for the generosity, thoughtfulness and depth of your responses, I thank you. I could not have ever envisioned that a couple of questions from my side would have produced such prodigious answers. And, for all of your inputs, I am very grateful.
To get to the bottom line, the message that has been driven home to me is this: I am casting too much weight with the rod I am using. And, I never added the weight of the fly, which could be a 5-1/2 inch bunker imitation.
So, here is what I am going to do: use a 550 grain Skagit Max line + 12.5" of T-14 ( 175 grains) = 725 grains. Plus fly weight.
Now, will I be in the ballpark - from the perspective of maximum weight delivery capacity - to cast that with my 14' ft 9 wt Sage Spey Rod? According to Mike, I am pretty close to the max - which he says is 720 grains.
I have really learned much from all of you - I just wanted guidance to get pointed the right direction - and have received that.
From a standpoint of "over-lining" the rod, I do this pretty religiously with my single handed rods - 6 wt line on my 5 wt rod - 7 wt line on 6 wt, etc. Overweight by a factor of plus one.
After I re-read and digested all of the details provided, I am amazed that I can do anything with a fly rod. I will give you the following example:
When I was fishing for salmon in New Brunswick, CA in October with a 15 ft floating leader on my 14' 9 wt, I was having trouble casting "overhand", meaning getting the line over my casting arm shoulder. I am left handed and pretty much ambidextrous. I am fishing on the right side of the river (looking at the river downstream from the top of a bridge - that right side). So, I instinctively developed this casting technique:
Facing downstream, with my left foot forward, I stripped in line parallel to the bank until the beginning of shooting head;
Using the roll cast technique, I dragged the line out of the water parallel to the bank;
I waited until my rod was over my head with the line moving in the air parallel to the bank - sailing over my other (right) shoulder;
Without twisting my body and continuing to look downstream with my head ( and never turning my head), I cast the line perpendicular to the bank back out into the run. I made about 100 casts per hour with this method - most every cast was 100 ft or more. How this is possible, I do not know. But, it works for me. I can not replicate the cast on grass but can do so in water. This technique was very efficient.
Fly Presentation in the river: I am studying the book - Greased Line Fishing for Salmon (and Steelhead), which detailed the methods used by Arthur Wood to achieve the presentation of the fly broadside to the fish in the current. I have a simple question: How do you know that your fly is swimming broadside to the fish? I want to implement this technique as well in fishing for trout in small streams and rivers with the single handed rod.
Fishing Enjoyment: There were words of wisdom written by Botsari on this subject. How important is it for me to catch a great number of fish on an outing. At my age of 72, I have caught and released so many fish that quantity is not so important. If it is too easy to catch fish - then that is boring. On the other hand, casting into "empty" water is pointless. How do you know that the water is empty, that is a big question. And in the ocean, where fish are not impounded by river banks, dams, dead-fall and other barriers, most ocean water is 99% empty most of the time.
From a qualitative perspective, I view landing and releasing fish as follows:
The Best: Getting a fish from terra firma without a guide.
Next: Getting a fish from terra firma.
Next: 10 fish from a boat = 1 fish from the river bank or ocean beach.
If anyone out there wants to go river fishing for big fish and needs a "third man" for the trip, please let me know.
Last edited by prepalaw; 11-10-2015 at 08:57 PM.