In episode 017 of the fly fishing show I interviewed Scott Baker McGarva, one of the most knowledgable and experienced guides in BC.  He covers his history as a fly shop owner, guide and manufacturers rep.

Scott talks about his vast experience fishing BC rivers including the Dean, Thompson, Bulkley and Morice Rivers.  He details the original intruder concept, how to twitch dries to entice fish, how to prepare for a Dean River trip the right way and much more.


Click below to listen to the episode with Scott Baker McGarva:

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Show Notes with Scott McGarva

06:05 – Dana Prody, a fishing buddy who helped Scott explore the Dean

14:10 – Jerry Wental was one of his mentors early on in his career

15:00 – Harry Lemire –  A mentor of Scott’s and a man who fished ankle deep water with a single hand rod (Here’s a video of Harry Lemire tying a fly)

19:15 – John Shewey tells the John Ben story of how we all forgot about the man who was helped start steelhead fly fishing

20:40 – Lady Caroline and Doc Spratly were big Thompson River flies back in the day

34:10 – The Squamish River is Scott’s current home river.

36:40 – The Vedder River is another popular Vancouver area fishery that is heavily fished by the gear crowd

37:20 – “Make Steelhead Great Again” – I had to put that quote in because it cracked me up

46:30 – Trey Combs Interview from episode #6 of the show

48:40 – The Bulkley Special fly pattern

52:15 – The Morice River Meany is a great pattern that similarities to a lamprey


53:00 – BC West was one of Deneki’s lodges and a place Scott guided – The Pink Dynk was another pattern

58:00 – Scott published an article in Fly Fusion magazine


You can reach Scott on Instagram at Uliwon here.  You might also try facebook to see what Scott is up to.


If you liked this episode and the steelhead tips, you can grab the Steelhead Tips PDF Quick Guide by clicking the link below.  This is a summary from the guest of all of the best tips in all episodes:


scott mcgarva

“Ankle Deep and 20′ ……. We catch so many fish within 30′ of the shore, it’s unbelievable.”

-Scott Baker McGarva


Steelhead Conservation Notes

Scott gets into a great rant on the issues with some people using a stinger hook that is set back too far on the fly and results in steelhead swallowing the hook and their eventual mortality because of it.

This goes against the original concept that Ed Ward and his gang had when they originally came up with the idea.  A big part of it was avoiding the damage that the large and long hooks would do to fish.

The original Ed Ward Article was first published in Tom Pero’s magazine and was the first publication on the intruder type fly.

We also get into some of the issues that are occuring around the Pacific Rim but I won’t go into detail here.  I will say that I love Scott’s take on the whole problem and all of the issues.

Additional Reading, Notes and Comments

Scott notes April Vokey’s tube stacker system that never took hold.  I wanted to note that here and follow up on it as time allows.  Do you have a link to this system?  Leave a comment in the notes below if you have a link.

Scott notes that Rodrick Haig Brown was a mentor for him especially as related to conseration and his ethic.

Post a comment below if you have a favorite Haig Brown book.

He talks about the Umpqua style of popping dry flies.  I will discuss and cover this with the next guest who covers the North Umpqua.

Conclusion with Scott McGarva

I wanted to give a big thank you to Scott for taking the time to come on the show.  If you didn’t notice, he was pulled off on the side of the road doing the interview through his phone.

Pretty awesome effort.  There is no question that this will go down as one of the greatest podcast episodes yet.  This is because of Scott’s huge amount of knowlegde and how he expresses it in such a smooth way.

And if you’re interested in the right spey rod for steelhead, Click here to see the Spey Rod that has helped me drastically improve my spey cast and find more steelhead at a super reasonable cost (You also get a free spey line if you pickup the Spey Rod here).  By the way, the link above is an affiliate link, which means I earn a commission if you do end up purchasing through that link.  It’s at no extra cost to you, and please if you have any questions related to this product, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer them for you.

Grab the Steelhead Tips PDF Quick Guide Here

These are the Best Steelhead Tips from our Podcast Guests!

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