Throughout the past year, with a steelheader’s thorough cast-and-step methodology, I have searched under every rock and crevice for a way to save money and keep the publication sustainable. While it is with sadness that I say we must move on from a quarterly magazine – which I know so many of you look forward to receiving four times a year – I am full of excitement for the next stage in the continuing adaptation of Swing the Fly.
Over the years I have received pieces of fly fishing advice that seem to combine both time-tested truth and a devilish elusiveness. Near the top of this list is: “Always be ready for the moment when a fish takes your fly. It can happen any time your fly is in the water, even when you […]
So if this is the darkest moment yet for Washington steelhead, and for those who cherish them whether for sport, sustenance, connections to our natural and cultural heritage, or all of the above, where do we go from here?
As we roll into a new decade, the options for short two-handed, switch, or even one-handed Spey rods has never been greater, and the interest in going short clearly on the rise. I have seen a consistent decline in the size of my “go to” rods over the last few years with lengths of 11 feet or less being regularly matched with much of my home waters. There are many advantages to shorter rods – both tactically and esthetically – that drive this preference.
Last January, Michael and I finally stood on the banks of the Rio Grande in Tierra del Fuego. Like always, we booked on a relatively short notice, but we made it. We even man-aged to fill our fly boxes with all kinds of differnt flies, from Wooly Buggers to tube flies, rubber leg nymphs and Sunray shadows. That took us a few long nights but we were safe for flies. That’s what we thought. There was one fly that we didn’t have in our box. To be honest, we didn’t even think about it. A fly which usually is fished for Atlantic salmon in Canada and has her roots on the Miramichi.
On January 28 at 6:30 p.m. PST (9:30 EST), Swing the Fly Editor Zack Williams will host a live event about rigging for Winter/Spring steelheading.
I’ve had the privilege of teaching several hundred new Spey casters over the last decade, and during that time I’ve had the opportunity to observe ways in which the new caster can start off on the wrong or right foot.
For me, nothing speaks more of steelhead fishing than a brightly colored, finely ribbed, steelhead Spey fly topped with a graceful set of hackle tip wings—a perfect example of form and function. These captivating patterns take us back to the days of Syd Glasso, whose tying would inspire untold scores of anglers to strive for perfection at the vise in an attempt to present the magnificent steelhead with something worthy.
Is there a unifying component that makes all of the great Spey casters successful in their respective styles?
A few great opportunities to get out this winter from STF sponsor Confluence Outfitters!
Working with professional photographer Jimmy Chang, Darkes goes beyond that to compile in this book the first ever collection of GL patterns (steelhead, salmon, brown trout, musky) by contemporary tiers of the region. Over 600 patterns and recipes cover the historically important patterns from well-known tiers such as Schweibert and George Griffith and Swisher and Richards as well as flies that are on the cutting edge from tiers such as Kevin Feenstra, Walt Grau, Jon Kluesing, Rick Kustich, Jeff Liskay, Dave Pinczkowski, Ray Schmidt, Greg Senyo, and Matt Supinski.