how do all you pros know if the fin is just not deformed ?
The same way you know that a fully clipped adipose is not just a deformity.
pretty lame some of you catch soo few you need to kill every one you catch regardless of the outcome.
Sorry, that you are so good at catching them that you have lost the rush, Jim. While I have only ever bonked a single steelhead in my 30+ years of steelheading on the fly (it was my first hatchery fish on the Vedder), I have never begrudged an angler for bonking a hatchery fish (that is why they are in the river). What exactly is the "outcome" you are referring to? That they are accidentally bonking a wild fish? Do you really think that the fish in Rod's photo is a deformed wild fish? Would that scar really look any different had the ladies actually clipped the whole fin off? It is most certainly a hatchery fish with a healed scar in place of a fin, it just has a remnant of the fin as well. You are free to release it if you want, but a hatchery fish is a hatchery fish, and you do not need to berate fellow anglers that bonk hatchery fish.
pretty brave of Rodney to post that photo , most others would have been hacked to submission.
You have done fine hacking him by yourself, but as he said in the original post, it was meant to start a discussion, not insults.