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K.W.Boozer 01-25-2007 06:00 PM

Steelhead Fly Fishing by Trey Combs
I just finished reading this book and have nothing but great things to say about it. I know it is outdated as it was written in the early 90's but I really enjoyed reading it. Not knowing much about the Pacific North West I found it to have a wealth of information. Some of the sections on how entire strains of Steelhead were forever lost due to the building of Dam's almost brought a tear to my eye. "Maybe they did but I will never tell" :) The best part about the book for me was learning a little bit about the various rivers and the history of there Steelhead. Along with the history of the fish was great writing on the men who chased "well still are chasing I hope" them with fly rods and the flies they invented to catch them. I found his writing to be a lot like John Gierach which in my opinion ranks him with the greatest outdoor writers ever. If anyone is looking for a great piece of writing I would highly recommend this book.


JR SPEY 01-25-2007 07:26 PM

Interestingly, I just pulled my copy off the bookshelf. After getting Dec's book to read I decided I wanted to read Trey's again, too, as I first read it right after it came out. Hopefully, some time between now and the end of April I'll have them both read. What I remember most about Trey's book was the endless amount of research he had to do to write it. The chapters on many of the PNW rivers and on several of the most famous steelhead gurus were extremely well done and a great read. I'd sure like to see him do an updated edition some time soon.

Dana 01-26-2007 02:02 AM

One of the best books around. Highly recommended. I really don't think I would have gotten into steelheading if it wasn't for this book and Lani Waller's videos.

MJC 01-26-2007 11:58 AM

The Steelhead fly fishers bible. I don't think it is outdated at all. Just the sections on the various rivers and the anglers that fished them will most likely never be matched in one book.

Speyducer 01-26-2007 01:09 PM

Coombs book - just got a copy, and from the first read it is full of gems. Time doesn't seem to have aged the book much, except for the change in steelie numbers, some more modern fly patterns, and the change in lines.

Looks like will occupy a revered place in my library.


GPearson 01-26-2007 01:29 PM

Great book that I have read and re-read many times. I often assume that everybody has this book but if you do not yet it is a must.

sinktip 01-26-2007 04:46 PM

It is THE bible. I have heard nothing but fantastic things about Dec's book as well so maybe it is the New Testement :)

slow and low 01-26-2007 11:01 PM

Got mine today
I have been fishing steelhead on the fly for over a decade (I know it's not a long time). Checked this book out the other day from the library and am on page 135. A package showed up today and it was a book for me. My wife...a gem.

The book is autographed. Anyone know who James C. Vist MD is?

This book could have save me a lot of time and money.

flytyer 01-27-2007 12:17 AM

I cherish my copy of this book of Trey's, especially since he not only signed it for me, he also added a personal note with his signature since we know each other. About the only portions of this book that are outdated are the information on 2-handed rods and lines only because there are a lot more of both available now than when he wrote the book.

I don't know how many of you know this or not; but Trey wrote other books on steelhead fly fishing before this one, although they are not as large or extensive as STEELHEAD FLY FISHING. Each of those had bibliographies and quite a bit of research went into them as well.

I haven't yet read Dec's book, although I know him as well and used to run into him a lot each spring on the Skagit or Sauk before he gave up guiding and moved to Salt Lake City. I would expect Dec's book to be a good one though because he is a very good and knowledgeable stealhead fisherman.

babine bob 03-22-2012 02:44 PM

Interesting how i found this page
I was looking for Trey's address so he can sign on the back cover of my book when it is published. Neat, i am glad it happened as the comments are very interesting on his book after so many years.

We sold Silver Hilton in 98 and i have been back as a guest a few times but this year i am guiding on the Damdochax, a river i have always wanted to experience.

I live in Kelowna, bc, fish a lot but never have become an accomplished spey caster like the rest of you on Spey Clave!

Nice to be here like George Burns said on his 100th birthday, "it great to be here, at my age it great to be anywhere"

Elvez 03-22-2012 07:37 PM


Originally Posted by K.W.Boozer (Post 174186)
Some of the sections on how entire strains of Steelhead were forever lost due to the building of Dam's almost brought a tear to my eye.

Idaho author Cort Conley on the construction of Dwarshack Dam:

"There have always been more politicians than suitable damsites. Building the highest straight axis gravity dam in the Western Hemisphere, on a river with a mean flow of 5,000 cubic feet per second, at a cost of $312 million, in the name of flood-control, is the second-funniest joke in Idaho. The funniest joke is inside the visitor center: a government sign entreats, "…help protect this delicate environment for future generations."

sinktip 03-22-2012 10:49 PM


Welcome to the Pages. Don't be a stranger.


roballen 03-23-2012 03:05 AM

I agree with Poppy it's not at all outdated.. Even the gear that was available then was just as good as what we have today at catching fish yes even lines and sink tips!

I always wanted him to do an addendum to his section on "the great rivers" and do a section called " the lesser rivers" not focusing so much on the rivers and their current fishing but on the impact they and the anglers who fished them have had on the history of steelhead fly fishing.

Kory you are right the history of northwest dam building is very sad.. seeing pictures of some of the June Hog spring chinook that were once common in the Columbia is especially sad..

On the other hand without the dams we'd all be speaking Japanese that's not an excuse just a matter of fact.

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