It's gonna happen.
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Clark Fork, Missouri, Clearwater, Central PA springs, Lycoming Creek is home.
The fact that these guys built their own fly lines and developed an entire style of fishing still blows my mind. Spent a few days with Jerry this winter and I have a new found respect for the innovations that he, Ed, Scott and the others developed, all while being criticized by many of the very anglers some of us idolize. Interestingly, he was quick to say that he learned a lot from those anglers, even their criticisms. It was all grist for the mill.
Just tools for the job for me. If I'm trying to deliver a tip and a streamer all day long, the Skagit does it efficiently and with way less effort, which increases my enjoyment on the water. If I'm fishing a big summer river, with fish actively moving to the surface, whether they are trout or steelhead, a longer line keeps me in the game longer, reducing my time spent retrieving and is much more enjoyable to fish in this style, at least to me. But what if there's a 20 mph wind? Those are just my preferences, and provided the method is still good sport, to each his own.
I love fishing my long line on the CW and Snake, but I'm glad it's only a few months of the year. My back knows when it's dry line season and I'm still middle-aged. Skagit lines allow me to fish areas that are literally unfishable otherwise and they allow me to fish all day long with minimal effort and hybrid lines like the Rage keep me in the game when I'm tired or the wind is being wicked. They don't look as pretty and they aren't much fun for my softhackle trout game, but if I'm swinging a deeply sunk fly, especially with limited room, Skagits are my jam. They also make it possible for anglers with disabilities or injuries to be able to fish, which I think is frequently overlooked in these discussions. If you have severe back problems or just had your rotator cuff done, you probably shouldn't be trying to rock out 120 ft. singles. The other thing I love about Skagit is that it has revolutionized my delivery of large, wind-resistant flies for bass and pike. A Commando on a single-hand 8 wt. with a pike bunny translates to a couple hundred fewer false casts, and that means more fun for me.
I just like fishing. For instance, I never learned to cast a level-wind reel back in my bass days as a kid so I picked one up recently. My old heroes, like Lefty and George Harvey, were experts with level-wind, spinning, and fly equipment. I've been practicing everyday for a week now, and I'm loving the challenge of something new. Of course, I've been getting tons of stick from my guide friends in Western MT, but I know if I handed the rod to them, they'd have the biggest backlash you've ever seen in two seconds. Doesn't mean I'm going to start gear fishing for steelhead, but I'm pretty stoked for bass season this year.
"Science is magic that works." - Kurt Vonnegut