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?
What Happens When a Steelhead Season is Lost? Derek Botchford, owner of the Frontier Steelhead Experience, says it best: “Similar to good health—we tend to take it for granted until it’s gone.”
“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.
Superstitions and fishing go hand and fin. Some anglers have a lucky fishing hat that has been worn for years; others never wash their lucky fishing socks afraid to fade the mojo clean off. A long-time guide on the Rogue once told me that he would grease up his gunnels on the ol’ woody for good luck – so the fish could just slide right in.
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 […]
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.
Many rivers and their native fish have nuanced fly preferences. Sometimes it seems to be based on available food sources or prevailing river conditions; but sometimes it just seems like the fish – or anglers – have … well … preferences: cheeseburger over hotdog. Idaho’s Clearwater tests both of the… Become a member of Swing […]
It is early January when I board the ferry crossing the Puget Sound. I’m on my way West to the coast, to the hallowed rivers of the Olympic Peninsula, to catch up with John McMillan and swing a couple runs. The trip is a welcome escape from Seattle’s traffic and high-rise construction projects towering over […]