heavy gear for montana trout? - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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heavy gear for montana trout?

after spending time in the trout forum here, i've noticed most folks prefer 3-5 weights for the average sized trout in western rivers. however, i've noticed that folks at headhunters in craig and troutfitters in bozeman really seem to prefer 6-7 weights, which seems super excessive to me. in the following link, troutfitters refers to the echo sr 4 weight as a highly specialized tool only for soft hackles and small dries.

this seems completely counter to what i've read here. i'd think the echo sr 4 weight would be perfect for montana rivers.

what gives?
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 02:50 PM
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In the USA we have a bigger is better mentality. I went to South Africa and they think its silly that we fish to trout with 5wts. totally overkill. they all fish very Euro, 10ft 2-3wts are the norm. Rod size to me is more about how big o flies and how windy the conditions are. With big streamers and wind, that 4wt will be a battle, maybe the 6wt is now an appropriate tool. but in still conditions with small delicate flies, that same 4wt is now a bit overpowered, a 2 or 3wt will present them and protect your tippet better.

i'd have 2 rods for montana at least, one bigger 2hander for streamers and dirty nymph work, probably a 5 or 6wt. then I'd have my presentation rod, a 9ft 3wt single hander for dries and light nymphs.

match your gear to your fishing style
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by MZilliox View Post
Rod size to me is more about how big o flies and how windy the conditions are. With big streamers and wind, that 4wt will be a battle, maybe the 6wt is now an appropriate tool. but in still conditions with small delicate flies, that same 4wt is now a bit overpowered, a 2 or 3wt will present them and protect your tippet better.

match your gear to your fishing style
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 02:58 PM
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First the area is not 'known' for Steelhead/King Salmon.

A light rod is all you need, a five-six; an all day fishing rod. A seven if you're tossing heavy tips; not likely.

Hope my back surgery is 'fixed' by next fall, looking forward to the long drive. 'Sandy-Husky' were great river companions; tarp/air mat on the beach, one burner stove, single pot, three plates. Pot; Everything went into that, two hungry dogs, double the amount. Still not enough for those two eating 'machines,' but they ran it off. Well Sandy ran, Husky waddled, but he got there to his plate.

Two sets of large brown eyes watching your every move. Spatula moving round the food, 'PUT IN OUR BOWLS DARN IT!! Husky snored, I kid you not. Up an hour before day light, stove going: 'This morning Dog's we are having Scrambled eggs and chopped up ham.'

Discuss where to fish; they had their fav's. Hell of it was, for many of the first years 'Husky' was my neighbors dog. Gear going into the Jeep and second 'fuzz face' standing by the open back lid.

Go down, tell the neighbors' 'Husky is with me, we will be gone for a week.' Once I think it was close to a month. Two hundred (collective) dogs take up a hell of a lot of room on the RV's queen sized bed.

No objections that I noticed from them ........ save I got what was little left. Roll over ... cold nose against yours. Shove-shove! MOVE THE HELL OVER!

That lasted 30 minutes, with luck ... Snuff-Snort-wiggle, OK grab a dog, back to sleep and a good cuddle. The 'Bridge Playing' young lady in Brookings, OR... they'd curl up under her feet. Her shoes off, wiggling toes on dog tummies. I'm sure she had a pocket full of dog treats.

Bribes work.

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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 05:26 PM
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As mentioned its definitely more about what you are casting, I have and use the echo 4wt Sr and don't even blink when it comes to big trout, its not to say you wont have your work cut out for you in the right or wrong conditions as far as fighting a large brown or bow goes, but the rod will handle it all day, I use a 5 if it starts to blow or I want to cast heavier tips and flies for trout.
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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 09:50 PM
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much of this I agree with

I think the selection of the rod, often reflects what you want to throw. Speaking in single hand weights - Yes, 6 and 7 makes sense is you are throwing weight, and heavy sink lines, while 5 allows for nice small weighted flys, and if I am doing dry flies then goto 4. As far as European, or Euro-Nymphing (french leader for me) or close in spiders, then sure 3 wt.

But I am as much interested in the line on the rod. Am I going long or fishing at my feet, which also determines the line, then the rod. My fiberglass and bamboo rods are much more flexible for delvering an merger at <30', while my wife uses a Scott STS to punch out a dry beyond 30' or use a 3wt 10' to nymph at here feet.

We fish the same water, but we prefer to cover it differently.

Length of rod is a function of technique and river size to. Using a french leader, lets go to a 10' please. But if I am tight in on a small tree lined river, give me a 7' bamboo or fiberglass rod that will throw a 14 Ausable Wullf or 12 Usual at 20' with 3 feet of line hanging from the tip. This is as much as rod and line selection.

As this is Spey forum, I must note that I really enjoy throwing a Size 8 conehead muddler, an olive marabou muddler, my bunny tube flies or a sculpzilla, and for this, my Meiser 12'6" 4wt does fine - close in on pocket water or far out on high rain waters. I have yet found a reason for needing another rod, when fishing these streamers.

In short, select the style and fly you want to cast, then lets the rod and line follow.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 10:08 PM
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I would not give much credibility to one "Guides" posting in a blog.
The subject blog is written more as a product Infomercial and not from personal experience actually fishing the rods.

George Cook who is a manuf. rep. for Sage and Rio likes and fishes a 4wt rod (Sage 4116 ONE) for larger Alaskan Rainbows. Simon Gawesworth from RIO uses the same rod for smaller Steelhead.

Regards,
FK
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-06-2015, 11:14 PM
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Montana or Not!

Always depends on river, fish & fly size...Oh Yeh Wind!
I think a good all around trout setup is 3 - 5 wt. 8.5 - 9`Rod....
Good all rounder 4wt, 9`!!
Maybe Streamers...6wt....
My Thoughts...Cheers
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 12:38 PM
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the size of the fish is not the only determination on choosing the rod... most trout streamers are larger and bulkier than even large salmon/ steelhead flies.. thus you need a rod up to the task of casting those flies add to that any kind of sink tip and well yeah you are looking at a heavier rod..
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-07-2015, 02:36 PM
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the size of the fish is not the only determination on choosing the rod... most trout streamers are larger and bulkier than even large salmon/ steelhead flies.. thus you need a rod up to the task of casting those flies add to that any kind of sink tip and well yeah you are looking at a heavier rod..
I fish a two-hander here in Montana all the time and it's a 6126.

Since I'm mainly fishing for our biggest fish the flies I'm throwing are large and often weighted. Even the 6wt wimps out a bit when I try and chuck some of my larger flies with heavy tips which is how I'm fishing most of the time.
Rob's post is spot on in regards to fly size and the need for a rod that will actually throw the fly.

I think the 6wt is still overkill for fighting our trout in Montana. In most of our rivers the rainbows don't get much over 22-23" and finding one of those isn't easy. They will actually put a bend in the rod but it's still nothing like fighting a steelhead.
Even our biggest browns are really pretty passive in comparison to steelhead and if I wasn't throwing big trout streamers I would definitely chose a 4wt or even lighter.

The guys up on the Missouri can fish the lighter rods because that tailwater really doesn't respond that well to big streamers. You'll catch more and often times bigger bows out of the Missouri with much smaller stuff than I would typically use on the Yellowstone and the other big freestone rivers around SW Montana.
Headhunters has written pretty much exactly that on their blog a few times.
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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 02:55 AM
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I'll back up what other people have stated. Buy the rod that gets the job done. Now with that said I have an decho 4wt spey (now discontinued), and a redington 5wt dually. The decho is awesome for soft hackles and traditional wets. The dually is great for swinging streamers and nymph rigs. I tend to fish the 5wt more than I do the 4wt. I personally watched a guy land an 8lb steelhead on a 5 wt echo SR. He was a bit under gunned for the fish, but he had confidence that it would work, and he made it work. IMO I think your best all around bet would be to get a 5wt in the 11' range. Then buy a couple different lines. One for lighter flies, and one for swinging meat and nymph rigs and battle wind. One of the biggest parody's of a switch rod is that you can overhand cast them. I still can't figure out why you would want to do this and waste a perfectly good opportunity spey cast. The whole reason you buy a SR is to be able to spey cast it.
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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 12:00 PM
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I just fished my ECHO DH5122 for MT trout and it was fine. With hot fish / heavy current and a St. John I occasionally saw my backing, but for many of the fish it was a tad heavy. If I had a 4120 I would have fished that...it would have sucked a little more in the wind, and I probably would have gotten my ass handed to me by a few of the fish I hooked, but for the bulk of the work it would have been fine.

Save the 7 and 8wt for AK trout.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-12-2015, 05:54 PM
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Now that the lines have caught up to the rods, I'm talking about short Skagits by RIO and OPST, you can throw a big fly and a heavy tip on a 250 grain line and 3 weight 2 hander. I've always felt most #5 rods, and even 4's are overkill for trout.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 01:44 AM
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I lived in Montana for years and still fish there many days each year on a wide variety of rivers from the Spring Creeks, to tailgaters to the more brawling freestones. For dry fly I'll use anything from a 2 weight to a 5 weight. For nymphing it'll typically be a 4 weight or 5 weight. On occasion I'll use a 6 weight for very heavy nymph rigs or throwing larger dries like foam attractors or hoppers and in windy conditions. Five years ago I began taking 2 handed rods over and have had great success. I have a Scott 11' 5 weight and a Winston 11' 4 weight. They'll handle most any conditions from swinging emerges to throwing streamers with Skagit heads and sinking tips. As others have mentioned, it's not uncommon for guides to recommend a 6 weight as it will cover most conditions except the presentation of the smallest dry flies.
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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 11-13-2015, 08:13 PM
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I don't see anything wrong with fishing the "heaviest" rod you are comfortable with, rather than the lightest. In fact I feel this is one area where the more moderate action bamboo and fiberglass rods excel. They can cast a 6 wt line (true 6 weight not the over weighted lines so popular these days) with enough delicacy to fish very small dries as well as having the ability to cast in a pretty heavy wind. Given what I see with the fast action rods that need a half weight heavier line to make them easier to cast, then people are really using a much "heavier" rod than they think.
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