Re: catching bigger fish
I am going to tell you something along the same line as what ThonyB has said. Dan, and Dennis are making good points concerning the application of different rods and their usefulness in given conditions.
Thony mentioned sight fishing salmon, before I had read any of the answers that have been posted to you my thoughts were; want to catch bigger fish = locate bigger fish. Thony also mentioned driving a fish into a less desirable spot by over pressuring it. There is no better tool for catching a larger fish than visually locating a fish. If you are fishing blind as you would be in deep water or at great range then you must go with pot luck, whatever takes is what is on.
Here is something to consider for a summer activity. When the water flows are at their lowest in the areas you like to fish for steelhead & salmon, go for a walk. Locate the parts of the stream channel that are often too deep for you to study the bottom during the fall and spring runs. Take note of impending snags and also large boulders that will provide a holding spot for fish when they are in the river. By taking a little time getting to know your bottom structure you will be better able to know where to cast when the fish are in.
Whether you sight fish or have reconnoitered the bottom of a river channel nothing beats knowing where to cast. Always remember this, if you can see the fish they will be able to see you. All the scouting in the world will not pay off in full unless you exercise stealth as part of your stream and river strategy.