About the Authors

Tom Keelin is a steelhead and Atlantic salmon fly fisherman -- and a Spey caster for both species for nearly three dacades.  Previously an avid devotee of single-handed-rod fly fishing, he became convinced of the advantages and appeal of Spey casting on an Atlantic salmon journey to the Kola Peninsula with Scottish fly fishermen in the early '90's.  He subsequently became one of the early Spey casters in Pacific Northwest steelhead fishing, primarily on the Skeena, Kispiox, and Babine rivers.

Tom is author of this website. The Depth Guide came out of discussions among steelhead fishermen and guides on rainy days in the Pacific Northwest.  Some thought that sink tip depth depended only on a line’s sink rate, while others thought grain weight was more important. Nobody knew for sure, but everyone needed and wanted the information.  Tom recognized that insight could be gained by applying fluid dynamics principles to a fly line suspended in moving water. 

The Weight Estimator came out of noticing that there was enough trustworthy data in the steelheading log books of the Silver Hilton Lodge (BC) to bring fact-based insight to this controversial topic.

Tom developed the “Half Out and Go” spey casting method by trial and error.  It was born out of the need to cast a sink tip as easily as a floating line in actual Pacific Northwest fishing conditions, and refined with co-author Bob Pauli at the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club (GGACC). For more than a decade, Tom has served as a judge, announcer, and head scorekeepper for the Spey-O-Rama, the world championship of spey casting hosted annually at the GGACC.

Tom holds a PhD in Engineering-Economic Systems from Stanford.  His background in mathematical modeling spans more than three decades.   Tom's models of capacity planning in electric power systems and of resource allocation in biopharmaceutical R&D have helped shape the state-of-the-art of management planning in those industries.   

Tom is founder and Managing Partner of Keelin Reeds Partners.  He is also a Director of the Decision Education Foundation, a not-for-profit organization that helps young people develop good decision-making as an essential life skill.

Tom with 20+ lb Steelehad, Dean River, BC 2023
Tom Keelin with 25 lb buck steelhead

Bob Pauli is co-author with Tom of the Easy Casting and Good Setups portions of this website.  He also contributed and collaborated with Tom on measurements and results validation associated with our research on Sink Tip Depth.  He has devoted hundreds of hours to his independent study of Skagit lines and equipment, and has authored multiple articles on this topic. 

Bob is a Mechanical Engineer fascinated by the mechanics of fishing with Spey rods.  He became a serious fly fisherman in 1980 and is dedicated to the twin mistresses of stalking spring creek trout and pursuing steelhead with Spey rods.  Bob is a Federation of Fly Fishers Certified Casting Instructor, one of 1200 world wide, and is also a member of the Golden Gate Angling and Casting Club.

Bob's unique combination of enthusiasm for fly fishing, dedication to casting instruction, and deep knowledge of the history and use of two-handed rods in the western US and Canada have made him a sought-after speaker and content expert.  His published interview with California Fly Fisher (click for free download) captures some of his unique and thoughtful perspectives.

Bob Pauli with 22 lb buck steelhead
Bob Pauli with 12 lb Dean hen steelhead -- hot and bright as they get