Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ahhh Trout... And New Glass Rods.

Recently, I got a chance to try out the new Echo Glass. I have been waiting for this bad boy for a very long time. I got a hold of the 7’ 10” 3pc 5wt, and took it to the Deschutes. Just me and her…. Like a first date, minus the showering and deodorant.

What. A. Fun. Rod.

This rod changes everything about the game. Because the rod is so fast, your form has to be fluid, which makes you actually “feel” the way the rod is casting. All the way down to the cork.
I have always been a graphite rod guy. It took me a few moments to re-learn how to cast this rod. It makes you slow down. It makes you focus more on your casting, and less on life, and why your pants don’t fit anymore.
Which is what this game is all about, right?
I paired the rod with the Ion reel, and the new Airflo Super Dri 5wt floating line.
That combo is as smooth as a post hot case breakfast bowel movement.  Minus the cramps. 

What I love most about this rod, is the way it feels when you have a fish on. (even whitefish). I swear you can feel it all the way to your bunions. And my bunions haven't felt anything that awesome in a long time.
My opinion?

Yes. Add one to your quiver. And hit the water. Pronto.

It will totally make your extra chin disappear.

And rainbows will appear.

All because of the New Echo Glass. Its true. Promise.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Years Resolution 2014

Winter Hatchery Chrome Photo: Michael Davidchik

Last summer I was fishing a local in Oregon.  After a long day on the water, I moved to a spot on the lower river where I have had some success in the past. Stepping high into a run, I started swinging and looked down in the riffle below me, seeing steelhead sitting within my spey rods length. That moment brought me back to a decade ago when I first really learned how to fish for summer run steelhead in low water, and where small stream tactics that trout fishermen use, sight fishing and incorporating tips from Jim Teeny spot them, you got them methodology was put together into a lot of successful days on the water.

After trying to fish for that those fish, hooking and losing a couple, I told myself I would bring back some of that old school flavor that I had lost because I got addicted to the spey rod bug.  During the Summer and Fall seasons I always made a point to fish the dryline on a single hander on the Deschutes and Ronde. Dryline fishing is a blast, and bringing back the single hander to do it is kickass,  but I always stuck to the spey or switch for most fisheries and always tip work. What I realized in that moment last summer was that despite all the things that I learned while swinging the fly with the spey rod, I dismissed a lot of the tactics and techniques learned while fishing a single hand rod that were productive. This included reading water close to the bank and stalking fish. Yes, I said stalking fish.

Then again on my last float of 2013, I was standing on the banks watching my girlfriend and friends swing some water on another local and I was again reminded why I needed a single hander on board the boat. I could see fish sitting in buckets throughout the run, but nobody was touching fish. When my turn came to swing a fly, I got the same response from the fish. Yet working through the run, I could still see fish. They just weren't biting that day. My thoughts brought me back to what I could do if I had that single hander in my hand and how I could manipulate the fly with more accuracy.

One thing I have always taught people is the importance to fish the fly and not to just let the fly fish for you. The cast and swing can be monotonous and you can become lazy, just casting and swinging. What I learned years ago swinging flies up close and within sight is what it does in the current. With every movement, manipulation or mend, you can track the fly in the direction you want.   It is very similar to fishing a skater. You can track the fly in the current and see what it would do for a wet fly if you choose to fish under the surface.

So this year my New Yeas Resolution was to revisit those techniques that made me a successful fisherman years ago. That means fishing a single hander, small tips, sight fishing, reading water better up close and at times fishing with added weight. The idea of swinging flies with added weight always caused inner turmoil and thought it took away from the experience.  Over the years I have experimented with it more with worm weights, especially after Scott Howell’s Skagit Master 2 came out.  There are obvious advantages of adding weight to the line versus just tip fishing in certain situations and having that in your arsenal can make for that one grab that you have been missing all day.