the guys who make statements like that are the guys who get butthurt watching guides row clients down the river who have never seen a steelhead river and put fish after fish on the bank that you didnt even know where there. nymphing may be simple in concept (wait , doesnt a wet fly swing seem simple enough?) but it still comes down to reading water correctly, presentation, rigging, flies, technique and luck just like every other method in the book from skating dries to plunking sandshrimp. guys who know the water, the fish, the technique and the conditions get fish.
steelhead love dead drift presentations. period. and will take it over a swung fly/spoon/spinner and sometimes it seems the only way they'll eat.
there is no easy way to catch steelhead, just ways that are more effective. every fish i take on the swing is special because of that unmistakable grab and the effort paid into it. that instant connection to the fish after hours, days, weeks, hell months of nothingness is absolutely priceless.
but just the same, every fish taken nymphing is special because of the effort, time and technique it took to find and hook that fish. those first headshakes and the flash of chrome after the bobber down is magic and you don't have a pulse if you disagree!
all methods have their place, and i get tired of dudes who couldnt nymph up a whitefish rag on nymph fishermen or call it easy.
guess anything can look easy when you know what you're doing.
tapered leaders suck. build your own from maxima or p-line. you'll be happier, save money, and land more fish.
the guy who nymphs.... and swung a fish yesterday.
Take a newbie down the river and get 'em into one after another nymphing. 'nuff said.
I don't care how you fish. Just knew someone would get their 'uns all bunched up with a simple comment. Getting down to fish with a sunk fly and tips is 100x more difficult than adding the correct amount of lead and feeding line to it. Most nymphing with a guide is only about the cast, the guide rows you thru the slots and is really the one fishing. If you see it different you're giving yourself way too much credit.
I've been doing this for the better part of 20 years. I also know that if it was all about numbers I could nymph and catch fish at about 10/1 ratio over swinging. If you want to talk numbers you can just PM me.
Again, I don't care how someone else fishes. Just pointing out some truths regarding steelhead fishing.