Steelheading isn't a numbers game. Not even on the best days. There's a reason that steelhead are often referred to as "the fish of a thousand casts." Searching out steelhead in rivers big or small takes patience and persistence. In winter steelheading, this reality is magnified. Fish are fewer and less active. Conditions are cold and wet, often icy. If chasing steelhead, in general, can be said to not be for the feeble at heart, then winter steelheading is reserved only for the most hardy of souls. Winter steelheading involves long days spent in tough conditions, launching a seemingly endless litany of casts, prowling water in search of the elusive grab.
There may be few that know the winter steelheading game better than Oregon steelhead guide and revered spey casting instructor Tom Larimer. In this short video by well-known fly fishing film maker R.A. Beattie and Simms, Tom and friend Ryan Buccola take to the late season, chilly waters of Oregon's Deschutes River in search of that grab.
It's a beautifully filmed short glimpse at the task of the winter steelheader, complete with a look at Tom's preposterously effortless casting strokes, which will either make you want to string up your spey rod and hit the water for that long overdue practice session or just break it over your knee and forget about the whole thing. Check it out below.