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Book Review: The Reel Truth II

the reel truth ii
Steve Hanson

Here is my review of The Reel Truth II: A Guide to Joining the Upper Echelon of Salmon and Steelhead Anglers.

Author Steve Hanson’s The Reel Truth II serves as a coffee-table encyclopedia for salmon and steelhead fishing. The text itself is as extensive as it is candid. With the plethora of matter-of-fact information regarding fishing strategies and techniques available online, the candor of Hanson’s words makes reading The Reel Truth II more like tuning into an experienced angler sharing secrets over a warm fire and a cold beverage. To be frank, you might want to keep this book on the back of the John rather than the coffee table and make it your daily devotional.

There’s a wealth of knowledge in this book. You’d have to attend multiple seminars with presentations given by professional guides in order to absorb all the secrets that exist within its pages. From reading water, caring for your gear, tactics and techniques and curing bait to recipes for your catch, this book covers all the bases in depth. There are even specifics for targeting different species in a few particular watersheds and estuaries.

The color photo section shows vivid context of bait curing and lure presentations.

Color photos provide a visual for readers on rigging, techniques and presentations. A highlight of this book is the insight into lots of unconventional tactics. If I told you about them in this review, it would totally spoil the read for you; however, I will say that one of my own personal struggles is dialing in a new technique and becoming frustrated on the days when I can’t make it produce. The Reel Truth II will encourage you think outside the box and experiment with new approaches to catching fish. There’s lot of survival skills in this tacklebox of text that will help you adapt and become a better angler.

Author Steve Hanson with a steak cut from a 74lb Kenai King Salmon

Hanson has been fishing Oregon and Washington waters for over 35 years, but the book covers tactics useful to targeting not only Northwestern fisheries, but Alaska and the Great Lakes. His experience and knowledge have also been shared in the pages of Salmon, Trout, Steeheader magazine in his column titled “The Reel Truth.” You can purchase a copy of his book, The Reel Truth II, directly through his website

Author Steve Hanson with a 70lb Kenai River King Salmon


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Book Review: The Reel Truth II