STEELHEAD STUDIES (Great Reads for Fun & Success)

Trinity River Float

Sweet September- Misty morning commute

Often referred to as the ultimate fly fishing challenge, Steelhead have a way of captivating those who succumb to their legendary reputation and ability to kick ass; to some, from the very first encounter, becoming a lifelong addiction. Accepting the steelheading challenge is like a double edge sward, exciting yet at the same time daunting. “How do I learn to fish for steelhead,” is a question we often hear, especially throughout the fall-winter seasons. It has been our experiences there is no better way to learn and peruse steelhead than wader up string up and go fishing with a seasoned veteran steelheader or professional steelhead guide. On the water, hands-on experiences eliminate much of the guesswork and help you excel and develop the skills that are essential to become a successful steelhead angler.

The hands- on approach may not be so easy, or affordable. Another resourceful and proven recommendation to broaden the steelheading learning curve is fuel the brain with literature; READ, and as much as you can. Why read? Isn’t steelheading like any other catching, simply get in the boat and chase the float? Well, to number crunchers, yes. To many others, new and old school, steelhead and steelhead fishing supports far more meaning spirit and sport than simply catching. It is a passion or, as already mentioned, an addiction, a committed all but religious worship with rod in hand shared by many other fellow anglers from the same fraternity, the mystic, the seasons, gleaming chrome perfection, haunting unpredictable behaviors, the hidden intensity and confidence while stretching a line and dissecting waters in search of the “sweet spot”, a chance and opportunity to fish and wade God’s gift of some of the most beautiful and inspiring rivers in the universe.

While the literary approach many not sound exciting as wading into a prospective run, it is cost effective and there is a wealth of helpful literature available, written by devoted steelhead authors, willing to share their experiences, past and present, that is enjoyable, informative and equally rewarding to help get you started and closer to landing your first chromer. Learning about steelhead’s background, history, life cycle and their relationship and connection with rivers, ocean and nature, is fascinating and should be a standard prerequisite for any steelheader. Ultimately it helps to better understand their habits, migrations and ghostly behaviors that are vital and key to steelheading success. Knowledge gained nurtures the learning curve on and off the water; the more you learn the more you also develop a richness of deep appreciation, admiration and respect for how magnificent steelhead and their environments truly are.

The following handpicked books are great reads that have immensely helped my family friends and I better understand steelhead. Some are current, some are diamonds in the ruff; emerging every now and then and sure to benefit all level steelheaders. (Snagged on catching an oldie but goodie—Check out Adams Angling; or many can be purchased at your local source: Trinity Fly Shop; Intrigued with one of nature’s finest and most elusive? Desiring to feel the sensation of a fresh chromer?
Fuel the brain and score what many only dream of.

Fly Fishing books

Steelhead History-Bio-How-When-Where
Ca-Steelhead-Klamath-Trinity Fishing—By Jim Freeman
May the Rivers Never Sleep—By Bill-John McMillan
Trout and Salmon—By Robert Benke
Salmon Reaching Home—By Tim Jay Brad Matsen
Steelhead Pale Ale—By Mad River Brewing Co.

Fly Fishing books

Steelheading Techniques & More
Dry line Steelhead—by Bill McMillan
A Steelheader’s Way—By Lani Waller
Steelhead Fly Fishing—By Trey Combs
Steelhead and the Floating Line—By Bob Arnold
Greased Line Fishing—By Jock Scott

Fly FIshing books

Steelhead Flies
Flies for Steelhead—By Dick Stewart-Farrow Allen
Classic Steelhead Flies—By John Shewey
Pacific Salmon Flies—By Cecilia Kleinkauf
Steelhead Flies—By Trey Combs

Fly Fishing books

Steelhead Classics
Bright Waters Bright Fish-Fisherman’s Spring-Summer-Fall
By Roderick L. Haig Brown
Anglers Coast—By Russ Chatham
Steelhead to a Flt—By Clark C. Van Fleet
Steelhead—By Claude Kreider

Fly Fishing books

Steelhead Periodicals
Ca Fly Fisher
Steelheading Journal
The Osperey
(DVD) Rivers of the Lost Coast

Fly Fishing books

Just Because You Should
I Know Bill Schaadt—By Ben Taylor
N. Umpqua River Edition—By (editor) Bob Wethers
Fly Fishing Gide to the Olympic Peninsula—By Doug Rose
Dan Callaghan’s North Umpqua—By Dan Callaghan

Straight from the local line-ups:
“Fly Only Waters” CLOSED (SEPT. 15) TO ALL FISHING (Re-open April 1, 2017)
Trinity River flows still up at a healthy 1,000cfs.. Higher flows have greatly improved water temps and both salmon and steelhead are beginning to make their move. Water temps in both the Lower Klamath and Trinity will dictate future flow reductions. Small pods of summer- fall chinook and steelhead are scattered, head to tail, with Junction City to North Fork receiving most attention. Louie-Louie Lk. is firing off for late season trout; cool temps inspiring lower lake fish to also make their fall migration into the narrows and providing good fun. Shorter days, cooling nights and fall colors are blending into a classic Indian summer. Step in with a smile and Get’em!

Fish release

Doug Noyes and Steelhead baptism release