Steelhead are definitely camera shy. But except for a couple of extra slow days we regularly connected with just enough fish to keep it interesting. With a camera pointed in your direction all day it is difficult to not feel some pressure to produce. And it seems that steelhead can sense desperation. But in reality swinging the fly with a sense of desperation and urgency is rarely productive as it is counter to the concept of rhythm and water coverage which are essential to success.
In order to produce some fish for the camera we found ourselves trying to slow down and revisit the core steps for success with a swung fly. The first key was to find water that had either produced in the past or contained prime elements of steelhead holding structure - even if this required long hikes with heavy equipment. The next key was basic - consistently swing the fly at the proper depth and speed. The first two keys then allowed for the most important step - covering the water methodically and confidently with the belief that each cast was the one. I always believe that if you fish a fly well eventually good things will happen.