was not polite and correct proceedure.
His book has passion in the title.he wants to express it. ever heard about the principle of trying to give something back to a sport you love?He plans to pass on observations from all his guiding and fishing.He is in no way trying to say that he is the greatest.he is only going to tell you how he fishes and what methods he prefers and that work for him.He doesnt care if anyone agrees with him! He has guided for years.he is used to clients that dont do what he suggests.
And lets not intimate that he left guiding because he wasnt succesful.he was sold out for the places and seasons that he worked.soldout with repeaters.I had to dig to even find a phone #. never did he was sold out and did not want to be bothered. I put some friends to work thru John Hazel and joined them on a trip.I passed his entrance exam and worked my way into the shoulder times. from there to friendship.didnt need to be guided the last few years.did it because i enjoyed his company.often we just both fished.
He went to salt lake because he fell in love .He sacrificed his fish career so he would not uproot his new family.Really the height of commercalism isnt it!!!Gave up his career.took on a new family and started training for a new career,while holding down a day job!Give me a break!!!
and now to books. thank you Bob Paulie{by the way, you are part of that 5-10% that will always gain from any information or experience and I really respect you for that and the strides you have made since I met you}anyway,books. what a unique view some of you have;no books.,not a good way to learn.when i want to get into something new{and when i do i really devote myself}i always start with books. I believe it is disrespectful to the fish, animal or sport if i dont know as much as possible.then I pick the methods that suit me.I could go on but Bob covers that last point and did it in a less emotional way than I am thinking.time to say good night.Beau

10-14-2003, 12:24 AM
Beau, now that you went off...

Why are you telling the world about Dec's private life??? Do you think he really wants this info spread around the web by one of his CLIENTS???

I hardly doubt that all the negative comments here about are just smoke. I have witnessed such behavior a few times up in Skagit land, but not to myself. And I have also witnessed a true gentleman that does uphold the 'rules' and 'spirit' of the game. Maybe too much time working with John H. and Amy taught him to give in to the temptation that guides are superior on a river and have first rights because of paying clients??? I dunno. My overall impression of Dec is positive, but that is just one opinion.

My biggest gripe of the new millenium- why on this planet has the world gone to the 'fast track' program using their greenbacks? And why brag about it? In the beginning I too was sucked into the lodge game. Now that I can look back I only shake my head in disgust. What possesed me to cut some of the corners off the learning curve??? Hype, plain and simple. The one lesson I have learned from guided fishing- you are just the idiot with the rod in your hand. Any fish you catch was because you PAID somebody to hold your hand. Guides do indeed fish vicariously through their clients. Why on earth would anybody pay a guide to be fishing buddies??????????????????? Can't it be done by yourself, or with a friend or two? Whether the guide is fishing or not, your are still pimping the hoe to give up the goods without earning it. Nuff on that burr.

OC- if there is one thing I see to help reduce crowding on our rivers it would be to make guiding illegal. How about them apples???

Steelhead fishing passe? Hardly. Rocket science it is not, but the resource is constantly changing. Sometimes for the better, and sometimes not.

Last words on the subject??? When you can get any two anglers to finally agree on things, everybody will be out there whacking Feb. winter runs with skated caddis patterns. Right Sinktip? :D I guess what I am trying to say is that there is a whole world out there to explore, McMillan comes to mind as somebody who has given some insight to making the seemingly impossible possible.

A good friend has been out there the past couple of years breaking all the 'rules', the ones that are always written in books. While he is certainly not the first to try these things, his success is speaking volumes about his intuitive approach. Maybe I can talk him into writing a book- a viewpoint from somebody who never has and never will go guided or been influenced by the commercialization of our present flyfishing populace.

And now passing the podium...

10-14-2003, 05:16 AM
Ahem is the mike on? OK.

My name is Juro. I am both a client, and a guide albeit in another space and time from what is being discussed here. I like to think of myself as a fellow student with something to share, as opposed to a vicarious angler, but I do consider myself a friend on the water even while working and have made great friends from guiding. Although I do not fish I truly enjoy the camaraderie and the joy of victory, and yes sometimes the agony of defeat. It's all part of it. It might not be right for everyone but it's enlightening for some, kind of like the different perspectives in this thread. But guiding does indeed provide some real joy to clients and is a very important part of the business, culture and art worldwide.

But that's not why I'm posting. I am also the founder of the flyfishing forum, and partner to Dana Sturn, the founder of the Speyclave. Along with those who volunteer to keep things going here, we are your unpaid hosts. My take on this thread is that people have opinions, some agree some don't. Please - let's not make this site a place to grind personal axes. We've let this thread roll on and on... to the point of diminising returns. At this point I ask that people not post replies unless there is something positive to say. It's a matter of ettiquette, or should I say nettiquette, not unlike our conduct on the water.

Let's put this one out with honor, instead of admin hitting the lockdown button.

(stepping down)

10-14-2003, 09:30 AM
I am a teacher and a chemist by profession. I get "paid" by students for the information I have that they need. Really, is it any different when you see any professional, a doctor, dentist, mechanic, etc.? Or is it any different in purchasing a book?

While I have yet to pay a guide for fishing, I have a number of friends who have been kind enough to share information with me that has made a big difference in my success.

A good guide is a good teacher. And there is no shame in paying someone for information they have that you do not. The shame would be not learning and growing in your abilities.

We have the reputation of being the "ugly American." It can be the ugly client, the ugly guide, or the ignorant/ugly fisherman that jumps in below you.

Remember we are all human and sometimes operate out of character. Off soapbox.

10-14-2003, 10:02 AM
Juro is right, this thread has run its course. Beau, thank you for your passionate thoughts and I think there is much value in what you say. Unfortuneately this thread morphed into both a personal bashing and a discussion of the role of guides and books in our sport. The former needs to stop while the latter topic could probably warrrant more discussion.