Flies For Atlantic Salmon & Steelhead


A History Of The World’s Most Elegant Fishing Flies

By Trey Combs



  • Standard edition, hardcover with jacket: $150
  • 384 pages on heavy art-book matte stock
  • More than 1,000 photographs and illustrations
  • ISBN 9781735541549
  • Limited edition: Bound in handsome blue leather, featuring the silhouette of a silver-stamped Jock Scott classic salmon fly, with matching leather slipcase, signed and numbered by the author: $500

“The flies we fish have always fascinated me. What anglers put into their dressings—the organic, synthetic and spiritual—always took me to places I never knew existed and gave my stories needed relevancy.”

So writes Trey Combs in Flies For Atlantic Salmon & Steelhead, his new masterwork.

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This is not a how-to book about tying flies in the textbook sense-although any reasonably experienced maker of working salmon or steelhead flies will gain a great deal of useful insight into fly design and function.

As Combs does so well, he has delved into history and given today’s anglers a broad, fascinating view of the long progression of how salmon and steelhead flies developed over hundreds of years. As with any evolution, there wasn’t always a  clear, straight line. There were many zigzags and fads; sometimes the flies stayed essentially the same for long periods. Tradition is stubborn.

To tell this story of transformation, the narrative needs storytellers. Trey Combs has rounded up a “who’s who” of supremely gifted fly dressers from the salmon rivers of Scandinavia and Scotland to the steelhead rivers of the Pacific Northwest. In stunning closeup photography of their remarkable creations, old and new, this beautiful, inspired book tells the tale.

Part I


A Migration Of Classic Salmon Flies To The Steelhead Coast

  1. A Speyside Soliloquy
  2. Jock Scott Creates A Vision
  3. The Golden Age Of Salmon Flies
  4. John S. Benn And The Birth Of The Steelhead Fly
  5. Greasing The Line
  6. Zane Grey Spreads The Gospel
  7. Traditional Steelhead Flies
  8. Syd Glasso’s Stylish Transformation Of The Wet Fly

Part II

Three Amigos

Tube Flies Take Over 

  1. Roland Holmberg
  2. Håkan Norling
  3. Mikael Frödin

Part III

 Modern Salmon Flies

  1. Pot-Bellied Pigs
  2. Sunray Shadow-Øystein Aas
  3. Flamethrowers
  4. Ally Gowans

Part IV

 Modern Steelhead Flies

  1. A Dark Fly For Steelhead
  2. New Takes On A Classic Style
  3. Intruder-Jay Nicholas
  4. Guide Flies
  5. Rabbit Strips And More
  6. SteelFlash

Part V


  1. The Muddler
  2. Bugs And Bombers-Steve Silverio
  3. Wake Them Up!-Thomas R. Pero


About The Author

Trey Combs has been synonymous with steelhead fly fishing for more than 50 years. In his first book, The Steelhead Trout (Salmon Trout Steelheader, 1971) he described the migratory habits of ocean steelhead for the first time. His second book, Steelhead Fly Fishing and Flies (Salmon Trout Steelheader, 1976) remained in print for 30 years and was called the steelheader’s bible by a generation of fly fishers. He followed that with Steelhead Fly Fishing (Lyons and Burford, 1991) now the current bible for fly fishers throughout the salmon and steelhead world.

For seven years, Combs hosted trips to Costa Rica’s Bahia Pez Vela Lodge for Pacific sailfish. He ultimately caught five different species of billfish on fly-more than 100 marlin and sailfish in all, fishing offshore in Australia, Papua New Guinea, both coasts of both South America and Africa, and through the Americas from Panama to Mexico. For over a decade he worked as the lone charter-master for a long-range fly-fishing program out of San Diego, chartering Royal Star and Shogun for marlin trips to “the ridge” off Mexico. Then, with film crews, he led exploratory trips to the Revillagigedo Archipelago-the Mexican Galapagos–and to the French-owned Clipperton Atoll, islands never visited by fly fishers. Bluewater Fly Fishing (Lyons and Burford, 1994) was the first book about fly fishing for offshore game fish.

Trey has always returned to his steelhead roots. Today he lives a couple long casts from the Klickitat River in the little village of Klickitat, Washington. Here he engages in his favorite pastimes, tying flies for steelhead and tubes for Atlantic salmon, and giving them a swim in rivers near and far.



And now for a real treat. A Deluxe Edition of Flies For Atlantic Salmon & Steelhead is being created for collectors who appreciate angling history and beauty.

The Deluxe volume will be bound in burgundy leather, featuring the silhouette of a silver-stamped Jock Scott classic salmon fly, with matching leather slipcase. The Deluxe edition will be signed and numbered by the author and the publisher, as well as by a select group of famous fly dressers from around world who are contributing to this project.

This extraordinary collectors’ book will come in a custom clamshell leather case, with your Deluxe Edition nestled in one side and a standard copy of Flies For Atlantic Salmon & Steelhead in the other side. You will also have first rights of refusal to purchase the number of the Limited Edition that matches your Deluxe Edition.

In addition to the cased books, you will receive a custom set of nine salmon and steelhead flies capturing the broad, historical representative spirit of evolution through the centuries.

These exquisite flies are being framed in museum quality by master fly-collection designer Satoshi Yamamoto of Montana. Exclusively for Wild River Press customers, he has designed a magnificent symmetrical oval presentation with eight landmark designs swimming around a classic Atlantic salmon pattern in the center (see sample photo). The flies are recessed in a tan mat, artistically balanced within an outside rustic wooden brown frame of 23 inches by 20 inches by 1.5 inches deep. Here are the featured master fly dressers:

Will Bush, British Columbia-centerpiece fly: Baron, Green Highlander, Jock Scott or Shannon Butcher (you choose one). These rare classics will be dressed to order for you with completely original dressing materials and hand-made or antique hooks.

Stuart Foxall, England-Gold Willie Gunn

Joe Howell, Oregon-Green-Butt Skunk

Brett Jensen, California-Klamath Waker

Jerome Molloy, New Brunswick—LeBlanc’s Picasse

Dave McNeese, Oregon-Glasso’s Orange Heron

Jay Nicholas, Oregon-Original Blue Dawn Intruder

Peter Ohlsson, Sweden-Original Temple Dog

Steve Silverio, Pennsylvania-Brown and Orange Bomber

Deluxe Edition Flies For Atlantic Salmon & Steelhead: $5,000, with insured domestic and worldwide shipping extra. A finite quantity will be made, based on advance subscribed orders. Tell us which classic salmon fly you would like Will Bush to tie for you!

Reserve your Deluxe Edition now: Thomas R. Pero, tom@wildriverpress.com or telephone 425-486-3638.

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