One of the easiest ways to loose a fish is to get so excited that you pull the fly right out of the fish’s mouth. This is no different for steelhead. Next time you feel a pull of a fish from a swung fly, rememer to bow to the fish.
What I mean is, instead of jerking the rod to set the hook, bow to the fish instead. Yeah, bow, like some cultures would bow to greet you.
Let me explain a little further.
Bowing to the fish allows the fish time to take the fly, turn and hook up in the correct position. Give it a try right now. Stand up, grab something that feel like a fly rod and practive bowing. Make sure you breath as well. The whole idea here is to stay calm in that first crazy moment when a fish makes contact.
Think of it as showing respect to the fish.
The moment you have with a steelhead is a special one, so start off by showing respect and hook up with more fish along the way.
Picture and feel the first take of a fish in your mind. Now picture yourself staying calm and focused. Breathe. Now bow to the fish, then bend back up. Now, enjoy the madness of an out of control steelhead on your line next time you hook up.