For many of us the transition from trout fishing to steelheading seems like a logical one. Some people feel they have caught enough trout to have acquired a great confidence and are interested in tackling a new challenge. Plus seeing all the photos of massive steelhead that double or triple the size of our best trout raise curiosities. The trade off with steelhead is obviously the lower numbers for more size. It is an acceptable compromise for most. Spending a few days fishing without even a strike won’t kill us. What it does is make each steelhead hooked more memorable. Steelheaders give up the the fast paced bursts of excitement of trout fishing for the electrifying adrenalin explosions of steelhead.
Don’t get me wrong, I still love to trout fish. The consistency of trout offer pleasure in a world of inconsistencies. I can always rely on the fact that trout are looking to eat as much food as possible and expend the least amount of energy as possible. I can nearly always rely on the fact that over a full day of trout fishing I will find some fast paced action. Even if for only 20 minutes, I can rely on this fact. Steelheading can’t offer that. However with each cast steelheading can offer the opportunity to create a memory for life. Every fish you catch will stay with you for ever.
Many of our guests in 2008 had never cast a fly to a steelhead before. They wanted to try it out and see if it was something they may enjoy. Many of our guests were accomplished trout fisherman or salt water enthusiasts looking to tackle something new. It was a great pleasure for our guides to have the opportunity to help someone hook there first steelhead. No matter how many trout you have caught in your lifetime, the sheer panic of seeing your reel smoke as a chrome steelhead heads into fast water will rock you to the core. It’s a mental earthquake that will shake you to the bone, and burn the image into your memory forever. Needless to say 90% of our guests from 2008 rebooked to do it again this fall. No one is talking about giving up trout fishing, but even if you don’t buy into the romanticism, and the stoic history of steelheading, it is a species you must target on the fly at least once in your life. I judge a great species by each fish's ability to have the same effect on me that the first one did ... and to this day, every steelhead I hook is just as exciting as the first one I ever hooked. Each hook up makes me realize why I love fly fishing so much ... and especially, why I love fly fishing for steelhead