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New book on fishing for steelhead trout riveting

When the name Rick Kustich appears on the cover of a book on fly and/or trout fishing, you know you are in for a great read.

Kustich delivers sound steelheading strategies with great graphics in his latest text “Advanced Fly Fishing for Great Lakes Steelhead.” This Headwater Books publication from Stackpole Books offers useful basic and advanced information of help to veteran and rookie anglers alike.

His approaches and techniques about fly fishing for Great Lakes trout can be applied on streams and open waters while angling for everything from panfish to bass to pike as well as trout.

The introduction on gear and set ups is most informative, but the second section on casting is spectacular, the spey cast instructions in particular. Spey casting, a means of working a fly rod without making a back cast, was developed in Scotland years ago and can be a bit challenging.

A series of Nick Pionessa photos (more than 40 frames with captions for each casting phase) illustrates the spey, snake roll, Snap T and other means to work a fly rod in tight, narrow casting spaces. Unfamiliar anglers might think of this tackle as lightweight gear, but steelheaders work with big, powerful fish that are often fought in strong stream currents.

Kustich keys on heavier lines and rods capable of casting light terminal tackle. In the techniques section, 14 illustrated photos on five pages clearly show how to deliver a wet-fly swing; the tackle details include ways to handle a switch and two-handed rods.

Much emphasis in this book is on the exploits of Kustich, Pionessa and wife Suzanne Pionessa, Vince Tobia at Cattaraugus Creek Outfitters and other Western New York steelhead experts, but trout trekking across the entire Great Lakes chain can be found in this book. Kustich spotlights rivers and streams in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Ontario with specific sites and insights for each fishable area along the way.

The previous sections on strategies and fly recommendations can be applied in the areas keyed on at the end of the book. This and other Kustich books can be ordered on line at, but for an autographed copy of this latest book (signed by both Kustich and Pionessa) drop by the Oak Orchard Fly Shop at 5977 Main Street in Williamsville or call them at 626-1323. Nick Pionessa might be in the shop when you arrive.