Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cutting into the learning curve

Spent last Saturday with Steve Buckner.

It was only appropriate that the guy who got me hooked on spey would get me further hooked on steelheading.

Given all the tinkering I've been doing with different lines, flies, etc., it's no surprise (or is it?) that I only have one steelhead to show for it.

By enlisting Steve's help, my intent was to distill things into the basics.

Some things I learned that will see future application include:

(sorry if some of this is cryptic--it's the only way I'll be able to remember some of this stuff)

1) Floating lines can get the fly deep, too.
2) Study the flow of the water (the back of the legs thing)
3) Closer anchors
4) Crescent lift more often, especially in tight quarters
5) Orange
6) Keep the sun at their back
7) Keep pressure on the fish--8 lb Maxima is stronger than you think
8) Never give up

Combined, this list created a great steelheading day.

Though I lost both fish (we'll get to that), each hookup and subsequent fight felt more like a result of applied knowledge rather than just dumb luck. And in that regard, I really felt no loss.

I felt like "that was just steelheading."

Ironic, given my last experience with a steelie, huh?

Now about that fish-losing thing...

I think I may have that problem solved...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Still processing...

Despite my attempt to get over it, I have been plagued by thoughts of last week's event.

At first I thought relating my story to friends and getting their input might somehow dissuade the lingering sense of failure.

"That counts as landed."

"I'd say you landed it."

"You touched the fish, which is better than a leader grab."

But their offerings brought no solace.

Without a picture, with no proof positive, the experience is incomplete.

It's just another damn fish story about the one that got away.

My own personal demon to struggle with, the whole photo thing is further inflamed by the (my) relative infrequency of hooking steelhead. On its own, running into one is precious enough. To botch a landing...well, some would simply say "that's steelheading."

On one hand, I can agree and appreciate that point of view--it's not a competition, after all, and numbers should take a backseat to the experience. Fair enough.

Despite that Jedi perspective, I still can't help feeling like this:

Am I the only one who's ever felt this way after ruining an otherwise awesome experience?

And if so, does it ever go away?

Sunday, August 3, 2008


Hooked a nice fish this weekend, check out the narrative on my other blog:

Click here

Not the kind of ending I would have preferred.

I'll publish my thoughts on this experience after digesting things over the next couple of days...