Read the last chapter in Dec’s book and you will understand what I am talking about.
Anyway, that little bit of info is pretty much the only thing keeping me optimistic these days.
I still hook a good deal of wild steelhead in the Puget Sound area but it is more and more often at the times and places you would least excpect.
I personally think the crappy sports fishing has to do with the unbelievable increase in fishing pressure in recent years. Same number of wild fish but with 4X the pressure means a lot less takers especially on the fly side. If you aren't lucky enough to show a fresh steel your fly first before bait, lure, other fly et cetera, than you are S.O.L.
I catch wild steelhead in those quiet places that aren't getting pounded. They swim 10 feet for my fly sometimes. Haven't had any fish like that during the Skagit/Sauk annual cluster#uck ever.
I used to think the ticket was to cover tons of water with a spey, and it pays off a lot, a good strategy and I love two-handers. However, I am more and more fishing with my machete, my patience and wishing for a 5' 8wt fly rod to hit the market.