The Complete Steelheader - John Larison - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 06:22 PM Thread Starter
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Question The Complete Steelheader - John Larison

This book just came out. Has anyone looked at it yet? Is it worth getting??
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 08:17 PM
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I'll preface my comments by saying that John is a friend and fishing companion. Still, I'm pretty honest with him (as I try to be with everyone), so here's my review.

This book is what I'd call a "major information" book - nearly 300 pages, well written, thoughtfully assembled, and covers a breadth of topics. It contains some "fishing prose" intended to draw a reader into the vibe of steelheading, but it is foremost an information book, and for that, is really packed with information. It covers a wide diversity of fly fishing steelheading approaches, from traditional to heretical, including the use of bobbers and crossover spin-fly methods that many here (like me) don't favor. It reflects the diversity of waters on which the author fishes - in Oregon primarily - and therefore doesn't focus overwhelmingly on the "big broad northern river" perspective that has pervaded the media's long-standing bias in presenting western steelheading. John also lived in GL steelhead country for a short spell, uses both single and two handers, and pursues steelhead both by feel and by sight, all of which allow him to present a very broad-ranging and sometimes challenging perspective (example - the chapter on Conservation is headed by a photo of an angler with a dead hatchery fish - kill 'em all!). The fly plates are the major weakness - but then again - how many egg patterns does a REAL steelheader even need? I definitely consider it worth owning. It is an excellent complement to books by Combs and Hogan. For the beginner or anyone interested in an unfiltered but responsible view of the reality of steelheading, it is the best among them.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 02-29-2008, 09:52 PM
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I enjoyed the chapter on "dead drift dry fly". A good "steelhead fly fishing" as opposed to "spey casting" book! A welcome addition to my collection.
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