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The 7 deadly sins of steelhead

1- GreedGreed is an excessive pursuit of steelhead. When is enough enough?

You are fishing with your best friend; you just hooked and lost two fish without him seeing.  You know you will probably hook one more if you keep fishing, but heck—you didn’t land them. If you want to appease the steelhead gods, you better call your buddy over and let him take the next crack at hooking a fish. Besides, he doesn’t carry a silly steelhead loop, so he will probably land his.

2 –  Gluttony: Gluttony is an excessive and ongoing day of catching fish.  

Did you just get back from a trip to Haida Gwaii with 100 pounds of meat in hopes of being the most popular guy in town during BBQ season? You’re probably a gluttony guy then. Maybe another day of indicator fishing that small steelhead trib where you caught 25 fish is in the works again? If you want to appease the steelhead gods, get your fish but know when to quit. Show a touch of discipline, and you will be rewarded.

3 – Sloth:Sloth is an excessive laziness or the failure to work through your run in a timely manner.

Put your time in on the water and cover it thoroughly. However, there’s no need to beat a dead horse by flogging an empty run or taking forever to fish a piece. If all of a sudden you stop moving when you hit the bucket, or you take the dreadful fake steps to clog up the prime bucket, the steelhead gods will take note. If your fishing partner is always creeping into your back pocket, you may have some sloth tendencies.

4 -Envy – Envy is the intense desire to catch a fish that someone else hooked.

It happens all the time: one person gets zero while his fishing partner nails multiple fish. It is a mixture of luck and skill most times, but even a blind squirrel occasionally finds a nut so keep the envy in check. Jealousy vibes are picked up quickly—on and off the water. The fish will swim out of the run the second you step in if they sense your awful mojo. Keep a positive attitude out there, and good things will eventually happen.

5 – Lust : Lust is a strong passion or longing, especially for steelhead tugs.

Becoming obsessed with steelhead is unhealthy. Sure, they are by far the most beautiful, unique, and sought-after species in freshwater. Each encounter leaves us pining for more.  However, remember you still have a real life with real responsibilities. For those of you who like to drop 8-10 weeks straight steelheading somewhere on the Skeena, you probably are losing something very dear to you at home. All the good things in life must be done in moderation to live a fulfilled life. Go on your awesome trip, but don’t overstay it.

6 – Wrath: Wrath is a strong anger and hate towards another person in waders.

When the fishing is slow, and the rivers are busy, the hatred that builds in a fisherman is tangible. Remember to maintain good etiquette out there; cut other anglers some slack and keep in mind that a nice friendly wave goes a long way. We anglers have a lot more in common than you may think. Just because someone woke up a bit earlier than you and took your favorite run, you don’t have to wish the wrath of Khan on the next 7 generations of their family.

7 – Pride Pride is an excessive view of one’s self without regard for others’ struggles on the water.

Okay, you just had an amazing day on the water, and you come to find out no one else did.  You picked pockets all day, landed a massive fish, and hooked well beyond your wildest expectations. Sure, you will have a glow about you, but you need to make sure to let your angling partner tell the stories. No need for you to go around bragging about how amazing you are. There’s a good chance that one day you will be on the other side of this. Remember: some days you’re the dog, others you’re the fire hydrant.



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