Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Code

Fall Swing Photo: Brian Chou

Yes, there is a Code of Steelheading. An ethos, if you will that those who fish everyday or way too often carry among friends. It's different to each person but those within a group understand it and stick to it, otherwise they may find themselves in radio silence or just plain left out. Its not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but in a fishing circle getting left out leads to missed opportunities that do not come along often, especially when you have a busy family and work schedule.  

With this new era of fishing and the internet, it is easy to get reports, help or hear rumors about what is going on throughout the Pacific Northwest. And like any real steelheader worth their chrome, we are all willing to make sacrifices to chase that hope of a fish on some fabled or less fabled water somewhere within driving distance of our homes on any given day. The fact of the matter is there are few secrets left out there and the ones that are, you can find if you are able to read between the lines. So those that are spot burners, you have to understand you are ruining it in the long run and you best learn to keep it zipped or your gonna get ripped  the next time it comes around. Also in all reality when you chase those rumors, you chasing last weeks sweat and hustle and just because shit happens once doesn't mean its gonna happen again. 

To break it down simple, each person is different, but those who you trust and know whats up keep that intel wrapped up tight. When one of your boys hands it to you or brings you to the spot, you keep it that way. That is just how to keep it real. Calling bullshit cause you brought one of the boys to one of your spots and finding him there with some of his friends there a day later is not exactly part of the code, but it happens and when the whistle is blown on you... well, don't expect pleasantries. This seems as if it would be common sense, but as it has been said, "common sense is not common to everyone". 

There are of course bylaws to add to the Code from time to time as well. When you figure something out and its known by a few, its not necessarily means you can take your friends there. That is a community decision made among your peers who worked the beatdown. This by no means is some kind of secret society and like mentioned before there are few real secrets left out there, but you always have to keep in mind that you never want to ruin a good thing nor piss of your homies. 

There is also a grey area of well known spots that lead to reports given without hesitation, primarily due to the obvious and aiding in a less experienced friends learning curve. Educating friends, helping them learn about their quarry, casting, presentation, etc are just as important facets of the Code, but not everything is given without reciprocation.  Respect of the resource, educating others and your peers views of secrecy are vital and mandatory in maintaining the code. In the end we all learn from each other. 


Mark said...


Robin Hill said...

All hail the code, many internet lurkers want you to give up the goods and those invites are earned and held close.

Anonymous said...

"and like mentioned before there are few real secrets left out there."

Agree with the intent of your post but I see the above statement written more and more, and have to respectfully and strongly disagree, fella. Not only is a ton of great water going unfished (too hard for the Facebook fat kids to access without sweating a little, no guide willing to drive the fat kid bus there [yet], no easy trail of internet-flavored breadcrumbs, etc. all, we can agree, being a good thing for the fish), but a ton of good water is getting fished wrong, or at the wrong times.

Good news is, in a steelheading culture that increasingly smells of Dude, secrets that take some work, time or conviction may remain. Why learn to read water when a you can buy the obvious buckets and the subsequent grip and grin?

Julius Smackers said...

The "Code"? Really? The code is for guys taking themselves too damn serious. IF you trust someone, you fish with him. IF you don't, don't fish with him. All This Bull shit about rules and regulation regarding levels of trust/code is Moronic. If you are gonna keep someone in a "radio of silence", or leave him/her out, at least have the balls to step up and tell that someone, don't be a pansy ass and keep them in "silence".

Steelie Mike said...


Ross Taylor said...

Thanks, to post it. Internet, is a one way to get a reports of fishing. It helps, which place is better for fishing. There are a code of Steel heading. There group choice made among the friends who proved helpful the beat-down. This certainly not is some type of secrete group and like described before there are few actual tricks remaining out there. Market Research Report