The skagit line shot through the guides and the Hairy Leg Leech dropped into the water a few feet from the cliff across the river. The strong current quickly pulled the line downstream and the leech fly swung after it. As the fly approached the end of its swing, a seven pound female couldn't resist the mix of black rabbit and flashabou and inhaled the the fly. The Gamakatsu octupus hook pierced her upper lip and the fish responded by leaping from the water.
The fish was no match for the 12 1/2 foot spey rod and quickly came to the beach.
This is how spey fishing is supposed to work and for a few hours on Saturday it went pretty well. I found a decent rhythm with the casting, hooked four fish and landed two. I probably have cast a spey rod less than 10 times, but I'm slowly learning a few things. Thanks to Dan at Chagrin River Outfitters I was using T11 leader -- which got the fly down deeper in the fast current than the T8 that I had been using. And his Hairy Leg Leech didn't disappoint either. Now I just need to take the time to tie up a few for myself.
The 10-foot Thomas & Thomas still produces more fish, but there will be more spey casting ahead as we move into spring.