I could not agree more. I gladly spend most of my year chasing steelhead with the reward found in the chase more often than the capture. I do not complain because just the chance to cast a long line on a brisk morning with the off chance of a steelhead hookup is one of lifes greatest pleasures. Throw in scenic vistas and good friends and it leaves no room for complaints. There is never the expectation of landing fish though. If you cast a flyrod for steelhead expecting to catch fish, you will not long stick with the sport.
One or twice a year though it is nice to go out and expect to get your butt kicked by a big fish. For this reason, every fall I start looking forward to the arrival of the chums. I have had large Skykomish bucks take me deep into my backing as they left Thunderbird without even slowing before breaking me off 100 yds downriver. I have also been towed around Hood Canal in my tube by a hot fish determined to avoid capture. I love them. Yes they are ugly and most not worth even a trip to the smoker, but damn can they fight. And I can't think of anything as fun as stalking and sight casting from the float tube to roving pods whose large dorsals betray their location. As I type this I can feel the sore right arm from leaning into 20 or more hookups yesterday.
This morning I dropped by the local liquor store to pick up a fifth of single malt for the coming week's four day trip to the canal. When the rains fall, the wind blows and the chop starts to bounce your tube around, a nip or two off the flask has amazing medicinal qualities. All that and it is bladder friendly because after all, it can be a long kick to the beach and the porta-let
Off to walk the "dog" ---