Steelhead. Chasing chrome. Unicorns. An addiction, the most extreme form of freshwater fly fishing, a polemical and political minefield, where angling etiquette goes to die. The swing is the thing, strike indicators are for pussies, why don’t you want to actually catch a fish, it’s not as good as it used to be, this is our river you Fucking Illinois Bastards.
The rhetoric of steelheading as identity gets a tad exhausting. Can’t everybody be cool? It should be enough that they’re here, and we’re here, and that they’re miraculously ascending their natal system again before their cometlike peregrinations take them back beyond our ken, and that we’re casting flies at them instead of sitting at a desk or commuting or filing our taxes or any of the other muddy gray things that cast no light on the stony road of the inevitable. Why do so many of us have to be so loud and 21st century about it?
Hey, swinger. I get it, you’re a cowboy. Keep stepping down the run, John Wayne.
And you, with the strike indicators … don’t listen to them. You can be proud or ashamed, just keep doing your thing, but wait your turn. This isn’t Thunderdome.
And you, with the bait … you’re going do what you’re going to do, and you’re never ever going to read this anyway.
And all of you pick the hell up after yourselves and stay the fuck off the gravel. This isn’t your garage, and just cause it’s a self-sustaining population doesn’t mean we can’t still fuck it up.
It’s that time again. Crap must be reorganized. All that is old shall be made new, or at least all the old shall be made to be put in new Akro-bins from my new favorite store. On the docket: reorg the warmwater materials storage, reorg and restock the early season-slash-go-anywhere trout box, inventory tippet, clean some lines, lube some reels, wax some ferrules. And what’d be smart is to get a head start on tying for the spring stands on the ROP. And prototype some warmwater monstrosities.
Ah, what’s the point … we’re all going to die. Continue reading
Congratulations, fellow trout-angling blogger, for blogging about an 8″ brookie that ate a Panther Martin for you in a Wisco spring creek; I join the entire internet in saluting these twin accomplishments.
I further enjoyed reading about your exploits on the upper reaches of the ROP with a spinning rod, and found myself increasingly fascinated by each successive hero pose of small resident fish being lipped for what I’m sure was a brief and unharmful time out of the water before a gentle, post-treble hooking and -Zebco horking resuscitation and release.
As a special request, please post more photos of dudes with fly rod cork clamped in bared teeth while hoisting little largemouths. The juxtaposition of machismo and a small specimen of a notably gullible warmwater fish is a badly-needed infusion of commentary on our sport.
Unless that wasn’t intended to be ironic.
In response to the question posited by your post on using spinning vs. fly tackle, I would simply encourage you to keep living the dream.
Fresh it ain’t, but flows this week on the ROP are a lot like they were this week in history. Seemed like a good time to go back and review what we’ve learned, and reflect on the importance of keeping records.
[in keeping with this blog’s rigorous editorial standards, pool/run names and identifying landmarks have been redacted]
Fish, preferably wild, caught on a fly.
Good beer and really good friends.
Lots of each are often nice but sometimes one is all you need.
Just nice be out.
photo credit: Beastmaster