Dryline Steelhead by Bill McMillan - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 02:41 PM Thread Starter
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Dryline Steelhead by Bill McMillan

While I realize that this book has been mentioned at other times on this board, I just thought I'd bring it up for discussion once more. This is because when I look at my own perspective, attitude, and style towards steelhead flyfishing, McMillan's writing has hands down, been the most far-reaching and profoundly influential literature of anything else I have read on the sport.

McMillan's conservation ethic raised my awareness of the value of our wild steelhead and the concern we all should have of the negative effects of habitat destruction through certain logging practices, of hatchery stocks being introduced especially where sustainable native steelhead populations already exist, of overdevelopment near riversystems, of dams constructed with the promise that hatchery steelhead and fish ladders would mitigate for the loss wild steelhead, of overharvest by commercial and recreational anglers, etc.

McMillian's writings also brought on the realization for me, that appreciation for the amazing steelhead that I pursue and the beautiful places that our sport brings me come before being concerned about the numbers of steelhead I can catch. While I love to have a steelhead at the end of my line as much as anybody, McMillan talked of the simple pleasures and fluid grace of the dryline approach and a sprit of self-imposed retraint that makes success sweet. As a result, I prioritize joy in the method used before sheer efficiency in catching fish.

Just some of my thoughts. Anyone else been afftected similarly by this book or others?

God Bless,
Todd
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-21-2008, 10:34 PM
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Your comment; "McMillan talked of the simple pleasures and fluid grace of the dryline approach and a sprit of self-imposed restraint that makes success sweet. As a result, I prioritize joy in the method used before sheer efficiency in catching fish." means a lot to me also. I have been tempted to turn in despair to using more effective methods of catching steelhead. It can be frustrating at times, working through the runs without a touch while the bobber and shrimp crowd are catching all the fish (however, bait fishing disrespects the fish in my opinion).

But you are correct, by experiencing that exquisite joy in the cast of a long dry line across steelhead holding water is simply without comparison in the fishing world. The vicious strike of a steelhead is really the icing on that cake.

My favorite story in Steelheading is Haig-Brown's "The Day Everything Happened". Similar philosophy and approach combined with an appreciation for the fish, the river and the entire resource. Great stuff. I'll have to try to track down a copy of McMillan's book. Thanks for this. Tom

Scholars have long known that fishing eventually turns men into philosophers. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible to buy decent tackle on a philosopher's salary. ~Patrick F. McManus
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-22-2008, 02:59 AM Thread Starter
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Tom:
I appreciate your thoughtful response to my post. As you maybe aware Haig-Brown was a major influence on Bill McMillan. In fact I need to get a hold of some of Haig-Brown's books myself. You are right, there is so much more to our sport than catching numbers of steelhead. Spey casting has added even more enjoyment to this sport, especially during sometimes long stretches between fish.

Grace and Peace,
Todd
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 12:15 PM
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Dryline Steelhead by Bill McMillan is my bible!

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How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 06-24-2008, 12:22 PM
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Mine too

The ethic and technique defines me as a steelheader.

Ken Campbell
Bigfork, Montana
post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-03-2008, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well said..

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Originally Posted by caihlen View Post
The ethic and technique defines me as a steelheader.

Ken Campbell
Bigfork, Montana
Ken:
Well said, McMillan's philosophies defines me as a steelheader as well. I corresponded with him by letter in 1995 and he talked of writing another book someday on steehead surface fishing - that would be an awesome addition to our steelhead literature. I'd buy that book in a instant!
God Bless,
Todd
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 04:54 PM
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Dryline Steelhead, yes indeed.

I only recently acquired this book. Read it through once. I just finished reading it a second time. It's one of those gems you can pick every so often and enjoy the read as if it were the first. I need to find his earlier book.
Cheers,
Frank
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-08-2008, 10:40 PM
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I picked up an unread copy last fall from a store back east at the original asking price on the book; I just about fell over. Someone from here pointed me in the right direction and advised me of it's availability after I missed a copy for sale.

I love it and go back to it often, and now will have to fish the muddler a lot harder..........

One for the library for certain.

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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-11-2008, 12:31 PM
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Todd and others
Be sure to take a look at a book I just recently finished and really enjoyed on the subject, "Steelhead & the Floating Line" by Bob Arnold.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-28-2008, 05:56 PM Thread Starter
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Slimbo:
What are some similarities and differences that you have noted between Steelhead and the Floating Line and Dryline Steelhead? I will track that book down when I have the chance.
Take care and God Bless,
Todd
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-13-2008, 05:57 PM Thread Starter
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Many may already know this, but Bill McMillan has several articles published in the Osprey newsletter. Just go to the sponsors list on this site and click on the Osprey Newsletter. I am slow to learn stuff but was overjoyed to come across more of McMillan's recent writing. A very cool article is the one he wrote in the 20th anniversary edition which addressed the increasingly effective methods of catching steelhead versus the steadily decilining stocks of wild steelhead. Again, the issue of self-imposed restraint on the part of anglers came up and other key issues such as the 4 H's which have contributed to steelhead decline (hatcheries, hydropower, overHarvest, habitat destruction/damage). I just wanted to pass this on to those who were unaware.
God Bless,
Todd
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-18-2008, 11:28 AM
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Hey Todd
Sorry I missed the question until now. I'd say that Bill's book is a bit more technical/scientific in nature than Bob's. Bob's book does however cover most all aspects of the dry line and methods of fishing it in the books 42 "mini chapters". Towards the end of the book Bob discovers the Spey rod and it's virtues. I found it to be a good suppliment to Bill's book on the joys of the dry line. I've seen copies used for $6.00. You can't lose at that price!
slim

Last edited by slimbo; 10-05-2008 at 06:30 PM.
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 06:55 PM
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Bill McMillan Book Search-

Hello, All-
This is a timely subject for me. I've been searching for an updated "Greased Line for Salmon and Steelhead" by Bill McMillan(?) as referenced in the Fall '08Flyfishing and Tying Journal, pg.52. My search led me to the Dry Lining book praised by all of you, which I have since ordered. Have any of you heard of the redo of the Jock Scott classic? I'm thinking the author of the article may have his lines crossed. Cheers.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-27-2008, 07:50 PM Thread Starter
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Speyridius:
This book was printed by Frank Amato publications with a forward written by Bill McMillan. You should be able to find a used copy from one of the large booksellers online.
Todd
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 08-28-2008, 12:24 PM
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Red Shed has them in stock

Red Shed has them in stock


Ken Campbell
Bigfork, Montana
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