Mixed impression on first usages of Winston III TH-MS
First of all , I acquired Winston micro spey rod for fishing in medium size river Dunajec, which is wide enough and good place to spey cast.
Here are pictures of typical Dunajec water:
But recently I found it very successfull on small river Bialka in Southern Poland, where I live. I came with the formula, which gives me consistent brown trout hookups in my favorite spots.
Here is my setup
-Winston TH-MS 4wt 11'
-OPST Commando Skagit 270 grain
-OPST Lazar running line
-3x 9' fluorocarbon leader + piece of tippet (total 10'-11')
-2"-2.5" zonker/bunny leech in natural colors (brown, olive, black) with small tungsten cone
I tried 3-7 ips sinking polyleaders, but I found no real advantage in hookup rates in summer conditions. Even in deeper holes, trout will raise to the fly regardless of the depth of swing, if it founds it attractive.
also, I tried Airflo Scandi compact 300 grain on this rod, which also good match
My favorite places are fast riffles with choppy water in the head of the pool, where stream speed gradually slows down.
Presentation is quite straightforward - I cast to the opposite bank, do 2-3 quick strips and then let it swing. Rod length and line setup allows to do it with very little wading or without it, which is key to success. Fish is very spooky there. When fly is about to leave holding water to the nearest bank, I usually speed it up. This often triggers trout attack, very aggressive. Trout is very strong in this river, because of it's powerful current, and even small fish pulls like a tractor!
Low water is big obstacle there. Pools are gin-clear, and careful approach is required. Fishing gets much better after rains, when water gets higher and a little bit colored. Bialka is the only river I know in this area, where high water has positive effect on fishing. On most other rivers, it is the opposite. On summer sunny days, I prefer to fish early hours 5AM-8AM.
Also, I found that Winston micro-spey occasionally could be used for euro-nymphing as well - it is long enough, well balanced and light in hand. Just add Czech/French leader with indicator to the end. It is more "switch" than some rods officially called switches. If I would go hiking/camping to some remote area, where only one rod is allowed due to weight restriction, I'd take this one.
Spey fishing for trout is largely unknown in Poland. Most people do euro nymphing (Czech/Polish style), or dry fly upstream.
So I'm probably the only person in the area practicing that kind of thing. It's not about catching big numbers - it is fun and pleasure from each aspect of the process.