We see them on the river and more than likely you fall into one of these categories and in some cases two or three...........
Easy to spot as they walk aimlessly around waiting for a seasoned veteran to show them the ropes. They usually have the wrong type of gear for steelheading as they often have a 6’6” spinning rod, Zebco spinning reel, a monster float, rubber hippers and a jar of Uncle Josh’s eggs. However, they can be using a fly rod or even a centerpin. They try to strike up a conversation to glean information on where the hot spots are, what's the proper rigging and where are the fish holding. Most of the time veterans take pity on them as they were in the same boat a long time ago. They frequent fishing websites looking to others for where the best fishing locations are and that leads to accusations of blatant spoon feeding and in most cases are attacked by the resident trolls.
The best of the best and achieves mythical status in the steelheading community. They're often treated as royalty or like a rock star. Some have a large following on the fishing sites and nobody dares to bash them. Mother Nature will throw everything at his way and he brushes it off with a sneer. They’ll drive in squalls, wade across raging rapids, are oblivious to the cold and will go off the beaten path. Rarely do they ever get skunked and put on clinics much to the awe of greenhorns and dismay of others. They carry no watch and most of them are single as no women could ever tolerate their addiction. They're on the rivers as soon as September hits and are off it by May. They carry their gear at all times and often wet a line before going to work. They follow a strict code of steelheading and rarely let outsiders into their small circle of friends.
The Computer Steelheader
Can post a reply faster then tying a knot. Gets their fishing knowledge from spending endless hours reading blogs and visiting the numerous fishing forums. Spends most of his time “puter” fishing looking for the hottest action and quickly replies to any question posted. Their posts and replies are often long and well thought out. Most are married and are stuck babysitting. They've accepted the fact that their wives allow them to fish a couple of times during the season - with strict limitations. Then tend to get burnt by the sun or wind easily and have a difficult time fishing during the winter as they never had time to get acclimated to the weather.
Other anglers think they’re an asshole or a snob. Most of the time, they don’t care. Their fishing gear is their most prized possession and they take well care of it. They fish alone not because they have no friends, but prefer the “quiet time”. Generally they avoid other anglers at all cost and rarely engage in small talk. They’re good anglers and often catch hogs, but nobody ever sees photos of them or hears about it. They frequent fishing forums as lurkers.
The scourge of the river. They violate every rule in the book and make a lot of enemies on the water. They try to muscle in on the hot spot and never ask if it’s all right. They litter, cuss, low hole, hog entire pools, pull off hero drifts, start arguments and try to bum hens caught by others in order to get eggs. They tend to be at the lower end of the socio-economic ladder but they can be middle class or wealthy.
Often afflicted with the “I’m a legend in my own mind”. They have to fish around others to show off their prowess and they make sure that everybody around them knows it. If nobody is watching they might as well be at home jerking off to Canadian Sportfishing. They hate having their rigs get tangled or caught in trees because they fear others will think they suck. They'll throw a hissy fit when ever a fish gets off as they might not hit the 50 fish mark. Numbers are very important to them as 20 fish caught is considered a poor outing. The way their gear looks is just as important as how well it works. The back of their trucks or SUVs are plastered with stickers from Orvis, Patagonia, Sage or a sticker supporting the local club or shop. After a day on the river, they race home to plaster fish porn on the forums and reports often consist of "hammered them", "killed them", "lit them up", and "went 46 for 67". Their reports never have important details such as presentation, water conditions, and temperature. To them that’s useless information. They also love to correct other forum members on proper presentations and methods.
The Fairweather Angler
Often sighted during the fall and once the weather turns cold they hibernate for the winter and only emerge during the spring. All of their equipment is spotless as they only fish a handful of times. Due to the extended period of time off the river they can be found ripping the redds as they need to make up for the lack of fish caught. They often join clubs so they can be considered a true steelheader.