Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Attitude Problem by Erik Helm

This is from my friend Erik Helm's blog The Classical Angler
I'm going to use some stronger adjectives than what Erik uses to describe these guys. I don't know what website these pictures came from but I'll bet it's one in the Pacific Northwest. I see this kind of crap way too much.

The Attitude Problem by Erik Helm

Some readers of the Classical Angler may wonder from time to time why I seem to get my knickers all bunched up over what I perceive as an attitude problem among many of today's steelhead "Hot Sticks."

Here is a photo that will say it all. I am not going to say who it is, nor where it came from and have blacked out the faces, but even if it is a hatchery fish, it not only shows disrespect, but almost displays a kind of psychosis.

Pouring beer into a steelhead's mouth is beyond silly. It is childish. Childish behavior and unsporting. Especially as this was the 'last rights' before killing the fish.
Grow up

And another from a different site. Yes, they are only hatchery fish, but should they be treated like this, much less photographed and posted on the web as if it were a badge of coolness?

Update 1/21/10 -

If, by the posting of Erik's blog entry, I made one person think about this type of in your face, rip some lips, X-Games fly fishing might not be well received by the non-fishing public then it was worth the criticism I received.
I've said before that this blog is not my way of trying to trumpet my own popularity, I just am not interested in being some sort of fly fishing celebrity. What I do care about is the perception of what fly fishing is and is not.
The pictures posted above did nothing to help that. When we try to get waters set aside for no bait or fly fishing only this kind of stuff is always thrown up in our face.
So maybe next time someone will think about it.
My thanks go to Erik Helm. He is a true sportsman and an example of what fly fishing is or should be.


  1. I don't think I'm as harsh as the youngsters as you are just thinking them to be on a different point in their journey than myself and definitely you but I'm going to have to agree with you here.

    The adage "pearls before swine" springs to mind.

    Hopefully, they will learn to respect their quarry, the sport and themselves.

  2. Alas, distasteful to some, the humor of the situation shared among friends is more important then the grief suffered from criticism, even from those I respect.

    Though I take fishing and ethics seriously, I enjoy the jokes and moments shared on the river just as much, and that is all this picture was supposed to portray. You can only take steelheading so seriously, especially regarding a dead hatchery fish.

    After spending the last two months rehabbing the old leg and then watching two friends swing fish within minutes of each other, I had to have a beer. I just couldn't help but share.

  3. Mike it just comes off like so much of the crap you see over on ifish.
    I thought you were above such juvenile, chest thumping stuff.

  4. Im going to say this ,I often hear this blog complain about ,the younger generation .Maybe it is just me but I know there are ALOT of us that thinlk this is bullshit ! You can complain all you want about hatchery fish but they are still fish and not easy to catch .Im not sure why the dingbats post crap like this.It makes us all look bad .I for one am tired of the complaining about the younger generation ,but this just makes your point Shane .Like I've said in the past though ,there are always idiots in the crowd .Maybe if they drank real beer it would help or maybe they should just stop drinking ,for the life of me I dont understand how fishing and getting drunk ever made sense anyway !God damn this crap makes me mad

  5. Seriously!....what the heck am I supposed to do with a hatchery fish

    Is there internet protocol for how I am supposed to dispatch of a fish. Should I say a prayer.. Should there be a moment of respect. Should I stop fishing for the rest of the year.

    let me know and i will abide

    BTW...if you dont like what you see....STOP READING MY BLOG

    Also...do you see any wild fish handled in your "objectionable manner"

  6. Yeah go right ahead and be sure to stick your rod in your mouth for the picture while you are at it.. You don't get it do you? Go post a picture like that over on the Spey Pages and see how those guys react.
    When we try to educate the fishing public about showing some CLASS it's pictures like yours and the one where the fish is stuck in a beer carton that they use against us.
    All I am saying is show some class if you are going to take pictures.
    Hey don't worry I don't read your blog.

  7. I guess your right Shane they just dont get how they make us all look bad ,
    Seriously ,I dont read your blog The picture just came up from some other blogs .Kill the fish however you like I dont care if you go home screw the fish .I just dont want to see it .You post pics like this and then the rest of the world gets pissed off at the angeling community .You and steelie mike need to step back for a minute and think about why you fish .I mean if you need to act like a cave man stand on the side of the river with a club and try to bat the fish as they come by .Seriously get a clue man !!!!!!

  8. Well said nutman!
    A hatchery fish is just a hatchery fish and I would have killed that fish too. I doubt if I would have taken it home instead I would have tagged it and then gutted it so it would become part of the bio-mass to feed wild smolt etc. You smoked it and that is fine.
    The problem is the perception involved in the whole thing. It's not a generational thing but I some how doubt you would see Lani Waller or Dec Hogan take a similar picture.
    Yes Mike it was distasteful and I felt insulting to our sport. We have a lot of detractors among the gear/bait fishermen and I think your picture just added fuel to the fire.

  9. i think this really is much ado about nothing. peta aint gonna try to ban fishing due to crap like this.

    and gear/bait fishermen don't give a crap if you poor beer in a dead fish's mouth. it doesn't detract from your "sport" anymore than all the other bs on the web and blogs detracts from your "sport".

    personally, i think the culture that creates pictures like this is a bit bizarre... but i'm not a part of it nor do i wish to be. and these guys would feel the same of how i choose to live my life.

    my opinion of beer bonging steelhead
    who cares...YES!!!

    and to think i just read the blog in question and didn't see the beer can. there's so much more bs in the blogging / internet world involving steelhead / nw flyfishing that i wouldn't have even noticed... oh, wait i didn't.