Fly Fishing Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

· Flyfishing on the brain..
520 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello to all,

I posted the message you'll find below on the "Striper and Coastal Gamefish" board and thought that I would extend the invitation to all boards for any replies. We could really use a fresh perspective if any are willing to offer it. I saw NrthFrk16's name on the striper board this week and welcome his participation. In fact, his dialogue with Juro is what prompted my message. Any that can take the time to jump over to the "Striper" board and add something to our discussion on the question that follows would be welcomed with open arms.

Thanks in advance,

-Mark Doogue

Reading the Steelhead vs. Stripers posts between Juro and NrthFrk16 started me thinking on this subject. What they had to say impressed upon me the passion that Steelhead can bring out in people. My knowledge is severely limited, in fact the only fish I've caught on the fly are stripers. For that reason I'd be interested to read any and all posts you might have to offer.
Today's question:

If there was only one species of fish that you could catch for the remainder of your natural life, what would it be? Why?

The answer may lie in the location of the fish - the Monomoy flats; a wide river miles from the nearest phone/pager; the pond where your family's summer home is located. It could be the anglers that you meet, or the friendships that have developed while stalking a certain fish that may be the deciding factor.

What I'm driving at here is that I would never dream of limiting this discussion to clinical dissertations on the fighting habits of fresh or saltwater gamefish. I think you'll find that this question is a lot more about people than it could ever be about fish.

I posed this question so I believe it's only fair that I should offer my answer first.

As I mentioned earlier, I am the Newbie poster child. My only experience has been with stripers, and, regrettably, not that many to date. They are beautiful fish with an amazing power to weight ratio that I imagine will never cease to amaze me.

Having fished primarily with spinning gear growing up, catching my first striper on a fly was like sensory overload. I had practiced fly casting on a frozen reservoir with my little brother on Christmas morning, the wrapping paper hardly off of it before I was headed out the door for a "lesson." Now I was alone, though, and I had a clouser on(the casting lesson hadn't included a fly), and it was getting dark. I was busy concentrating on my arm motion, the loop in my fly line, stripping off line and trying to double haul, etc. That's when it happened, my fly hit the water on the forward cast because I got lazy. My back cast turned into a hook set and I had a fish on!

My rod doubled over like a wet noodle as the fish dove for the rocks along the channel. Line peeled off my reel and I nervously tried to slow it down. Every move the fish made came right through my 7wt like a lightning rod. A minute later it was over, I had my first striper. It was all of 20" but I couldn't have cared less. Looking back, my mistakes are what made it so enjoyable. I was fishing with light tackle and I had the drag set far to light for any large fish. If I had hooked a large striper I would have had either broken knuckles from trying to stop the reel, or I would have been out a brand new spool of line and backing.

Having said all that, none of it is important to me in the grand scheme of things. I started flyfishing to spend more time with my brother and father. My brother more so, but both he and my father were always out fishing, whether alone or together. I had been a rabid golfer for years upon years. I realized that our chosen pursuits were taking us in opposite directions. You never really know how much longer you have with the people you love so I figured I better trade in the pendulum golf swing for the whip of a fly rod. Don't get me wrong, I still manage to get out on the course, but last year I fished more days than I golfed.

At this point in my fishing career it's about the people I'm with rather than what is on the end of my line. If I had to choose, I'd pick stripers because it is the fish my little Bro' is rabid about. Any place I can find him chest deep in the ocean, or in his kayak, is a place I want to fish.

I look forward to meeting any people on this board as well.

Okay, the soapbox is yours, step right up.

· Registered
1,254 Posts
As I am short on time, my post will be a quick summary of how I actually feel.

I started fishing for steelhead because from what I had heard they were the everything fish. Quickly I lost the trout bug. It has been over a year, atleast, since I have inflated my tube and been out to a lake.

As I began educating myself about fishing for steelhead with the bug rod, I began to realize that fish were second to the culture. I read the famed works over and over again and did my best to tie those famous patterns. I began to idiolize the innovators, the authors and all those well known personalities.
The day I met Alec Jackson for the first was nothing short of amazing and the same goes for so many others.
My fist steelhead I ever caught was on the bug rod and that day was amazing also but nothing compares to sitting down and having casual conversations with people that are so famous.
I fish for steelhead to catch fish, duh!! :) But those fishless days just dont seem as fishless when you have the steelhead cutlture to particapate in.

· Registered
206 Posts
>I fish for steelhead to catch fish, duh!! :) But those >fishless days just dont seem as fishless when you have the
>steelhead cutlture to participate in.


I think this last paragraph captures the essence. In other words, I can replace the "steelhead" word in your text by whatever fish does it for me and voila...

It's the tradition, the beautiful places, and everything that surronds the passion that does it, whether it's steelhead, trout, salmon, stripers, muskies or tigerfish. Mind you it's true that trout, atlantic salmon and steelhead have probably more tradition and writings dedicated to them than all others put together, but you get my point.

· Skidrow Woolley Fly Club
636 Posts
If I can have only one fish to hunt. I would choose the steelhead.

I fish for steelhead because of where it takes me………..

Standing in the chilly water of the glacier fed river. I look east and see the snow capped mountains where the glaciers live. It begins to snow. Snowing so hard I can’t see the other side of the river. A strange whooshing sound comes nearer and nearer. An eagle with a 6 foot wing span straining against the hard falling snow flies within 50 feet of me. A solitary snow goose follows behind. I watch as two large and chrome bright steelhead roll just yards away. Holding my breath I wait for the take but, nothing tugs on my line. The snow stops and the clouds are beginning to part revealing the tree lined bank of the far side. The winter sun is bright and shines directly onto the river. The river now displays its deep emerald green color. The gray of the day washing away in rays of gold. I know the fishing is over for the day. The steelhead will move into deeper water seeking better cover. I head for home in my old pickup marveling at the beauty of the valley glistening with a dusting of fresh snow. I have no fish for the day but I take with me the beauty and peace of the river valley and mountains. I will be back and I will have a steelhead tugging on my line. On this day it didn’t matter.

A day not to long ago on the Skagit River.

· Premium Member
19,140 Posts
So, what species if only one...

When I look up through my barely visible breath I see towering conifers shattering the dull morning sunlight into streaks, spiritual rays, as if God himself spends his dawn moments in this same canyon where I stand alone with my soul. In what most would perceive as quiet, the churning of the river and sigh of the wind, the ruffles of vine maple leaves proclaim loudly the messages that blatant neon ads, television ads, chattering crowds and revving automobiles fail to convey.

A tiny sculpin darts underfoot, a prehistoric relic of a raging jurassic past, some distant millenia ago; before glaciation and tectonic violence that sculpted stone pillars and stacked pressurized blue ice on mountain elevations that only now in 2001 melts and carries the dust from the grinding of these ice floes into the aqua blue currents of steelhead rivers to the sea, to dissipate into the briny pacific like smolts venturing from their natal streams in search of pelagic currents they have never seen, nor had anyone spoken of - yet they yearn to see.

As different as the north pacific ocean is to it's freshwater counterpart, the river and sea are inseperable. Though most species would suffer a horrible death trying to bridge the two, some thrive on the differences. The pacific's rich organic soup and cyclic currents carry the young silver trout several thousand miles to feast on the riches of the ocean, to become the epitome of trout, a super-trout, not by steroids or pellets but by the hand of nature and her artistry. She paints streaks of mercury into every ray of the sea borne warrior's tail and carefully forges it's flanks with chrome plating. She paints delicate black spots over the emerald green / gunmetal blue back and streaks white pectoral fins as pure as snow. Inside all this armour she lights a flame and let's it go.

There are few honors that compare to being the one, standing with the humble sculpins in the shore rocks casting a line into the mystery of steelhead canyon.

That's the short version

No, it's not easy to say... one species.... I need more time...
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.