Steelhead Close Up - Photo: Daniel J. Sheets

Steelheading isn't for the faint of heart. Merely hooking up with a wild steelhead typically requires healthy does of patience, persistence and possibly a tendency towards obsessive compulsive disorder. These "fish of a thousand casts" don't come easily, but when they do the long hours -- often in lousy conditions -- and hearty effort required to bring a wild steelhead to hand typically breed some good fish tales.

Chances are, if you're a steelheader, you've got some good ones to tell. And Trout Unlimited wants to hear and share them as part of an effort to bolster its upcoming campaign that will seek to improve wild steelhead habitat and angling opportunities.

Trout Unlimited is offering $1,000 to the winner of its wild steelhead contest, which it announced yesterday. The winning essay will also be printed in an upcoming issue of TROUT magazine.

“We’re looking for good stories about wild steelhead and why so many of us are willing endure even the worst conditions - frigid water, rain, sleet, snow - for hours, even days at a time in hopes of catching just one of these amazing fish,” said Shauna Sherard, TU’s northwest region communications director. “Wild steelhead have captured the souls and imaginations of American anglers for generations. Surely there are stories to tell, and TU wants to help die-hard steelheaders tell them.”

According to Trout Unlimited, the ultimate goal is to share stories that, "celebrate our history with such a special fish and inspire the community of wild steelhead anglers to do whatever it takes to ensure that future generations will have the same, or better, opportunities to fish for wild steelhead as we do today."

Entries are stritctly limited to 500 words and due in by November 11. For full contest information, visit Trout Unlimited.