Thursday, March 28, 2013

Switching it up

Switching it up with Ben See

As we approach the spring steelhead run in the Alley, it comes as no surprise that with each rain we receive, the more fish that are coming into the stream system. While I would normally be searching for chrome with the centerpin and spawn sacs, I am happy to say I am keeping up with the switch rod and fly venture. While I knew in the beginning that trying my hand at spey casting and fly fishing would be a challenge, little did I know how much of a challenge it really would be. I have to admit, I have snuck out the pin and put the smack down just to get some of my mojo back. I am sure I am not the first and certainly won't be the last person to enter into the spey world and be completely confused on this technique, gear, and method of targeting fish. But, as I have said in the past I don't quit, I won't quit.

When swinging a streamer you get plenty of time to observe your surroundings and also do plenty of thinking. For me the next thing I think of with the pin is the next fish. The next thing I think of with the switch rod has nothing really to do with fish. While I am trying to figure out how a fish with a pea sized brain can out think an angler and at the end of the day put them in checkmate, I find myself daydreaming. This in itself is probably one of my issues with the my spey success.

How is it that an angler that knows how to read water, knows fish migration patterns, watches USGS flow gauges like a hawk, can pickup a pin and smash fish daily, knows basically every stocked stream in Steelhead Alley, can zig when he needs to zig and zag when he needs to zag? But, pickup the switch and meet the skunk more often then not? This got me thinking stream side, and to my surprise I found myself off on a tangent again in my own mind.

I am a perfect example of why telling anglers where to fish has little to no advantage. If I have said it once, I have said it a thousand times. Teach an angler how to use a specific technique and they will figure out the where to fish. Telling an angler where to fish when they don't have a good grasp on the their chosen technique doesn't do anything good for the angler or the angling community. As social media has become quite popular over the past few years, these sort of tools are a blessing and a curse to our fishing community. A blessing on one hand as to allow anglers to meet those likeminded to learn from each other. A curse on the other hand as it provides a stage for those ignorant of the true challenges of our fishery. While they spew nonsense, only to be confronted by those anglers who can be seen fishing in sub zero temps in the winter and scorching days in the summer for species other than steelhead. The ignorant then become defensive when those that actually know what is going on with our fishery confront them. They should actually speak less and listen more to the true challenges that are faced in Steelhead Alley. Maybe then, which I doubt, but just maybe they would realize they are contributing to the problem and not the solution.

Team SAA will be back out there on the streams this weekend looking to find the chrome. Hopefully water temps will rise a bit more and that will trigger some good action in the coming week.

Until Next Time...
Fish Hard...Fish Often...

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