In The Bucket #3 – Steelhead Secrets: Insights from Pacific Northwest Guides with Dax Messett and Scott Baker McGarva

In the Bucket Podcast
In the Bucket Podcast
In The Bucket #3 - Steelhead Secrets: Insights from Pacific Northwest Guides with Dax Messett and Scott Baker McGarva

In the Bucket #3 Show Notes

In this episode of “In The Bucket,” we dive into the captivating world of fly fishing in the Pacific Northwest, a region celebrated for its majestic landscapes and challenging steelhead fishing. Joined by seasoned anglers Dax Messett and Scott Baker Mcgarva, listeners are treated to an engaging discussion filled with expert casting tips, memorable fish stories, and practical advice for making the most out of guided fly fishing trips. Whether you’re a veteran angler or just starting out, Dax and Scott’s insights into the nuances of successfully landing steelhead, the evolution of fly fishing gear, and the importance of conservation efforts offer invaluable lessons that promise to enrich your fly fishing experience and ignite your passion for the sport.

Episode Chapters

(0:00:01) – Meet the Guests

Scott Baker-McGarva

Scott is a well rounded angler currently residing in Squamish, British Columbia. He is older than you think and has a wide array of guiding experience including some of the very best wild steelhead rivers in BC. Scott is currently a tackle sales for a variety of brands including Simms Fishing Products.

Dax Messett

Dax is an entertaining fellow who has guided in a variety of states but can currently be found most often on the best steelhead rivers in Oregon. Dax has a loyal following of clients, some of whom join him for hosted travel at top destinations. Dax is also the US sales rep for Nam Products.

(0:02:20) – Brian talks about a conversation he had with a client while guiding in Chile and what it means to be a middle aged fishing guide and pursuing a career in the tackle industry.

Brian guiding on the Futaleafu River in Chile during the mid ’90’s. Note the original Simms breathable waders.

(0:03:30) – Dax talks about some of the places he guides and some of the great hosted trip destinations he offers.

Golden Dorado Dax

Redfish Dax

Skeena Steelhead Dax

NZ Brown Trout Dax

(0:05:20) – Scott talks about his guiding experience

Young Scott, guiding on the Bow River in Alberta

Scott, guiding on the Dean

Scott with clients on a Bulkley float

Ocean guiding Scott

(0:17:25) – Dax talks about Nam Products including running line

Yes, Nam Hazumi is really great running line, available in 4 sizes

(0:21:00) – Brian talks about power application in the speycast and Pieroway Metal Detector Rods

Metal Detector maximizes rod load through casting efficiency

Metal Detector on the Skeena

(0:24:00) – Scott talks about the joy of fishing old reels and their value as in investment

Retirement fund

(0:30:00) – Dax talks about his love for click and pawl reels

Dax with the VR Design Salar Incomparabile

(0:31:30) – Dax and Brian talk about the importance of an elevated rod tip and how a properly balanced reel and rod combo will facilitate this for you

Dax fishing with the tip up in Skeena country

A selection of Islander TR3 full frame disc drag reels

(0:33:30) – Scott talks about fishing on the Dean River

Scott with a really nice steelhead on the lower Dean river

(0:34:50) – What do you do when a steelhead grabs your fly?

“Hold your line tight and let him eat it a bit”

(0:43:00) – Dax talks about the mindset of a steelheader

(0:44:10) – the common ground between steelheading and skiing/snowboarding

(0:45:30) – the superb documentary Buried

(0:50:00) – Living in Squamish and getting to fish the local waters

Scott fishing in the backyard

(1:02:30) -Dax talks about guide pranks

The toilet seat

(1:06:45) – advice for clients going on a guided trip

Scott demonstrates the ‘down and dirty’ technique for landing fish fast

Dax with the spey tips, spey clave presentation

(1:20:00) – Leader line choices for steelhead

(1:29:00) – hook size for steelhead fishing

Commercially tied ‘Hoh Bo Spey’ with hook positioned correctly

(1:36:00) – you can find Dax at and also at and Instagram

(1:37:00) – great casting and fishing tips from Scott & Dax

Dax watches his loop for optimal casting performance, you should too.

(1:42:00) – you can find Scott on Instagram