Sunday, March 28, 2010

Breaking Out the Spey Rod

Today I started a new chapter in my fly fishing journey -- a chapter called Spey. Last spring I bought a two-handed Spey rod made by St. Croix at the Trout Club Banquet. But I never put it to use and it sat in the basement all summer and fall. Right before Christmas I finally got my large arbor St. Croix reel rigged up with a Skagit line thanks to the folks out at the Backpackers Shop.

I booked a half-day Spey casting lesson with Will Turek for next Saturday and will encouraged me to give the rod a try before the lesson. So after hooking several steelies this morning the old fashioned way, I hiked back to the car, rigged up the Spey rod and headed back to the run. I have watched enough You Tube videos to get a rough idea of the basic Spey cast -- which starts with a simple roll cast and then gets a lot more complicated.

The run I fished is a wide, but shallow stretch of the Rocky River, featuring some gravel, boulders and left turn in the current. A few male steelhead were actively cruising behind a two female spawners, and I thought it would provide an entertaining way to break out the Spey. It really is a mistake to try and learn how to cast while fishing. One should simply learn to cast first, and then fish. But being the impatient soul that I am, I did both at the same time ... with predictable results. I casted weakly and hooked nothing on the swing. I did manage some decent roll casts and worked on my D loops and repositioning the line. I got comfortable enough that I look forward to the session with Will to really learn what to do.

I did manage to hook two fish -- one fair and one foul -- by using the Spey as a giant nymphing rod. Sadly, I discovered the St. Croix reel jams up when spinning in response to a steelehead swimming north as fast as a rocket... May have to buy a new reel...

More on the education of a Spey fisherman in the future.

The Rocky dipped below 500 cfs this afternoon, before rising again thanks to the steady rain. Sure do hope we can fish some the next few weeks.

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