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Anatomy of Anadromy

Neil Strickland AKA "Steel Diamond"
Guide, Owner, Fly Designer

Neil is a man of the water. He was born in Arizona - far from oceans and rainforests, from glaciers and the rivers that drain them... and far, far from Steelhead. Aware of these shortcomings, he left the desert and set off for the mountains - first the Tetons, then the Bighorns - and took on a life of fishing for trout in the rivers of Wyoming and Montana. For eight years he taught fly fishermen how to coax Browns and Rainbows big and small into taking a myriad of flies, from tiny tricos to meaty hoppers and chunky streamers. Through fishing and teaching, he gained an intimate knowledge of fly fishing. During his early years of guiding, Neil discovered the advantages of tying his own flies - first, creative license and durability, and eventually, more success on the river. Neil signed his resignation from the world of resident trout when he began spey casting and found he had a knack for tying steelhead flies. He learned from some of the best - emulating the strength and neatness of Shewey's spey flies, the sparse nature of Scotty Howell's hairwings, the color flow in Shumakov's tube flies, and the often-puzzling effectiveness of a simple guide fly.

Neil got his first taste of the Northwest on a mid-winter trip to the Peninsula, and just couldn't shake it. And how can you blame him. In the years following, he met his match in this world, and together we've set up shop on the banks of the Hoh. Neil tells me all the time that he's the luckiest man he knows. Lucky as he may be, he has worked hard to be exactly where he is, doing what he's doing. He is skilled in his craft, but rather than becoming complacent, he is constantly raising the bar on himself. He is dedicated to the rivers he guides, the fish he seeks, and the people who seek his guidance. So take the chance to listen to his casting advice, his opinion on flies, his insights on anadromy... you might just learn something.

Alyssa Halls AKA "Hen Steel"
Owner, Webmistress, Fly Tyer Extraordinaire

Alyssa is a fish-hugger. She just can't get enough of these damned things. Growing up in western Oregon, only a stone's throw away from the Nehalem River, it took her 21 years to catch her first steelhead. She's definitely been making up for lost time; over the last couple of seasons I've seen her hook and land more chrome-domes than most will see in a lifetime. We think its the pheromones.

Alyssa goes fishing just about everyday too. When she's not belting 80-foot bullets across the river you can usually find her tying flies, baking cookies, answering the phone, maintaining the website, running shuttles, tying flies, answering e-mails, maintaining the blog, and generally overseeing of day-to-day operations here at Anadromy. She is an amazing photographer and a very talented artist. Her flies are my favorite - you should be so lucky were a dozen flies to spill from her vise and into your fly box - It's the pheromones.


See ya out there,
Alyssa & Neil

©ANADROMY Fly Fishing 2011-2014  • web design & photography by Alyssa and Neil, featuring photos from Nic Villano, Jeff Jennings, and Cassie Halls