Hello from Mass. - Spey Pages
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post #1 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-04-2019, 06:44 AM Thread Starter
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Location: New England - Mass
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Hello from Mass.

I have been tying spey flies and salmon flies for years. I have fished for Atlantic salmon many times but never have fished for steelhead or Pacific salmon. I have met a steelhead fisherman who fishes with the two handed rod almost exclusively and I have been trading fly tying instruction for spey casting lessons. I am nearing a time when I will buy my own equipment and ...there is so much to learn! My friend suggested this site for education on all things "spey".
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post #2 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 08:05 AM
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Welcome to the Speypages !!
Glad you joined our community
Sounds like a good trade, I think you will fit right in here.
Have a look through our classified sub-forum here. When it's time to purchase your gear, this is a great place to get great deals on great gear.
Enjoy your time here


Mike

Have you Swung a Spey Fly today ??
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post #3 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-07-2019, 05:15 PM
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Viva Massachusetts! Welcome to Spey Pages. Are you in Western Mass or East? SP is a great place for information and to gawk at the wonderful work by the talented tiers who post here. Also, when you are ready to buy some gear it seems to be the place to get a nice deal on great equipment with good honest advice by honest dedicated anglers.
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post #4 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 08:51 PM
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Just out of curiosity, how many miles difference is there between east Mass & western Mass?

I fish because the voices inside my head tell me to.
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post #5 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2019, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDJones View Post
Just out of curiosity, how many miles difference is there between east Mass & western Mass?
Im not sure about MA but Connecticut is a whopping 98 miles east to west on I-95 and MA is not much bigger. People complain about driving distances in the north east but to put it in perspective I left Midland, TX with some drilling equipment and drove hammer and tongs all day with a fuel stop in Dallas. At the absolute end of my legal driving time I was in Texarkana, TX twelve hours later.
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post #6 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:21 AM Thread Starter
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I'm in eastern Mass...about a 2 hour ride to western Mass areas.
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post #7 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 08:29 AM
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I used to live in Western Mass. We were the ones that didn't talk funny. 2 hours ride, about 100 miles and a world away.
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post #8 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 10:32 AM
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I used to live in Western Mass. We were the ones that didn't talk funny. 2 hours ride, about 100 miles and a world away.
I always thought it started getting hard core around Fitchburg-Gardner area when heading east.
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post #9 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019, 09:03 PM
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Welcome, Don! You'll find the Spey Pages community is filled with a great group of knowledgeable people. Great place to learn the spey ropes and there are some outstanding tiers here too. You'll find that there are not a lot of two hand rod users in the northeast, but we're getting a bit more traction one person at a time. I'm located in southern RI, and I'd be happy to help in any way I can to smooth the spey path, which in my experience was confusing when first starting out (not that I'm an expert by any stretch even now). It may be a rocky path, but it's fun and exciting learning a totally new casting style.
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post #10 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 07:06 AM Thread Starter
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DryflyBum...Do you swing flies for schoolies in the R.I waters?...I'm looking to get a rod (my first and maybe only spey rod) for strippers in estuaries and salt rivers and for trout and landlocked salmon in some of the bigger rivers in Maine...any suggestions on a rod. A friend lent me a 12 1/2 ' 6 wt Anderson...I like it. What do you think, is the 6 wt good or should I go to a 5 wt??? any suggestions on what brand?
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post #11 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-22-2019, 10:17 PM
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Don,
I typically don’t swing a two hander for stripers. My friends and I use 16 - 18 foot boats or kayaks in the spring to target stipers in estuaries, salt rivers and salt ponds. We usually are not wade fishing because we want the flexibility to move around as the tide and fish move. Some coves will be a ghost town and adjacent ones, or one across the river, will be on fire with bait and bass, so mobility opens up a lot more opportunities. Because we're in boats, a single hand flyrod is the rod of choice.

We're using 9 ft 7 to 9 wt single hand rods, depending on size of fish and wind. Often times the Rhode Island spring wind is nasty and a 9 wt is even a struggle, but typically an 8 wt works most of the time. So, a 6 wt two hand rod would work for wade fishing where you’ll expect schoolies in the 18 to 26 inch range.

The few times I've gone wade fishing with a two hand rod for stripers, I used a 7 wt Beulah Platinum 10’8”switch rod (don’t own a 6 wt). If you are only going to buy one spey rod (good luck with that, btw!) then a 6 wt in the 12 - 13 ft range would give you a bit more flexibilty to target trout, landlocks, and stripers and would be better for windy conditions than a 5 wt. If you were looking to fish just trout and landlocks then the 5 wt would be a good choice – either a stitch or a short spey rod.

I think a 7 wt spey would be a bit much for the trout and landlocks you mentioned – unless you’re lucky enough to hook the big boys. We routinely hit stripers in RI in the 38+ inch range, which may be the case in Maine too. If that’s so, then you’ll have fun with the 12.5 – 13 ft 6 wt spey and the bigger bass! In my opinion, a 5 wt spey would be under matched for these bigger stipers, especially in faster currents / stronger tides. I favor more rod so I can land stipers faster and avoid overtiring the fish.

There are a lot of rod brands to choose from. I’d look in the Spey Pages Classifieds for a good used one. The sellers are usually helpful with info about the rods they are selling. I have experience with Echo TR and SR, Beulah Platinum, Loomis IMX Pro, TFO Deer Creek, Redington, Anglers Roost, and Sage rods. Some I like more than others, and certain rods just get under your skin and they become your “go to rod”. I’ve never casted an Anderson, but others on Spey Pages love them. Maybe your friend will loan you his Anderson to try on some Maine spring stripers. Try to find a fly shop where they will let you try some demo rods or go a Spey Clave where there’s many rods to test cast. Hope this helped some. Maybe other Northeast striper fisherman will chime in too. Once you get used to the two hand casting you'll probably find that one rod really doesn't cut it. Good luck and have fun!
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post #12 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 06:47 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks so much for your reply...I was thinking a 6wt 12 1/2'...I am still new to this casting so things could change and I know almost nothing about the various lines that are available. The rig that I am practicing with is set up with mono running line and a floating head...maybe 20-30'. I am not even using a fly yet...just practicing the casts in a pond and a local river... trying to eliminate the whipping action that happens occasionally and trying to shoot line. I am trying to keep the rod purchase under $300. Places I'm looking at to fish with a 2 hand rod include The Dead river in Maine for landlocks and trout, The Ogunquit river in Maine for strippers, Plum Island in Mass, some of the salt rivers on the cape and R.I, Deerfield river for trout, etc, etc. I think of the 2 handed spey rod as another tool in the arsenal with single handed rods like you do. Maybe someday I will get the opportunity to fish for steelhead (I want to be ready for that!!). I used to be a guest at a camp in NB for atlantic salmon...at that time no one used 2 hand rods. I'm totally committed to learning this type of casting...love swinging flies. I appreciate all of the information received. I have many years of experience with the single handed rod but am a total newby with the 2 handed spey rod. Thanks again dryflybum.
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post #13 of 13 (permalink) Old 04-23-2019, 10:51 PM
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I understand the confusion, Don - the learning curve is steep at first. There's a ton of info on the internet relative to rods, lines, casting, etc. Casting instruction with your friend will definitely help flatten that curve. I learned a lot from fellow casters, videos and DVDs - and just went out and practiced, doing my best to replicate. I'm still learning. I've switched over to mono shooting line on several rigs and I'm happy with the increased distance. I know from my early experience that practice casting without a real fly (i.e. the weight but no hook point) was helpful (and safer - ha, ha). You should be able to find a good used rod (or even a new one) for under $300. A lot of times sellers on Spey Pages will also recommend lines they found best for the rod, or even sell the line along with the rod. You can always do a want to buy posting on the classifieds specifying the rod you're looking for. Those river locations are a good bucket list - all great swinging spots. The good thing about being in MA is that you are about a 6 to 7 hour drive to the Salmon River in NY for great steelhead fishing. Like you, I've been fly fishing for many years with single hand rod, and started two hand casting in 2014 - and I'm totally hooked on it. So, its exciting that an old(er) dog can learn some new tricks! Keep the faith - You'll be up to speed sooner than you think. - DryflyBum
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