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Old 05-13-2004, 01:57 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
Sharp Steelie,

There are many steelhead fly fisherman who say the same thing about the Teeny Nymph, and many other flies such as the Green Butt Skunk, the G.P., various spey flies, etc. re: just put it in front of steelhead and they will bite. The point is that there is no one (or 2 or 3 for that matter) fly that is so good and so effective that steelhead in any river will take it over any other fly at any given time.

Claims that this fly is better than every other fly for steelhead, trout, pike, bass, you name the species mislead those who are new to fishing for that species or have very little experience fishing for them. Fishermen who are experienced fishing for steelhead understand and know that there are a multitude of different fly types and colors that could work when presented with a set of parametere regarding water temp, water color, water height, time of year, etc.

However, newcomers to steelheading do not know or understand this and will glum onto a fly that is promoted as the "greatest steelhead fish catcher, ever" type of statements in the hopes of hooking fish when they have been unsuccessful. This will stunt their growth as steelhead fly fishers and cause them to become "one method" and "one fly" fisherman who will not change flies or tactics to meet different conditions.
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Old 05-13-2004, 03:52 PM
Sharp Steelie Sharp Steelie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washougal, East Fork Lewis
Posts: 119
Flytyer, I appreciate your comment. There is a
reason that the fly is tied in 3 different colors
for all conditions. For me personally, the pink
one has worked in all conditions in the Northwest.
Off color, clear, different temps, different current,
different types of lies, and structure. My whole
intent is to help out some newbies and anyone
who is struggling. Like I said before, it is a very
forgiving pattern. I completely agree that no
one fly fishing should get locked into any one
method or type of fly. Fly fishing is all about
artistic and challenging fishing. Basically being
creative, open, and willing to expand horizons
so to speak. You know, it took a long time for
me to get the guts to go public with this
stuff. Anything that is truly good or different
will always be critisized - wonder why!
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:17 PM
OC OC is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: I've lost them all but I'm looking for new ones
Posts: 1,368
Sharp Steelie,

In all my life, 52 years I've never read such. No Steve, cool out, cool out take another pill.
Sharp Steelie, I'm going to put you right up there with the guy that"s got the Cop Car and Jimmy Swaggert.
Good luck to ya some day I'm just gona want to watch you fish it must be incredible.
I've snapped, help help oh help me please!
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:47 PM
KerryS KerryS is offline
Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Skagit system
Posts: 661

Head for your boat. Pour yourself a single malt and watch the sunset. Everything will be fine in the morning.
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Old 05-13-2004, 04:56 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
Sharp Steelie,

You are missing my point on this.

You write that you agree that no one fly (and I'd say no 3 flies either) will work under all conditions for steelhead. However, you said just prior to this that you are only trying to help newbies and others who are struggling to hook steelhead on a fly.

Newcomers are exactly why we have to be careful and temper what we write about a fly (or 3) being the best fly to use if you want to catch fish under nearly any conditions. Experienced steelhead fly fishers like yourself know one fly is not going to do this. The newcomers and those with little experience fly fishing for steelhead would take something like this and then use just that "most effective fly" (or 3) to the exculsion of all others. This will severely limit their development as steelhead flyfishers. When they go fishing using the "most effective fly" (or 3) and still come up fishless, they won't look at their technique, or water reading ability, or their ability to recognize holding water, or their ability to choose the right sink rate sink tip, or whether they are using a sink tip when they would be better off using a floater because they have the "right fly". Thus they will continue to be frustrated and for the most part end up give up the pursuit of steelhead with the fly.

This is why we experience steelhead flyfishers need to be careful about claiming any given fly is the only one you need.
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Old 05-13-2004, 05:46 PM
Sharp Steelie Sharp Steelie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washougal, East Fork Lewis
Posts: 119
That's the whole beauty of it - you don't have to
be a skilled fly fisherman to have success with it.
As someones confidence builds than they tend
to take on further challenges. Have personally
had the honor and priviledge to watch first timers
nail fish with the fly. Yes they did watch what I
was doing and yes did some coaching. Everything
you mentioned is very important and comes with
time and experience - just trying to give some
folks a head start! Got to go - soccer time.
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:13 PM
kush's Avatar
kush kush is offline
CND The Spey Underground
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: West Coast
Posts: 1,435
Same show different theatre...
Tight lines - tyler.

Still Living Large!
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Old 05-13-2004, 07:48 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
Sharp Steelie,

You are implying that it makes no sense for a person to use other flies or to improve his holding water abilities in order to take on furthur challenges as his confidence in steelhead fly fishing grows. If this were true, anyone would be able to go out and catch steelhead pretty much at will regardless of his steelhead fly fishing skill simply by using the "right" fly.

It is a gross generalization to say this. Not only do such statements mislead newbie steelhead fly fishers about the reality of steelhead fishing, they also discount 85 years of steelhead fly fishing development. The truth is that is takes at least a modicum of technique and knowledge of steelhead behavior to catch them and there is no shortcut to gaining these things.

You, I, and the rest of the experienced steelheader fly fishers know that there is no such thing as a fly with such magical fish catching abilities that all one need do is tie it on, put it in front of a fish, and have a fish on. The best steelheaders past and present (folks like Drain, Wahl, Haig-Brown, Glasso, Combs, Jackson, Arnold, Hull, Lemire, etc.) all have found that different times of year, different water levels, different water temps, different water color, and even different rivers require differing techniques and flies to be an effective fisherman. Newbies deserve to hear these truths.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:07 PM
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flyfisha1 flyfisha1 is offline
Marine Scientist
Join Date: May 2002
Location: NYC, South Jersey, Eastern PA
Posts: 1,080
Not only is it a gross generalization that the fly is "the one" for now and always, but I wonder something: reading between the lines, it's written that the fly works on all the waters that it's been used on. Well, that's all fine and large; I can tie on a size 16 or 18 black ant and fish practically any water across North America and catch a fish, even though the majority of the time it might be a bluegill or some other species of sunfish, which are wide-spread across this continent. Are you insinuating that you've taken species such as pike on this fly with regularity, or even at all? Frankly, I think that if I went out to a lake or river in search of pike, there's no way I'd be fishing with a small pink hackle fly! I don't mean to pigeon-hole my comments to pike, alone, mind you. The same argument goes for other species, as well.

I'm not trying to cause a stir, but if it walks like a duck, and it quacks like a duck, it's a duck. Why, when the gamefish are visibly feeding on one fare or another, would they go out of their way to eat something that in no way resembles something normally on the menu? You might as well drop a bare hook in the river and swing it down and across.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:23 PM
Sharp Steelie Sharp Steelie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washougal, East Fork Lewis
Posts: 119
I learned how to fly fish for Steelhead while fly fishing
for Rainbow Trout on small New Mexico streams. Just
something for everyone to ponder. Thats my real
secret. Now just apply some flies that match a food
source. For me personally the most important key to
catching Steelhead is finding the fish. One thing is
for sure, when the fish are in have had a lot of success.
Also, all the first timers who have gone with me got
fish. Must be doing something right. If I had only one
tip to pass on concerning fly fishing for Steelhead this
is it:

Just fly fish for Rainbow Trout!

Already replied to a post concerning pike - yes the
fly works on multiple species. It's really nice to have
that option when out fly fishing.

I think the reason my little pink fly is so effective -
It imitates multiple food sources and it has great action
in the water. It even looks alive in lakes with different
types of retrieves.
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Old 05-13-2004, 11:35 PM
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Big K1 Big K1 is offline
Make it a double!
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Snoqualmie, Skykomish.
Posts: 275
Green butt spey and a Lady Caroline.

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Old 05-13-2004, 11:45 PM
flytyer flytyer is offline
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Location: NW Washington
Posts: 3,346
Sharp Steelie,

When I began steelhead fishing, I fished for them the same way and in the same water types that I fished for rainbow trout. I did this because I had been fly fishing for trout in Pennsylvania and Montana since age 5, some 30 years of fly fishing, and succumbed to the false notion that they are only large trout and will respond to the same tactics as resident rainbow trout. I was singularly unsuccessful in my pursuit of steelhead doing so. Telling people, especially newcomers, that steelhead fishing is just like fishing for trout is disingenuous.

I was not successful in hooking steelhead until I changed tactics and began fishing in a very different manner with techniques that have more in common with Atlantic Salmon fishing than trout fishing.

I find it very hard to believe that every single time you took a newbie out for steelhead, they caught fish. Likewise, I find it incredulous that everytime you have fished for steelhead when there were fish about you caught fish. The best fly fishing steelheaders alive now or in the past have written about many days when they went fishless despite fish being present in the river where they were fishing. Everyone takes skunks, it is a fact of steelheading.
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Old 05-14-2004, 01:39 AM
Sharp Steelie Sharp Steelie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washougal, East Fork Lewis
Posts: 119
Flytyer, just curious - what flies where you using when
you tried to apply trout tactics.

What is it about human nature that we always seem
to make things more difficult than they really are.

My flies and techniques have worked extremely well
over the years - sorry, but they really do. Maybe it
is just some uncanny natural ability. The amount
of success would completely blow some peoples
minds - thank goodness have witnesses.

Not going to get in anymore pissing contests - have
plenty of fishing partners who know everything
that I have posted is for real - sorry if that upsets

Have actually been yelled at by some other anglers
for releasing to many fish! That was a first.

I now prefer to help others have the same success
that I have enjoyed. Don't think anyone could
actually comprehend my success for Steelhead
except for the ones who have seen it first hand.
Not going to list any numbers - wouldn't do any
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Old 05-14-2004, 02:47 AM
Sharp Steelie Sharp Steelie is offline
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Washougal, East Fork Lewis
Posts: 119
Oh - since moving to Vancouver in 2001, 5 people that
had never tried fly fishing for Steelhead went with me
for the first time. All of them landed multiple fish using
my flies and a little bit of coaching. There is a pic of
Steve in the May STS - that was his first time out with
me - that is just one of many. After watching Steve
get 15 takes and land 9 fish this past fall finally figured
out that I have been onto something very special
for many, many years. Also figured out that I could
actually rub off on some others - it was fun to
watch! Guess Steve is not a newbie any more. How
about Toby landing a 28 pounder his first season
using a fly rod with my flies and techniques. Wonder
if those guys believe in my stuff - hmmmm.
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Old 05-14-2004, 03:26 AM
Mean Mr Mustard
Posts: n/a
Thumbs up

On the positive side, think of all the used fly gear that will flood the marketplace as the newbies give up in disgust after realizing **'s pink thingy is in reality - impudent! So much hot air...

Sorry, SS, but I tire of your infomercials.

Hey, love thy neighbor is cool, but love thy self, to such an extreme, is simply sicko. Please pick a new hobby!

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