A Passion for Steelhead
A Passion for Steelhead is an instant classic, destined to fill the spot on every steelheaderís bookshelf right next to Trey Combsí Steelhead Fly Fishing. I was expecting this to be a good read for a slow winter day when the fish are locked down deep and itís too windy to cast. I didnít anticipate the impact this book would have on me. Dec Hoganís passion for the sport, his desire to learn and become an ardent student of steelhead on the fly, his aesthetic sense, attention to detail, enthusiasm, and commitment to stewarding this irreplaceable resource infected me. And I thought I was already pretty darn infected!
The book includes a thorough coverage of the sport from the life cycle of Oncorhynchus mykiss to steelhead flies, casting, presentation, reading water, tackle, etc.
Highlights: 1) Decís insights from his years as a steelhead guide are pure gold. 2) Looking at the beautiful color photos of his flies and reading his descriptions and philosophy of fly tying caught me off guard. We all know steelhead flies catch fishermen & a ball of yarn will catch the fish but Iíd forgotten how important the anglerís art is to the overall enjoyment we experience on the river. 3) The final chapter by Peter Soverel titled The Future of Our Sport broke my heart. In my lifetime the number of wild steelhead in my home rivers has decreased by 90 percent.
The only weak spot of the book, in my view, is the chapter on spey casting. If you can learn to spey cast from text and line drawings my hat is off to you. Iíd eliminate this chapter and throw in the DVD. Get Greg Pearson to do some water colors!
A Passion for Steelhead is a genuine contribution to the sport of fly fishing that will infect you even if youíre already infected!