Kory has started something on the Quintessential Trout forum asking for good reads related to trout and to fly fishing for trout.
What are the essential books and good reads for the steelheader? What would you recommend and what has been most enjoyable and helpful to you in your pursuit of silver lightning?
My favorites include a lot of Atlantic Salmon tomes.
Anything with Trey Combs name on it. Still the "Gold Standard" even if 20 years old. That said, Bill McMillian and Deke Meyers aren't too bad either.
From 'across the Sea' Hugh Faucus' (sp?) book on spey casting was THE book until Simon G published his wonderful book last year.
Don't forget Steve Raymond, Steelhead Country. Bob Schmelzle of Seattle recommended it and I could really relate to his perspective and style.
Bates' book on Atlantic Salmon is a classic, even though it's a salar book the section on Bates collaboration with Syd Glasso makes it special and the patterns are gorgeous and influence the steelhead tyer.
For Great lakes fishing done right you can't beat the Kustich Bros book "Fly Fishing For Great Lakes Steelhead", a classic focusing on practical success without succumbing to the split shot / drift methods disguised as fly gear.
I second the Combs book, and my old "Dry Line Steelhead" by McMillan sits on my desk along with the other most influentials.
Thanks to a very good friend Fine and Far Off by Jock Scott is the first book on this shelf of top reads. Again a salmon book but very influential in both casting and fishing technique.
Both books on steelhead fishing by my good friend Bob Arnold, Trey Combs 3 books on steelhead, Steve Raymond's book, Falkus's book on Salmon Fishing, Kelson, Knox's Autumn on the Spey, Francis Francis, Bates (all of his salmon titles), Deke Meyers, Art Lingren, Haig-Brown (all of them), Zane Grey, Bergman, Younger, Chaytor, Hill, Maxwell, Traherne's little book on salmon fishing, Grease Line Fishing, Art Lee's book on the riffle hitch, Lee Wulff's stuff on salmon, and Bill McMillan's books and articles all come to mind as very useful to have in one's library and for the pursuit of steelhead.
I agree with the suggestions above and have 1 to add. I'm just now re-reading the Lanni Waller book and I really like his stories. Have any of you guys checked it out? "River of Dreams". Definitely not a how-to book, more in line with Steve Raymond's stuff.
How about a fiction book?
It's gotta be "The River Why" by David James Duncan...anyone who hasn't read this book has got to go out and get it TODAY.
Here are some books, many mentioned above, that I've learned from and enjoyed over the years. I've tried to include publisher and ISBN numbers where I could, as some of these are out of print. Also, I thought putting in the full titles of some of the books mentioned above might help those not familiar with the books track them down. Nearly all of the out-of-print volumes can be acquired from second-hand book sellers. My ISBN numbers refer to the books I actually own. These numbers may not match other reprints or editions.
AS = Atlantic Salmon specific; SH = Steelhead Specific; GEN = Mixed Bag
AS Ashley-Cooper, John A Line on Salmon HF&G Witherby, Ltd 1983 ISBN 0 85493 1430
AS Bates, Joseph & P.B.Richards Fishing Atlantic Salmon Stackpole Books 1996 ISBN 0-8117-0636-2 (elegant photos of elegant AS flies)
AS Chaytor, A.H. Letters to a Salmon Fisher's Sons John Murray 1925
AS Falkus, Hugh Salmon Fishing HF&G Witherby, Ltd 1984 ISBN 0-85493 1449 (much direct application to steelheading)
AS Green, Philip New Angles on Salmon Fishing George Allen & Unwin 1984 ISBN 0-04-799020-1 (very good analysis of greased-line method and modifications of same)
AS Taverner, Eric, Ed. Salmon Fishing Lonsdale Library, Seeley Service 1931 (this edition contains AHE Woods own description of his greased line technique)
AS Wulff, Lee The Atlantic Salmon Winchester Press 1983 ISBN 0-8329-0267-5 (again, much application to steelheading)
AS Phair, Charles Atlantic Salmon Fishing John Gull & sons 1995 ISBN 1-887269-03-7 (beautifully illustrated with Ogden Pleissner watercolors of Gaspe angling scenes)
GEN Bradner, Enos Northwest Angling Binford & Mort 1950
GEN Chatham, Russell The Angler's Coast Clark City Press 1990 ISBN 0-944439-12-8 (One of my all-time favorites -- fly-fishing for Chinook, Shad, Stripers, as well as steelhead)
GEN Egan, Van Rivers of Return Riverside Publications, 2003 ISBN 0-919537-59-6
GEN Gray, Zane Tales of Fresh-Water Fishing Derrydale Press 1991
(early days of steelheading on the Rogue and NF Umpqua)
GEN Haig-Brown, Roderick A River Never Sleeps Easton Press 1996
GEN Haig-Brown, Roderick The Western Angler Derrydale 1991 (get both volumes if you can)
GEN Leeson, Ted The Habit of Rivers Lyons & Burford 1994 ISBN 1-55821-300-7
GEN Ritz, Charles A Fly Fisher's Life Crown Publishers 1972 ISBN 0-517-503476
SH Combs, Trey Steelhead Fly Fishing Lyons & Burford 1991 ISBN 1-55821-199-5
SH Combs, Trey The Steelhead Trout Northwest Salmon Trout Steelheader, 1971
SH Finnelly, John Steelhead Paradise Mitchell Press 1963
SH Haig-Brown, Roderick Fisherman's Spring Wm Collins Sons 1975 ISBN 0 00 211584100
SH McMillan, Bill Dry-Line Steelhead Amato Publications 1987 ISBN 0936608-65-x
SH Meyer, Deke Advanced Fly Fishing for Steelhead Amato Publicatins 1992 ISBN 1-875-175-11-4
SH Raymond, Steve Steelhead Country Lyons & Burford 1991 ISBN 1-55881-126-8
SH Wahl, Ralph One Man's Steelhead Shangri-La Frank Amato, Pub 1989 ISBN 0-936608-85-4
This, of course, is only a very short compilation of the vast literature out there on fly-fishing for anadromous species. Just a personal list of books I've particularly enjoyed.
Hope this helps. Happy reading,
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