Some new steelheaders take years to leave their newbie status -- partly because they don't fish enough to improve. And partly because steelhead are elusive enough and strong enough fighters that many newbies just don't get many chances to fight and land fish. Newbies generally need help with knots; spend as much time untangling line as fishing (seasoned vets, myself included, can do this too); don't manage their line well enough to get a good drift; and/or let the fish control the fight.
By tenure on Steelhead Alley, Brian is still a newbie. But today he left his newbie status behind by hooking and calmly landing the only fish of the day with the ease of a veteran.
Last fall Brian resumed fishing after taking an extended break and he tried steelheading for the first time. After a fishless fall and winter, he hooked and landed his first steelie in the spring. We met this morning and he quickly fixed his rigging on his own and tied on the chartreuse sucker spawn I provided. He didn't let the gusty winds tangle his line and he managed his line to extend his drifts. He kept the fly out of the snags and somehow managed to avoid the thousands of leaves drifting downstream on the Rocky River.
I was fishing downstream when I heard him announce that he was into a fish. We couldn't tell what he was hooked into because the fish fought like a bulldog,
|Newbie No More|
Brian smiled knowing he had both landed his first fish of the season and brought an end to his newbie status.