As a guide or avid angler, you start to learn the river intimately and eventually figure out what works. What you are left with is “well… I know this works, but will this?” You find yourself down a long dark rabbit hole that is twisted and sometimes hilarious. The journey is what keeps me feeling connected and curious.
I believe people who chose to fish for steelhead with a swung fly choose more than just the species itself. It is about the connection with the river, with the community of stewards and friends, the moments of laughter and pause, the difficult chase at hand, the long days of slow fishing, and the new zest that the river life brings to you.
How can you better your odds, when the odds are against you? I always think creatively and have a positive attitude, and that seems to help with most anything. However, these helpful tips below from guides might find you thinking outside of the box.
I call his rods the John Wesley Hardins of the West… the true grit cowboy that prevailed
hearing your reel scream and telling yourself, “Be patient…be patient”? I have heard it as “the 10 second rule” or “wait for 3 seconds” or “wait for 1-2 feet of line pulling off your reel.”
What do you do when you flub your cast? Fix it with a mend, strip in and re-cast, or do nothing?
If you have a ‘player’ fish what are your first steps to your approach to get it to come back?
I asked fourteen EXCEPTIONAL spey guides from the most infamous West Coast steelhead rivers the same questions. Every guide was given the task of answering sixteen questions, some with a specific river in mind and others just as a general guide of steelhead tactics.
I have always been a two-knot kind of gal – a turle and a clinch. That is until I tried a non-slip mono, or an Orvis knot, or a riffle hitch … The list goes on. I gauge the knot based on the style of hook and go with the strongest knot I know. With that said, all of these expert answers below gets me thinking …
It’s the question we think every time we open our fly box; the question we think of when you have been fishing all day with nothing to speak of; the question we think when your buddy hooks a fish behind you; the question we all lucidly dream about: Does the fly matter?
“A skater, unless the zombie apocalypse is happening and I need to eat, then a dirty black leech with an orange cone head.” -Dax Messett
I asked fourteen EXCEPTIONAL guides from the most infamous West Coast steelhead rivers the same questions. Every guide was given the task of answering sixteen questions, some with a specific river in mind and others just as a general guide of steelhead tactics.