Tips For Winter Steelhead Guides
By Chris Bellows
When you look for a guide, talk to him or her before you
book a trip. Explain how you want to fish, whether swinging flies
or nymphing with egg patterns and stonefly nymphs. Make sure
the guide accommodates what you, the client, want to do and
learn. Don't expect to catch many fish. Winter steelheading with
a fly is very challenging. The rewards are great, but they don't
happen on a frequent basis.
Being a steelhead guide in the winter, in my opinion, is one
tough profession. Hooking a steelhead is tough for even
experienced steelheaders, more so for a client that has never
fished for them. The rivers are often unfishable due to extended
periods of the rain. Guides first and foremost must be honest
about the chances of success, about the conditions that might
be expected, and that the trip might be canceled if Mother
Nature doesn't cooperate.
A good steelhead guide must be a good and patient teacher.
He must show the client what constitutes good holding water,
proper presentation of the fly as well as help the client with
casting, knot tying, and other skills required on the river.
The guide must have a respect for his resource, leave
spawning fish alone, but point them out to the client. He will
know something of the natural history of the area and be able
to point out animal species — such as deer, elk, and the
numerous birds that call his waterways home.
I know quite a few guides. Two in the area where I live
Dave Steinbaugh runs an outfitter business called Waters
West. He guides on the Olympic Peninsula, WA in the winter
months for steelhead. He also sells high quality fly-tying
materials via mail order. Dave can be reached at (360)
417-0937. He also teaches spey-casting to those interested in
fishing the long two-handed rods; which I use for the majority
of my winter fishing.
Another is JD Love. He lives on the banks of one of the finest
winter-run steelhead rivers in this area. And knows the north
coastal rivers as well as anyone. JD can be reached at (360)
327-3772. He can also instruct spey casting.
A trip with either of these guides will be an enjoyable fishing
and learning experience. Enjoy the boat ride, and don't forget to
take the black prawn.
[ HOME ]
[ Search ]
[ Contact FAOL ]
[ Media Kit ]
FlyAnglersOnline.com © Notice