What's the best Wa. Steelhead guidebook.

What is the most detailed guidebook for Wa.State Steelhead fishing. I'm looking for something that give details of putins and takeouts, camping spots, best flies etc.

It should also contain detailed maps.
I do not believe that a comprehensive guide exists. If it did, I would have it. In the year that I've been addicted to steelhead fishing I've done the following:

(1) Driven up and down the Skagit, Sauk, Stilly, and Sky poking into driveways, dead-end roads, etc.

(2) Searched thru these archives for directions for all the well-known places.

(3) Took two guided trips, one on the Skagit/Sauk and one of the Stilly.

(4) Fished with guys in this forum who know what they're doing.

(5) Beat my Gazatteer to death. I'm on my second copy already.

(6) Pestered the guys at Kaufmann's and Creekside for information.

(7) Bought and used the following books:

+ Dec Hogan's Steelhead River Journal - Skagit/Sauk
+ Greg Thomas's Flyfisher's Guide to Washington.

Thomas's book, in conjunction with the Gazatteer has been really helpful to me.

Good luck,


check out amato books, look for a river guide to washington, they should have one with all the launches, and species in the river and seasons.

Rob Blomquist

Formerly Tight Loops
You are dreaming about a book that does not exist.

About the most complete map of put-ins and take-outs is the Washington State Atlas and Gazetteer.

There are several other guides on Washington State, but none as detailed as you are talking about. And besides, for steelhead fishing we are not matching the hatch, we are fishing mostly attractor flies, so the "best flies" don't really exist.

And quite frankly I believe that the best book on Washington Steelhead is Trey Combs "Steelhead Fly Fishing" But it isn't totally on Washington.

And to fish for steelhead, you have to pay your dues in learning the river of your choice, or buying the services of a guide to show you.
Thanks for the information guys. I knew when I posed my question that I was asking for the impossible, but one lives in perpetual hope. The Amato books seem to be the way to go. I have found them, at times, to be inconsistent. For instance, the one on the Thompson is useful the one on the Skenna much less so.
TL, I have the Trey Coombs book, and I agree, it is superb for the breadth and depth of its information--none better.

For when sleeping I dream of big fish and strong fights.

Michael hit the nail on the head...

1) Washington Gazetteer with coffee stains and scribbles all over it

2) Worn out waders full of patches and black berry thorns

3) More days on the river

4) Keep a fishing log of conditions/results/notes etc

5) Pontoon or boat to get you from hole to hole
I took a 3 day class in January of this year on the Oly Peninusla - books are good, but 3 days with a guide was for me was great time spent - learned of a dozen or so productive spots for wading, plu more arm waving at a few dozen more, flies, casting, reading water etc.

Not sure where you are with skills - mine were ZERO on rivers. Shoot me an email if you want more information...I don't want to pimp the fly shop in downtown Poulsbo that ran the seminar :)

Jim W


Well-Known Member
They probably get a life Swimmy. Not that there's all that much to write home about in doing that. I don't understand why anyone would give up a good addiction for a little normalcy.