Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The tools we chose to chase the chrome

It is October 1st, and Steelhead Alley rivers are ready for mother nature to provide us with some rain to once again bump the flows and trigger another push of chrome to enter the streams for our fishing pleasures.  As of now most all major tributaries are low and clear in the Ohio and Pennsylvania valley.  The few fish that are in the system at this point are finding refuge in the shale cuts and under the timber.  This leaves us anglers limited opportunity to tangle with the chrome we seek.  Alas we are cleaning the rods and reels and re-checking our gear to ensure we are ready when the time comes that mother nature graces us with her rainy presence.

In this day and age of the world wide web, to pass time anglers turn to the computer and crawl the web.  The west coast anglers look to be having a spectacular fall run!  I am sure I am not alone in wishing I could make it over to the west side to take part in the fun.  Unfortunately I sit here in Steelhead Alley waiting for the rain to get us going again.  

I recently came across a site that I frequent that had a post that got me thinking.  It is the elephant in the room that I am sure many anglers have seen or experienced first hand within their angling regions.

I fish for steelhead with a spinning rod, therefor I am perceived beneath a bait caster, center pinner, fly and spey angler.

I fish for steelhead with a bait caster, therefor I am perceived beneath a center pinner, spin, fly and spey angler.

I fish for steelhead with a pin, therefor I am perceived above a spin and bait cast angler, but below a fly and spey angler.

I fish for steelhead with a fly rod, therefor I am perceived above a spin, bait caster and  pinner, but below the spey angler.

I fish for steelhead with a spey rod, therefor I am perceived above bait casters, center pinners and spin fishing anglers, but get along with traditional fly rod anglers.

The chosen tool should not be the single factor in determining ethics, knowledge or passion of any individual angler.  Some may prefer one over the other or some may be restricted by budget on a chosen tool to target the chrome in our great fishery.  Some may feel more comfortable with a chosen style of fishing but aspire to advance their knowledge and learn more about another style and technique in their angling progression.  Some may chose one style of fishing over another based upon personal preference and what they want to get out of their day of fishing.

If you have fished long enough you will eventually, if not already see the good, bad, and ugly of each and every angling group.  It is those anglers that are willing to take the time and help educate those misinformed and or those that don’t have the knowledge to a specific style of fishing that are the true sportsman of the passion we all love.  We may never be able to change those that could care less about ethics, but surly we can have a significant impact on those younger in the sport and those that are always looking to learn something new.

I think we all need to look within ourselves including me, to realize we may never be able to change or guide those with bad ethics who don’t care, but rather we as anglers can have a significant impact on the those younger and those willing to learn from each other without first labeling them as “Oh that is a “X” style of fisherman, he is not as good or not as ethical as me mentality.”

 Let us never forget, we all share a common bond and that is the pursuit of chrome with our chosen style of fishing.  It is the outdoors, the love of nature, the fresh crisp air, the tug of a hot chromer, the sense of accomplishment we feel when we land one of the great beauties of our streams and the memories created streamside with our fellow anglers.

Steelhead Alley Angler has always and will always support all forms of fishing regardless of region or chosen rod.  We are bonded by the common passion of fishing and that is what makes me feel so great about Team SAA. 

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


  1. Great post! I wish more people thought like this. Where did all this pretentiousness in fishing come from?

  2. Protecting and enhancing the natural environment we love should unite us. The different tools we use to connect with the environment shouldn't divide us.