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  #1  
Old 12-26-2007, 11:59 AM
Riveraddict Riveraddict is offline
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Observations/comments on recent subjects

#1 - "How to" and "need advice" are fairly common themes on this board by people just entering into the sport of Spey. In my experience, extracted from many years of guiding, instructing, and also observation during personal fishing - throughout many venues in North America - the most prominent and influential "mistake" made by Spey newbies is mismatched tackle, and this condition basically boils down to having the wrong line for the rod. Without properly matched tackle, all the other aspects of Speycasting just won't work out. The "proper" line for any particular rod is first and foremost determined by the particular "style" of casting to be utilized. For example, a rod that is optimally matched with a line for Underhand/Skando casting is not going to load correctly for the Skagit casting approach, and vice versa. A properly matched Skagit casting outfit is going to be too short for effective Traditional/longline Speycasting technique... etc., etc., etc. The fact is, in order to allow for a correct matching of line-to-rod, one must first establish which particular style of casting they wish to pursue. Unfortunately, this means that to get on the "fast track" to learning how to Speycast - a newbie - who by virtue of the definition, has very little knowledge of the sport, must make a crucial decision at the very outset of their endeavor. For this I can only suggest doing as much research as possible by doing a "search" about the three most recognized approaches of Speycasting - Traditional/longline Speycasting; Underhand/Scandinavian casting; and Skagit casting - on these Speypages, and by talking to and observing other Speycasters. From the information gathered from these sources, pick a particular casting method by matching the attributes of the different casting styles up with the angling goals you seek and/or circumstances of fishing you expect to encounter. By "locking in" on one style of casting, one can then seek advice in all aspects of that casting style, from technique to equipment, that is focused on that particular methodology and therefore achieving a higher degree of consistency in that advice. And, take it from me, CONSISTENCY in instruction and matching of equipment that is KEY to becoming proficient in Speycasting. Now then, having said this, please do not misconstrue this advice into a suggestion of having to stay with one casting style FOREVER. Take it as it reads - LEARN one style at a time!
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Last edited by Riveraddict; 12-26-2007 at 01:05 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-26-2007, 01:51 PM
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#2...

...the definition of flyfishing seems to have a substantial degree of personal subjectivity. In my opinion, I would find it impossible to classify anything as flyfishing that didn't include, # 1, the fact that the "lure" being presented is in fact cast by the weight of the line, this being the very definition of flycasting, and #2, that the lure being used is a "fly" - in other words an artificial lure that has been TIED, and not in fact glued, molded, or formed onto a hook. In order for me to "claim" that any fish I caught was done so by "flyfishing", these are the parameters that must be satisfied. HOWEVER, this does not mean that I won't use a flyrod in capacities other than my personal stipulations for flyfishing. I do use featherweight spoons occasionally on my DH rods. With the appropriate line and casting technique they can be cast quite well. Under certain circumstances this utilization of a flyrod offers up a very enjoyable way to catch fish when actual flies aren't working, and does so with most of the pleasurable attributes of actual flyfishing. Employing a flyrod in a non-flyfishing capacity allows one to experience some of the enjoyable aspects of using flyfishing equipment - such as the casting, and/or fighting fish on a single action reel - in situations where actual flies aren't very viable. And, as long as it is done so in an area where there are no restrictions as to type of equipment use, and no claims are made as to it being actual flyfishing, what's the problem?
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Old 12-26-2007, 02:05 PM
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# 3...

...a use for the Snap T. Prior to this time, I have never had much use for the Snap T cast. In fact, my nickname for it was the Snapped Tip as I've seen quite a few instances where the use of this cast has resulted in some spectacular "guillotining" of the tips of Speyrods. However, down here in coastal Texas, the only place that offers current so that I can "keep in touch" with my Skagit casting, is a channel that connects Corpus Christi Bay with the Gulf of Mexico, during tide exchanges. On the outgoing tide, the current is full of grass coming off the bay's flats, and EVERY swing fouls the fly heavily. I found that after stripping in to the back of the head in preparation for the next cast, a vertically performed Snap T conducted with the rod facing straight "downstream", "snaps" the grass off the fly quite nicely!
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  #4  
Old 12-26-2007, 02:56 PM
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Great posts ED!
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How you get the line out and fishing is personal preference so as long as it works and is easy no one should care but the caster. MSB
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  #5  
Old 12-26-2007, 03:05 PM
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Wink you need to get outta Texas pronto!

I was kind of wondering why you have been so prolific with your posting the past week. (Of which I have really enjoyed) Thought you may have been laid up in a hospital or something.

Now I know, you are in East Texas.

You might take up quail hunting.
It's world class there. So are the hush puppies...

DH
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  #6  
Old 12-26-2007, 06:39 PM
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Yup, Texas it is...

...for 2 more weeks of "family obligations", then you can bet I'll be racing my butt right back up to the PNW! I have learned in the past few weeks that I'm not too keen on: hot weather, fishing still waters, fishing salt water, using gear rods, fishing bait - they all seem a bit lackluster in comparison to swinging on sweetwater. I am also a bit perplexed by the "curiosity" level by other anglers around here. Without exception, every where I have been that is outside the "normal Spey arena", as soon as you start fishing with a Speyrod, it is a given that "onlookers" will gather around and ask questions. Here, for all the times I've been out wading the Packery Channel throwing a Skagit line, only one person has been inquisitive about the method. Do I look that scary I wonder!

So, yeah, I have had lots of time on my hands to surf the net, and there are many things presented out there that I just gotta put in my two cents worth on. For example;

# 3
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  #7  
Old 12-26-2007, 06:45 PM
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Yup, Texas it is...

# 3 - steelhead hold in "walking speed" water of 3 to 5 feet in depth. This "saying" is true to a point, but also misleading. Steelhead can also be found in water as shallow as 18", and in water over 20' in depth. It all is dependent on the circumstances. I believe that a more helpful statement would be that in most cases, the "best" water FOR CATCHING STEELHEAD ON A FLY is walking speed current of 3 to 5 feet. But, even with this "correction", if you are ignoring water less than 3' deep, then you are definitely passing up on a fair number of fish, especially during water conditions of reduced visibility. The stuff deeper than 5'? Under ideal water temps steelhead can definitely be moved to a fly in depths of twice that figure. Deeper than 10' however, in most cases I personally regard as being outside the window of "enjoyable" fly angling. As for current speed, I have caught steelhead from water that is blazing so fast that it would be imposssible to stand in, and also from water so slow that ones fly will not swing of its own accord and must therefore be "helped along" with a hand twist retrieve. But, the "walking speed" suggestion is a very good place to start.
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  #8  
Old 12-26-2007, 06:54 PM
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Texas?

It's where they send ~naughty~ speycasters for the Holidays!!!

Yeah, I'm also here in the land of farm ponds and bass (north-central Texas). Wish I had a spey rod, cause I was playing around with "other" tackle below a dam on a tributary of the Red River and discovered a potentially spey-friendly fish.

Turns out these Mississippi White Catfish feed in the middle water column, from 4' to 10' deep, and take small drifting/swing 1/16oz maribou jigs and such.

Fight good too! Saw a few in the upper teens landed while I was there, and they get a lot bigger than that.

I could just imagine the looks I'd get from the locals if I showed up with a spey rod and a few Intruders. The only logistic challenge would be finding room to cast.

Definitely a must-do for Christmas '08.

DS
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  #9  
Old 12-26-2007, 07:58 PM
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Agreed, mismatching is a big problem. And it doesn't just stop at the rod/line/style.

w ww.hooked4life.ca/Putting_it_All_Together.html

(copy the link to your browser and remove the space to make it work)

A few months ago I helped out a guy who was trying to cast a 9/10 short head line on a 7 wt. rod. It was a disaster. He had been advised to use a 650 grain line, without any context as to casting style or line length, and so went out and bought a 9/10 short head that was close to 650. We had to leave half the belly on the reel to get the rod to cast decently. We found that the rod actually worked great with a 350 grain shooting head -- a far cry from what he had bought.

Though happy to have finally found something that worked on the rod, he was less than pleased at having wasted money on the short head.

I wish this example was a one of, but I've run a few line to rod matching sessions for newcomers and virtually all who show up have some sort of rod/line/style mismatch that is interfering with their learning curve and their fishing enjoyment.
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  #10  
Old 12-26-2007, 08:29 PM
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Talking Meet Ed Ward

Bona'fied rivera'holic! He must be going through some serious withdrawal pains by now. His relatives are probably thinking re-hab center. They can't understand his PNW accent. No ya'alls, no el this or that. I'll bet he hasn't learned to include the Texas phrase "big ol" in his vacabulary yet either. Yea, and try and explain "drift boat" to a Texan. That's a good one.

Get the hell outta there Ed. Two more weeks and you'll be eligable for the one that flew over the coo coo's nest.
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  #11  
Old 12-26-2007, 08:39 PM
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Texarkahoma!

I think they have noodlin'......no gear required...just some hot women, Southern Comfort and Pepsi chaser.
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  #12  
Old 12-26-2007, 08:49 PM
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Yeah right

Ever since arriving home from an October motor home trip to Smithers B.C, girl friend has been whining "I'm cold. I want to go some place where it's warm" So she books us a seven day cruise to the Mexican Riviera. BFD!

But I think I got even with her. It snowed today.
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  #13  
Old 12-27-2007, 01:01 AM
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Marry her and she'll quit bothering you like that.
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  #14  
Old 12-27-2007, 09:28 AM
Riveraddict Riveraddict is offline
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DoubleSpey, the irony...

...is that I have several switches and light Speys with me, just no place to use them here at this time of the year. There are actually quite a few very interesting propositions for employing Spey tactics here in Texas right now, but for me they involve drive times (4+ each way, minimum) dictating a dedication of at least two days for the whole gig, and because my "purpose" for being here is family orientated, I would feel too guilty about undertaking an endeavor involving that much time.

Do a search on striper fishing at Denison dam on the Red River, just north of Dallas. From what I've gathered, there is a fairly dedicated band of flyflingers that frequent that fishery, and does it ever sound "prime" for the use of Spey tactics! Also, searches on "river fishing Texas" produce info on some really cool sounding warmwater stream opportunities in the northern half of the state. The pictures of the streams are nothing short of spectacular. Also, most of the tailwaters in the northern half of Texas appear to have very interesting potential to do some cool Spey stuff for white bass too. I remember catching them as a kid growing up in various parts of the Midwest, and were they ever fun! There are some fisheries in Texas where the whites average 2 pounds and man does that ever sound like it could be kick-ass on a little Spey or Switch rod!

Voodoo,
That noodlin' thing, looks hhmmmmmmmmmmmm... interesting?!?!?!
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  #15  
Old 12-27-2007, 09:41 AM
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When I lived down there in Bastrop in the eighties I discovered there were a few small lakes stocked with trout during the winter. A put-and-take thing as the summer temps would kill them off every year. I would suggest a corn imitation fished deep and slow...
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