12 Year Old Catches Wild Steelhead on Spey Rod

Steelheading goals.

“In the unknown, there are so many possibilities. That’s steelheading. There is a saying that “steelhead are emotionally & mentally undefinable.” I find they captivate my mind & fill my heart. I’m so grateful to share this beautiful moment with my son Emery. Son & mom steelhead road trip believing anything & everything is possible. His first steelhead. Full hearts.” Andrea Jeffery recalls her son’s first encounter with a steelhead this past fall.

Flylords caught up with Emery Searle, the 12-year-old angler from Utah to discuss what went into this fish of a lifetime and if he has any tips for other young anglers. Follow along below.

Flylords: Can you tell us a little bit about this fish?

Emery: The fish was so awesome to catch. It had some really pretty colors. A lot of casting, waiting, and patience went into it. The fish grabbed like a little trout and then just picked it up and took off. The battle was so awesome, just to be hooked on the fish, on the fly felt like a shark. It did come all the way from the ocean.

It was the second day there but on the first full day we got to fish. Mom and I just woke up and I had a dream I hooked a steelhead and mom got to tailing it and popped off. I was so bummed. But that wasn’t the case.

When I hooked it it felt so strong and a few times I had slack in the line and thought it popped off.

Flylords: What setup were you using?

Emery: I was using an Echo E3 TH 7 weight 13ft, Rio Skagit Max 500 grain, the tip was a 5\5 t8 light mow. The fly was my mom’s tie I named the Teddy Bear Hairwing.

Flylords: Are steelhead really the fish of 1,000 casts?

Emery: Yes, it was I think a lot of luck goes into it as well.

Flylords: When are you going to catch your next one!?

Emery: I’m hoping when I go to the Deschutes next year!

Flylords: Any tips for other young anglers?

Emery: Just keep fishing and wet more lines!!

Hey, Fly Lords thanks for sending questions they were fun to answer!!!! Until the next steelhead Emery. Follow along with Emery at and be sure to follow along with his mom Andrea Jeffery at @thegratefulangler

Understanding Steelhead and How to Fly Fish For Them [An Angler’s Guide]

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10 Tips for Fishing with Your Kids



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