Brian Silvey talks about his life as a fly fishing guide with a focus on Steelhead Fishing in Oregon.  Find out what colors are best during the early and late season and how to get your fly down during the day.  We dig back into some of the history of spey and how Brian transitioned into it. 


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Click here –>>>  Brian Silvey Podcast Transript for the full transcript or scroll down to the bottom to read the transcript.


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Show Notes with the Brian Silvey

09:00 – Brian works with Marty and Mia Sheppard who were on the podcast in episode 76 here.

13:40 – The dragon popper is one of Brian’s killer poppers.

15:30 – The Cottonwood Canyon State Park is a great way to access the river if you don’t have a boat.

18:20 – We talk about Mark Bachman and the podcast he was on in episode 86 here.

20:00 – Brian tells a story about tying the Brooks Stone and the big blunder and working for Mark early on.  Here’s an old school video of the Brooks Stone.

21:10 – Steve Gobin was one of Brian’s mentors and was highlighted in Trey Combs book.

22:20 – The Silvenator was noted by a number of listeners of the podcast and is still one of Brian’s goto flies for steelhead.


25:30 – The green butt skunk, golden demon, muddlers and the max canyon are all goto flies for steelhead.

26:55 – John Shewey noted bird hunting and was on the podcast in episode 16 here.

33:40The Scientific Angler Scandi Spey Line is was recommended in this podcast.

37:20 – The Sofa Pillow was a good old fly that could be used for skating for steelhead.

53:45 – Davy Wotton was on the podcast here and still guides a bunch of days per year.

55:30 – The FIST line was one that Brian helped out on and one I use now.

58:10 – Sweetwater Guide School is a great resource.  Steve Wilson was on the podcast here and described the school.


You can find Brian Silvey’s Fly Fishng here.


Resources Noted in the Show

The Scientific Angler Scandi Spey Line

spey line


Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies

steelhead fly fishing and flies


Videos and/or podcasts Noted in the Show


The Silvenator


The Max Canyon


dragon popper
photo via:


Read the Full Transcript with Brian Sylvey:

Click here:  Brian Silvey Podcast Transript to get the Full PDF Transcriptf

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Brian 0:00
Yeah, a lot of guys got used to just you know, parking in a spot and just kind of doing laps in it saying thinking they were going to keep coming through and, and I don’t think that you can’t do that with these lower numbers of fish. So you need to cover as much different water you know and keep moving as you know, it’s one thing

where we go through a run like we’re not there. Let’s go.

Dave S 0:26
That was Brian Sylvey with a nice tip this year if the numbers aren’t quite where you’d like them. This is the wet fly swing fly fishing show. 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. Hey, how’s it going everyone thanks for stopping by the fly fishing show today. Bryan Silva is on to shed some light on his 35 year career guiding for trout instead. ahead in the Pacific Northwest, Brian describes how it all got started including the story of when he was a kid riding back from the steelhead river with two steelhead hanging off his BMX bike on the side of highway 26. Plenty of funny looks and the good story there. So looking forward to that, sharing that with you today, and plenty of good tips as well on steelhead fishing and a little on trout. Before we get started, let’s hear from our sponsors. Since 1977, the fly fishing and tying journal has long been considered the anglers magazine with original how tos and technical articles written by the best trout and steelhead anglers in the West. They are committed to sharing exceptionally written essays, fiction, poetry and in depth guides to fly tying and fly fishing. f TJ is one of my go to magazines and if you haven’t checked it out recently, you can get started today by calling 1-800-541-9498 or heading over to the web at Ft. J Got fishing comm is your trusted source of information with access to the world’s best fishing trips. You’ll never pay a dime extra for the trip you book and in many cases less than advertised. Find out where got fishing could take you by heading over to gut fishing calm today. That’s g ot or reach them by phone at 208-630-3373 got phishing calm the easiest place to start your next fishing adventure. So if you’re excited to chase a little chrome this year, I’ve got Brian Sylvie from Sylvia’s fly

Unknown Speaker 2:36
How’s it going, Brian?

Unknown Speaker 2:37
I’m doing great.


Dave S 2:39
Great. Great to have you on here. I sent out a message in the Facebook group and asked them you know mentioned you were coming on and a few people replied and had some questions about the the silver Nadir and some other things that we’re gonna dig into some steelhead in some of the stuff you do with your guiding business. But before we get there, can you talk about how you first got into fly fishing and Have you brought it all into a business there?

Brian 3:03
Sure. Well, I grew up on Mount Hood, basically in Welch’s kind of grew up fishing the Salmon River and zigzag in the Sandy and, you know, as a kid, you’re out there Duncan worms and you know, fish and that kind of stuff. And, you know, it’s funny in those days in the late 70s, early 80s, he would hook steel head a lot with not very good tackle, and it would never work out. So you know, as a kid, you’re like, man, I gotta catch one of these things. And, you know, I think I finally did get one on a spin around, but I saw some guys that were fly fish. And I was like, man, I want to do that. And this older gentleman was a friend of my dad’s gave me a whole bunch of flight time stuff, which if I look back at it now, it was just a bunch of crappy, free stuff that had like mothballs in it but as a kid, it was about the hooks and you know stuff you could just wrap stuff on on the books and try to go catch you know, catch fish. I actually died like a Think Like a woolly bugger or a woolly worm or something like that and, and had my Berkeley fiberglass fly rod and you know and go out there I lived right on the Salmon River real close to it. So I fish it every single day and that’s where I kind of got my first steelhead and I was kind of hooked hooked from there. Were you near

Dave S 4:21
Welch’s or was your

Brian 4:23
Yeah, yeah, I was. I lived around you know, well, just so I was kind of in between like, Camp marijuana, which is marijuana Boulevard or Wildwood Park kind of right in between those two I would hike that pretty much daily.

Dave S 4:37
To the other so near the

Brian 4:39
fly fishing only bridge right is above your will the fly fishing only bridges up towards green Canyon campgrounds. But I would fish I would ride my bike up there and you know, like any kid would do and yeah, I have a funny story about that is that it seemed like I rode my bike. I’d always catch a steelhead or two and I’d be riding back on highway 26 With a steel letter to on my handlebars and I would get the funniest look

out people stopped me like Hey, kid, where’d you catch?

Dave S 5:09
That’s awesome.

Brian 5:11
Be like down at the river. Oh, and tell him

Dave S 5:15
your BMX bike.

Brian 5:19
You don’t probably don’t see that.

Dave S 5:21
You don’t really do you remember a place called the I think it was called the slaughter hole out on the surface on the salmon that’s on the sandy oh that was

Brian 5:30
on the sandy I did yeah, the other one was like

everything I don’t know that there was out of the rock quarry was kind of where a lot of people went down a Miller road on the Salmon River where they all staged up. There’d always be like, you know, a couple hundred steel and there you could never catch. They were just all staging up in that pool. But now those are enter interesting times with all those hatchery fish.

Dave S 5:54
I remember my dad talking about some of them. I never really got into that that area that much. I remember him talking about that and, and Jim Tini too. I think they would go out there and maybe Yeah, you know, do some write whatever is sufficient out there. Okay, so, so cool. So that’s, that’s where you’re at and then how do you bring that into you know becoming a guide how does that all happen? Well

Brian 6:16
I started trying flies enough and kinda was selling them to the some of the local stores and then I knew Mark Bachman from his son’s going to school with them and you know, he opened the flyfishing shop there and Welch’s and then kind of went through the school of hard knocks on how to tie commercially and you know, started tying flies and then from the flies, you know, you’d have to almost chain me to a table because you know, you’d have to tie so many flies you know, 900 to 1200 dozen or so a summer. After a while you want to want to go fish, so we the fish a lot and and those guys got busy doing the shoot so they kind of gave us the walking trips on the Salmon River and zigzag and so we did Like for our walking trips, you know, we were just right, you know, like junior senior in high school or you know, just out of high school and do that in the summer. And then I did that for a while. And then I was also going to college, but then started my, my own business in 19 8901 89.

Dave S 7:19
Okay, yeah. 89 right on. So back in those early times, when you’re doing the walking trips, did you have any, any guidance? Or were you just kind of out there just kind of taking people up? You knew where the fish rat and just kind of

Brian 7:30
Yeah, they were, I mean, you know, they knew we were kids, they, you know, to some degree with it, they kind of hired us to just show them around, or just, to me, it wasn’t as much guiding as it is now. Like, what I feel like I do now is more or less spotting fish, you know, and then kind of like, try to help them but you know, and then I would hike around and maybe try to find some more fish. And yeah, it was more just using us to learn a section of river and, you know, we were kind of the spotters and maybe a helper I don’t really consider That. Yeah, kind of guiding like what I think I might be able to do now. Right,

Dave S 8:04
right, right. Cool. Cool. Name. If we have time, we’ll get into a little bit on spotting fish. I did want to kind of turn the table a little bit and talk about the john day just for a second because I am. It’s kind of been an interest to me. We were just talking out there there a little bit. Sounds like it’s getting a little busier and things like that. But could you take us there? I know you’re just on the river. Could you take a second talk about the john day and where you fishing for? I mean, it was a Bastrop.

Brian 8:30
Yeah, this was a bass trip. And I was helping out Marty and Miss Shepard. I’ll help them off and on. And Marty Shepherd helps me and I call it I call a guide vacation. So I’m the guy. So I should just show up and kind of roll a boat. It’s kind of nice to just do a different river and kind of take a break from your normal program. And yeah, the last few years I mean, partly it’s water flows. On the john day, a lot of years the river gets starts getting low and ends Not as many people have floated but the last two years we’ve had a fair amount of water you know kind of late season it rain this whole trip we were just on and there’s plenty of flows and so there’s there’s lots of people out there using the john day now. I mean it’s a great river and it’s a great kids River. The trip we did was a couple families with some kids you know, I had two six year old twin boys that were just a riot, you know, and had a ball catching those bass. It’s just a great kid friendly family River. You know, that’s not real big and scary, kind of like the Deschutes school. Are you are you guys out there? Is this all a flight trip or is a spinner What are you guys doing? We pretty much will do flies. I mean, sometimes kids might want to you know, it’s easier to do a spin but you know, they can drag a fly out of the boat and catch most fish you know, but you try to teach them a little bit how to cask and one of the twins actually both the twin boys caught pretty good sized bags. There’s a funny story is one that one of the twins I had his name is Dylan. His dad was helping out a cast and we came in this little Cove and there was a big bass in there. And he threw it in there perfectly the fish ate it, but he wasn’t able to kind of set the hook. And then the dad was trying to help and then we got wrapped up in the bushes. And then I had a float over there until we floated back out that bass was still in this vicinity. So the dad threw it in there. And we hooked this bass I don’t know how big it was, was probably at least three four pounds. I mean, that’s a big, big small mouse for that river. And we were able to do and kind of help fight in landed. He was so excited. So that’s really fun as a guide after this long watching kids, you know, fight fish and just giggling and yelling it’s a whopper, you know, right what

Dave S 10:56
what are you guys like using woolly buggers and stuff like that?

Brian 10:59
Yeah. Yeah, the water started coloring up with all the rain but like couple days we were able to use poppers and kind of some dragon fly type patterns but a lot of wooly buggers with the kids basically you can kind of drag that along will kind of maneuver the boat perfectly forum and just kind of slimes accelerator decelerate the fly forum

Dave S 11:26
are you guys doing just a like dry lines with with split shot? Are you doing a sinking?

Brian 11:30
No, no, it’s just it’s just like a behead wooly buggers probably the best because it’s kind of sinks a little bit doesn’t get in the big boulders, but if you let it sink a little it’ll, it’ll get down where you want it but not not get hung up too much. I’ve tried some heavier stuff to kind of get down off those deep balls, but it’s too hard for most people to kind of deal with and sink tips or, you know, have some guys that are maybe a little bit better anglers might fish that kind of stuff, but we’re just Those little edges and, you know, little grassy banks with some rocks. And so this

Dave S 12:06
is not not rocket science, it’s pretty easy to find and fish. Yeah,

Brian 12:10
it’s I call it it’s not it’s not a fishing trip, it’s a catching trip.

Dave S 12:17
There was a typical trip down there. Um,

Brian 12:20
well, this one is in a sense, the weather was pretty cold and rainy. I mean, you know, you probably get maybe 2030 fish, which is kind of slow, you know, per person kind of thing where they you know, you go in, like, when the water warms up quite a bit and it drops down to four or 500 CFS instead of being about 2500. I mean, it’s a 50 to 100 fish a day, kind of kind of deal, but I mean, they’re all different sizes, you know, sometimes a bunch of little guys and then you might get some 810 inches and then, you know, you might get some that are 12 to 15. And then who knows, you might hook one that’s 1822 you know, so it’s Like I said, it’s more of a numbers thing and a lot of times poppers and foam bugs and you know, it’s kind of fun to watch those bats smash the

Unknown Speaker 13:10
top water

Dave S 13:12
would be a good phone or what do you use there?

Brian 13:15
Um, well I used to have a fly called a dragon popper that was kind of an in between a damsel in a dragon that kind of had a little pop her head off other emergencies to tie and there’s still a few shops that have that. Yeah, because the big hatch on the john day is later in the season you’ll get dragonflies and damsels in the bassel jump in the riffles. Like it’s the craziest though ever see?

Dave S 13:38
So that’s not on right now. That’s

Brian 13:39
a little bit like it’s too cold, right? It’s just it’s like temperature just like a salmon fly hatch. Gotcha. It’s a water temperature thing and it’s still a little cold for it. But uh, but any proper I mean a little frog pattern, but you don’t want to use too small one. I’ll tell you that because they’ll inhale that thing. So like a medium size large mouth popper. So that way they don’t suck it in too far because it’ll be nothing but a nightmare trying to get it out of them without killing them. So

Dave S 14:07
what’s the take us to the river? What’s the river? Is it like an easy float pretty flat? Are there any, you know, any tricky spots?

Brian 14:15
There is a couple tricky spots and most floats are very easy. I mean, you got burnt ranch rapids, which, at certain flows, we went through that kind of area and it it was pretty easy, but when it gets lower, that gets hard and then karno rapids. There’s certain flows you can’t really even make it through there. The rest of the river is really, really easy, especially the lower River. You know, they have that down at Cottonwood, they have that big state park down. That’s being used a lot and that whole area is you can there’s walking and waiting and you know, trails you can watch people walk way down there sometimes. Very friendly, usable River.

Dave S 14:56
Gotcha. If you did, if you didn’t have a boat that new cottonwood area is a pretty good area to go if you could pay for access.

Brian 15:03
Oh, sure. That’s probably your easiest. I mean the best. Yeah.

Dave S 15:06
Okay, cool. And then you guys took Do you do the drift boats down through that section?

Brian 15:11
Oh, yeah, this flow you can use a drift boat. Yeah, it’s from pure peace enough oarsmen not hitting too many rocks, but, you know, raft is probably more feasible for most people, especially when it gets lower. Gotcha.

Dave S 15:23
Okay, cool. Well, yeah, I just want to get a taste that had to me and Marty, they were on. I think it was Episode 76 A while back and we talked a little bit about the john day and talked a little bit about, you know, a little bit this and that, but it’s interesting because, you know, you mentioned the rivers busier, I wonder, you know, doing this podcast because this is gonna go out, you know, to thousands You don’t know how many thousands of people will see this, you know, in the long term, but you know, people are gonna hear this right. And they’re gonna be like, Oh, the john day and I wonder how much influence I had since that, you know, two years ago when I interviewed me and Marty, but what’s your take on that because you’re a guide as well, right? You’re getting people out to these areas, you know, with the pressure

Brian 16:00
Right, I think right now as the way the world is, I think people will just walk it away. I mean, I don’t blame him. So the Deschutes has been on the weekends have been kind of busy. You know, it’s just people camping and, and floating and fishing too. And I think that’s another thing. I mean, what a great way to escape with your family. Kind of on any river right now this kind of decompress and not watch the news, really. So that’s, that’s kind of a nice thing. And I think a lot of people are taking advantage of that would be my guest to go. Yeah, I mean, a lot of our reserves are being overused sometimes, but you know, it’s good and bad. I hope people respect the rivers that you know, they’re out there floating either the chutes or the sandy or you know, or the john day and and that way, you know, when we need people to fight for them, hopefully they’ll fight with us. And the way I look at it, you know, when there’s when there’s problems hopefully, though, They’ll be the ones who step up and say, Hey, we need to do something about this though. That’s right. So when you see all those

Dave S 17:05
people, lots of more people in the room, you don’t feel like oh, you know, I kind of, I’m kind of contributing to this over maybe over pressured rivers, you just feel like it’s probably going to be a good thing in the long term.

Brian 17:16
Well, yeah, I mean, yeah, you don’t like it as a guide at times. But you all need to get along and you’re all trying to do the same thing. None of us own it. I mean, he’s What are we, I’m, I’m a guide, but I don’t own this river. Like, you know, if you’re, if you’re in a spot, I’m going somewhere else, give me some space to, you know, don’t don’t come in where I’m at, you know, I’m trying to do my job but not week I, I always try to get along with the public and be super friendly and helpful in any way I can if they don’t know where they’re going or where they want to camp or, you know, you try to help them out. Because then you know, that we were kind of an ambassador of what river we’re on instead of going how those guys are always, you know, racing around or, you know, causing problems. It’s like, No, no, we’re here. Help if we can.

Dave S 18:02
Exactly not school? Who were some of your, you know, when you think about mentors, people that got me you mentioned Mark Bachman, I think that’s an interesting one because mark, I think maybe he he’s looked at as kind of a little rough around the edges to some people that maybe don’t know him. What’s your take on that? And then Who were some of your mentors to get you going?

Brian 18:18
Well, sure. I mean, I knew Mark since I was in the fourth grade. So it was just normal for me.

Dave S 18:25
What do you think was Mark? Because I have an interesting story, because I, you know, I didn’t know mark that well, for years. years. I kind of knew of him right. But I find that when I did the podcast because we did a podcast with him. And, you know, we went out on the river and he took me out. We had a full day on the Sandy. And at the end of the trip, I was like, Yeah, I was like, Mark, I think it was pretty cool. Because all these years didn’t really know you. And I think we’ve kind of created friendship, you know, so I got I got to know him a little bit and that whole thing that I thought about him being a little bit rough is like we know he’s a good guy. So what do you think people what do they get wrong about Mark? Start off.

Brian 19:01
Yeah, just a little rough around the edges, but his knowledge of wherever he is, that is amazing. I mean, you know, he’s, he’s been on these rivers for a long time since the 60s and and he’s very knowledgeable about the geology and just the historical facts of the river that sometimes I’m not always but uh, you know, but for me, Mark was always great. You know, like, I have a great story The first time I really tied a bunch of flies for mark for the shop. Were some Brookstone. I was kind of like going to be my job to tie all the Brookstone then. And at that time, there wasn’t a lot of commercial companies Time flies, I mean, um, qual was was there but it wasn’t you know, you most shops had their own kind of unique patterns and stuff like that. And so me and his songs with Thai, a lot of the flies and so I got this order of birthstones that was like 250,000 or something like that, and right and I’m like, Oh, great, here we go and, and so I tied them and I tied like 1520 dozen and I took them in to kind of get paid a little bit and mark in his voice like I’m not buying, you know, those are tied, right? I’m like, oh, what do I do? And so I had to shred all those but he was right they were kind of too skinny and they were right and, you know, any kind of pointing in the right direction like no you need to do this and, you know, to me, or you know, gave me my chance and kind of guiding and made me a pretty good flied car because they had to be a certain way and I saw you know, like, okay, they need to be you know, steel edge line needs to be tied this way and a stone line needs to be tied this particular way. And, you know, you got to be picky with it because it’s gonna have you know, you’re selling it to your customers and they need to be right and so after that I was always very particular on how I tie to fly or how I fly should be tied. So I kind of took that The hard and I appreciate that he did that even though I hated him when

when that happens I had a shred all those

Dave S 21:10
any other mentors along the way for you?

Brian 21:13
But another guy that another gentleman His name’s Steve Govan. He’s a tall bendy and he’s in Trey combs book. He’s a very amazing spaceflight attire you know, like clients pay flies full dress Atlantic salmon flies, but he tied just beautiful space flies and, and I got the guide here in quite a bit for a while there and we would trade flies he liked to mine I liked his and he would tie like he would show up with a box of flies like ikaika you know, and I would always show up with like his kind of style and I learned a lot from him because he hang out in the house and we would tie flies him and his wife Karen. But uh, I mean, there’s others from books, you know, Dave mcnees, you know john Hsu You know, those those types of you know, I always looked at those guys as patterns and I but you know, after a while you kind of get your own style I guess you know, I mean, you know anymore I just I try them my way exactly as

Dave S 22:14
I say, when did the silver dater? Where did that come to be?

Brian 22:17
Well, the so inators kind of a transformation from another fly which was attained them to fly. It was a pattern that were articulated leech pattern instead of tying it with a shake and braided type line, which took a long time to kind of rig up I tied it with two different tubes in a loop knot. And it’s kind of a crazy pattern, but it’s a really great fly and so it’s easy to cast so your clients can cast that fly. The Sylvan ater came by shrinking that down the fish on the john Bay or the dudes or the sandy when it’s really low water, just a tie leech pattern. It’s super easy to grasp. It sings really well. And then it’s a total guide fly where it takes no time

where you can crank those out really, really fast. And what’s your favorite color

Dave S 23:10
for that fly? And then and then why does it sink so fast?

Brian 23:14
Yeah, the less material the better. You know, a lot of times with flies, you think sometimes you put certain materials that you know, this is going to help, you know, get it down, but a lot of times it doesn’t it, it floats a little more. So it’s basically rabbit, a hackle and some ostrich on the on the edges on a tube. And it has a brass bead on it and a pretty good sized browse feed. So it seems pretty fast. But and it has a lot of action for being how small it is. It’s probably about two inches, maybe you know, two and a half would be the biggest I would tie it. It’s just that perfect all around length. But it’s like I said it doesn’t have enough materials absorb enough water so it’s easy to get out of the water and cast. You can cast it on a floating line. It really kind of came to came around on the john day for steelhead is where it really kind of was our best fly for a while there but I started using it everywhere and the best color is probably black and blue is probably my favorite but my second best would be orange and red.

Dave S 24:18
And I had that john john shrill and in the Facebook group was asking about for summers it so whether you can use it for summers and what’s your favorite color for some Yeah.

Brian 24:28
Your color for summers is that it’s a purple and pink one. That’s always you know purple is always a really good color but later in the fall, you know those fall fish maybe late October November seemed like black and blue with the water temperature seems to work a little better. I like the purple and pink kind of early season in black and blue. But I can see that somebody will go catch black and blue early season and get one on a purple and pink late season.

Dave S 24:56
I mentioned before of a George cook I had him on an asset but what is flipped Box looked like it he said it’s pretty much all a lot. So it’s all red. You know, it’s mostly reds. Yeah. Like, that’s pretty cool. I mean, not everybody has the same look at what is your box look like if you open up your steelhead box, your summer steelhead box,

Brian 25:14
oh, my summer steelhead boxes, usually a lot of traditional wet flies and some on shoots. So and I’m kind of an old school guy. I mean, there’s still green bugs skunks in there tight on you know, like a gold hook. I love those, you know, certain times a year but you know, I like golden demons and little muddlers and blue charms and to me like you can’t beat those traditional flies like they work. Yeah, they can’t reinvent the wheel. You know, where were some of the things needed to be changed was more winter steelhead. fliess you know, that was pretty new and, and, you know, leeches can be, you know, changed a little bit of, you know, like to me as Sylvan aiders is reinvented and egg sucking leads. Basically not not Something I really want to be known but it’s a great fly though I mean yeah

Dave S 26:08
exactly. Exactly that’s cool so you know what gets you more fired up summers or winter steelhead fishing

Brian 26:16
is a tough one to me winter cuz it’s talk to me it’s like seems like impossible sometimes when you get it then you finally get one of those chrome beauties you’re just like wow we did it you know

Dave S 26:29
burn out on the you know, I’ve had a few guests winter steelhead, well just steel efficient and they’re like, man, I think she was one of them. I think he was like, You know what? I don’t even think about bird hunting during the you know, I’m not even fishing. Yeah,

Brian 26:40
I do. I’ve talked to him a few times. Yeah,

Dave S 26:42
he’s usually bird hunting. Exactly. Do you feel that the call you’re still good with the cold those rainy, wet.

Brian 26:49
I love that stuff. I mean, it just reminds me of just growing up over you know, since I live in Montana, I mean, I kind of miss, you know, the downpours of Welch’s. And some of that Sometimes and now it just feels like oh, we’re gonna get them No, I’m not burnout at all. I mean like to me this is like I was meant to be like a steel guy. Like it’s my favorite like I love it. I mean after 30 some odd years it’s still I’m still kind of hungry for

Dave S 27:20
exactly Oh, love it. Well, you’re in a cool place because you get the in mop and you know, you only have to worry about 10 inches of rain a year so you kind of get the dry right you’re in the desert,

Brian 27:28
right? Oh, yeah, no, I’ll call home a lot of times after a trip of just being drenched. You know, just talk to the family and like it’s been raining over there like no not at all. I’m like, unbelievable. I just spent three days of solid downpour and like oh no, it has a rain much over here.

Dave S 27:47
What would you tell somebody if they were you know, we’re getting close to summer steel. It’s only you know, not too far off. I mean, somebody is over there. They’re they’re struggling maybe they haven’t caught us summer steelhead yet. They’re going over there and they’re just so what sort of thing Give them a couple of tips to help them find a finish or maybe hook their first fish.

Brian 28:04
Sure, well um you know a lot of it especially the early season comes down to how hot the weather is and water temperature I mean we always some guys are really keen on water temperatures other guys have no clue man or no idea that it affects things so much. So I would tell people that you know, if it’s really hot out especially on the dish shoots you know, it’s going to be that early mornings probably going to be your best shot and, and probably more of the faster water you know, the faster riffle or bouldery you know, pretty good current, at least will swing up fly, but you want to head for that. Just be like trout fishing. That’s why I always correlate the two between trout and steelhead are pretty closely related. So a lot of your trout are going to be right from the riffles and that fast water and and you want to swing knows that you want to be out there at first light and I always tell people it’s really hard when you haven’t caught one. They have confidence And what you’re doing and, and it could be really, really hard on your mind on like, Am I doing this right? or What am I doing wrong or, you know, there’s just none here or just you just keep going round and round and round and it just takes takes time now especially with the, the fish counts not being what they used to be and, and being a lot more people at times and you just gotta you just gotta be the optimist and go it’s gonna be the next cast. It’s gonna be the next cast. I mean, I tell people I feel like sometimes I’m just the motivational speaker. You know, I’m just got to keep people motivated. Sometimes people are like, I there’s nothing in here. I’m like, come on that rock down there. That could be one right by that rock. So yeah, you gotta keep people motivated.

Dave S 29:44
How do you do the days where maybe, you know, it is a struggle like this year, maybe the runs, you know? Well, I guess just think of that. You know, you have a day out there where the fish is just not good. And then steelhead fishing. They’re out there. I mean, how do you What’s your, you know, as a guide, how do you make that a good trip.

Brian 30:00
Well, I you know, I’m always the type itself people want a day is a good day. I mean, we hope one, get a grab, that’s a great day. And so when you get people in that mode, they’re just looking for the one and then I call it hunting. To me it’s hunting, you know, it’s not just swinging flies here. We’re just hunting. And so we’re just hunting along. Sorry, Mike.

Dave S 30:25
What’s, what’s his name or her name?

Brian 30:28
That’s Keystone even 14 year old yellow lab. He hardly ever barks but there’s somebody outside I think.

But um, it’s just hunting to me. And so

I’ll just keep covering water just I fish harder. When it’s less. When there’s less fish around, I just fish harder. Just cover more water cover every kind of water you can cover riffles bouldery, slow water, soft water, everything and eventually You’ll find one I mean, it just takes more water to fish.

Dave S 31:03
There you go. So, so don’t necessarily if it’s maybe a little slow, don’t necessarily stay in that one spot and cover that big run. Maybe just keep moving in covering Yeah,

Brian 31:12
a lot of guys got used to just, you know, parking in a spot and just kind of doing laps in it saying thinking that we’re going to keep coming through and, and I don’t think that you can’t do that with these lower numbers of fish. So you need to cover as much different water, you know, and keep moving is, you know, a Tron thing. Where we go through a run, like we’re not there, let’s go, you know, and then, you know, there’s kind of need to take breaks in the middle of the day, you know, if it’s too hot, or, you know, just not you got to take a break. It’s supposed to be fun. I mean, I’ll hunt pretty hard until a certain point, and then it’s like, Alright, let’s, let’s, let’s take a break for a little while. Let’s enjoy this. Let’s, you know, let’s have some fun, you know, just hang out, talk, have lunch, you know, chill out for a little while and you Talk about some leaders and flies and that kind of stuff and and I do a lot of teaching and I think that’s important is to teach people how to you know how to steelhead fish how I would do it and so sometimes when it’s slow that we’re doing a lot that we’re working on cast them and especially spey casting. You know, we’re all still learning, I call it I’m still learning.

Dave S 32:22
And now a quick word from our sponsors. Got fishing calm a boutique booking agency for fishing adventures around the world. Go Fishing is unique and working with a small hand selected group of Outfitters from around the world that are known for providing an experience that is second to none. Go Fishing can be your trusted source of information with access to the world’s best fishing trips. Their sole purpose is to help you plan the most authentic fishing adventure while making sure it fits within your budget. The beauty is that everything they do is 100% free, you will never pay a dime extra for your trip, and in many cases less than advertised. I can attest personally to the service that God fishing provides as they have been working with me closely to set myself first trip to the Yucatan for saltwater. They have taken care of all the important details and allowed me to avoid worrying about any other complications. I know Brian and the crew have you covered, I got fishing. Whether you need a fishing consultant, travel consultant gear pro or like they have you covered with top of the line Outfitters they represent around the world. They are confident they have just the right trip for you. You can give them a call at 208-630-3373 or head over to got to get started today. Let God fishing help you plan the fishing trip you’ve been dreaming about. That’s got fishing calm. I forget that in the center are rivers and fish unspoken, for that there are valleys the strata of which we lower into perhaps in the hollow between breaths and the tiny pause between the rise of summer and his departure. I nearly forget the long sleeve of winter the absence the fractional glimpses of light. Dear one, I will go without speaking Blaze keep me until I disappear. That was a poem by Molly dam in the summer edition of the fly fishing and tying journal. On top of some great poetry as you as you hear here. FDJ is jam packed with another round of great articles and diverse departments. Joseph Rosano is back again provides another classic steelhead lesson for everyone. We hear from Garrett Lesko in a stalking deer hair frenzy find out about striped bass from Angelo peloso and hear from Dave mixie McNeese on seeing the blues and material dying. Lots of additional articles in the summer edition, including an editor’s interview with yours truly about how I became a fly fishing podcaster Craig did a really good job with this one so I’m pretty proud to be in this edition. I believe I have found the perfect sponsor for the show. I would be it would be really great if you can support ftg by heading over to F TJ angler comm and subscribing. so you don’t miss any of the tips, tricks and stories in the next issue. That’s f TJ to get started today and tell them tell Craig and the crew out there you heard about the magazine from the podcast and I’ll find a way to put something extra special together for you. Okay, back to the show. What was your transition to display like because I know you probably were there before with the single handed rods what what was that like for you?

Brian 35:27
Well, at first, I mean, I kind of fought it because on the first day rods I saw were like 1516 foot like 1011 weights and like who’s gonna use this for like a six, seven pound the shoots finishing is ridiculous. guys

Dave S 35:41
use it or guys do it.

Brian 35:44
JOHN Hazel is the first one I really saw out there with like a 15 foot 10 weight Sage when they first kind of came out with that rod. I started. It’s probably like 8889 or maybe even 90 without eight 140 that Sage came out with his first kind of rod that was more of a steelhead rod for us. And then it came out with the 7136 which was a little better for the Deschutes you know, a little smaller rod. And yeah, there wasn’t a wind like we had to please schedule lines you had to make your own. For for floating lines, there was a triangle taper. It was a lead wolf line that we use, but it was a 70 foot taper line. So it took a while to kind of get good at you know, throwing a 70 to 100 foot line and nowadays, everything’s dialed down where it’s really easy for somebody to just step right into a spray rod and throw a scandalous gadget that matches every rod very well and, and just get after it, you know, within a short period of time they’re throwing the head really well or even shooting line really quickly.

Dave S 36:55
What’s percentage of people on your trips are using single hand for 200 versus 200

Brian 37:02

Dave S 37:04
percent anymore

Brian 37:05
not anymore I used to be there you know I would always like guys use their single hand rods you know in the early 90s and then I’m like hey let’s try this pay rod you know it’s a lot easier here where we were trying to roll cast and it just opened up more water for guiding so you know you kind of really wanted to do it because it just gave you more options then because with a single hand rod you had of just fish certain types of water you know where they had some back casting room and you know the dish shoots doesn’t have a lot of you know, the stay rod had to kind of play and so when the 6126 you know, like a 12 and a half foot six weight came around that was like the ultimate dish chutes rod and floating line and and everything so it was it was in my boat I had leads to have them all the time and my vote and but I would do it after lunch maybe or just go hey, you know, I know you’re struggling but just roll this thing out. I was put it in their hand. Just try it for a minute. like wow, this is way easier. Yeah.

Dave S 38:03
So that’s cool. What came about what line Do you use for that for that? 12 and a half foot six. Wait, well what’s your what blind Do you think you use scientific angles right? or?

Brian 38:15
Yeah, yeah, I’m kind of help inside of the angler with some lines and kind of designing some stuff. So it’s a green window. This is where it gets confusing. For some people it’s all green window or grain size lines. Not like a trial rod where I wait rod throws a five way line. Those are like a five way line is grain weighted to match that five way rod. A spear rod is not quite dialed in like that. But they’re starting to get better at getting those grain windows smaller for the stay rod so a six way usually with throw like a 390 grain skandi maybe a 420 grain on the heaviest, but a 390 is what I would look for for most six weeks. And that would be most skandi lines would have that Okay,

Dave S 39:05
so you just go pick up any any skandi line scientific angler, what is their line they have the good for they

Brian 39:10
have a Scandi, it’s just it’s just called a scanty line. It’s a it’s a, most of them are like 3031 feet in length. And the cool thing with the scientific angler when john Hazel was the one who was really working on that line, and I just kind of helped out because I was just starting with sa but we kind of tried to design that one we didn’t really need a poly leader, because a lot of people don’t know what those are either. And so we really tried to make it where it was a line that would work with either a poly or a mono leader. And it works really great with a mono leader too. So that was and we wanted one that like everybody could turn over. Like it would turn over no matter what kind of cast you would throw as a guide you want your no matter what I don’t care how far somebody can throw it, but you want the fly to turn over every time If it doesn’t turn over, it’s not going to swing very well. So that’s why we worked hard on an outline is to make sure it turned over really with almost any casting stroke, and then be simplified where you can just put a 12 foot mono leader and it would cast Great. So that’s kind of the aspects of that outline. What’s the difference between

Dave S 40:19
a moto leader and a poly leader.

Brian 40:22
moto leader is just like any type of moto leader which is a nylon. You know, like you’d use for trout or you know, your kippot or any of that kind of stuff. A poly leader was something that helped a lot with these scanty lines back when the skandi line was really gone. In Europe, they those guys would use like 22 to 24 foot leaders, a mono leader just to get an anchor, and which for most of us, that’s a long mono leader not to tangle up. And then it just seems ridiculous but you needed that much to try to get an anchor. So poly liter is a mono core with kind of a plastic coating on it and either comes in a floating or kind of an intermediate or kind of a hover type line with you know it has that plastic coating but you can do that in like a 14 foot lane or a 10 foot length and get that same kind of anchor or stick to the water that you do that 22 foot leader which Yeah, I didn’t really care for gotcha. Yeah. Okay made that a whole process a lot easier for the scapula and also

Dave S 41:32
so this summer for your setup for for summer steelhead is going to be like you said the 12 and a half foot six weight with that that skandi scientific anglers and yeah Nepali leader or something like that on or do you

Brian 41:44
follow a leader for you see the nose and with the poly leader, it has a loop at the end and then you just put like, I put 10 pound Tippett on there, whatever you like to use, and then, you know, three, four feet and you just try a fly on. So it’s pretty easy. Just to Loop The Loop and then tie a fly on with the model leader you know a lot of times you might buy like a 12 foot tapered leader and sometimes I’ll add like, you know, 10 pounds of a few feet so that way if you get any wind knots down there, you can just change that out. But you could just tie it right to the paper leader and go fish also.

Dave S 42:22
And what about dry flies for steelhead? Do you do any of that out there?

Brian 42:26
I used to do a lot of that. Especially when the October caddis start bouncing around. I mean, I caught quite a few steelhead when I was growing up when I was talking about the Berkeley rod and stuff swinging like October cat as I can remember I caught one actually on a dead drift to dry fly on the same because yeah, I didn’t really understand how that whole skating thing works. I was just thrown in like a dry fun. actually landed the steelhead on October cat more like a sofa fellow.

Dave S 42:55
Alright, so

Brian 42:56
yeah, I used to fish a lot of like a skater Anna would fly back Every day we’d always fish to flies. But with the pressure nowadays and the kind of lack of fish sometimes the conditions are not as as easy to catch them on skaters. There’s times you can do it. I don’t do it as much. Yeah. It’s really fun. And if you really want to learn a spot like a run that you fish a lot, you’ll learn so much by fishing a skater when it comes across where it’ll hesitate or where it kind of does some weird movement. That’s what your wet flies doing too. And you learn a lot about a run on there’s an escape. It’s really interesting to watch it.

Dave S 43:37
Exactly. Oh, if you had to go to fliess at the silver news and always one of your go twos

Brian 43:43
for summer stealing Yeah. Um, yeah, I mean, middle of day, you know, it’s a lot of times I’m doing day trips and guys have one day it is you know, officially to shoot so we’ll fish sink tips. Not real heavy. Not like we’re efficient t 14 and dredgen or anything. We’re efficient. Medium wincing tips but that Sylvan aid is a great one to fish in those same conditions because it’ll sink pretty good but you can use lightsync tip and not get hung up too much. So yeah, so Benadir is a good one for the low when the sun’s on the water and then the low light conditions. I mean one of my favorites is probably a number six little natural muddler. I mean it’s one of my favorite flies but I there’s others you know, there’s no golden demon. I like I said, I like a lot of those old school patterns and, or a max Canyon. Yeah, there you go. There you go. Got lots of vision Max kadian. Yeah.

Dave S 44:43
So back to to my pops. Yeah, the old orange and black. Yep. We’ve talked about this a little bit just fishing in the daytime. That’s always been a kind of a funny topic because I think, you know, some people think about his kick back and take a break but you’re fishing in the daytime with you with your clients. How do you can you break us down like what You’re using the sink tip line and then you know exactly how you find this. Are you? Are you hitting only certain spots? Depending on the sun?

Brian 45:07
Right? Yeah, the sun angles on the shoots, since it pretty much flows north are, are really important because especially in a canyon, we’re missing big turns, you know, and sometimes it’s in their eyes, which now I can say this and I’ve seen it happen where people catch them on a floating line, the sun’s in their eyes, it’s, you shouldn’t be fishing it but and they’re like, Oh, I got one you’re like unbelievable. You shouldn’t have call on there. But I always tell people this too. We made up all the rules in the steel that never read the rulebook. So I can tell you this stuff and all the rules will be broken. So I look for sentinels I want behind them or off to the side. I don’t really like it in their eyes. So I will skip a spot because I just lose total confidence in a place where it’s in the right even if it’s a sink tip. Think tips all fish in them, you know once the sun really gets out and that’s like The afternoon. I’ll still fish floaters who a lot of times I can find angles of the Sun I still like with a floating line. So it might be till you know 1011 o’clock and then finally we might change over to sink tips but it’s usually a like I said a light tip a flow tip emotive you know those lighter tips that are only like seven and a half think some guys will use some heavier stuff if or if they know the spot that that won’t get hung up as much if you’re not knowledgeable about the run your fish and I would recommend not going too heavy as it comes more familiar with the might be able to use TLS but nothing It’s not like I’m trying to get down like in the winter or slow the fly down. I’m just trying to put it down so they don’t have to look up. Yep, that’s my thinking of it. Yeah. But it’s always up to the client. Some guys will don’t want to fish you know, sink tips that much. They just want to fish floaters, but But yeah, we’ll try to push tips till please. Maybe one two o’clock and then take a break. And then then maybe hit it hard in the evening again.

Dave S 47:03
Yeah, gotcha. So that’s the main the main thing is is finding that angle so the sun’s not there and if you can do that, are you guys doing mostly drift boat trips?

Brian 47:11
Yeah, I’m using all drift boat. Yeah. So

Dave S 47:14
you’re floating just putting in are you doing kind of the the middle section? Are you doing the low river?

Brian 47:19
I do the low I so I do a lot of day trips from like pine tree to match and then all of September and first of October. It’s just back to back camp trips.

Dave S 47:29
Oh, yeah, you do? Yeah. You got all the camping stuff. So

Brian 47:31
yeah, I’m just doing I’m doing laps. I call it but I just put in do the three four days. Go to the Dalles. reshard put back in are you doing

Dave S 47:40
is that you? Are you doing the trips? Like kind of the everything or do you have somebody doing like a gear boat and all that stuff? Oh, I have a gear boat. Yeah, it seems like I’ve gotten

Brian 47:49
it either. I got smarter. You know lazier, as I feel like I’ve gotten smarter. I don’t want to do all that. Is there anybody out there still do it. Do you see much of that that are doing You know, kind of a one sided kind of trips? Not well yeah, there’s a few where you do the kind of, you know, Safari trip just fishing hard throw a cot down, you know, in a run and, ya know, I mean, that still can be fun, you know, but it’s busy enough that that can be hard you can you can end up in places like Well, I think I can put a cot here. So I like to have the luxury of camp and that’s nice to show up to that and have it all done and, and have everything ready for clients who like Wow, look at this. This is great, you know, so look, we have a nice run right here to fish. Like this is why we have our, our gear guy. He’s doing all the hard work. That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, that’s cool.

Dave S 48:45
Any other resources? You know, if somebody wanted to learn if they weren’t going out with you and they wanted to just again, that person that’s kind of trying to find that first steel head? Where would you direct me like books, magazines, online

Brian 48:56
resource? Well, deck oguns book is really good. The passion is He talks a lot about different angles and how fish come and fly. I mean, that’s, that’s a great resource. You know, my resource was always Trey combs his books, I had his first book, you know, that’s how I really got good at Time flies I tied all the flies that he had. And that was the first book I saw that had all the color plates, you know of colors. Because before that, it was always pen and ink, you know, drawings almost. So, but Trey combs his second book is a great book on and it gives history of rivers and stuff, but it talks different rivers and different techniques. There’s always YouTube too. I mean, there’s there’s some battery grade videos and Florida killer flying videos. Now there’s a lot of great tires out there that people never even heard of that. I even run into them. Wow, this guy’s really good. Yeah. So there’s a lot of that and even Instagram, I mean, which sounds funny, but there’s guys that do videos on that all the time. Fantastic spay tires and steelhead fly cars yeah it’s really cool to see all the

Dave S 50:06
yeah it has been made it is kind of cool to be able to connect around the world right i mean it literally is easy you can see all everywhere Atlantic salmon, whatever you want right

Brian 50:16
right right well it was during the whole lockdown I got kind of hooked into watching those when you know you weren’t supposed to go anywhere. I was just working around my ranch here and then tying some flies in the evening or watching some of these guys tie I’m like man these guys are good. Yeah.

Dave S 50:32
How did the yeah we’re in this still on the COVID thing how did I mean we’re still in it but it’s been let down a little bit. How has that been for I mean, did you go did were you like shut down completely? How

Brian 50:42
is all that? Oh yeah, we were shut down pretty much for guiding for almost two and a half three months and three months

Dave S 50:48

Brian 50:48
No guiding Yeah. Okay. It was kind of hard I missed the whole spring steel Ed and and kind of early salmon fly to shoots trout you know, missed a lot of stuff. But you know, You got to do what you got to do and the kind of be safe for your family and keep others safe. I guess it’s, it’s lightened up now and and, you know, and people are wanting to get out. So, it’s it’s still a little weird but, you know, everybody’s trying to do their social distancing and, and be protective of each other. You know, we’re doing our best to keep working as guides, you know, but it’s still weird.

Dave S 51:29
You gotta wear a mask out there, right?

Brian 51:30
Yeah, well, I’ve been doing it in the boats, you know, I mean, we’re trying to keep it separate, you know, that like, while you’re out fishing, it seems kind of silly because I can keep away from people. I mean, I’ve been wearing a boss like I do. Some people we were air mass, um, you know, and having people drive down the boat ramps and trying to do the right thing or do what we’ve been told is what we should do. But it’s it’s still weird. And it’s kind of To the people I’ve been leaving it up to them yeah. On what how they feel about it and what they want to do. You want to want them to feel safe and and have fun and so that’s, that’s the most important thing.

Dave S 52:13
Yeah. Well let’s before we get out here let’s jump into just quickly into some winter steelhead a little bit and it sounds like the you know you you’ve been on the sandy for a long time. Any any quick tips for winter steelhead, I mean, it’s definitely a different game. And I actually Marty when he talked a little bit about winter fishing over there. But what do you tell somebody you know, when you’re out there, you’re taking a newbie out for a winter steelhead trip. You know, what’s the expectations and how does that day look?

Brian 52:41
Well, the expectations are if we get one a day is a good day. Like anything but it’s always funny when you take a beginner. Sometimes your expectations are really low. You’re just like, Hey, we’re just gonna pull into a spa. Just learn how to do this a little bit and kind of get the rhythm advantage. You’re not even looking to swing You’re just saying, let’s just cast for a little while just kind of get get the hang of this before we get too carried away. The main thing is just keeping it simple for somebody new like the head out maybe you know, find that easy spot just like I said the cast, but inevitably they always will hook on it was so funny I had I had some beginners this year one guy had three fish and never even I told him you might as well quit now like because it was unbelievable but the winter steelhead, it’s all about conditions similar to summer. But it’s all about water levels. And so you want to hit those fresh kind of rises after it’s risen pretty high maybe and it’s dropping down it’s it’s comes back to water temperature again, the waters warmer, the sandy averages about 39 degrees most of the time. And so when the waters up from some rains you’re getting maybe that’s 42 maybe even 43 degree water or those winter fish are going to be a lot more active to fly So then and then it’s kind of hitting the right kind of water it’s back to hunting again but with the beginner like I said, I’ll just keep it simple and then just put them in water where they’re don’t have to throw it very far and then work on trying to slow the fly down. That’s what I think is important with winter fish is not always deeper. It’s this needs to be slower sometimes, because the water is so much colder that they’re not as active so when I was we’re not fishing the same waters, you’d fish for summer steelhead, it’s some of that slower, maybe tail out or middle of the run. Kind of real methodical, slow water, where it’s kind of even pace all the way through.

Dave S 54:40
Yeah. How do you slow so other than finding the right water house? Do you slow that fly down?

Brian 54:45
Well, you know, mending or casting angles are always important, kind of with a steel heading summer or winter. But the angle sometimes is a little more across, just to give the fly time to get a little deeper and help It’s slow it down. So sometimes I’m missing a lot more, and I’ll throw one big mend and it’s a lot of like I call it a rendering, you know, just kind of rendering the fly just lifting that in right off the rod tip just kind of keeping that going a little bit slower as it starts coming across, like depends on the water, but I do a lot of rendering and then there’s lines there’s some of these 3d lines or like a line that I helped out with which was called a fist, which is a floating intermediate with a built in sink tip. So it kind of slows the fly down getting below that surface, kind of tension or surface, you know, currents that are going all over the place, you can break that surface, then it will go a lot slower all by itself without a lot of mending or a lot of hassle. So that lines become kind of important winners feel adding but you know it’s just getting that fly slower. Like I said, I tried. One year I tried to use a big a 10 weight 15 foot 10 weight I fished sink tips up to like 500 grains, I had like teeny lines and I paid for a schedule ahead basically. And I was dredging girls watching all these guys fishing gear catching all these fish. And I really didn’t catch any more fish, fishing all that heavy, heavy, heavy, some tips and heavy flies. I caught some but it was more of a hassle. And I thought, Man, I think I’m missing some of these fish in the higher flows that are in close. When the water is up there cruising along the edges, they’re not out in that heavy current. They’re on those inside seams in those little little depressions or maybe those rocks so I’m actually fishing I think lighter sometimes now than I ever did. And swing it in closer at least the first time through. And I’ll do that a lot roll Fisher run real light kind of first time through. And then if we got time, I’ll come back through with something totally different, you know, a little bit heavier fly, a little heavier sink tip and then try to you know, maybe slow it down or get it down a little more Out, out a little farther after we went through but sometimes that’s First time through with that light stuff that’s when we hooked on Yeah. Especially in that off colored water, you know a little more glacial colored and, and kind of higher flows that’s that’s the prime stuff so we’re constantly as guide looking at water flows I hardly ever do in the summer, but in the winter just like on your phone flows like oh it’s crashing oh no maybe the next day my guess. Right Is

Dave S 57:24
that how you how you get with clients when people I mean probably some are setting up scripts in advance Are you kind of guiding it based on flows?

Brian 57:31
Well, you know, we set up some people needed scheduled trips, you know, in advance this way their schedules are and then I’ll kind of have a hot sheet I call our guys might have a little leeway to get away and I’ll call you know, just kind of hit the list if I have openings and and tell them like hey, it’s it could be good and the next day or two and then they go Yeah, I can make it I’m like Alright, let’s get it down. And but I’m really picky in the winter. I’ve done this long enough that You can really burn somebody out on winter stealing if you go on a long day, and so on. Depending on the person that booked the trip, I will tell them that we will try to hit the best conditions we can and I might cancel on them twice. And it’s on me and I’m like, No, you don’t want to go on this. Yes. 35 degrees, it’s raining. That’s not when you want to start your winter steelhead experience that’s gonna be miserable. Even if the waters perfect. Like, yeah, you do not want to go on this now. So and then there’s other guys that just thrive on that stuff. You know, so it’s, it’s kind of a tough call, you know, sometimes I should have went navy and I didn’t, but I don’t want to I don’t want to. I want to make it fun. You know, I want to make it that they want to go do that. So I’m kind of probably one of the pickiest probably on some occasions on we’re still waiting, but we kind of have to be

Dave S 58:52
Yeah. So So how long does it take us back? You mentioned I think you were a teenager when you were guiding for that first trip till now. How long have you been getting

Brian 59:01
I think it’s like 35 years 35 Yeah.

Dave S 59:03
So what is your plan? You have a plan on you. Sounds like you just love guiding you’re gonna, because I hear different stories about people that you know kind of they love I mean god there’s a Davy Walton who’s back in kind of the white in Arkansas and he and he’s an older guy, you know, definitely an older guy and he I mean he still guides like, I don’t know 250 300 days a year or something like that and he’s so it’s amazing some of these people have the ability but some don’t right I mean, what’s your take on all that?

Brian 59:32
Some people get burnout or some people don’t realize that guiding is not fishing. Like I don’t fish a lot you know, I mean, I still get out on my own but I kind of knew guiding was giving up my fishing they teach other people that some of the already loved you know, some he already thought was the greatest thing ever was like it was easy for me like man, I want to get more people involved in this like this is a great sport. And, and I think a lot more people should be out here doing this and so that’s way I think of it yeah after all this time I would never thought I could make a career because in the beginning it was just like he did in the summer then you had to have some kind of job I mean, I would be going to college or whatever or working I worked at Larry sports center there was a there’s another Larry’s guide and we’re delivering sports that are for a while you know, basically finished every day and work at Larry’s but um, yeah, I mean, it’s surprising how, you know, I’m, I’m always surprised. It’s hard work. I mean, you can make a living at it. But it’s not easy. Like a lot of, you know, self employed people. There’s moments where you’re like, man, I should be on the river. And you’re not and then there’s other times you’re like, wow, I’m really busy. Yeah. So some people get burnout on I think it’s because they just don’t get deficient. And, you know, they kind of lost their fishing and just get burnout on on people that you know, can’t CAS and can’t do what they want them to do. And to me, it just mode evades me to get them, you know, get them gone without like yelling at them. You know, like, I hear all sorts of horror stories with stories of guides, like now you’re doing it wrong, do that rod, you know, kind of a thing like, Whoa, like, I would never do that. It’s like, now here’s how you do it. And I like to think it’s fun. You know, even if you’re not catching them, like they’re check those out cash this way. So, but no, it’s not for everybody. I definitely agree. Yeah, definitely not for everybody. And I don’t know how much longer I’ll do it, but I’m gonna keep doing it as long as I possibly can. There you go.

Dave S 1:01:37
There you go. Perfect. Perfect. And would you have a tip for a new guy, but what would you tell somebody that’s wanting to get into it or is just starting

Brian 1:01:45
a new guide? Well, it’s always tough. I mean, if they have no home river that they really want to work on. You know, there is guide schools that can kind of help them point them in the right direction, which at one time, I thought were kind of funny. school but that gets their foot in the door or working in a fly shop I mean that’s another way to get a foot in the door that’s how I kind of got into it was kind of hanging out in a fly shop being a you know fly shop brat basically just hanging out being you know casting in the back parking lot, you know, that kind of stuff and, and certainly meet the reps and other people and but really I tell I get emails off and on about guys that want to be a guide. I’m like, Well, where do you live? Well, I live here and like, what’s your favorite river? You know, I’m like, Oh, I fish this river. I’m like, Well, do you efficient all the time? And like, Well, yeah, like I would fish that as we’re, you know, every inch of that. Yeah. You know, like everything you’d want to know about it, and then try to work with a fly shop or maybe even start your own business. It’s definitely hard. I mean, I, I probably wouldn’t want to go through it again myself. Because there was times I, you know, I would take anybody for anything. Just because I had my guide license. I was like, man, I got nothing, you know, other than the trickle down what I could get from somewhere. So it’s definitely not easy, but I think most guys anymore would have to work either for an outfitter or a fly shop or do the guide school where they can set you up on maybe go guide in Alaska for a few years where you can build a clientele or meet some people and, and work from there. Yeah, but it’s definitely not easy to start. That’s perfect. Yeah,

Dave S 1:03:25
I’ll put a link in the show. I interviewed the person running the the Sweetwater guide school out there in Montana A while back. Yeah, I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. And,

Brian 1:03:34
ya know, that would be a great resource right there. Those guys do a really good job from what I can see. Yeah, it

Dave S 1:03:39
was awesome. Yeah, they mentioned that I think I can’t remember exactly, but I mean, they pretty much guarantee a job. I mean, it’s if you want to Yeah, no, it’s literally almost 100% and you know, they’ll they’ll find you something so it’s

Brian 1:03:51
right. They have that Yeah, they they fill up a lot of the lodges and a lot of places in Alaska. With with those guys that just came out of there and Which is perfect for some of those rivers where you don’t have a lot of people and sometimes not the pressure and not the amount of guides you can have in some of our rivers sometimes

Dave S 1:04:11
you have a Do you have a bucket? I’m not sure how much destination type fishing you do but do you have like a bucket list spot?

Brian 1:04:19
Oh man, I got you know everybody’s got a bucket list. You know, I did do one you know, I went to Christmas Island about four years ago. That was kind of one of my you know, everybody talks about Christmas Island and that was really hosted a trip that was really fun to do something like that. Any saltwater I mean like that, that just like I love that kind of stuff because being a winter steelhead, you know kind of guy or living out in Oregon, you go somewhere tropical. That’s pretty neat. And it seems like those fish eat anything you throw out and most of the time. From what I can see what I experienced though, is you know, you still have some tough situations but would be pretty fun but my other one is golden

Unknown Speaker 1:05:05
Colorado yeah

Brian 1:05:05
yeah I would love to do that yeah mark those seem like really fun visual kind of eating you know chasing things and stuff like that but but I would go to a steelhead river in DC I haven’t fished maybe even to like there’s so many options it’s hard to hard to choose we had a trip to scheduled to go to the skeena with some guys me and Marty and the whole COVID thing No No kidding shot that down. We were gonna go the end of April 1 and march to fish the skeena Yeah, we tried a few years ago to do that and I was blown out we were hoping to do it a little earlier and

it didn’t work out. So

Dave S 1:05:48
I’m gonna let you get out of here any in the next kind of six months, six to 12 months anything new coming up for you or you know your business and you want to give a shout out to

Brian 1:05:56
Oh, well just be working trial sessions. Still have some openings for for some summer trout fishing and then go into early steelhead and so that’s what I’ll be working on or this summer trout are you pretty much just hitting the dishes doing yeah just doing the shoots kind of looking for the cactus you know? Yeah dry fly fish and stuff. Well what’s your what’s your go to

Dave S 1:06:17
is probably not easy but if you had to say a dry fliers, what do you fish mostly? Or what’s the most common for trout? El Kheir caddis?

Brian 1:06:25
Yeah. Can bodied elk hair caddis size 1416 maybe an 18 that’s like the go to for me forever. You can’t be that’s the great one of the greatest drive bys. I have some of my own but, but that’s still on great as drive bys. And then one of my data’s pupils, it’s a beadhead caddis pupa is one of my other favorites for you know, some copper dropper style is what a lot do.

Dave S 1:06:52
Yeah, that’s it. That’s it. So Silvia flyfishing, calm if they want to track you down or book a trip with you.

Brian 1:06:58
Yeah, you can get On my website or even Instagram, just Brian Sylvie or Sophie flyfishing you can find me on there too.

Dave S 1:07:06
Okay, perfect. We’ll put links to all that in the show notes and put that out there so yeah just want to thank you for coming on and then sharing some tips here we’ve uh you know there’s the job day I never get tired it’s funny obviously it’s my home reverie you know, the disputes and stuff I never get tired of talking about it. You know, to me, it’s kind of like, you know, the stories and connecting you now to Bachman and that whole thing right, you’re part of that it’s so I appreciate you sharing everything today and coming on and talking a little efficient. Yeah, no problem.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:36
All right, having me All right. We’ll talk to you talk to you later.

Unknown Speaker 1:07:39

Dave S 1:07:40
So there you go. If you want to find all the show notes, all the links we covered just go to wet fly swing comm slash one for eight. Could you share this episode with one other person who would love the show? I would. It would be great. If you could reach out and let somebody know I’m definitely shooting for the 5050 Eventually along with Orvis, so it’d be great if you know a person in the female variety that would even be better. And finally, go over to outdoors online deco head over there right now and click Play that’s outdoors with an S and help the journey I’m on there in the parallel, kind of the parallel universe, I guess you could call it. I’ve got I got some good stuff going on. So I’d appreciate if you had a chance stop on by and if it looks like something interesting, maybe you could share it out there with the world. Thanks again for stopping by today to check out the show. I’m looking forward to catching up with you soon and maybe seeing you on the river online. Thanks for listening to the wet fly swing fly fishing show. For notes and links from this episode, visit wet fly swing COMM And if you found this episode helpful, please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes.

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brian silvey

Conclusion – Steelhead Fishing in Oregon with Brian Silvey

Brian Silveyy is on to share some tips on steelhead fishing and spey casting and takes up back to his first job.  Find out about Poly leaders vs mono leaders and some of the lines Brian is working on now with Scientific Anglers.

We get some great tips for steelhead including a few tips on getting your fly down to the right level using a muttering technique.