Steelhead books [Archive] - Fly Fishing Forum

: Steelhead books

05-07-2002, 01:05 PM
Ok with a little bit of down time from Steelhead fishing I have been doing a little bit of reading. Wondering what books people have enjoyed that deal with steelhead fly fishing.

I have just finished Mist on the River not a bad book. And am reading Floating line Steelhead by Bob Arnold right now. I am enjoying the stories.

What are books others would recommend.


On a side note. I think it would be awesome to have a book of steelhead stories from the old timers. We are starting to loose them. How great would it be to have a book of just stories from guys like Johnson, McLoud, etc. Man I have been lucky to sit and listen to a couple of older guys tell stories about the old days. Man how I would love to have a book of them to read.

05-07-2002, 02:08 PM
Have not read the Bob Arnold book, but it's been recommended to me on several occations. The 'dry line' book is on my night stand. You can pick this book up, open to any page, and be delighted with the read.

For the 'primmer of primmers' you've got to have all of Tray Combs books. They're as 'close to' the steelhead ff 'bible' as you can get.

Harry Lamiere's (sp?) book on dry line fishing is also one of the classic 'how to's' in print.

05-07-2002, 03:07 PM
I wasn't aware that Harry Lemire had written a book. I know the Bill McMillan has a Dry Line book (forgot the exact title).

Guess I'll have to surf over to the Amazon site!:cool:


05-07-2002, 03:35 PM
Arnold book is fairly good, you PNW guys would relate to the rivers he discusses in detail. N Fork Stilly, Wenatchee.

Coombs books are musts

Don't have Mcmillan book, I guess you cannot find them now either.

Have to check the H. Lemire book out.

Best technical steelhead book on great lakes is "Steelhead Dreams" by Matt Supinski. Its a new book. No great bed time reading stories just good technical information. Will apply some of this information this summer on the summer runs. Always can learn something in the pursuit of these chrome buggers :chuckle: :chuckle:

I think we need more good steelhead authors like R.H. Brown probably my favorite. E. Schweibert also has some good steelhead fishing stories.

Fred can you write stories for us ?

05-07-2002, 05:57 PM
If you're looking for books by some of the pioneers, most of these are still available on the used market (e.g., Powell's)

Enos Bradner, _Northwest Angling_

Roderick Haig-Brown,_The Western Angler_, _Fisherman's Spring_, Fisherman's Summer_, Fisherman's Fall_, _A River Never Sleeps_,(plus some of the recent collections, such as _The Master and His Fish_)

Ralph Wahl, _One Man's Steelhead Shangri-La_, (and with R. H-B, _Come Wade the River_)

John Fennelly, _Steelhead Paradise_

Clark van Fleet, _Steelhead to the Fly_ (available, but very expensive)

The Bradner book is very easy to come by, pretty cheap, and wonderful reading about the old days in Washington.

Just about every steelhead fly angler owes a debt to Roderick Haig-Brown. Try to get some of his books if you enjoy reading about the essence of the sport.


05-08-2002, 08:53 PM
I have searched high and low for steelhead books and have never found a Harry Lemire book. I believe you are thinking of the McMillan book that is out of print. I have been trying to get my hands on a copy, but folks with a copy are not letting go.
However, there is a great write-up of Harry L. in the Trey Combs steelhead bible tha I would recommend everyone read.

Great post, my wife is always amazed at how many times I keep going back to read the same 4 to 5 steelhead books. She is always asking me if I get anything out of reading the same book over and over again??? I always reply that I retain something new each and everytime I read them.

Anyways, my recommendations:
1) Trey Comb's Steelhead Bible
2) Bob Arnold Dry Line book
3) Deke Meyers - Advanced Steelhead Methods
4) Bob Arnold's -- Steelhead Waters
5) Steve Raymond's -- Steelhead Country.

I would probably have McMillan's book in the top 5, but I can't find a copy to read. :mad: :mad:


05-08-2002, 09:17 PM
I'm just wondering if any of you guys have had the opportunity to check out the new book by John Shewey (I think!) on tying spey flies. The blurb on the book in a magazine I was reading sounded interesting.


05-08-2002, 09:46 PM
Thank God someone finally mentioned Steelhead Country, in fact all of Raymond's books are must reads with Steelhead Country and The Year of the Angler being the best of the bunch.

Steelhead Water was my steelhead flyfishing primer and it is to that book I owe much of my passion...Steelhad and the Floating Line is a good read as well.

Arnold also wrote Country/City: A Year at the River. Although Iwas at first disapointed as there was very little talk of any fishing in the book but for those who enjoy Arnold's wit, it is a very good read as also.

The Bill McMillian book Dry Line Steelhead is a wealth of information and is full of McMillian's excellent photographey and the man is truly a great writer. Sadly it is out of print and I found my copy on Ebay, for $5. :D

Other excellent books that are must have for the steelheader are Come Wade the River which is a collection of Ralph Wahl's monumental photography plus Steelhead Shangri-La and well, there are so many others!!!

05-09-2002, 06:20 AM
I have to find the Mcmillan book somewheres. Could of bought it 10 years ago but I did not, dummy.

A great book no one mentioned:

Greased Line Fishing for Salmon (and Steelhead) - Jock Scott, Introduction by Bill McMillan

Great technical book and it available from Amato Publications for $ 10 in paperpack.

Have to get Steelhead Country

05-09-2002, 10:39 PM
One of the more interesting books I have run across, in addition to the previous mentioned is Angler's Coast by Russell Chatham. This is A book chronicling the early (60's/70's) history of Northern California Salmon/ Steelhead Flyfishing.

A whole chapter is devoted to Bill Schaddt, one of the original Steelhead bums. The development of the shooting heads by members of The Golden Gate Casting Club, and lots of other goodies.


05-10-2002, 02:38 PM
Many thanks, JD, for mentioning Chatham's _The Angler's Coast_. I'd forgotten that I was looking for this, and, with your reminder, ordered it forthwith. It's still readily available used from Amazon (and, I suppose, other used book sellers).

PM Flyfisher wonders why no one had mentioned _Greased Line Fishing for Salmon [and Steelhead]_. I think that's because we thought the intent of the thread was to identify books by steelheading pioneers. Amato, when he published his paperback edition of _Greased Line_ added the [and Steelhead] to bring home the point to us parochial types that methods for Atlantic salmon often work quite well for steelhead. For that matter, for every book about steelhead fly fishing there must be over 100 about salmon, and most of these contain nuggets of information of great value to the steelheader.

The Donald Rudd (Jock Scott) _Greased Line Fishing for Salmon_ is a second hand account of the methods of A.H.E. Wood. While Rudd went to considerably efforts to describe the method as accurately as he could, he did not practice the method himself much, apparently. Arthur Wood's own description of his methods can be found in the Eric Taverner edition of the Lonsdale Library _Salmon Fishing_ (copies of which are still floating around).

Roderick Haig-Brown, mentioned several times above, was one of the first to write about Wood's method for West Coast species and certainly was influential, through his writings and example, on a host of creative and literate steelhead anglers the likes of Bill McMillan and Bill Bakke.

We steelhead anglers can find our roots and traditions in the literature of salmon fishing. While the steelhead literature grows yearly, there's a long and rich history to enjoy and much to be learned from the European and eastern North American salmon tradition.

Read and enjoy.



05-10-2002, 10:23 PM
When looking for pre-read books, try this site:

It basically searches the stock of several thousand aquarian book dealers world-wide...


05-13-2002, 01:05 AM
While this book by Thomas McGuane is not solely about steelheading it is one of my favourite reads. It ventures from Ireland to Tierra del Fuego and from The "Evil Empire" to the Dean as well as bonefish and permit in Florida. There is no how to stuff - for me, McGuane just seems to capture the essence of why I fish. I highly recommend it - the chapter The Sea-Run Fish just cracks me up and I must re-read it every month or so.

05-13-2002, 09:10 AM
Hey Kush,
Your right about McGuane's books and I think you would love to fish with him. Though I've lost contact with him for many years now I still enjoy his books and mostly enjoy the evolutionary path he has been on over the years. His love for fine cutting horses and his incredible talent as a blues pianist have melowed him out over the years but he still gets every ounce out of life. Back in the late 70's and early 80's we were nieghbors in Paradise Valley and boy was it fish hard and even harder yet, party hard! Russel Chatham, who is a good friend of McGuanes, lives out in the valley too and though he is far more mellow, his fishing stories run a similiar path as Toms. You might want to check that out.
Next time we share a beer on the river and if you get me going on the subject I'll tell you some TM fishing stories that even TM won't publish. Those old days in Montana were shoot en up, ye hah! and I bet you don't dare do this!

05-13-2002, 09:20 AM

Two of my favourite quotes come from Thomas McGuane; (at least I hope I get them right from memory) "fish don't rise in Greenwell cemetary" and "when I'm around home I fish all the time, so when I go on holiday I try to fish alot". If you were hanging with this guy - no wonder you are a full load! I can't wait to hear some of those TM stories.