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Idahodryfly
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IdahoDryFly

Steelhead Fishing Styles
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IdahoDryFly
Idahodryfly

Joined Jan 3, 2017
159 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · Oct 22, 2018

Hi Folks:

This should be a enjoyable tread- lots of fun. I'm no super hero and have a weird fishing style- so don't fry me for this post- this is just for fun and I was just thinking....

As I've switched from guiding to fishing recreationally for myself with other accomplished anglers I've noticed that my angling friends fall into some interesting stereo types. So, in a fun spirit.... here are the steelhead angler classifications I've noticed. Please add to this fun and share commentary on the styles of steelheaders you've observed. It's fun to look at ourselves and the game we love.
****

The Artful fisher- This friend is all about the art in spey fishing. The gear is high end, ( Hardy, Berkheimer, Filson), the vehicle is a Range Rover, the flies are in a wheatly or a custom leather fly wallet. He looks like a model from a Patagonia catalog and his flies are majestic seal dubbed heron festooned beauties that should have been mounted. The conversation while fishing is focused on the beauty of the flora and fauna found along the river. The sunrise and sunset give him much joy. He's likely to wear a distinctive hat and bright colors. He's ready for the "Keep 'Em Wet" photo op at all times.

The Natural Angler: This friend fishes custom cane rods that he took out a personal loan to afford. No foam or plastic in this guy's box. Fishing traditional equipment and old world flies found in leather bound Salmon Fly Tying books is his passion. He references Bartleet, Rodrick Haig-Brown, and Glasso when discussing the day's events. He most likely has a 100 year old Hardy Perfect he polishes each night and has a flask of old scotch for celebrating.

The River Dominator: This guy is about wading deep, covering the water, and hooking fish. He's into sink tips, articulated flies, and leaving no fish un-molested. He's most likely swinging a big 9 weight stick and sporting 15 pound test tippet. He likes to talk about ripping lips, hooking hogs, and releasing pigs. He's a big man with a big personality looking for big steelhead in a big way. He drives an urban assault vehicle with huge tires and mud flaps.

The Multiple Systems Gear Guy: He's got every rod known to man. He endlessly tinkers with his gear and has two or three rods as he heads to a run. He can fish the water from top to bottom in regard to presentation. First skittering a dry, following up with a wet, hit them with a tip, or nymph 'em up. Whatever it takes. At the camp fire he discusses how his specific method brought the fish to hand and it wasn't until he worked the fish with his newest system did the river give one up. He has found the formula! He drives a truck with Yakama, Tule, and Scotty mounts and racks. He has a personal water craft, a mountain bike, and two types of wading boots packed away just in case. If you ever forgotten something on a trip, look this guy up. He's got two extra of everything and will be glad to loan you one.

The Ants-in-the Pants Guy: This friend is never happy with the spot he's chosen to fish. He is on the move. Fish here, run there, make a few casts, and move on to better water. He knows each hole and run by name and has intimate knowledge of every holding spot. Around the camp fire at night he says stuff like: wasn't the Instant Baking Hole great today, we swang loaded run but somebody must have hit it before us. We tried for the Freight Train hole but some dude aced us out- we'll get up early and get it tomorrow. He drives a Toyota 4-runner for fuel mileage and ease of moving. He's fishing so and so river next week and can't wait for the next trip to another spot. No moss on this rolling stone. He's on his third marriage and just can't understand why he hasn't settled down, but he's always "in" for the next trip.

So- I've described a few types of steelheaders I've noticed. I know there are more and that the Speypages Forum will add to the humor. Please share in the light hearted commentary.

Sincerely and with humor- I don't take myself seriously and I have lots of quirky characteristics that I'm sure my friends might share. Todd-Adrian-Marty-Mac?

IdahoDryFly-Rick
 

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The Local - This fella is frequently mistaken for Sasquatch as he disappears in the presence of guides to preserve the aura of his treasured fishing spot and to discourage the idea it may be remotely decent water. He is perfectly polite if you run into him at the fly shop and is known universally by a nickname that has never been explained the same way twice. Always happy to share strategy to lone visitors in exchange for a Marlboro on the bar, but try as you might you can't find that "Upriver Pool" he caught all his fish at the other day. He carries no more than 3 flies at one time in a battered ziploc, still uses his grandfather's glass Fenwick because he hasn't broken it on a fish yet, and has dogmatic opinions on the quality of out-of-towners, the numbers of hatchery fish, and the superiority of Bud Light.
 

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18 foot spey rod DV8
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Well....self diagnosing ones personality or examining our buddies character can be deceptive. This kind of reminds me of when I was younger and took to reading Cosmo thinking that it would provide insight into feminism and my girlfriends behaviour and attitude.
Just when I thought I had women, and my fishing pals figured out....similarly with salmon and steelhead, I realized many exibited multiple personalities and they remained unpredictable.

“ An enigma wrapped in a mystery “ would be another valid classification for some schizophrenic speyers stalking salar and steelies.
Regards from the Restigouche....Jim
 

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Dom
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I know which category I am in. Funny how accurate you were on this one. I feel I do fit in other categories as well, a bit.

Nothing but Burkies, Hardys, and Filson 😅

Wood Musical instrument Luggage and bags Shotgun Bag


More show off than anything else...

Food Dishware Ingredient Organism Recipe


One slight difference I don't care for Land Rovers and I catch fish. But art needs to be the element of every fishing trip I do. Otherwise it's just catching fish and I would get bored of that. I find art anything from a fancy steelhead fly to tying a perfect glow bug, from casting a long line to casting a glow in dark line at night.

Wheel Tire Water Sky Cloud


Plant Food Fish Grass Tail


Water Organism Fish Marine biology Liquid


Water Boat Fisherman Outdoor recreation Lake


Water Sunglasses Vertebrate Goggles Botany


Water Vertebrate Salmon-like fish Goggles Fisherman
 
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You lett out the guy who just wants to fish wakers for steelhead, and will in any condition from blown out river to lowest possible clear water. Only goes occasionally to the subsurface for a follow up. That would be me for steelhead. I used to be pretty successful with it when we had fish:rolleyes:

On the other hand if I am in TDF I do what ever is necessary. From top to bottom and everything in between.
 

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Idahodryfly
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Well....self diagnosing ones personality or examining our buddies character can be deceptive. This kind of reminds me of when I was younger and took to reading Cosmo thinking that it would provide insight into feminism and my girlfriends behaviour and attitude.
Just when I thought I had women, and my fishing pals figured out....similarly with salmon and steelhead, I realized many exibited multiple personalities and they remained unpredictable.

“ An enigma wrapped in a mystery “ would be another valid classification for some schizophrenic speyers stalking salar and steelies.
Regards from the Restigouche....Jim
Jim-

Ahhhh, the mysteries of life. First, I never have and never will be accurate in anything having to do with the females of our species. Except for my loyal and lovely bird dog I've never related well. Oh, I can attract the ladies but after that it all goes down hill. FAST! I can't trust myself with any thought, any emotion, or any communication. What I think I know always turns out wrong. Dead wrong! When it comes to human females my life and my judgement are completely in error and I end up being hurt, abandoned, and left as a basket case. No self help book can fix that! As some great comedian said, "When I meet an attractive lady I should just buy her a house and walk away. This act would save a great deal of heart ache, pain, and disappointment!" This describes me to a Tee!

Now, to type casting my fellow anglers.... it's all in fun! Jim from the Restigouche. 😁 While we all are multi-faceted we do exhibit traits... like you Mr. "Old World Classic Gear Guy! Do you own anything less that 50 years old and not classically British Built? Ah, what beautiful stuff. A lot like usable jewelry . You have an amazing and functional collection of fine equipment and I love it. But, please don't tell me you can't be "type cast" in regard to your wonderful choices in gear and clothing.

Like all of us.... you can. Just advocating for and protecting daily such an amazing river like the Restigouche places you in a "Class" of your own. First class that is!!!🏆🏆🏆


All in good humor,
IdahoDryFly-Rick
 

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Dom
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Strange things we do...

You have a hollow bamboo rod. She is taped up. Your silk line is greased up. You don't drink but you have a fine liquid filled flask resting on your pre war Perfect. You come to the river with just one 8/0 hook that someone forgot to put an eye on. You spend 5 hours tying a full dress. You are thinking about calling it a Dredger Highlander. You fish hopelessly for few hours. On the way back home you thinking to buy a skagit line again. Your life is complicated.

Anything in Floss and feathers section titled "tied in hand..."

Euro guys using 5.5x tippet. Dorks.

God forbid you have Simms waders but your boxers are Patagonia. You wont go fishing till you buy a matching pair.

You re tie two dozens of flies and give the old ones away because Hareline switched their line of black marabou with UV black marabou.

You stretch 200' of running line in the parking lot before you fish.

You buy a floating heavy MOW tip
 

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Fun thread!

I GUESS I’m mostly AITP guy, except for 35 years with wife #1. It comes from mostly fishing in 2-3 hour chunks wherever my sales trips lead me and wanting to see as much of that particular new water as possible. And maybe ADHD.

There’s no category for us guys that wonder why all those fish that the bead and bobber guy is hooking moved into that run RIGHT AFTER I fished it perfectly with Spawning Purple.

When I tied at sportsman’s shows, I always thought of myself as the Before Photo guy (as opposed to the after photo). After watching tiers in the class of fshnazn, bwodun, drylinetim and some of the other tiers here and giving up hope, people would watch me and decide “hell, I can do THAT” and head off to load up on tying tools and materials. I took great pride in all the show sales that I was responsible for..

Lastly, do you have a category for the guy I’ve fished with for 25 years? He just nymphs (even through a blizzard caddis hatch), same setup always, mostly the same waters always, stays at the same campgrounds / motels, wears a certain red hat with four words on it, and has 3 sons via 3 different ex-wives / girlfriends. We agree on nothing except our friendship. Oh, and he catches a lot of steelhead.
 

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I've got another one to add - a good friend and fishing partner of mine (even though we last fished together in 2018).
This veteran angler grew up in Northern California and is sufficiently seasoned to have fished the San Lorenzo when there were still good numbers of fish, as well as just about every other steelhead-and-salmon holding river between Santa Cruz and the Oregon border. The angler drives an old Chevy van and the interior roof of the van holds a well-used collection of steelhead rods, both conventional and fly, while a set of cargo shelves in the van are similar loaded with terminal tackle, line, etc. The angler is not only seasoned, but also supernaturally good - more than once I accompanied this individual to the circus below Nimbus Dam on the American River when two or three circus troupes were in town, lining both sides of the river and filling the water and air with barbs. This individual would gear up, take his place in the "casting line", and, invariably, manage to hook and land a steelhead within a few minutes of arriving. This angler is the sort you could call at 3 PM to mention that there was possibly a good evening hatch in the mountains 2 hours away and he would agree that leaving work early to drive for 2 hours to fish for 2 hours and then to drive for 2 hours more was worthwhile. This angler is sufficiently enamored of steelhead and anadromous fish in general that when, on a work trip to the Vancouver area he caught 2 or 3 fish while standing on a single rock, he then proceeded to buy a house across the road and eventually retired to that house. At that house he has set up a spey casting obstacle course to better practice the casts needed to fish his favorite waters. He still marks the quality of his years by the fish seen and hooked, the birds observed, and the beauty of his surroundings.
 

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Beulah Burkheimer Meiser
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what if I have a nice collection of Burkheimers and drive a Range Rover but really consider myself a dirt bag Spey fisherman? It’s the same with skiing. My ski buds and I have the best gear money can buy and can afford to stay anywhere we want but the thought of spending a few nights camped in the parking lot skiing, grilling, drinking, and talking smack is the biggest draw. Some things you can’t buy your way out of nor would you want to. Labels suck.
 
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