Don’t Cast Too Far.
For some reason, people associate spey rods to long casts. Sure you can cast a spey rod far but that is not the main advantage of using one. Much of the time if you are casting too far, that is a disadvantage! The real advantage is that your fly stays in the water fishing longer, you can control your swing much better with the longer rod and you can cast using much less effort and with limited room behind you.
Steelhead like to lie near structure, and often that structure is near the shore. Atlantic salmon anglers face a different quarry with different habits, and may need longer casts, but steelhead can be much closer to the bank than most anglers believe. Yet most of fly fishers wade into the water and almost immediately start casting at their maximum range.
It’s best to cast a shorter line, but cast it well and consistently. If you’re making long casts that only work “most of the time” you’re reducing your chances of hooking a fish.
Consistent casting means hitting the same angle and same distance on each cast, having the fly turn over on each cast, and getting the fly fishing as soon as it hits the water.