I have often said that there are many ways to fish and they are all good.

I am not a purist fly fisherman and have spent many years when I was a youngster fishing with a spinning rod, reel and monofilament line. Most of the time I didn’t fish with a bobber and Velveeta cheese was my main choice of bait. We used to go to Scofield Reservoir in Utah and load up on the fish when you could keep 10 each day and have 20 in possession. Those were the good old days, or were they?

After learning to fly fish I put away the spinning rod and moved it from Salt Lake, to Spokane, then to Seattle, but I never got it out and put on new line so it never got used. When I left Seattle, my wife - unbeknownst to me - gave it to the young neighbor boy Spencer, who lived next door, and I hope he has been able to use it since then. I discovered it missing one day here in Hamilton and learned the truth from my wife that she had given it away. No big loss, but if I wanted to use it again I was out of luck.

Most fishermen who want to try fly fishing think that it is difficult to learn and perceive it as too much of a challenge to learn to cast a fly from 10 – 2 in the air before letting it land on the water. In all actuality, it takes as much to learn to spin fish as fly fish and there is a knack for each.

One of my dear friends returned from the East and shared with me some pictures of a few red fish that she had caught while there visiting this past month. Since she was an avid fly fisherwoman, I assumed that she had taken them on a fly rod but this was not the case.

She shared with me that while on a charter boat she had to learn how to use a spinning outfit for the first time and throw the bait into the water at some distance, while letting it sink below a bobber. There are many ways to fish and they are all good.

Fishing for steelhead with a fly rod can be a frustrating experience especially if there are not a lot of fish in the river. If you have experienced this type of fishing you can cast all day long and maybe land one or two fish. Some days you don’t even get a strike, so it takes a little of the fun away when you don’t land a fish.

Many fishermen who love to catch these fish have given up the fly rod and gone to specialized steelhead gear to be able to hook and land more fish than on their fly rod. If there are a lot of fish in the river system the fly rod is the way to go but not always. There are many ways to fish and they are all good. 

Good Fishing! 

Bill Bean

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