T.J. responds to readers' letters:
Every now and then* I like to respond to readers' letters. Since my recent post on steelheading expertise, I’ve received many** letters from interested readers wanting to know more about steelhead. Because these letters represent only a fraction*** of our readership, I felt it appropriate to post the letters, and my replies, here – for the benefit of all.
Don’t you think their are already enough “fly fishing experts”, especially on the internet?
- A curious reader
Dear Curious Reader,
“Their”, “there”, and “they’re” are not synonyms.
But, no, there are not too many internet experts. Fly fishing experts are very much like gas, in that they can expand to fill the available space. And, because the internet is a very large space, there is plenty of room for many, many more experts. Without experts, how will you know if you can use both yellow and green fly lines on your number 8 fly rod? Also, experts are like gas in other ways.
I recently caught my first steelhead. But, I caught it twice, once at the head of the pool on an egg pattern, and then again later at the tail of the pool on an egg-sucking leech. Can I claim expertise, since it was only one fish?
Signed – Hopeful
This is a very interesting case. Normally, I would say “No”, since you only caught one steelhead. However, I think you’re in luck! Because you caught it twice, on different flies, and in different locations, you can indeed become an expert. For example, you could say “I’ve found that a steelhead will sometimes take an egg fly, but at other times, an egg-sucking leech is the ticket.”
Or how about this: “When fishing one favorite pool, I’ve taken a steelhead from the head of the pool, and from the tail of the pool.” Nothing disingenuous there, right?
Best of luck. I look forward to your first article!
I know you’ve caught most**** of your steelhead in the Great Lakes region. Will your techniques work for me in the Pacific Northwest as well?
Signed – Steelheadless in Seattle
To the best of my knowledge, steelhead have not yet been stocked in the Pacific Northwest. However, you’re welcome to come here and catch a native. I know some***** spots.
[Editor's Notes: *this is the first time; **four; *** three-fourths; **** all; ***** he knows two]