Step, step, and step again

img_1901-e1384977467882One thing I have often seen while guiding spey fisherman is that they just wont move. I’m not talking two-stepping here but simply working a run in a methodical and timely manner.  Under most conditions I prefer to move three to four feet between casts which has several benefits.

1) By steadily working your way through a run you will cover more water throughout your day than the person who only moves a couple feet every few casts.  Remember, we are looking for players, the fish who are aggressive enough to eat your fly on the first pass.

2) Constantly fishing new water it is simply more interesting and I tend to stay more focused as I move though a run.

3) We are not trout fishing – you will not find a steelhead river with 2-6 thousand fish per river mile, so covering water is the key to finding fish.


I do slow down for several reasons.

1) If I know fish are in a certain area and I feel that they are not willing to move far to a fly, I will slow down my pace and work the fly with different presentations.

2) If I feel a grab but don’t hook up I will cast back to the fish, trying a couple of presentations. If this does not work I will mentally note where the fish was holding and make another pass with a new, smaller fly.

dsc_0707-e1385752827440By maximizing the amount of water you cover in a day you will swim your flies through more holding lies. When searching for winter steelhead covering water can make the difference, it only takes one fish to turn your day around.

Fish Passage vs the Bottom Line – EWEB Looks at Alternatives to $45 Million Fish Screen and Tunnel For Chinook


The Eugene Water & Electric Board figures it would be cheaper to stop using one of its McKenzie River hydropower dams to produce electricity than to carry out much of a salmon-related upgrade on the dam that’s mandated if the utility wants to keep the structure’s power turbines turning.

The good newsThe utility still would proceed with the second major piece of the fish passage project, building a $12 million fish ladder that salmon coming upriver would use in order to get around the dam and continue up the McKenzie. Complete story here from OPB EARTHFIX: [LINK]

Not only will fish passage help salmon, it would also improve connectivity between Upper Mckenzie bull trout and lower river bull trout. [LINK]

LIDAR mapping of the dam and reservoir: [LINK]