Sunday, January 8, 2012

One Fish, Spey Fish

Not the best shot, but it will do.

The head shake brought the 12’ 6’’ spey rod to life. The tip bounced up and down as the steelhead pulled against the pressure. The leverage provided by the extra long fly rod gave me a much larger advantage than the standard 10-footer, and after a few runs and rolls on the surface, the five-pound fish came to the bank. A six-inch-long black articulated leach fly with silver flash hung from its lower lip.

The steelhead was the first fish of 2012, and the first fish hooked on a swung fly this season. I’m still less than a beginner with the spey rod, which I bought a few years ago at the annual banquet of the Trout Club of the Cleveland Natural History Museum, . One lesson with Will Turek, a few years back taught me that spey casting is dramatically different, but not exceptionally difficult. About one of out of five casts today were respectable. The rhythm of creating a good anchor and using the lower hand to do more of the work improved slowly.

I’m still developing a sense of where the fly is as it swings through the pool. The high water required me to wade deeper than I’d like to get the fly into the heart of the run. The 35-degree water pulled the head out of my body and made concentrating on the casting more difficult. But a steelhead on the end of the line will always warm you up. The steelhead hit about 20 minutes into fishing the long pool. No other fish would show themselves in a little more than two hours of swinging flies through the pool and the run below it.

Swinging big flies usually doesn’t produce as many fish as dead-drift nymphing, but it’s a fun change of pace and hopefully I’ll continue to progress with the spey rod this spring.

No comments: