Trevor Covich shares his story of how came to be a full time Olympic Peninsula Steelhead fly fishing guide splitting his time between the Olympic Peninsula and Alaska. We dig into the story of how the Olympic Peninsula changed into a big swing game and how you can find big fish and quiet waters even as pressure increases.
We find out who Perry was and why the poke is such a key cast to know when fishing tight waters. Lots of great tips for the OP with a focus on fishing higher water with short rods and unweighted flies.
Click below and listen the Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Podcast with Trevor Covich:
Bonus A-Z Winter Steelhead Gear Checklist:
Sponsors and Podcast Updates
Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Show Notes:
06:50 – Creekside Angling was the local shop that held fly tying classes and is the place where Trevor got started.
14:50 – Trevor talked about the changes with Jerry French coming into the area. Jerry was on the podcast in episode 139.
17:51 – We noted Bruce Kruk who is the long belly guy in the upper Columbia.
37:45 – We talk about Nick Rowell and the Deschutes.
40:45 – We note the Air Flo FIST which is a great line that sticks to the water and is a great chinook line.
44:00 – The Guide Fly is Trevor’s basic goto pattern.
50:00 – The Dirty Hoh flies from Jerry French.
52:00 – George Cook was on the podcast in episode 131 – Trevor describes how George got the spey rod first into his hands.
54:10 – Charles St. Pierre was known as the doctor and would smooth out your spey cast.
1:05:45 – Waters West is the local fly shop in the area.
You can find Trevor here trevor_covich on insta or firstname.lastname@example.org
Top Ten Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Tips
- Get out on the river when river isn’t perfect to separate yourself
- Change with the change in the traveling lane
- Use a shorter rod to avoid chopping would with your rod
- Slow rolling fish are the biters
- Use the Perry Poke in tight quarters
- Start short and fish your feet
- Every eat from a steelhead is different
- Use unweighted flies with the right tip
- Fish deeper into the tail out – Fish 10 more after you want to quit
- Diamond chop – Find the chop, find the cover and find the fish
The Two best Spey Line Tips for the Op
- The 5 and 5 of T11 – These are the mow tips. These tips are 10 feet long. This is 5 feet of floating and 5 feet of sinking.
- 2.5 floating and 7.5 foot sinking section of T14 – This is a good all around tip for the OP.
Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Resources
Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Videos
Read the Full Transcript with Trevor Covich:
Click here: Trevor Covich Podcast Transcript to get the Full PDF Transcript
or continue reading below……..
And finally he looks over at me. He goes, you know, Trevor I, I suck at golf, too, but it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean I don’t like to play, you know that it opened my eyes to a lot of things. It’s like, you know, it’sYeah, you, you don’t have to be you got you just have to enjoy what you’re doing. You know, I suck at golf but every now and then I put a really good shot
Dave S 0:24
and that was Trevor kovas describing why you don’t have to be an expert spake caster to find success with steelhead fishing. For some reason I never get tired of a good steelhead jet. This is the wet fly swing fly fishing show.
Unknown Speaker 0:38
Welcome to the wet fly swing fly fishing show where you discover tips, tricks and tools from the leading names in fly fishing. today. We’ll help you on your fly fishing journey with classic stories covering steelhead fishing, fly tying and much more.
Dave S 0:54
Hey, how’s it going, everyone thanks for stopping by the fly fishing show today. Trevor kovitch one of the best known steelhead On the Opie is here to share some tips on finding fish during high water. This is one of the one of the best shows we’ve had and one of the first ones on the Opie so this is going to be good to dig into it today, we find out how to tell if a steelhead is ready to bite by how it rolls in the water. What diamond shop is all about in the best place to find fish that most people are skipping. This one is definitely jam packed with some value bombs. So please share it with one other person today. And without further ado, here’s Trevor kovitch. How’s it going, Trevor?
Everything’s good here. Just just waking up some coffee in Washington.
Dave S 1:40
That’s right. That’s right. Where are you? Where are you at Washington?
Well, I’m based out of forks which is generally where I run my my winter steelhead business. And then usually at this time I’m I’m up in Alaska, and of course through the virus and everything is going on this year. A lot of seasons have been canceled. sold all over Alaska So, so I’m kind of sitting this one out it’s the first time and and 17 seasons I’ve never I’ve never gone up so it’s a huge change so you just changed it to put it lightly
Dave S 2:12
well as the reason that you’re not going up there just some lodgest chose to close down in some Lodges are staying open.
Yeah, absolutely. And then like I work you know I work for a couple different lodges but the first one is ran by a native Corporation and they they really are. They stand they tend to be really cautious on these things. You know, and then also we have a lot of clientele that’s that’s generally older, the majority of our clientele is older so just just to play it safe, they bowed out, you know of the Chinook season and then the mid season also bowed out as well because there you work next to a native village in Canada And then, you know, and then the the village itself, the elders didn’t want a lot of outside folks coming in which which is understandable. So they, they, they made sure there was no operations running there.
Dave S 3:13
So there you go. Yeah, that’s that’s probably the probably the smart move given, given where we’re at things are kind of spiking a little bit again, we’re in.
It’s going up, especially in up there, you know what I mean? It was it was starting to creep down to where I thought that that things were gonna, that things were going to go and then all of a sudden said just it kind of switched and then they pulled the plug on.
Dave S 3:34
Yeah. Okay. Well, well, we’ll probably dig into a little bit of that as we go. I wanted to, you know, we’ll probably talk about I guess, the OP and I mean, you kind of split it between the OP and the Alaska is that pretty much how you do it.
That’s pretty much that’s what I do. Now. You know, I I used to travel around a lot when I was younger, and i i missed I miss being in the Northwest. You know, and I missed seeing my, my family you know, if you’re if you’re always traveling, you’re never you never seen your folks and then they they, every time you see them when you get off a plane, they’re physically older. So I eventually quit going around to a bunch of places and I started my guide business out in forks, which is a place that I’ve been steel efficient for a while. Like I was steel had been out here for for like seven price seven years, you know, when I was when I was a teenager and then and loved it. And so I just do that pretty much. Like November is kind of an off month for me but like I start guiding in December down here, and then it goes all the way through April. So it’s a it’s a wet it’s a cold, wet disease. That’s awesome.
Dave S 4:51
Yeah, yeah, that’s right. I was just talking to somebody yesterday on a call. I was doing a little coaching call with somebody. I’ve got another podcast that I do, and And he’s in North Carolina and he is fishing. He’s a guide out there for you know, fish in North Carolina but he’s got a friend that just moved out from Portland and he was talking about steelhead and he’s got the steelhead bug now so he’s he’s jacked up and especially now that we’re getting into a little summer steelhead action, that’s good, but well we’re gonna take it away. Let’s let’s take it Take us back a little bit. So we’re gonna get into the space and and kind of all the micro and everything around space, but how did you get into fly fishing start us off there. Well, I was
my father and my uncles were were outdoorsman. My dad was more of a a gear guy. Love the saltwater. My uncle, john kovitch. He, he runs the Cuba side of fly water travel. He’s the guy who really put a flier on my hand and he he would take my brother and I fishing for like a week, a week or two Every summer to some place and then I remember I think I was six years old when when I finally put when I finally started actually casting a fly rod my dad my dad would put me on his flow tube in the lake and you know he he’d fish around and then when you’d hook a fish he let me reel it in or or a troll me around or whatever and it wasn’t wasn’t telling met or not met but when john started taking my brother and I, we really started kind of hiking around and learning how to properly cast and present flies and stock fish and, and tie flies, you know, like, like john john was the guy who he bought me these these two Randall Kaufman fly tying books. One was a nymph book, one was a was a dry fly book. And so I just those were my, I mean, that was my instruction there, you know, and then I also did some through that there was a local fly shop that I where I grew up in is a call Washington It was called Creekside angling. And the owners Pete Corbett and Hugh passerines they were they would hold these fly tying classes. And it’d be me and like three or four other kids in there in the evening and we tie wooly buggers and Mickey fans and, and pretty much whatever else but it was just the basics. Pretty much it’s cool, then it kind of just went on from there. You know?
Dave S 7:25
That’s really cool. So yeah, you got kind of a family I mean, and john, your uncle is still see over it. Still fly water.
Yeah, he’s still fly water, you know, and then he’s repping a, you know, a couple other things as well. But what he what he really loves to do is, is take people down to Cuba, and then you know, his photography and his drone stuffs really good. Cool. And then of course, he’s got two sons, that her you know, kind of one just graduated once about two and then his son just got a job Up, up in North this year and one of the places that are still operating, just he’s he’s kicking ass so he’s just loving.
Dave S 8:06
There you go, you guys. Sounds like you guys got a little a little kovatch flyfishing dynasty going on?
Um, it’s, uh, it will No, it’s just it’s just, I don’t know if it’s in our DNA but, but it drives us forward. It’s really it’s just a fun. It’s a fun way of life. Yeah, you know? Yeah, not easy, but it is, but it is fun.
Dave S 8:25
Yeah, that’s, that’s cool. Let’s go. Okay, so yeah, I guess it started now, you know, well, let’s just take it back. So you’re kind of you know, you sounds like you’ve been fly fishing. You know, good luck your life. I mean, now you’re the kind of opia Alaska How did you know I mean, that’s it did you grow up out there up and
so, my father bought into this small piece of property out in a place called CQ Washington, which is right on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. And, and it was right on the CQ river and he went in on a piece of property with three of his buddies. He’s from Boeing. They were all Boeing mechanics. And they were all saltwater guys. And so we’d go out fish and you know, we got five in the morning, go fish now in the saltwater and then come back. And we’d be we’d be limited out by, you know, nine or 10. Well, then we had the whole rest of the day to do stuff. Well, the CQ river was right there, you know. And so my brother and I would blow up our float tubes at the time, and then we’d go paddle around here. And it’s like, it’s like a tidal slew. Oh, and then we go fish, sea run cutthroat, and then every now and then there was a silver and I remember one time my brother, he was skating. It was a stimulator and I think I can’t remember how old we were but and then a summer steelhead actually grabbed a stimulator and this one, we were just little kids and we still we had no idea what it was. We just figured it was a salmon. And then, and so that was kind of a summer thing. You know? And then one time, we had to go do some work out there. And it was in it was in December, and I went in you know, went up looking up the road and stuff like that kind of just looking for cutthroat trout and I was with my cousin. And, and I had a, I just had a trout rod. And I just remember throwing out there and and next thing I knew I had something, something really big on and it was it was just it was working me you know what I mean? And took me under a log jam came back out went back in the log jam. And finally, I screwed it up on the on the sand and it was a it was probably 1213 pound wild steelhead, well, it was a hand gnosis and I was sitting there, I was sitting there going and I think I was I think I was 12 or 13 at this time. And and that was the moment I kind of knew that I wasn’t going to be doing any more snowboarding You know, you know what I mean? Yeah. And, and so and so that was kind of the, you know, that was that was the spark. And so when I got my driver’s license, I would try and find any way possible to go out there. So me and a couple buddies would every now and then we did school, you know, on Friday and then head over for a long weekend. Um, you know, and then and then we just read fish for steelhead. And it was awesome. I mean, it was really good and that and, you know, kind of a common trend now. That river, you know, which was really awesome. Of course, it’s not so awesome anymore. It’s the point where it’s, it’s, I want to go fish it but I don’t fish it anymore. You know, just because it’s not it’s not even close to what it used to be and, and where my where my deck situated is right in front of like there’s there’s probably three nets there’ll be right out front, so It’s just like and so now it’s more of a vacation spot. You know, I’ve been taking my girlfriend and one of her friends out there and we’ve just been trout fishing lately but my main my main thing now is so I bought a house in forks and so I operate right here and I’ve got rivers a stone’s throw away from me so it’s really easy for me to go go take guys to wherever I want and then I’ve got a downstairs where I keep my clients cold and most parts so they can just roll in I don’t get to go pick them up at a hotel so it makes it really easy
Dave S 12:35
Listen, what’s the How is the the winter steelhead season there this year on the Opie
Oh, it was good. You know, every every year is different and then everybody’s gonna have their own their own outlook on what they would feel good is you know, the winter steelhead thing, especially the winter stick still out here, especially if you’re swinging to fly is is extremely tough, you know, just the fish move on in weird ways out here, you know what I mean? They don’t, they don’t sit still for long. And then you have you have the constant changing of weather and, and water conditions. Like, I’ll just, I’ll just, I’ll just give you this, this season’s example of what they’re so I lost the majority of January out here because of big water, you know, constantly blown out the I mean, there were pictures of the, the quilly like, and the bogus shell overflow and that whole lower end of the road down there was totally swamp with water, you know, and then of course, the power goes out, and then February comes along. February is a great month. So you get some mixed rain, good water conditions, and then March came along. And march was, was like it does sometimes there’s barely any rain, you know, and I mean, and so what it does is it stuffs fish up in certain places, and so on. And so depending on the time of year, and then the water flow it depends on kind of where I’m going to be with my clients you know and so the rivers change
Dave S 14:11
yeah and that’s the cool thing about the O p is that there’s a number of different rivers and depending on the condition and how things are going you can adjust accordingly right that’s exactly how do you find guys what percentage of guys out there do you find just for fly fishing that are nip nip fishing versus you know versus swinging?
Well it used to be it used to be really one sided You know, there was you know, there wasn’t many swing guys there was some some swing guys out here but not really swing guides, you know, and then but the majority were, were you got you got your gear guys and then you got nippers that would slowly infant then they would then some guys would do some swing. And then it wasn’t until like when when Jerry Brown ferencz started putting in a full campaign out here and started to be really successful. You know, and since then also still, you know, taking this beatings, like, like most steelheaders do, you know, but like, Jerry was the guy who opened my eyes to a lot of stuff like I thought it was a pretty good steelhead fisherman when I met Jerry, then Jerry, French was the guy who got me thinking about things a little, little differently. And then also, especially with the flight time, too, you know, he’s just, he’s, he’s, he’s the master when it comes to that kind of stuff. But he really got me thinking about, about where they’re sitting, how long they’re sitting, you know, stuff like that. But I would say that in the last three to four years, the swing, the swing contingent has gone up tenfold. Like now there’s like it used to be me and Jerry, and then You know, one or two other guys, and now there’s, there’s a whole bunch of new, you know, swing guides out here. And so and so that so the, the pressure kind of that, you know, it just gets, it just gets more and more pressure. And so I have to start doing things that are a little more crafty, you know, just to try and kind of get away from people sometimes. But every now and then you end up on a stretch of river and you’re all by yourself because everybody decided to go to the same boat launch on a certain river and some other places left totally empty, empty. It’s really cool.
So there were a few guides back in the day and now there’s more I mean, do you know all these guys pretty much do talk to all these guys? You know, 10?
Yes, no, I, I try. I try and have a really good rapport with people just in case. A You got it. You got to get along with people that you work around, or else it’s not going to be fun for anybody be if you get in trouble, and you need help or vice versa, like, yeah, it’s good to have friends and so You know I try and talk to everybody and of course I have a main core group of buddies out here that that you know swing flies that I share I would share information with and a couple gear guys that are they’re good friends of mine. But you know we stay pretty pretty zipper lipped when it comes to to share and that kind of stuff. Ross Ross Oh yeah. Somebody will be there the next day so that’s
Dave S 17:25
right that’s that’s good I had I’ll put a link in the show notes I had Jerry French on recently and I pretty much I’ve had a number of kind of the big names in the space game on you know in your your name that’s been popping around there. I just you know, finally got getting on here to talk about this. So that’s that’s great. I can’t remember who I connected with recently that mentioned mentioned your name, but you know, there’s all sorts of ways to do it. Right. You got the long, long, long bill. I just had Bruce Kruk on who was talking all about the long belly lines, right.
He’s the Is he the guy who’s in the upper Columbia.
Dave S 17:58
Okay, yeah, I look at this stuff on I think it’s either Facebook or Instagram that water looks awesome. One day
Dave S 18:06
Yeah, I know he’s a he’s a big and we talked a little about the Clearwater and all that stuff but I think all those guys I mean the Opie is such a amazing place I think everybody it’s on their list right each year they’re probably heading down that way so it sounds like and as it gets busier, you know, what are the tips for you know, I mean for somebody who’s out there trying to find more of a remote experience any any tips there?
Well, if you’re if you’re willing to get out and and, and hike around, if you’re really if you’re trying to get away from people, I mean, you might want to stick to maybe, you know, there’s some, there’s some smaller streams out here you could go look at but the thing is, is like you got to be if you want to get away from people, you got to fish in the conditions that are not favorable. That’s the one that’s the that’s the one thing that that separates the good anglers and the good guides from the From the weekenders, okay? Meaning, meaning some of my best days here, and some of the days where I catch my biggest fish here are when the water is extremely high, because what it does when the waters really high Well, two things have happened right? So the waters high and fishable chances are a couple days before was pretty muddy. Okay, meaning nobody’s fishing, there’s no nets and because all the logs get stuffed up in the nets, right and so nobody’s fishing. So once it gets back into shape, fish are generally going to be sitting in places because they’ve come in and they haven’t been messed with at all. The big fish thing what happens? So if a river is low fish, those big fish have to be in certain lies, right to feel safe. When the waters high it’s a it’s an open freeway and what it does is it sucks those fish really close the bank. And then some of the biggest fish have ever taken out here with clients have been, have been within five to 10 feet back when the water is giant, meaning like and when the water giant you’ve got a you’ve got a swing run that is let’s say it’s usually let’s say it’s 35 to 40 yards. Well now it’s 10 to 15 yards. Because if you go down too far, you’re gonna you’re gonna start floating, you know, so it’s that that’s, that’s why this this whole season down here is what I call my Super Bowl because it’s it’s the hardest it’s the hardest guiding I do all year just having to doing the mental gymnastics around the conditions and knowing where I should be at what time of year and then what spots are going to be swinging at this flow versus that flow. Okay, and then and then you’ve got guys who who you know who are fishing around you and then you you know what spots those guys like So like, if I’m on a, for example, if I’m on a, on a run of water with my buddy grace Drew’s Nick, like, I’m gonna be talking to him and ask him where he’s gonna be going versus where I’m gonna be going. That way we can line our days out and then not be stepping on each other’s toes. And then that way, both of all of our clients get good shots and fish so
Dave S 21:24
that’s great. That’s a good tip there so basically fishing the inside water. What lines would you be is if the water is really high, you know, and you’re talking about so the water blows out it’s muddy and then it’s just coming soon as it comes down. It is getting that the muds gone but it’s still you can only see maybe a foot that’s the way you’re talking about but it’s still
Yeah, well, I mean, it’s still raging so you can’t you like in a lot of people will be like will tell you that you got to go super light, which in some spots, you absolutely should. But the problem is sometimes when the waters when the waters up, it’s also got some more flow going to it. Okay, and so You kind of get a hold it in there and so sometimes I’m using I’m still using you know 10 to 12 feet at 14 other times I’m using five and five it’s, it’s it all changes with the spots okay? And then when the waters up like that and slightly offset I mean I’m using a foot a leader, we’re not we’re not going we’re not doing four foot leaders I rarely go I rarely go above four feet and then I’m a 20 or nothing guy. Meaning if it’s not 20 pound test, I don’t want it on your sink tip at all. Not even close because for a few reasons. First reason is like some of my clients are supernovas casters, right okay, so there it’s flying out there funny and then sometimes there’s gonna be there’s gonna be some knots that show up some that I’m that I didn’t see, you know, or else I would have to check it like every other cast or keep changing Their leader and official busta official bust 15 pounds with a win not but but what I would and so what I tell people or what I show them in the boat is I’ll take 15 pound test and I’ll take 20 pound test and I’ll tie when not in it, and I’ll try and I’ll go break this one and then try and break that one. So you prepare for the fish that you want to catch versus the fish you’re probably going to catch because the really big fish that are out here they just show up and you’ve got it and you just got to be ready because your next cast could be the biggest fish of your life and then you’re Fishing Guides life out here. You know, you just never know when it’s gonna happen. So so we’re prepared
Dave S 23:43
what so if you’re fishing that say again, you’re at the high water, you’re fishing a T 14 something pretty heavy, what and what line are used Are you are you kind of doing all the old PST stuff.
Well, I used to do a lot of that stuff I’ve been I’ve been gravitating and trying out some some ads Sa lines but it’s been it’s it’s pretty early in the stages of that I still I still like the the LPS t lines it’s it’s yeah you know it’s what I really started on as far as the the the shorter lines you know before that it was a it was a scheduled flight but the commando head is what what opened up a lot of different things for me especially on the single hand side you know to
Dave S 24:28
are you in are you what can you maybe you can just walk us through again just for an example let’s just think of that high water you’re on the OP and you know your fish one of those higher you know, the rivers way up at what rod are using wait and just talk about that just generally.
So So for the most part on the anywhere on the peninsula, I use a I use a 12 foot nine wait. That’s that’s the thing I used to use a 12 and a half but as I’ve as I fish more and as I get older, I start going on gravitating towards shorter rods, it’s gotten shorter and shorter and shorter since I started spey casting. So I’m going to use a 12 foot nine wait just in case because like for example in the waters high and let’s say you’re on the sole duck river, well the sole duck river doesn’t have these broad these broad gravel bars, okay, so you’re going over big rocks, you got logs coming out and then you’ve got, you know, a bunch of grass and trees. And so I want to be able to put my anchor way out there and I want to be able to make a fishable cast with with minimal effort. Okay, and then also went with the water being up being up and then being offset now I’m going to throw I’m going to throw a monstrosity, I’m going to throw a monstrosity of a fly just because I wanted to see it and then I want I want you to my clients to be able to hold their their flying long enough to where they can get a good look at it. And then sometimes that means also holding it down below you for for a few seconds because there’s there’s plenty of current and said some of these fish will be right next to the bank. But it’s all it’s all 12 foot tall 12 footers for me, but most of my clients will bring out 1313 two, you know? Or does the general
Dave S 26:19
Yeah, that’s the typical Yeah, so the advantage of the 12 foot versus a 13 What is the advantage there if you’re in that situation?
Well, you’re not going to be chopping wood as much. That’s that that’s the main thing. Okay, you got all these low hanging tree branches. I mean, every time you every time you smack your rod on it, you know, it takes the life of your rod down a notch you know, and then you know, and then you’re always wondering in the back of your mind when what cast is it going to be or is it going to be when you go sit on that fish that you really want to get in and now you’ve got half a rod. But But no, it’s mainly just being able to put your anchor where you want to okay with the with the with the shorter rock I can end in a shorter line I can, I can place my anchor exactly where I want to, I can poke way out. And if I didn’t, when I poke out if it didn’t get out as far as I want to, I’ll just compose come around again and poke out further. And then I’ll just do a roll cast when I’m when I’m really when everything’s really tight. But mainly it’s just doing it’s just mainly doing nice fishable cast. That’s the next thing fishable cast not not casting as far as you can every single time. Like it’s silly to me, it actually drives me nuts. It drives a lot of people nuts out here, especially if you’re if you’re guiding. Everybody wants to cast a long line. I mean, it’s it’s fun. It’s it looks super cool. But if you really want to catch fish, you’re gonna make good presentation. And you’re gonna you’re gonna search as many spots as you can.
Dave S 27:53
Yeah. You had that conversation with Bruce Kruk. He was talking about fishing. His water which actually it is advantage of casting way out there because there’s some of those absolutely are further out and he and he’s also a spray he’s at the spill rim and that’s a whole different thing you know those guys are just you know they just
it’s a whole nother can of worms yeah yeah well yeah exactly but you know here and I’m sure it’s a it’s a it’s a vantage up here but what people don’t factor in here is the traveling lane. Okay that the traveling lane is is just as important as the holding water and sometimes said they’re right there right at your feet. That’s where they’re moving
Dave S 28:35
right in next to the basically right in next to the bank a lot kind of within that
off your rod tip Yeah, right right up your rod tip and then the and then the the traveling lane changes. That’s the next thing whereas the river rises and falls you got to be able to to rise and fall with it. Okay, meaning the traveling lanes can be here at this CFS at 3500 CFS and it’s going to be over here at 1250 Okay, so if you don’t if you’re not on top of that you’re gonna be you’re gonna be out of it
Dave S 29:07
and how are you learning again you obviously are up there every day and stuff but if if somebody is new their first time the OPI they’re heading up to whatever river and and it’s one of these rivers that’s changing quite a bit you know how are they you know and how do you do it right the river changes how do you find that new that new Lane?
Oh it’s time time on the water Yeah, it’s all time on the water and it’s and it’s going out when you don’t you you don’t feel confident going out. Like I said when the waters when the waters messed up. Every day. You put your boat in or you go fishing, it should be it should be a learning experience. Okay, so you’d like I’ll be when not when I’m guiding for example, I’m not just watching my clients. I’m watching other parts of the river below me. Right? I’ve got binoculars as well, but I’m looking for rolling fish in certain places that I’ve seen him roll before you know And then like for example, you know, out here, there’s there’s a slower roll and there’s a faster roll. Okay? The faster rolls are the fish that are that are really moving, they’re pushing other other rolls or we’re Fisher are kind of like stuck in a spot and they’re just kind of holding and then and generally rollers are eaters, okay? Because the first thing about you know, steelhead fishing is knowing that they’re there you can fish all the best water in the world and if your timings not right, and there’s no fish there, you’re not going to catch anything. And that’s the thing that discourages a lot of people out here is they get to a great piece of water, they fish it they catching that and they go back the next day they fished again, maybe a little differently catch nothing and so they go You know what, there’s nothing here. Well, on the third day when they should have gone back, there’s probably a fish there. Mm hmm. You know, and that’s and that’s why I say time on the water
Dave S 30:53
time on the water. So is that the tip so basically, instead of instead of going out and fishing, you know, six different pieces of water maybe if you had to Three or four day trip just stay on that one section maybe that few miles section,
you should find a couple really good spots that you like and stick to them and then if you stick to them it’s like a you know, it’s like a slot machine you pull it out enough Okay, it’s gonna it’s gonna hit but but it really is time on the water and and the reason that I’ve had the success that I’ve had out here is because of all the days that I’ve spent catching nothing and learning and being so miserable, you know, putting gas in my truck hiking through brush, you know tearing my waders and then in unfavorable conditions and and the guys that are really successful out here the guys that put in their time there’s definitely some luck involved as well like like like most fishing, but but the guys that that do well out here the guys that put their time in and they and they’ve been they’ve struggled everybody out here. If you’ve ever wanted to fly has struggled There are guys that I know that are that that think they’re really awesome great fishermen and they come out here and they just they get whooped it’s not it’s not a favorable place but if you put your time and you learn like you’re gonna see some pretty cool stuff and not to mention you just look around you it’s a visual masterpiece there really is
Dave S 32:23
because maybe paint that picture well let’s get into the visual masterpiece in a second but I want to take it back to the Perry Polk right you’re talking about can you describe the Perry if Perry was a perfect Oh, who Perry was and it talks about described the Perry Pope for somebody who’s never seen that cast and while you’re doing
well, I guess the Perry poke apparently was was made up from guys that like you know, blew their anchor set, you know what I mean? And so they would just dump down. So a lot of times when, for example, if you’re trying to set your anchor below you and let’s say you come up a little too strong your and your flag goes whizzing by you stream, well, then you can just take your rod and then and then poke it straight down in front of you, and then come out and around and then do do your cast, you can do it off any side. You know, and then you can, you can sit there and poke your rod like three times to get all your lines just lined up right in front of you, and then just do that around and over the top and through and it’s and the thing is, it’s a, it’s, it’s a, it’s extremely powerful cast, like I said, and then it’s also a calf that doesn’t, you know, if you keep your hands tight, it’s you don’t have to do a lot of ranging movements. You know what I mean? You can keep everything really tight to your body and then the, the line will stick to the water. Which is going to create a lot of lot of load in your rod and a lot of bent.
Dave S 33:51
Yeah, that’s right, that that’s the thing when I think of it, I think, I guess I’m painting that picture. Again, we’re, I’m thinking of this high water situation. I’m plowing through the brush. I’ve done this steep cliff and I drop in and I’m you know, on river left right rivers going from right to left and I’m a kind of top hand up and you know I’m setting this thing up so I do say a snap tee or something and I and I do the do the Poke and get out there and then I bring it back and when you bring it back basically like you’re saying all this line, there’s a lot of line on the water that you’re pulling back and that’s that exact that’s a good thing, right?
Yes, absolutely. Because that like for example, like a big reason for like sketch lines, okay, sketch lines are thick. Okay, it’s to create it’s to you, so you got a lot of surface area, okay. And so that’s, that’s a lot of area for that water to grip your line, which is which is, you know, if you’re, if you’re, if you’re a bow hunter, okay, you’re you’re loading up that boat to make your kill shot pretty much. So it’s loading and loading everything and you don’t have to you don’t necessarily have to be sweeping fast with your rod. You know, as long as Your constant if even if you’re slow, the waters grip and grip in that line are really nice. Okay, and then your release point is the same release point an NFL quarterback is going to have when he’s trying to hit a receiver, way down the field, okay, it’s everything’s in control until that last that last little bit and it’s the last extension is where I put all my maximum effort and then you can you can also breathe out while you’re doing it. And I’ll just kind of, you know, they’ll give you that little extra extra juice. But yeah, you can punch out there but the main thing is starting short. Like Like all steel heading, okay, fish your feet, and then it doesn’t like your casting does not there’s no ceremony out here, okay, it’s Can you make official cast? Like I don’t care. I really don’t care what it looks like. Okay, you could do some weird crap and throw it out there. And as long As it’s where it needs to be and you’re mending when you have to and you’re holding it in and then you’re being patient being patient by if when the time comes like all the every eat from steel has gonna be different and you need to react accordingly you know and it’s really it’s really tough to keep to keep calm when when a fish is chewing on so
Dave S 36:21
So what you’re saying is you know you don’t have to be fishing out there in the situation a perfect you know turning that fly over just perfectly I mean you could you could pile it up and do it man I I asked this question occasionally because I know that you know would like summer steelhead you probably if you’re if you’re turning the flyover better and getting a beautiful cast you probably
totally different game yeah totally different. Yeah, it’s a totally different thing and then like said these are that Yeah, that’s a that’s a whole nother realm. I’m from what the winner thing is the winner is generally said it’s you don’t have to be you don’t have to be a rock star caster you It helps to be a rock star waiter. Yeah. No uncertain place, especially where you’re at out here. Yeah, or else you’re going to be really, really wet. But if you can make a manageable cast, you’re going to have a shot some fish.
Dave S 37:10
That’s cool. Let’s go see that. That’s kind of my dilemma. My dilemma is that I, I’m actually kind of a rock star waiter. I’m not a great caster, but I love summer steelhead, and I love winter, but if I had to pick one, I would rather I’d rather be in 90 degree weather swing and for summers, and oh yeah, I think I need to change it to either get better at casting or fish for winters war.
Mm hmm. No, and then it said it’s just I you know, I know a lot of different steelhead guys and they and it’s crazy. You know, depending on you know, where you grew up or where you started fishing kind of you like, you know, one of my buddies, his name’s Nick Raul, he shoots a guy loves that place and I’ve fished this shoots a bunch and it’s it’s a super, super magical place. That everybody Should fish Yeah. But if I had if I if I died and went to heaven I’d be on it. I’d be on a steelhead river out here somewhere or in BC you know, I really would.
Dave S 38:11
That’s it. I know it’s so cool. I love it because everybody’s everybody’s got their their thing so well
and also you don’t have to deal with rattlesnakes and ticks out here.
Dave S 38:20
Good point. Those are the Yeah, that’s thing in order to in the northwest, go down to the south go to the southeast or anywhere in the world and there’s things that can kill you but in orange or in the northwest, rattlesnakes are pretty much the only animal that can kill you.
Yeah, and then you know, you’ll have it you’ll have a random Black Widow around them. But for example, if like on the dish shoots, those rattlesnakes will buzz you from you know, 10 feet 10 yards away, like you go to the Grand Ron, the grand Ronde, I’ve always found to be a little different. I’ve never had a rattlesnake, let me know they were there. You know what I mean? I almost sat on one one year. I will I was hiking up a ridge I was setting up a camp for some steelheaders and I hiked up on a ridge and I sat down I looked right to the right of me and there is a rattlesnake going right by me he didn’t care you know, so I’d rather I’d rather No
Dave S 39:16
I’ve had it too well on the issues I’ve had rattlesnakes laying there in the next to the river on my thermarest I’ve had a rattlesnake go across my bed roll you know and that’s that’s
Dave S 39:26
sketchy but this is good. I love the rattlesnake tails and all that stuff but hey, I want to take us back again. So line so somebody is going you know, they want a line like we’re talking about a line for maybe these higher events that come up like we’re fishing what what is if they want to just go buy one right now? What is the Oh PST line they could get?
Well, they could just go with it. You know, they could just go with the commando head commando head. Um, you know, they’ve got some newer stuff out, but I don’t I don’t work for those guys anymore. Jen. Like I’ve had a couple guys bring some of the newer stuff up and I think it’s it’s more of an intermediate Which I’m not I’m not a fan of I’m a fan of it in certain situations mainly like for Chinook or certain faster water, but really, I want I just want a regular scheduled line. Okay? Because you know, it’s, you’re gonna be you’re gonna be at a depth that I that I know. Okay, and then also I would rather have a guy off the bottom than directly on it I mean most of those guys there when they bring their intermediate sout here they’re snagging up where the fish where the fish should be.
Dave S 40:33
Yeah, and I think about the like the one is that the fist right is that I think airflow that is that kind of a
Yeah, the fist is cool. No, the so like, and that’s it. That’s a Sylvie wine. And I remember I remember I cast one of the spay clave and then I sent a message afterward because an absolute rocket and talk about a line that sticks to the water. And, and I mean, you can you can feel like a Rock Star. Now I cast him but, but holding your line where it needs to be like, where I really like that line is is for Chinook. Okay, because it digs especially in the sun, especially in those deep tanks where where those Chinook really like to be. And they, you know, Chinook like fast and and slow presentations depending on where they’re at and how aggressive they are. But the but I definitely use the intermediate. It’s more up north during the schnuck thing than I do down here.
Dave S 41:30
Gotcha. Yeah, you just want more control and how do you so if you need to get it down? Are you mostly doing that depending on where you’re casting? Are you putting heavier flies on?
Well, I do I do. I do both. Okay, so I’ll set up differently. I might take I might do a couple man’s in a step. I’ll definitely put like a tungsten head on. But yeah, it’s it all depends on the spot, every spots different and then there’s like Every one of these spots out here, not everyone, but a lot of them especially in certain water with more bolder structure when a guy’s fishing a piece of water You know, I’m pretty sure I know where that fish is going to be coming from, you know, and I mean, I try and I try and lay it out for those guys that play it out. But, um but yeah, I would just, I you know, some of those some of those times I think it’s mainly when the water gets low is when I start fishing a lot deeper because those fish get into some deeper stuff. Okay, and then and it’s a lot of places where I mean the gear guys get to extremely easy I mean, they can just park on it and fish 12 feet in the water slow those fish have to stack and they got to be in certain places.
Dave S 42:47
Yeah, you know, and they get in spookier and stuff like that’s the nice thing about the high water is that and so when you’re efficient so you obviously you’re not fishing when it’s brown. But as soon as that color starts to clear you’re fishing the next morning.
Yeah, oh yeah, the like, you know we’ve caught them in six inches of busy out here. A foot foots fine two feets really nice. Like for example, the lot of the gear guys out here will like I mean they want to stall at four feet of visibility. Okay, and four feet four feets. Great there’s everybody’s got the the steelhead color they really like and I just want I what I want is I want to look at the water and just barely see the the the the boulders you know what I mean? That’s that’s when I’m feeling super confident because I know that those fish can be sucked and really tight. Right next to all those all that stuff my guys can just pound through water and not and not beat themselves up by trying to cast you know, country mile, right? But yeah, give me give me two or three feet I’m super happy to is great.
Dave S 43:56
Yep. How do you what fly are you putting on there? Well, what’s our how big Maybe 10 I know you’ve got some of your own fliers, right? You have
Yeah, no, I just I know I keep it I keep it really basic. And then of course, a lot of my clients bring their own stuff too. But I fish what’s just called a guide fly. It’s just, it says nothing special. It’s just a single station. And then with some hackles and then some flash on it and in different colors, and then I put some weight on some and then I, I put a lot of weight on others and then a lot of my keep unweighted, but like what I like to do out here I’m a big fan of controlling the fly with the sink tip, meaning I’ll fish mostly unweighted flies out here. And then I’ll put my tip on accordingly. That way, because said everybody, like, if you snag up on the in the traveling lane, it’s, it’s over, okay and then and the things that that will really also chapter guides, as is when you’ve you spent Time these flies and you got a guy who who you know will swing through and then he’ll go look up at the clouds on the hang down the flower gets stuck or he’ll step down or and then he’ll get snagged up and instead of trying to get the fly off or let me do it, he’ll just snap it off, ask for a new one. Right and so and so after guys done this a couple of times you start not wanting to give that guy your nice Fleiss
Dave S 45:26
and also then snap it off at 20 pounds that’s not easy to do.
It’s no it’s not easy to do most the time they straighten out the hook Yeah, on that and then I just have to change that but but I want to be I want to have a really nice fluid swing. Okay, and I don’t want to be I don’t always want to be grabbing you know on the inside either. And then there’s you know, there’s ways you can speed your fly up to to keep it cut off the bottom without putting putting slack into it.
Dave S 45:53
So that kind of like I mostly like leading the fly rod tip.
Well, it’s it’s it’s leading the fly And then drop into the surface of the water and then go and then moving your rod tip foot back out. So when you’ve done is you’ve just created a sail or a bow. Okay? So for example, if you cast out there you let’s say throw meant. Okay, sinking in there, it starts swinging, really nice. start swinging really nice, really nice, really nice. I’ll I’ll downstream and into shore. And then I’ll drop my rod tip all the way to the water. And then I’ll move the rod tip one foot back out to the middle. And what that does is it’ll just it’ll speed that fly right in. Especially, like, for example, there’s places where, right at the bottom, it’s actually pretty deep on the hang down, okay, but but there’s not a lot of flow. And I’ll do that. That same thing and sometimes I’ll bring it in sometimes I’ll mend it back out and then just let it kind of kind of go back and forth below me if I think there’s a fish down there. Something’s rolling.
Dave S 46:56
Yep. Yeah, that’s that’s a cool tip. Because Yeah, when you get enclosed You’re not going to have the flow and you can’t lead you can’t lead it with your tip. So that’s a cool, that’s a cool
tell you can’t do it. No. And so that’s why. So I’m really a fan of the unweighted stuff. But there’s, there’s always a place for weighted flies. And then also, you got to think of, you know, you got to think of your clients too. Okay? I have a lot of clients that don’t just straight up don’t like casting with flies, okay? It’s, it feels clunky to them. It doesn’t roll out as nice as they want it to be and you want these you want your clients to enjoy it while still letting them you know, do their thing, right? And you still want to have success if they’re, if they’re definitely not going to have success. I’m gonna go Hey, like, I’m just gonna say, George. George. I know you don’t like doing this but I feel like we’re gonna be in the game if we, if we do this, okay. And if they’re, if they’re smart, they’re gonna listen, they’re fishing guy. And then, but you know, other guys, like I said, they you know, they they been trying really hard to, to be a better cast and be a better fisherman and I’ve had this one guy, he, he was not good at all. He was really horrible a fishing and he’s been in he’s been fishing for like 878 years and I’ve tried to help him numerous times. And finally he looks over at me. He goes, uh, you know, Trevor, I, I suck at golf, too. But it doesn’t mean it doesn’t mean I don’t like to play. You know, that it opened my eyes to a lot of things. It’s like, you know, it’s, uh, yeah, you you don’t have to be you got you just have to enjoy what you’re doing. Exactly. You know. It really is like, I suck at golf. But every now and then I put a really good shot and then I drink some beers. So it’s pretty pretty good.
Dave S 48:23
I love I love that take because you know, like I say, and I’ve had Bruce Kruk and some of these guys on who are outstanding cat You know, they’re they’re casting a country mile. I mean, some of these guys are like Travis Johnson, right. He’s got the 200 you know? 200 foot or whatever. Yeah, you know this record.
Yeah, Travis is an animal.
Dave S 49:03
Yeah, Travis is crazy. And but the point is, is that sure if you want to go for that and you’re enjoying it, then go for it. But if you’re if you’re just out there fishing and you’re having fun and then do that, you know,
and one thing I like about Travis is not only is he he’s not only just uh I mean, I mean, he was a wrestler, right? So he’s, he’s, he’s built like a wrestler. He’s super strong. And you can put a long line out there, but at the end of the day, I he’s, he’s a fisherman. Yeah. You know what I mean? Like, and so he’s a guy, like, if you’re, if you’re fishing the sandy in Oregon, or you’re fishing on the chutes, he’s a good guy. I mean, he’s been doing it for a long time.
Dave S 49:46
Yeah, he’s been doing it. Yeah, definitely. So so anything else? I mean, we’re going to start to wrap this up here a little bit, I guess. Maybe we can just start off with the 222 which is top two flies, tips and resources that I like to dig into before we get out of here and you’ve mentionedn Couple of fly well you’ve mentioned your your flight is there another fly if somebody just wanted to check out a fly that they could find online or do you pretty much stick with it?
Well, I stick with I stick with my stuff generally but if there was one other person and I’ve already mentioned it would be anything that Jerry French ties for steelheading mainly look for example, the dirty Whoa, flies, right? Which is, you know, fly just develop back here on the whole you know, it’s just it’s a it’s a leech, you know, with a hothead on it, but it’s got, it’s got maximum movement, good hook placement, slight cone on it, and then and then a really nice shoulder. And so it has a lot of it as we’ll factor and like I was and that guy’s had an epic amount of success and I use that fly like he he, you know, he sells those through Aqua flies, right. And so and that’s a fly that you can that you can use for steelhead and Chinook, whatever, you know, it doesn’t matter. It’s still it’s still got the same appeal depending on what what a natural Miss Fisher you’re going after. What I mean, here’s a here’s an example like I remember one time, we’re fishing this gadget, and he had fished this piece of water through and he was remember he was reeling up and that and reeling up flies got a lot of wiggle and I’m, I’m across the river from and his his, his rod just jams down he goes hey, he goes Dude, you see that? And I looked over and then came right back again and just nailed him. It was probably like a 14 pound buck, you know, just super bright on the lower budget and But no, his flies are tried and true. They’re really strong. And then he’s he’s said he’s put more time in the wire than most people.
Dave S 51:59
Yeah. He’s gonna just make another no yeah. Jerry. Well, I’ve had some I’ve been trying to tell a little bit the story, you know, all these guys, I’m sure but you know, George cook told a little bit of the story and, you know, I mean, we’re all built on the top of the people that came before us right so you’ve got yes Harry Loomer and all
Yeah, you know that the godfathers of spay
Dave S 52:19
exactly how they got.
And depending on where, where you are in the, in the course of this history, like for example, there were the guys that that Edward and Jerry would would, I guess not look up to but that came before them. You know, like I George cook was the first guy to ever put a spear on my hand. Well, I’ve known I’ve known George since I was a little kid. Um, I just I went fishing with him last spring out of Isaac’s Ranch, which is a really cool place in eastern Washington, where he does some guiding Georgia. I love George
Dave S 52:54
George George’s name. He seems to be one of the guys I guess he said. Amy obviously in the That other older generation out there who, who else is out there other than Jordan, who’s at that similar? I’m trying to think cuz it seems like George’s name just keeps coming up when you talk about steel.
Because the thing about George what you know and so, you know, George is a rep but George is the guy that made that I believe that I believe God space fishing to really explode out here. I mean as far as people buying rods I mean George has been a salesman for a long time. He’s, I mean, he can kill anything that moves. Yeah. And, and he’s a good fisherman and he’s a king of the one liners. I mean, if you’ve ever spent around a time with George, you will, your mind will be exhausted after because he’s always he’s always pitching something or telling a joke, but He’s, uh, George is great. And like I said, I I would, I wouldn’t have touched a spay rod as soon as I did and tell. You know, I met George because George he’s come up to the connections Talk do we used to have these? Like they were called spade gurus they come up and help our clients stay cast and like another one of those guys was Charles St. Pierre. Yep. I’ve ever heard of that guy Charles They call him the doctor. You know, I mean, he’s he can he can line out your spray cast and really fix all the problems and that’s what a good like a really good spray spray instructor is gonna. It’s gonna smooth you out and George George can smooth you out and he can and he can sell your rod.
Dave S 54:32
Yes, right. He’s gonna cover so here. Yeah, if you’re struggling with your spray cast George might be a good guy to look out.
Yeah, George the good guy. But and I would I mean, George and Charles, I think are some of the best guys out there.
Dave S 54:45
It’s cool. Awesome. So So yeah, let’s keep on that to 20. So talk to so you mentioned a bunch of tests. But let’s think again, we’re fishing that high water The river is kind of coming down any other a couple tips that come to mind that could help somebody find a fish
well I’ll tell you that my two best tips are the five and five t 11 and a two and a half floating seven and a half sinking t 14.
Dave S 55:10
those are those are the two best tips that I use and then I of course fluctuate between weighted and unweighted. And that should give you kind of a a picture of the water I’m looking for.
Dave S 55:23
In great describe the describe that describe the five and five quickly and then the other one what
So, so I so I really like mo tips, okay, because it’s something I’ve been using for a really long time. So, um, so a five and five. So you’re going to have it’s, a lot of those mo tips are going to be 10 feet long, which was the point of them, right. And so the 10 feet long is going to make sure that your casting stroke does not have to change with having a longer line or a shorter line. So it stays the same, but you have different sync rates. So a five and five to 11 is good. going to be five feet of floating, and five feet of sinking to equal 10 feet plus, of course, your leader and your fly. Okay. And they’re also they’re all color coordinated. So it’s pretty easy to decipher. Because the thing is when people think about lions are talking about stink tips, it’s something that’s really confusing to a lot of people. And I’ve found that it doesn’t get any easier than that system just because it’s color coded. Like it’s been around a long time. If you can’t figure out that system. It’s going to be tough going forward. So but but but, and then of course, you’ve got the intermediate, okay, and the intermediates are nice, but I still I’m a huge fan of the floater, or the floating, the floating sections versus the intermediate tips, which are gonna are going to swing through slower and dig a little deeper.
Dave S 56:50
Gotcha. And so you had the the five, five and then what was the second one,
fdit was a two and a half. So it’s a two and a half foot floating section and then a second Seven and a half foot sinking section t 14 t 14. Hmm. And then like most of the water out here, you can fish with that tip, whether it’s deep or shallow, depending on what fly you put on as far as weight factor unweighted, and then how you set your caste up, where you How, how many times you men where you put tension on your fly, you know, until you put tension on, it’s pretty much gonna, it’s gonna drop. And then it’s also it also could be lifeless also, until you engage your swing. So but those are those are my my two favorite tips out here. Of course, the conditions changed to where I’ll use some really some much heavier stuff. And then rarely do I have to go lighter than that. But every now and then there’s there’s always a spot that comes out of nowhere where it’s like I need the lightest thing possible. Because I’ve wrote over it five times and five times there’s been a steel head there and then the sixth time I’ve decided to decide to fish it. You know what I mean? It usually doesn’t take five times but If I roll replaced twice and there’s a steelhead there, chances are the next time down there, I’m going to be pulling it.
Dave S 58:05
Yeah, that’s it. Okay, cool. So, in on those tips, just just briefly, you know, we do talk about occasionally about just actual, you know, fly fishing tip and sort of thing, anything else you wanna throw out there as far as like, you know, somebody on the water and not necessarily the you know, the tip that that was, those are amazing tips and tips, but anything else you throw out there that helped them get into a fish
or get into a fish? Oh, as far as tips, I would say probably fish a little deeper into a tail out than you’re used to. And how do you do that? This is this is really simple when you want to when you want to, when you want to reel up and head back the boat keep going at least 10 more perfect. And that that’s the problem is that is that most guys like especially after a really long piece of water like that, if the waters too, too long, they they’ll get bored. Okay, so they’ll start they’ll start being complacent. They’ll want to reel up they’ll they’ll, they’ll strip in a cast halfway through the swing. And then one thing, like for example, a lot of times, like the book boats will go by their name thing or gear fishing and then they pull up at a certain point because they’ll start getting really shallow and they’re gonna have to either go down a rabbit hole, right, well, the first place those fish are stopping is rats on top of that rapid so I would fish pretty deep into the tail outs. that’s a that’s a really good piece of advice that I would tell people that want to be successful.
Dave S 59:32
That’s good advice. So winter steelhead for winter still. Yeah, so when you feel like you want to get out just basically do Did you say 10 more casts or 10 more steps to go do or both? Yeah, both. Both. Yeah, don’t just stay in the same place but no, go. Go go into it. Go swing your fly into where the water really starts moving into the top of the wrap. Oh, yeah. You know, there because what you’ll notice in a lot of places out here is they’re really big boulders. Kind of at where they kind of the the next wrap will the rapid will start Okay, and those special they’ll hang right there. How I know this is that I float over and I see him like, I generally fish a spot and then I go float and I stand up and I look and, and a lot of spots I find out here places I just see you see fish and and that’s where you know they’re gonna sit. So and then you then you try and figure out how you’re going to fish it. A lot of those places are their gear spots, there’s no waiting. So you can anchor up and then swing out of the boat. I do that a little bit out here in certain water conditions. So yeah, but yeah,
so and in any Do you wanna throw one more tip out there for winter steelhead.
Dave S 1:00:46
What What is it?
diamond chop? diamond shop, find the chop. Oh, find the shop. Yep, find the chop was like there was a place on a river out here that I used to call the chop shop and it was And it was a really cool piece of water is really shall but the diamonds in the chop man they were just they were really aggressive and I mean and and fish were coming out of you know two feet of water. So if there’s chop on top, it’s like think of it as a screen as a as as cover and then and generally it’s a place where those fish have to stop. So yeah, fish deep in the tail outs, find the chop that’s a that’s the two the two pieces I would tell
Dave S 1:01:32
those are killer. Those are great tips for sure. And, and on resources. Anything you want to recommend is you know, no books, magazines, websites, anything that would help somebody if they’re thinking about the OP and fishing for winter steelhead.
There’s the you. You follow john McMillan.
Dave S 1:01:48
Oh, yeah, John’s awesome.
Yeah, yeah, John’s great, you know, um, you know, he knows a lot about kind of this area, but you know, I think his stuff is mainly focused on on the environment. mental side of things. I mean, he’s a hell of a steel header.
Dave S 1:02:03
Yeah. Well, the cool thing about john is and I’ll put a link in the show notes is that john started in a podcast as well. Yeah. And it’s called, well, it’s part of the op. It’s the barbless guys. And, and here’s the cool thing about him as I didn’t realize that he fished he’s kind of both gear and fly. Well, yeah. Which is cool. It’s kind of like the more people I talked to on this, the more people I realized, those that that kind of go both ways are usually the people that are like innovating and stuff, right?
Yeah. Well, the thing is, like, you know, when I first started steelhead, and I was fishing sand, shrimp and eggs and POM plugs, and, and it wasn’t until and I would fly fish a lot but it was always trout. And then, instead it was it was it was it was George cook that actually got me thinking about Swing, swing and fly and and baits really, I mean bait or gear is really productive. Okay, you know where those fish are going to be sitting like a lot of times you can swing a fly in a place and you’re probably not going to be down far enough and your fly is not going to be in where it’s supposed to be for long enough for them to react to it. Right those gear guys, they can they can change depths really easy. And they catch fish. Yeah, I mean, you can’t compete cannot compare the numbers. When when people when people tell me out here that the fish it’s horrible, okay, and there’s no fish around. All you got to do. I’ll go talk to a couple of my buddies that are ringers out here with gear fishing and they’re going to give me a number fits a certain number. I know that they’re telling the truth but if it’s not like chances are you’re just you just don’t know where they’re at or you’re not you’re just not being effective. Yeah, I’m here guys get them.
Dave S 1:03:48
They do they do. Before we get before we get out here Did you want to throw one more? I know Johnny I’ll put a link to his Instagram as well. Anything else that you want to just note to help somebody maybe sir
ah I don’t know, I don’t know too many books on this place. I never, I don’t think there’s there’s much but there’s no and then and, and and i and i, you know I always saw the the books grown up and it was like you know, it was a book that said you know the whole river nerd tell you like put ins and takeouts but I didn’t really read them you know what I mean? Like I I started Yeah, I was just exploring I mean I don’t even know what I didn’t know where that the numbers for shuttles around here when I started I had a nine foot pontoon boat and a bike or I’d use my thumb. Yeah, you know, and I’d hitchhike back to my back to my rig after de steelheading and then I finally figured out three shells.
Dave S 1:04:41
There’s tons of good like camping is pretty decent up there to
campings awesome. Like the summer right now is packed like the, the the busiest time of year here is in March and then in the middle of the summer. For example, I run an Airbnb on my house when I’m up Alaska and and it’s full all summer long you know so it pays pays the mortgage yeah you can’t you have to reserve camping out here you know in the summertime but the winter it’s a lot easier especially if you come when it’s when it’s raining a lot of people will look at the forecast and if there’s too much rain they’ll just stay home so if you’re willing to to slug it out and and be damp for a few days you there’s some great places to camp and then some and and some fishing cash so
Dave S 1:05:34
is there a Is there a local fly shop? Well what is your local fly shop? Is there anything?
Oh well out here out here it’s gonna be waters West and a guy named Ed runs it he took it over from a fella named Dave Steinbach who was the original owner of that shop. Epic. It’s got the greatest assortment of fly tying materials if you are a especially a steel heads Fishermen that I’ve ever seen so they do they do a good amount of online business too okay but yeah it would be it’d be waters West it you know back in his car I grew up it be Creekside England comes cool but but waters West has got to they got sewing materials I mean they really got they have everything and I generally send my clients there when they’re you know when they come out here like for example they’ve never been out here before I go you know take your time driving out here make sure you stop in at waters West and take a look around it’s like toys r us to a fly tire to it to a kid you know i mean it’s just yeah, I mean bring us on. Give yourself a limit of how much you’re going to spend to like I said because you could go overboard in there with the with the materials. I mean it really is it really is top notch so
Dave S 1:06:50
right on Trevor so in the next six to 12 months what was he anything new you got come I know that the code or the COVID thing is really threw a wrench in but anything else? I guess we don’t really All right, we don’t know what’s gonna go on.
No, well No, nobody knows But all I know is that there people are going to be out fishing like I’m I’m spending this time fishing a little bit than working on house projects but but pretty soon we’re going to have coho showing up and then fall Chinook and then you know still summer steelhead and then some cutthroat out here so i’ll be doing some of that stuff out here. And then just I’m really looking forward to put in 2020 in the in the rearview mirror to be totally honest with you. There’s been there’s been cool things that have happened but it’s I don’t think America I don’t think anybody low on the world or Americans like to be out of their their comfort zone of what they you know what they should be doing. You know what I mean? Like I feel I feel bad for and I feel bad for so many people you know, I mean I’ve got my my jobs cut but there are people have been able to see their their families that are you No, yeah. Are there parents that are dying or going to funerals or weddings or anything? So it’s, it can always be worse. So yeah. I’m looking forward to 2021.
Dave S 1:08:09
Yeah. Amen to that for sure. So if they want to find you, Trevor underscore kovitch on Instagram is the best place.
Yeah, that’s the best place where you can find me. You can write an email at op fly. email@example.com
Dave S 1:08:24
No, perfect. All right. Yeah, I’ll put a link to that. All that in the show notes. And cool, Trevor. Hey, thanks for coming on. Just one to let you know I appreciate you spend the time here. I we didn’t know exactly where we were going to go. And I I think, you know, Alaska, obviously, is a big part of your thing, but it seems like whenever I do when I talk about Alaska versus steelhead, it seems like more people are interested in hearing about steelhead. Even though I’ve talked about it like hundreds of times you don’t need
dude steelheads that said it’s a weird thing. Um, if I had never done it, I would not have I mean, I wouldn’t have bought a house. Next. to one of my favorite stretches of water, you know, I wouldn’t be traveling I’d probably have a I’d have probably have a pretty decent job with you know, a couple kids by now.
Dave S 1:09:11
Yeah. Just Just to give you a minute here if you were the the Opie Alaska, what would you be doing if you are good,
dude, you know, I don’t know, I’d probably be doing some kind of trade you know what I you know, what I always wanted to do is I always wanted to be a chopper pilot, I would I would really like to fly a helicopter. But it’s it’s it’s because you can still do the same stuff you’re still taking people heli skiing and and and dropping them into the upper skeena or something like that or doing stuff around Hawaii. So it’s it’s good money. You get to meet a lot of different people and be in some really interesting places. And so I think that’s kind of what what drives me it’s not I never wanted to be in a warehouse for the rest of my life. Like my my parents try to get me to work for Boeing. right because my grandpa’s my parents uncles, you know a lot of they all work for Boeing. My brother works for Boeing. And I just didn’t I I don’t want I don’t want to do that it’s it’s not it’s just not for me. It’s for somebody just not for me. I don’t like traffic.
Dave S 1:10:19
Yeah, no, I know Yeah, you’re up in I mean, yeah, that whole Seattle thing is is crazy so
it’s it’s crazy man I drive right through it you know every now and then I have stopped for some construction out here herd of elk you know? Yeah. And that that’s that’s that’s it. That’s it.
Dave S 1:10:35
I know I was coming into our I’m up on the north coast in Oregon and man we’re there’s a traffic jam that was like miles long. And eventually when we got to the top we were like, Oh my god, there was a dozen of these beautiful Roosevelt elk just right off the side of the road. And you know, it had backed up traffic for miles but it was worth it.
No, yeah, for sure. No is in Portland. The Portland traffic Find just as excruciating as the CL traffic that’s why I don’t do it much or I pick the great thing about being a fishing guide and like especially being a fishing guide when when you got some days off as you can choose your times when you get to drive you know you’re not you know you’re not chained to being having to leave at this time with everybody else so you can kind of pick your windows but the I’ve been cutting so much evening traffic down there because I used to go fish with that guy was telling Nick Raul He guides Clackamas and then the the Halem Trask, all those rivers and I’d have to have to get to his house and was usually coming in the evening and I was just like, Good God.
Dave S 1:11:42
Alright, go Hey, man, thanks again. Well, I’ll let you know when this gets ready to go and yeah, we’ll check back with you then.
Right on. All right, thanks a lot. You take it easy.
Dave S 1:11:52
So there you go. If you want to find all the shownotes all links we covered just go to wet fly swing comm slash 154 Have you ever thought about starting up your own podcast? I’m helping people get started at outdoors online co slash s AP that’s outdoors with an S, slash SAP start a podcast. You can find how to start find out how to start a podcast there with a super quick and easy checklist that walks you through all the steps of getting started. And you know, this isn’t just for fishing. If you have any passion that you love on the side that could be knitting, dog walking, you name it, there’s there’s probably an audience out there that you could help serve. So it’d be great to see a new podcast I love listening to them. If you have a podcast right now reach out to me Dave at wet fly swing COMM And let me know I’d love to listen to a new show this week. So that’s all I got for you. I really appreciate you for stopping by today and look forward to catching up with you online or on the river.
Unknown Speaker 1:13:00
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“Some of my best days here, and when I catch the biggest fish, are when the river is extremely high.”
Olympic Peninsula Steelhead Conclusion
Trevor Covich is on the podcast to share some tips on fishing the Olympic Penisula for steelhead. He tells us why you should be fishing the river when it’s high and why some of the biggest fish come then.
Trevor describes some great tips on fishing for steelhead with a spey rod during high water events. We talk about the best two tips to use