steelhead books

Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Omar Quiroga, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. Omar Quiroga

    Omar Quiroga Member

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    As some of you know i just started fly fishing about two months ago. I decided to start going after trout in lakes so i can learn how to cast. The main reason i wanted to learn to fly fish was to target steelhead. As I am new to fly fishing i thought it might be good if i bought a book on how to fish for steelhead so now this is where i need your help. What ways can you point me to getting started as to selecting flies, and technics. I thought I should start with a book so i can do some homework so do any of you have any books you would recomend? Thanks for all your help.
    Omar
     
  2. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    Steelhead Flies and Fishing by Trey Combs
    Steelhead Fly Fishing (or words to that effect, sorry, I can't lay my hands on it at the moment) by Deke Meyer
    Dry Line Steelhead by Bill McMillan (out of print)

    Study those, then to add some flavor to the mix, get your hands on the steelhead books written by Bob Arnold, Doug Rose, Roderick Haig-Brown, and oh, some others whose names don't come readily to mind at the moment.
     
  3. Jake Smulkowski

    Jake Smulkowski Throwing hoppers into baetis falls

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    Omar-
    I'm a big fan of the "Advanced Fly Fishing for Steelhead" by Deke Meyer. I sure wish I could grow a decent moustache, because all of the nicest fish in that book are being held by guys with sweet ones.
     
  4. FLGator

    FLGator Member

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    There are two books that I consider essentials in any steelhead library:

    Steelhead Fly Fishing by Trey Combs
    A Passion for Steelhead by Dec Hogan

    In my opinion, these are the two 'bibles' of steelheading. Both are available through the Red Shed Fly Shop and well worth every penny.
     
  5. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    I don't think of Bill McMillan's book as a "how to book" as much as Deke Meyer's book, which I think is pretty good in that respect. Don't get me wrong, McMillan's book is fun to read, but it seems like less of a nuts and bolts type thing and more of the "zeitgeist" of steelheading using a floating line. Although I'm just getting into it, Dec Hogan's "A Passion for Steelhead" looks to be superb not only in terms of capturing some history and the emotional pull of the sport, but also as a how to book.









    p.s. I hear Magical Flyfishing for Magestic Steelhead is a must read . . . .
     
  6. Salmo_g

    Salmo_g Active Member

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    McMillan's book might be the "zeitgeist" of steelheading, but in the final analysis, that's how I catch them, whether the line floats, sinks, or exists only in my imagination. It's definately how to, but requires more than a single reading. Ommmm . . . .
     
  7. o mykiss

    o mykiss Active Member

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    Maybe . . . I may not have the necessary attention span for the "how to" elements of Dry Line Steelheading to sink in, but I have to admit it's been a while since I've read it and with more experience under my belt it might be easier for me to translate what he writes to actual fishing. But the original poster said he is brand new to steelhead fishing with a fly, and I don't think it's the best book for someone brand new to the sport. I mean, I've read the grease line essay probably a half dozen times and I'm still not entirely sure what it means. It's a moot point, I suppose, since the book is out of print. (But now you've inspired me to re-read it . . . after I finish A Passion for Steelhead.:thumb: )
     
  8. buford

    buford Member

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    Don't forget: Enos Bradner/Northwest Angling-a bit dated, but hey-the fish don't know it! Great read.
    John Fennelly-Steelhead Paradise
    Steve Raymond-Steelhead Country


    buford
     
  9. Charles Sullivan

    Charles Sullivan dreaming through the come down

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    Don't buy a book first. Search for the discussions here on steelhead holding water. Then go buy a book. I think that the Greg Thomas' book Flyfishing Washington is more important than any how to book.
    Fishing steelhead is easy if you are fishing where they are. I have never seen steelhead water put in words better than how I've seen it here. It just takes a little work.

    Go red Sox,
    cds
     
  10. shawn k

    shawn k Member

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    i would suggest that you get a copy of the new lani waller video called lani wallers steelhead legacy.
     
  11. cuponoodle breakfast

    cuponoodle breakfast Active Member

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    "Flyfishing for Summer Steelhead" by John Shewey and Forrest Maxwell. It gets to the point without a bunch of fluff.
     
  12. Preston

    Preston Active Member

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    While I'd usually be the last one to recommend a DVD over a book, Lani Waller's Steelhead Legacy does have a couple of things going for it. The first disc of the two-disc set offers all three of the hour-long programs which Lani made for 3M/Scientific Anglers in the '80s (and which have not been available for a number of years now). Fly Fishing for Pacific Steelhead covers all of the basics, Advanced Fly Fishing for Pacific Steelhead goes into more advanced techniques and Fly Fishing for Trophy Steelhead takes him to BC for the big'uns (I remember reading somewhere how many miles of film it took to get that great shot of a big steelhead taking a Waller Waker on the surface). Although these programs are over twenty years old, the information presented is as valid today as it was then. On the second disc Lani updates the changes in steelhead techniques that have taken place in the last twenty-plus years and and talks about what fly fishing for steelhead has meant to him.

    For books that offer a better understanding of the mystique of steelheading (as opposed to nuts and bolts technique), I'd recommend almost anything by Steve Raymond, Bob Arnold or, of course, the incomparable Roderick L. Haig-Brown.
     
  13. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Lots of opinions, lots of options... And of course I have to throw in mine too :)

    From my perspective, I'd focus on a game plan and try to get it going ASAP. Prime summer steelhead fishing in the PS is getting ready. Based on past experience, this is personally the way I would have done it if I had it to do over again...

    1) Start fishing for steelhead with a 2 handed rod

    2) Read the Trey Combs book

    3) Go out the first time I can with a knowledgable guide

    4) Re-read the book and fish like crazy.

    In retrospect I ended up spending lots of time flogging water that wasn't productive, and not amount of reading a book was going to tell me how to read it. The biggest issue with steelhead is the distinct lack of positive feedback. You may be in good water, but unless you hook up, you'd never know it was any better than the fast crappy chutes you were fishing before... Having a guide re-affirm what you read is paramount, because without lots of time on the water, spotting the right kind of holding water is tough... Guys that I've gone with that were the best teachers were Mike Kinney and Steve Buckner. Mike is a *great* option for the S rivers, Steve a great option for the Columbia tribs... Expensive? Yes. Worth every cent? Definately

    In respect to the 2 handed rod thing. I'd start now. There are lots of value priced spey rods and if you have any kind of do it yourself ness, you can get into a Forecast spey rod for $100 and your time to build it. Free lessons are available from both River Run Anglers (Aarons shop) and All About the Fly (Mike Kinney, Ron, and Kristin). Some folks would disagree, but in my experience, I spent 1 year to many fishing a single hander and probably didn't fish all of the water available to me!

    As for books, I find the Trey Combs book to be the best of the lot. It's pretty much going to cover everything that a beginner will need to know and more. Furthermore it's usually pretty cheap online as a used book so that's another plus.

    At any rate, good luck :) it's a tough sport, but more than worth it to folks who fall in love with metalheads....
     
  14. Omar Quiroga

    Omar Quiroga Member

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    Thanks for all your input on how to get started. As for Knowing steelhead holding water I already know and have that instinct. I have succesfully caught plenty of steelhead. James I have a brand new never used sage xp 896 do you think it would be better for me to try and sell it and buy a spey rod? I guess i better read the post "spey or no spey".
    Omar
     
  15. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Please note, gear fishing for steelhead is different than fly fishing for steelhead... I was a pretty good gear steelhead fisherman, and had my ass handed to me for like 12 trips before I realized I couldn't fish the same kind of water....
     
  16. Omar Quiroga

    Omar Quiroga Member

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    What do you mean by you cant fish the same kind of water? Not Enough back casting room ? Just curious as to why it is you can not fish the same kind of water if the steelhead are there. Maybe its just something i will have to pick up after going out a couple of times.
    Omar
     
  17. James Mello

    James Mello Inventor of the "closed eye conjecture"

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    Well, side drifting jig and floats or just plain old drift fishing, you can get the bait/lure down quickly in heavy water. Even with fairly heavy flies and dense tips, your stuff won't get down as quickly as a 1/8 oz jig, or a 5 bead slinky.... Also you can fish some pocket water effectively nymphing, but in terms of what you can do with say a bobber and float, it's not quite the same. And as for swinging, pocket water is pretty damn hard to deal with. There are some streches that aren't bad, but serveral boulder gardens I know about there just ain't no way you can swing a fly....
     
  18. KerryS

    KerryS Ignored Member

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    Read some of the books suggested here. It surely can't hurt. But, to learn how to fish for steelhead with a fly you need to be on the water. There is no substitute for time on the water. To further shorten you learning curve; hang out with steelhead fly fishers, ask questions and get them to take you fishing. If you have the means, hire a guide. Folks here can give you the names of some good guides. Books are good for giving you an idea of what is going on but they will not teach how to fly fish for steelhead. Get on the water.
     
  19. Marty

    Marty New Member

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    Books, DVDs, and a good guide are all great but the best would be to hook up with a group of guys that know what they are doing. Try to find a local club and get involved. I am sure if word it right you could get someone from here to meet up with you on the river to point you in the right direction. All of my friends are steelheader’s, funny how that works.

    PS get Dec’s book, the ju ju in that book alone will give you an advantage.
     

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