Published Nov 6. 2014 - 8 years ago
Updated or edited Nov 16. 2015

Book review: Steelhead Dreams

The Theory, Method, Science and Madness of Steelhead Fly-Fishing

A very thorough introduction to fishing for steelhead in the great lakes area in the US by renown steelhead guide Matt Supinski. Covering tactics, gear and flies as well as seasons and locations.

Matt Supinski
Frank Amato Publications
Publishing year: 
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At first I was a bit annoyed by this book. It's slightly disorganized, has a pretty simple and almost clumsy layout and Surpinsky writes some very long and unbroken chapters, which combined makes some of the pages a gray wall of text. The layout and structure of the book doesn't help organize and break up the material, and when you add to that some outside contributions breaking the rhythm, the book simply didn't appeal to me at first sight.

But once I sat down and started reading, I slowly started understanding why a lot of steelheaders consider this book - and its 12-year old predecessor - a bible.
It really is a steelheader's bible!

It's well written, has a very personal perspective on fishing, is extremely thorough on its subjects and covers practically all aspects of fishing for steelhead plus a bit more. It's stuffed with good advice, and and it's a good read too, even for a person like myself, who haven't fished for steelhead more than a few times in my life.

Surpinski is a true expert on the subject and writes in depth and with great insight and engagement about steelheading. Through the book he covers history and science, the seasons, the tactics and the techniques needed to catch Great Lakes steelhead. There are some really interesting chapters on gear choice, and not least some great considerations on rods and lines - Skagit and Scandi lines in particular, very well explained by contributor Pete Humphries. It does of course also cover flies and lists more than a hundred fly patterns, not presented in the most original way, but still well covered. Several places in the text go in detail with fly choice, and touches upon some of the trends in steelhead flies on hooks and shanks as well as tubes. It's not a fly tying book, but has a whole section with fly plates and materials for each pattern listed.

...this book has convinced me of its merits

So in spite of its immediate appearance, this book has convinced me of its merits. Its enthusiastic tone of voice, many great photos and wealth of very specific and useful advice makes it a must have for any new and old steelheader, and a book well worth reading for salmon anglers too, as well as people into fishing with two hand rods for any kind of fish.


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