Book review: A passion for steelhead, by Deg Hogan

A passion for steelhead - coverIf you are preparing a first trip for steelhead fly-fishing, then you probably need a solid book about its particular techniques and finesses. Look no further: get Dec Hogan’s book “A Passion for Steelhead”, published by Wild River Press! And even if you are an experienced steelhead angler, you should still buy it!

Dec Hogan’s home river is the fabled Skagit River in Washington State, where he greatly contributed to the famous Skagit cast technique’s development, with the help of fellow anglers Ed Ward, Scott O’Donnell and Scott Howell. He has guided customers over 15 years in legendary rivers such as the Deschutes and the Grande Ronde (Oregon), and of course in the Skeena Valley. He is a very well-known and highly respected figure in the steelhead circles. He is now retired as a guide, and has chosen instead to help save lives through his commitment to the fire brigade in Salt Lake City, Utah. He does still get to fish for anadromous species in his free time, on a personal basis.

Dec Hogan displaying a nice steelheadHe has summed up his experience with steelhead fishing in this wonderful book, packed with off-the-beaten-track information and hints. I especially like the section on how a steelhead takes a fly, and on where to find big steelhead lies in the river. The section dedicated to flies is comprehensive with modern patterns, including Ed Ward’s Intruder pattern, and several other marabou flies. The end of the book is designed as a Questions & Answers section, where Dec summarizes the most common questions he has had to answer over the years. Great idea!

“A Passion for Steelhead” is bound to become a classic in the steelhead literature, if it isn’t yet already! Thanks Dec for your dedication and inputs to the sport, and for sharing with us your knowledge and funny anecdotes!