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Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon Amazing "Inland ocean" fisheries

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Topic Review (Newest First)
11-17-2004 09:12 PM
Muckle Salmon
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gillie
Shaq,

I have come to appreciate that how a fish is caught is more important than if a fish is caught. . Sportsmanship is based on an underlying respect for the animals we stalk.
I fished eggs and nymphs for many years, and like yourself have caught countless steelhead doing so.The technique fairly hooks fish and that is the minimal standard for ethical practices.


Steelhead are beautiful fish which give us their all, I just think we owe it to them to do the same.

Gillie
Well said!!!
11-11-2004 09:14 PM
Moose
A little different angle...

I just don't catch that many fish, so I want to have as much fun as possible while I'm on the river. Time on the river is what I live for all week long at work. I just don't have much time to travel on the weekends to "fish factory" type places and my home water, though an anadromous fishery with salmon, steelhead, stripers and shad, is really only a fair to middling river with bursts of fishing here and there. With spey casting (and fly fishing in general) I can make a fun day out of every day on the water, and catching is a nice little bonus when it happens. Don't get me wrong, in places and at times of good fishing I get serious, but flyfishing really is a way of life for me and definitely not a numbers game. Finding a difficult but graceful and satisfying way to fish is like being absorbed in a Paganini concerto for strings rather than listening to a speaker blaring "Bubba shot the jukebox".
11-11-2004 08:07 PM
h2o Shag, I appreciate your sincerity and honesty. I will try and answer your first question in the same manor. First, I am in the same boat as you and apparently others on this board, I to have done this "Steelhead thing" for many,many a moons. I have caught more than my share with "yarn fly's" & nymphs under a corky. In fact I have been complemented on my effectiveness with the "rig" by many. I don't know if you get to "that point".............I think it just comes to you.

Every now and then I ...........maybe once or twice a year be it Steelhead or Trout, I set up the rig again and give it a go. With in a short time.............it's back, just like riding a bicycle and I start smack'in them pretty darn good. Only thing is, some time back..............something snapped and I get no feeling of accomplishment out of it anymore. The hardware comes out of the vest and sits in the corner for another year.

I think it has something to do with admiration for the Steelhead it's self. I put Steelhead up there with Atlantic Salmon. I rather have the beautiful sport fish move to the fly somewhat............rather than drift the fly to it's nose or through the pod. It's almost un-fair, I still wonder if the females don't take a egg so readily out of "survival of the fit...........less compitition of her own future par". Fly's- I am a avid tyer. Lets face it eggs are bastardized patterns from a tyers standpoint. Fly's & the fish - Steelhead deserve a better fly in my opinion. "Yarn fly's" are tied to the hook on stream and fished by centerpiners..........kind of takes the art out of tying. Casting- I have some pretty nice rods. I like to cast them, rather than flop them out there with hardware. Then there is the method its self.............obviously better suited to spin gear and really made for spin/float gear...............kind of "make shift" on a flyrod.

I don't blame the guides, the new to flyfishing, the anglers who only fish Steel now & then, the travelers.....................it just kind of broke for me a few years back....I went back to the "old way" before the indy nymphing wave.

My mother............bless her is still alive in her mid 70's. Mom was always a church goer............has a spiritual side to her. I always struggled going to church, always rather hunt,fish & trap as a kid on Sundays and did.................I rarely go these days either. I always told her........I get my spiritual fulfillment and cleansing from being outdoors.........and some days that's true. A few years back, mom said, "you think of what God has made while your out there son..............that's good". "O.K. mom I replied". I have tried to remember that...................not perfect, have tried, getting better now. I notice its much easier for me when I am swinging a nice tailout to remember mom's advice and look around a bit with appreciation........admire the fish that took, etc. ........than if I am drift fishing. When mom calls these days and I say "went fish'in today"............(something she has watched since I was about 8 heading to a farm pond, trapping & hunting by 12 etc..........another words a long time) she asks on a regular basis........."did you remember.........son" and I reply more than ever............."yea, mom I remembered.........thank you".............good, she replies...........that's good.

All of the above contribute to it "coming to that point".
11-11-2004 07:18 PM
Gillie Shotgunner,
I agree that ther is a differnce between drift fishing with a fly rod and nymphing with micro shot. It's just that most guys I see are doing the former. Certainly light weight nymphing is more challenging, but it still doesn't compare to the grab of a wet fly.

Gillie
11-11-2004 06:22 PM
Salar-1 Shaq and Gillie
couple of good and thoughtful postsl
11-11-2004 03:54 PM
shotgunner The excitement of a sudden grab of a wet or the boil of a steelhead taking a dry far exceeds rolling split shot across the bottom of a stream and wondering was that a strike or a rock ?

Steelhead are beautiful fish which give us their all, I just think we owe it to them to do the same.

Gillie[/QUOTE]


hello Gillie. i agree wholeheartedly to the first part of your words above. but, if you are "rolling split shot across the bottom" aren't you actually drift fishing? don't mean to nit-pick just want others to realise there is a differance in a micro shot or two conventionaly casted and a drift fishing rig propelled by a lob or flick.

Shaq, i guess that when & if someone becomes so numbed with numbers of fish to hand its time to self impose some sort of handicap to avoid taking them for granted. something that has never troubled me yet. the few i stumble into leave me feeling fortunate..... SG
11-11-2004 03:22 PM
flytyer I love fishing for steelhead with swung, skated, or riffle hitched flies. In fact, I have hardly fished for anything but steelhead the last 13 years. That said, I don't care how many I hook in a day's fishing and many times will quit fishing after hooking and landing the first fish that takes. And I have quit fishing within 30 minutes of beginning a morning's or evening's fishing after hooking and landing a single wild fish. Another fish would be nice, but the single wild fish makes for a great day and allows me to take time from fishing to visit with one of the many steelhead fly fishers I've met over the years, and the comaraderie of such visits is every bit as rewarding as hooking and landing a steelhead.

Don't get me wrong, I love catching steelhead (or other fish), it is just that I've learned there is far more to fishing than catching fish.
11-11-2004 10:19 AM
Penguin
I don't count fish either...

But acknowledge the BassMaster mentality as a curious human trait that allows someone to portray themselves as a success in their own mind and in their circle of fish counting friends...
"How'd ya do?"
"Not bad...Got 57 twinkies 23 blues a partridge and a pear tree..."
When I lived in central Taxachusetts (home of Ted Kennedy, Barny Frank, and Kerry, aren't I proud) I spent alot of time on the Connecticut River...85 miles inland and a great Striper opportunity (anong other things)...I knew a guy who could tell me how many shad he caught from year to year...like 582...479...whatever...
Very curious indeed, not to mention obsesive compulsive and anal retentive!
There must be some gene that drives this behavior...
Don't let it get to you and keep on enjoying what makes you happy...
I try to employ a filter that overlooks the numbers and focuses on the experience!
It's hard to soar with the eagles when you're surrounded by accountants!
Go phigure?!
11-11-2004 10:07 AM
Gillie Shaq,
I have this discussion with my father in law who is in his 70's and longs for the days of snagging with lead wrapped treble hooks. He doesn't understand why I limit myself to a technique which self admittedly is not the most effective way to catch steelhead, particularly on the great lakes.

I love catching steelhead and don't enjoy being skunked any more than the next guy. However, I have come to appreciate that how a fish is caught is more important than if a fish is caught. Although hid fishing ethic is lacking my father in law is an avid hunter and has a strong ethic when it comes to that. Although it is the extreme end of angling ethic, I have compared for him snagging with digging a punji pit and covering it with corn and salt for deer. I assure you that I would be very successful and kill very many deer.

I realize that you are not talking about snagging but I take the extreme end of catching being the only issue to make a point. Sportsmanship is based on an underlying respect for the animals we stalk. Otherwise it is simply harvesting of fish and wildlife.

I fished eggs and nymphs for many years, and like yourself have caught countless steelhead doing so. I do not begrudge the individuals who continue to do so. (Except when they have concrete feet, but that's a different conversation.) The technique fairly hooks fish and that is the minimal standard for ethical practices.

However, I reached a point where I realized that I didn't fully appreciate the individual fish. None of them stood out in my memory. I have since switched to swinging wets and streamers and although my catch numbers dropped the experience is much more valuable. My first trip to the North Umpqua I hooked two fish in a week but I remember the grab., the first run and every move those fish made. The excitement of a sudden grab of a wet or the boil of a steelhead taking a dry far exceeds rolling split shot across the bottom of a stream and wondering was that a strike or a rock ?

Steelhead are beautiful fish which give us their all, I just think we owe it to them to do the same.

Gillie
11-11-2004 08:34 AM
Shaq
I would like some insight

I would like some insight into a mentality which I have heard across this site. Can anybody please tell me when I can get to the place where the fish are secondary or when it "ceases to be a numbers game'? I have been fishing steelhead for fifteen years now using various techniques, mostly with a fly rod. I picked up a spey last year and have had a blast fishing with it. Swinging flies is definately in my tricks especially in the spring when the water warms up a bit but I have a confession to make. When I release a steelhead, all I want to do is hook another steelhead. I don't count fish, I can't tell you at the end of the day, unless I hook less than two fish, how many I hooked. I get the satisfaction fo hooking fish on the swing and usually start the day with it but if it gets towards noon, and I have driven 2 1/2 hours to get to the stream, out comes the egg patterns and nymphs and I hit the slots. I use tactics which catch fish. In the colder water, I use slower presentations and nymphs and eggs, in the warmer temps, 45 and above I start to swing flies and right until mid to late May, catch plenty of steelhead on the swing. I guess after fifteen years and more steelhead than I can remember, I have to giggle every time I hook a fish, and laugh out loud every time it makes me look stupid. Isn't that why we go to the river? To see that cartwheeling twisting beautiful animal go ballistic?

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