If you, like me, were driving down from Canada where you got turned on to swinging flies for Steelhead and, unlike me who doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground, knew Washington steelhead waters, and could hit any of them for a day or two, where would you go? I'm most interested in walking and wading on my own, but could be persuaded to spring for a guide if it would get me into waters that I'd want to come back to on subsequen trips through to Canada. I promise I won't move here and Californicate your waters. This is just a passing through occasionally kind of deal. Thanks And now a brief trip report: My wife and I (who actually got us into this whole fly fishig thing a few years ago) fished our way through Montana (Henry's Fork--spectacular, very tough, Bighorn (nearly skunked despite 8K fish per mile), Stillwater, Boulder River, Yellowstone) up to Fernie. We've been fishing the Fernie drainage for the last few summers but this year found it running high, dirty and convoluted after June's heavy rains. Worse, we went on to the Livingstone and Old Man in Western Alberta and found the picture-perfect cutthroat-overrun pools of last year washed out and horribly altered. Not knowing what to do, we packed up our trailer and headed out for this place I'd read about: Smithers. I understood that the Babine had great rainbow fishing. We got to Smithers to find that the Babine was closed due to spawnin Kokanee. The other big game in town is, of course, steelhead fishing. Undaunted, we went to Oscar's, the local fly shop, to hire a guide and get some instruction. At Oscar's, however, the told us that there are no guides for day trips. They're all employed by lodges and fully booked. About 200 phone calls later, we located a guide who took us out on the Bulkley in a jet boat and patiently taught us a couple of basic Spey casts. We fished a variety of water in wildly changing conditions and had a great time. Near the end of the day I hooked into a big, tough, smart steelhead. Closely following the guides instructions I fought this beast for about 15 minutes and got him to the net three times. Sadly, that third time he decided he had enough, turned, splashed a huge tail and was gone. If I'd caught that fish, I'd never have had to fish for steelhead again. Sadly, I didn't and now I understand Melville's Ahab a lot better. We went out with the guide again, this time on the Morice and had another great day with a couple of bumps, but that was all. Then we walked and waded around Smithers for another week and hooked one more steelhead for all that effort. But something about long casting down stream and watching the wake of a skated dry keeps you focused, because, after all, didn't Ahab see Moby Dick one more time?