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A Passion for Steelhead is an instant classic, destined to fill the spot on every steelheader’s bookshelf right next to Trey Combs’ 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 it’s too windy to cast. I didn’t anticipate the impact this book would have on me. Dec Hogan’s 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) Dec’s 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 I’d forgotten how important the angler’s 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. I’d 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 you’re already infected!
 

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book review

I also just finished the book. I ordered it through my local library to try it out before ordering it as I live in the Great Lakes and was not sure how some of the things would translate. It took 3 weeks to get it in as they only had 5 in the whole library system, I was waiting like a little kid for Christmas morning for this book. Needless to say all the tips DO translate! I was hooked (no pun intended) It only took me a few days to finish it and plan on buying it to reference whenever needed. As the name implies his Passion is almost contagious as you read it. I enjoyed it not only as an instructional read but also as an entertainment read as well.
 

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I was one of those who preordered the book as soon as it was first advertised months before it was completed and eagerly waited and waited and waited... When I finally got my copy I was not disappointed!! As many have said, it is an instant classic. There is so much valuable information in the book that it will make every reader a better steelheader. Dec's enthusiasm, wisdom, clear perspective, and experience come through in a way we can all understand and relate to. Pete Soverel's closing chapter reminds us of the grim reality our greed and short-sightedness and how depleted our steelhead stocks have become as a result. My prayer is that restoration and preservation of fragile steelhead stocks can occur through habitat protection and a increased sense of stewardship in public and governmental entities.

Sorry for the repetitive post,
Todd
 

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First,I am too old to think we will ever get an "increase of stewardship from governmental entities"!
Second,I think we already have that with various public[I would use the word private] entities. The Native Fish Society....Wild Steelhead Coalition....Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition...Ecotrust, are examples of well run, caring, privately financed groups. These entities,however could use more private citizens as members/advocates/volunteers and contributors of funds!!

Beau
 

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First,I am too old to think we will ever get an "increase of stewardship from governmental entities"!
Second,I think we already have that with various public[I would use the word private] entities. The Native Fish Society....Wild Steelhead Coalition....Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition...Ecotrust, are examples of well run, caring, privately financed groups. These entities,however could use more private citizens as members/advocates/volunteers and contributors of funds!!

Beau
Beau,

You are right about it being difficult to be optimistic about a stronger sense of stewardship of our resources coming from the powers that be. And you are also right about how invaluable organizations such as the Native Fish Society, Wild Steelhead Coalition, Skeena Watershed Conservation, Ecotrust and others are. I am thankful for their work and advocacy for our resources. I also agree that our community needs to support the efforts of these organizations as our steelhead stock continue to decline.

I was fortunate to have read Bill McMillan's Dryline Steelhead book early on as this was the beginning of my awareness that there is a lot more to this sport than getting your next fish.

Grace and Peace,
Todd
 
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