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3.9 out of 5 stars12
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on February 16, 2005
Doug Rose has written a beautiful tribute to the West End rivers and the spectacular fish of Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Three parts conservation, one part natural history, with a bit of how-to fly fishing; Rose's passion for his subject comes through on every page. What makes this read particularly enjoyable is how easily he makes good writing seem effortless.

Rose comes across as a dedicated naturalist and astute observer of riverine habitats. These observations extend to the Peninsula's geography, climate, local history, local Tribes and conservation politics. Absent is the grandious bravado of many angling writers and their simple 'catch-and-tell' naratives. He presents solid arguments for protecting wild fish, particularly the remaining wild winter steelhead, from harvest and further habitat destruction. Most notably, he shares with us what these fish and rivers mean to him on an intimate level. Rose paints an image of the Olympic rain forest landscape that is both unique and precious; and outside National Park boundaries, remains in desparate need of protection.

I began reading this book to learn more about winter steelhead fishing from a technical perspective. While there are several sections relating to technical aspects, they are few and somewhat short on detail. Illustrations are limited to so-so quality photographs of West End riverscapes and many (but not all) of the flies described throughout the text. One small complaint concerns a number of typos remaining that the editor failed to catch. Admittedly though, my gripes are nominal.

I highly recommend this read for those wanting to enjoy an eloquant tribute to the remarkable anadromous fisheries of the Olympic Peninsula rivers.
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on December 8, 2014
I was looking for a book to find general Steelhead water in the Olympic region. This is more stories then details. He includes no maps or where to go for out of towners. This is basically a book for someone to read. I don't enjoy reading but finding the next fishing hile. I have had better luck with Flyfishers Guides for each state. They tell you fly patterns, where to go, hatches etc. This book will be sitting on my book shelf collecting dust
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on May 31, 2005
Doug Rose has authored an authoritative, entertaining, and artful narrative about one of the most amazing gamefish -- the sea run rainbow trout known as The Steelhead -- and one of its most pristine habitats: Washington state's Olympic Peninsula.

Rose writes in a colorful narrative style that brings the Olympic Peninsula's winter palette to life. He also introduces the reader to the people who live their lives in pursuit of, and in support of, this great sport fish. Within the story he weaves the important ecological issues regarding the management -- and mismanagement -- of this wild, fragile, natural resource. A series of color plates in the middle of the book bring the reader even closer to the subject.

This book is a fine read: a "literary fishing book" in the tradition of Roderick Haig-Brown and Harry Middleton; a book that should be -- and will be -- read and reread by lovers of fly lines and literary lines alike.
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on May 21, 2016
Definately not a "how to" guide as the title might suggest.Though the title never actually says it is a guide. More like a collection of fly fishing stories on the west shore rivers. No doubt you will learn something, but the real reward is enjoying the area in prose form. Enjoyed the stories and built some interest in going myself. Used as a guide it mostly gave me questions to be answered before actually going. I consider this a good thing.
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on November 5, 2015
The book is well written and was a good read. A lot of information was provided most of which had little practice use. Providing beautiful photographs of flies and not giving the patterns for the flies, particularly the uncommon patterns is bothersome to me.
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on April 12, 2014
Doug Rose is a true icon amongst winter steelhead fly fishers. His knowledge and deep passion for the rivers and fish of the west end will be missed. A classic book full of stories and local information on the Olympic Peninsula.
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on October 25, 2010
This is a really, really good book. And is very fun to read. You learn a lot about the history of the OP, and obviously a great deal about the fly fishing for steelhead in that area. I find some of the most interesting parts of this book are the chapters about the history of certain rivers and fisheries, and other subjects. Deus Ex Machina, Maximum Sustained Harvest, and The Creeks are a few examples. This is a great book, and so are Doug Roses' other books as well.
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on April 3, 2013
Although I have not finished the book yet, it is a pleasure to read. Shortly after it arrived, I learned that Doug Rose had died, which adds poignancy to his recollections and observations.

I recommend this book for any fly fisher who has an interest in steelhead.
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on January 16, 2015
Excellent reading, but it isn't a guide book. It is really a look at the challenges facing steelhead on the OP, most of which are unfortunately, man-made.
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on February 11, 2015
Interesting history and review of the politics of steelhead and salmon.
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