The politics of steelhead: to nymph or swing? The debate takes a new form

If you  haven’t witnessed the debate between steelhead anglers, or at least heard of the disparity between those who nymph (with beads, no doubt!) and those who swing flies, then this is going to be either enlightening or a complete waste of your time. Suffice it to say that the debate amongst steelhead fly fishing people is akin to the age old rivalry between the gentleman dry fly angler presenting delicate size 20 Blue Winged Olives upon the surface of gin clear waters and…the others who may dead drift a San Juan Worm through turbid, high waters that should otherwise be left for another day.

To this end fly fishing can be an awful lot like politics, with the bi-partisan wrangling that goes hand-in-hand with that favorite American pastime. With the recent elections and the accompanying onslaught of dirty campaign ads still etched in our minds, the timing of this little nugget below is perfect. A tip of the hat to my friend Mumbles (not his real name) for putting this together.  Bear in mind there is some profanity, used only for the sake of cinematic authenticity. Any colorful expletives are merely indicative of the emotions that run high in real-life debates on the matter of nymphing vs. the swing.

Enjoy, or not.  If you want a refund on your 3:37, take it up with Mumbles.


  1. Bob Gilson

    Going fishing this weekend. Will keep that in mind.

    BTW, thank you for the decal!

    Best, Bob

    • Kirk Werner

      Catch something, Bob…and thanks for flying the UA colors!

  2. Dave

    Ummm.. Ok I’ll chime in here… Cause ummm… I’m guilty of both. In FACT!!!! Yesterday! But I did manage to get a 27″ hatchery brat on the swing! and a monster Squawfish on the indicator.
    Kirk, you’ll love this! I got my first native summer unicorn on 10/31/10 on the spey rod @34″ @ 14-15lbs. Yessir! nice big natvie/wild Willamette buck! Pics are up on FB. And it looks like I’m heading back out today and maybe tomorrow!


    • Kirk Werner

      Well done, Dave- 34″ of summer unicorn is SWEET! My position is that there is no shame in nymphing for steel, only in admitting it. 😉

  3. the goosemaster

    Funny stuff! There is nothing like pulling a fish out of the river at the feet of the purist. After they spent all day there and were skunked. The moral to the story is, always keep an open mind.

    • Kirk Werner

      Stan, Your words are filled with truth. One must empty their cup in order to have room for more of whatever it is that the cups holds. Time for a cup check.

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