Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Steelhead Drift Fishing by Bill Luch

This book turned up in a box of books my mother gave me a while back. I'm getting ready to go steelhead fishing this weekend, so I thought I'd read it and pick up a few tips. The book is slightly dated, having been penned in 1976, but still contains some useful information for the intrepid fisherman. One example of how old it is is that Luch talks about carbon fiber graphite rods as being the next big thing.

Luch includes a number of diagrams showing how each area of a "drift" where steelhead and salmon may be caught should be fished, and how the fish use those areas to hide and rest on their journey back to their spawning grounds. He also describes the behavioral differences between summer and winter runs of fish, and share some tips on recognizing a bite in a drift that I think might make me a bit better at landing more fish.

One point that Luch stresses several times is how silly it is to spend a lot of time dealing with snags - when your gear hooks into an obstruction on the bottom of the stream. I have to admit I'm guilty of perhaps spending a bit too much time trying to salvage fifty cents worth of hook and sinker, or even a three dollar lure, when my time on the river productively fishing is worth far more than that. I've never been guilty, however, of one sin he describes - splashing through the water and scaring off all the fish to retrieve a snagged lure.

Most of the focus in this book is on fishing from the bank, or with waders on. I've done most of my fishing from drift boats, and Luch only briefly talks about that subject, mostly from the point of view of safe boat handling tactics. I think some of the information still will apply, however.

A quick, informative read.

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