We dig into Swinging Flies for Trout with Steven Bird.  Steven is the editor of the Soft Hackle Journal and writes for Swing the Fly Magazine.  We dig into some tips and the background on catching upper Columbia redband trout, also known as landlocked steelhead.

Lot’s of fun stuff in this one including some of my normal antics and tangents on smoking, alcohol, drugs and all of that crazy stuff.  Join a chat about trout spey, the Columbia River and Steve’s life in fly fishing.


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Show Notes with Steven Bird

04:00 – The parmachene bell gets another shoutout from Steven as one of the early patterns.  John Shewey mentioned this fly and steelhead fishing with this fly for a year long stint here.

15:00 – The Rage Compact Spey is the line Steve loves for swinging flies on the Columbia River.

27:27 – We talked about the october caddis and the orange coloration flies that work well for fall swinging.

october caddis

28:50 – Davy Wotton was on the podcast here to cover traditional wet fly fishing.

30:17 – The Hanford reach is known as the last free flowing stretch of the Columbia but Steven shows us that that’s not completely true.  The american reach is a little unknown gem.

39:00 – I noted the Jack Mitchel episode and the OP hosted trip that we put together this year.  Click here to join the next trip.

42:00 – The coachman is a great all around fly tied D Style.  A partridge and Peacock would be the goto if you could only have one.

47:10 – The Flymph forum was noted as one of the great resource for trout spey and swinging flies for soft hackle flies.

47:50 – Vernon Pete Hidy was the guy who came up with the flymph and influenced James Leisenring on writing his book Art of Tying the Wet Fly.

49:45 – GM Skues was noted here as a big influencer on fly fishing.


57:00 – Cigar red label flouro carbon tippet

1:06:16 – I noted the John Gierach podcast and the affect of coffee and tobacco.  Is there something about this and art?


You can reach Steve at the Soft Hackle Journal


Resources Noted in the Show

The Rage Compact by Airflo

rage compact


The Flymph Forum

flymph forum


Art of Tying the Wet Fly

art of tying the wet fly


Videos Noted in the Show


How to Tie a Steelhead Coachman



steve bird soft hackle journal

steven bird soft hackle journal

Conclusion with Steven Bird

Steve takes us to one of the special places in the country for swinging wet flies for redband trout.  Redbands are a unique species of rainbow trout found in the eastern parts of the state of Washington.  Lot’s of great stories and laughs from the editor of the Soft Hackle Journal.




  1. ALWAYS enjoy what Steve has to say, fly fishing or politics ! Living in Spokane area and fly fishing the U.C. since I 1st arrived in N.E. WA., 2010. Usually by boat and for the 1st time in 4 years by (new) boat this year. I too have always preferred “wet flies” over the Dry. The Dry can be very exciting “When it’s on,” where as any style Wet Fly fishing is what the majority of Trout prefer, most of their Feeding Time. The Swing IS the thing, the tug IS the drug. Fished with Steve, by chance one Late afternoon/early evening just about across the road from where he lives. ‘Black Beach’ is what it was, but now that the toxic residue has been removed I’m not sure if the “name” has changed ?. IT sure is cleaner “looking,” like a regular sandy beach ! Steves Flies are THE BEST Renditions and “Bird-Originals” I’ve seen ! I have a few of his October Caddis Wets (gifted) by him during our fishing outing. One thing in Conflict though . . . apparently Steve and Jack differ on WHAT these U/C. Trout ARE !. One says landlocked steelies, the other NOT steelhead ! Personally I could not care less, but someone needs to set the FACTS on the table . . . perhaps the WA. Fish and Wildlife Dept. needs to due some Due-Diligence !?.