Steelhead are rad. Sorry to have to go to the vault and bust out a 1980’s adjective there, but it really does fit, doesn’t it?
Everything about them is cool: The way they crush a plug or mash a swung fly. Their ability to cartwheel 3 feet out of the water and then burn 50 yards of line in a nanosecond. Their incomparable beauty. The incredible places they live. Pure and simple steelhead are indeed…rad.
But how much do you know about these amazing critters? Well, here are some random factoids to give you a better understanding of steelies…Click here to read more…
Santa Barbara, California (about an hour and a half north of LA) doesn’t exactly inspire images of deep canyons and emerald green water full of steelhead…but it would have back in the 1940’s, when the Santa Ynez River was home to annual runs of 25,000 anadramous rainbows!
But only a token handful of the great fish make it back each year now. The usual band of culprits did the river in: Water diversions, dams and development. etc. The biggest blow came in the early 1950’s when massive Cachuma Dam was completed, effectively blocking off the bulk of steelhead spawning habitat.
Here’s yet another prime example why fishing is so damn awesome: Our good friend from across “The Pond,” Richard Masters, fished the River Ribble near Lancashire in Northwest England last week. Unfortunately, the river was still high and pretty much blown out following a recent flood — and the fishing was lousy.
Masters says he threw hardware in the muddy water all day without success and then, on his way home the next morning, he made a quick stop along the river to get a feel for the new 5-weight trout fly rod he had just purchased…and then a funny thing happened: Click here to read more…
To commemorate Memorial Day, here’s a salute to one of the true heroes of this country: Major General Erbon W. Wise, 90, of Sulphur, Louisiana…a man I feel extremely privileged to have been able to spend some time with (I guided him two seasons in Alaska).
General Wise has lived a life that makes me feel like I’ve accomplished absolutely nothing. He put in 29 years of service defending this country — including slogging his way ashore and up Utah Beach under heavy enemy fire as a twenty-something year-old Army Captain during the invasion of France in June 1944. He was also active during the Korean War and Vietnam. Because of guys like General Wise, we are able to live the lives we have today and for that, we are forever in his debt. Click here to read more…
The vampire steelhead…known to locals as “pez diablo” exist in a very small handful of streams in southern Chile. They are rare, hard fighting, evil beasts that few have ever encountered. To read all about these amazing fish, check out my article in the current issue (April 2011) of Salmon Trout Steelheader Magazine