There’s no question that water level and weather affect steelhead fishing. High water flowing into the lake gives steelhead the green light to return to their birthplace. Of course, there’s such a thing as too much—or too little—water, so pay attention to how flows affect your favorite tributaries. When it comes to weather, sudden changes in both temperature and barometric pressure can shut down the bite. Supinski has been tracking such things for decades: “A fresh-run fish is more positive during times of dropping barometric pressure, which means clouds and rain. Steelhead that have been in the river for a long time do not like barometric changes, dropping or rising.” For those fish, he says, stable pressure is best. Sometimes, of course, you can only fish when you can fish, and if you want to catch more steelhead, there’s no substitute for time on the water. That’s when you truly figure things out. “You’ve got to envision that the pool you’re fishing holds steelhead, and that you’re going to catch them,” Supinski says. “Flyfishing for steelhead is a matter of persistence, determination, and positive attitude.” Work through the lows, savor the highs, and understand it’s all part of the glorious disease we call steelhead madness.