Posts Tagged ‘Spey Rod


Fully Loaded……..

Winter Preparations: Mind numbing cold…second guessing your pursuit. Wearing layers to the max and still the fingers feel as if a hammer has smacked them and the toes are getting numb. All the personal drive and desire to hook a Steelhead in the cold flows is seriously challenged by nature’s weather offerings. Beginner or seasoned, are you prepared? Change of clothing? Notifications made of where you will be? Emergency plan and communications if you get injured? Have you studied up a bit on hypothermia and recognize the early warning signs? 

Hiking, photography, skiing, snow shoeing, camping, fishing in the Winter, even if in close proximity to your rig, require some forethought to what if’s and the consequences of your decisions. Gear, checklist, notifications where you will be, weather reports, change of clothing, full tank….Semper Paratus!

™ Spey SwittersB-Winter-Two hander-fishing-steelhead-Oregon


A Woman, A Spey Rod & Perfect Imagery

Todd Moen of Catch Magazine fame put together this video of a Hannah Belford in Northern B.C. running a guide service and showing some nice skills while pursuing Steelhead. At 9:50 to 10:00 minutes is what one lives for swinging flies. Hannah Belford is truly inspiring as an angler. A nice, inspiring video by Moen too….holds your attention. Check it out.

Hannah Belford

Hannah Belford, British Columbia, Spey Angler in Steelhead Dreams


Prelims vs. Plump Love

The weather has turned colder and wet. The evenings are turning darker sooner. The work load has increased with a greater sense of urgency and those pesky prelims matched against the budget aren’t jiving. I would much rather be out finding that plump love. Maybe it is time to pay more attention to the gage stations, find the Scandi/Skagit heads and those tube flies. Time to reacquaint myself with that much longer rod.


Fly Fishing: Butt Wraps

Anytime you are shooting line, it has to be part of your visual assessment routine to note line wrapped around the butt section of your rod behind the reel. This is particularly important with a two hander. The angler will most probably maintain a loop of line several feet long, which facilitates  unwrapping the line from the rear of the rod, if it has made its way to the wrong side of the handle.

For a single handed rod for trout fishing, the loop is not usually maintained, so once the line is shot up the guides, it is important to look down and make sure the line is not wrapped around the butt. The line will be under tension. The problem here is the line will be under extreme tension/friction if counter wrapped around the butt. The fish/line will not be able to pull directly upon the reel spool/drag system. The tension of a large fish (should you be so lucky) on the tippet will make it difficult to unwrap the fly line to its correct alignment.

Eric McMillan (maintains the loop with line wrapped wrong direction on rod butt) He will be in a better position to note the butt section and unwrap it to correct position. TMuncy @ SwittersB


Russian Spey Casting (sort of) and, well the rest.


SORT OF  (no Snap-T or D Loops)



Spey Casting with Matt McCrary

 (D Perfect Example of Why a Two Hander Works)


Matt McCrary~Clackamas R. (2009)

This is the perfect example, real world, of up against the wall with an immediate drop off, so no wading out. The good single hander will roll cast or try the single handed spey movements to what?… maybe 40-50 feet with a steelhead fly (picture trying to do that all day). Here, I watch Matt make numerous gentle casts to a purposefully limited 70′ (like all these magicians, he can bomb it when necessary). That’s more water covered and more opportunities to encounter fish. The D Loop is gently created with an ease that only facilitates the propulsion of the Skagit + Head + Fly. The notable things learned today at the side of a master caster (Matt McCrary) was slow down- let the rod work or load- don’t pause too long & high on the D, but rather shoot sooner than you think you would- use that bottom hand to propel and the top as more of a fulcrum (pull that bottom hand in as much as you are tempted to forcibly push away with the top hand). My new Echo rod became ever more easy to manage. I did well, then I would lose focus and collapse the cast (this usually happened because I paused, rod too high, when forming the D Loop and/or I muscled the the cast, there by pulling the anchor out of the water and then the cast would slop out maybe 50 feet. When the timing went as it should, then the casts extended out to surprising lengths, for a flogger like me.


Matt McCrary Working that Bottom Hand

       I appreciated Matt taking time to work with me. He spends much of his time on the water with clients (Action Anglers (503) 927-3676) and little time spent actually fishing. It was rewarding to watch him and see the way it should be done.    


Spey Casting Gone Bad…(Try Again Soon)


You know what this means? No, not that I have caught so many fish, I am lounging about in a euphoric stupor resting and exercising my artistic inclinations. Nope, it is below freezing air temp with water temp 35 degrees and with an East wind pulsing down the Gorge. The Compline running line is trashing my fingers and the river right position is playing poorly against the river right wind. I am not that good anyway, but once I could not feel my fingertips the stripping of the running line, the pinching of the running line and the laser quality of the line played hell on my fingers enough that even though I thought they were frozen, I managed to stay in touch with my nerve endings…ouch! I swung easy and pulled my bottom hand in just so, but I was muddling one cast after another with only a few out a respectable distance. Wasn’t happening. River speed a touch too fast.

All that effort to get into my gear and now the trudge back and the effort to remove the gear. I long ago sprung for Simms Waders and have always touted that purchase as one of the single best investments I have ever made in my fly fishing life. But, even they are hard to remove if so many layers are worn beneath and your fingers cease to function. Ugh. I have weathered through several respiratory setbacks this winter and I finally decided to venture forth against my better judgment. Hmm, no whining allowed…the wind was the culprit…it can only get better. Oh, for those with drift boats, be careful taking out at Dabney. Several rigs stuck in sand at take out. Drift boats need to be winched or dragged up to firm ground to even get near a trailer.   


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August 2020

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