Discussion in 'Steelhead' started by Harry Richardson, Jan 30, 2013.
Am I the only one who didn't find the Trey Combs book to be "all that?"
I learned more in a couple days on the river with successful people than I have in a lifetime of reading..
No, you're not. It's not a "how-to" book. Neither is Dec's IMO.
The closest to just plain how to do it that I recall is Deke Meyer's Advanced Steelhead Fly Fishing, or something like that. Or as Charles mentioned, there is more combined steelhead how to do it wisdom in the collective posts of some of us regulars on this forum. If I were a computer whiz, I'd search this site and compile it all and stick it in the articles section.
I agree the Combs book won't help you catch steelhead, its essentially a book of stories about the rivers, flys, and individuals who helped pioneer the sport. What it is for me is a great source of reading enjoyment that helped give me a certain respect for the rivers and their fish. There is just something about Trey's writing style and story telling I really like. I find myself going back to certain chapters and almost always picking up something new i missed, I guess that's why its often referred to the Steelhead "bible".
The newish Lani Waller book, "A Steelheader's Way" is a fantastic book. Lots of how too concepts and figures, as well as wonderful stories and anecdotes. Lani's video "steelhead legacy" i think, though dated, is really good too.
You're not the only one. Salmo nailed it. Deke Meyer's book covers the basics about as well as can be put in print.
I don't think Waller's book does much to help a novice with "how to" altho it's been a couple years since I read it. Waller's videos are far more helpful on "how to."
What I like about the book is there are a lot of nice diagrams of holding spots for fish, and how to approach the swing for different types of water. Good visuals to have. I agree that the videos have some nice how to items in there.
That, right there, says it.
Harry, read all you can, learn the tools (lines/tips/flies) and techniques and focus on 1 or at most 2 rivers to learn. Then get a guide on one of them (or both if you can) for a day. You'll learn more in one day than years of exploring on your own will teach you. Another way is to join a local club. My club takes new members out all the time and we have some incredible members. Some guys fish 300+ days a year, some have been tying 70 years, but most all are friendly and overly generous to a newcomer.
I think it's great as a piece of history and documentary of the culture of NW steelheading.
It's a little light on the "how-to" side of things.
One thing I've never understood is why he doesn't feature any of the OP rivers in his rivers section. Why is that?
There was a time when the Puget Sound rivers were more worth the while.
Yeah, that makes sense. It just surprises me a little that there is no mention at all of the OP. Although he does spend a bit of time and space on Syd Glasso and some other OP tiers. As a pretty distinct region with its own steelheading culture, it seems like it could have been a great addition to the book. Oh well. I still think the book is a great read, either way.
Beer. Gas money. Asking questions. Observation.
All these are more productive than books. I would recomend finding people who fish and catch steelhead. Convince them you can keep your trap shut. Keep your trap shut, and go fishing with them.
Take note of where they fish. What the water looks like and what the substrate looks like.
Do the same whenever you see someone catch a fish. Note the spot. Study it. learn from it. Then go over and talk to the dude. Offer him a beer.
The goal of steelheading is to be on a river when the fish are there. Find water that holds fish and then present a fly in a manner that will get them to strike.
The problem is that you are not always given positive reinforcement and never given partial credit (2/3 = 67% = F). So if you can utilize positive reinforcemnet given to others you can shorten the curve. This is one reason people pay guides.
Personally, I think that Flyfishing Washington (Greg Thomas) state is a better beginners book than any other. It has run timing information. Couple that with beer, gas money, and a knowledgable angler who believes you'll keep your trap shut and you may get some locations down.
Presentation might be able to be learned by Meyer, Combs et al but if you show up when the fish aren't there or fish unproductive H2O then you will not catch fish.
Oh....... and keep your trap shut.
When Trey was researching his book, the steelhead fly fishing culture on the OP was "light," to say the least. Seeing a half dozen fly fishers on an OP weekend meant that some fly club was having an outing on the OP. Trey's book is about steelhead fly fishermen and the rivers they fished, which mostly wasn't the OP. Hard to believe these days.
Thanks Sg. That definitely answers the question. Interesting to see how those things change.