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How important is using the "correct" fly with appropriate line size? I understand that you probably aren't casting any massive articulating leech patterns with a 8'6" 5#, but what about the other way around?

How "appropriate" is it to use a 9/10 double-hander for a greased-line presentation of summer steelhead patterns: sizes 8-2, lightly dressed for Deschutes summer steelhead?
 

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Junkyard Spey
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My thoughts on this say if you have several two handers you might find something lighter a little more appropriate. Having said that I would not have problem fishing the river you describe with my 9140.
 

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Overwhelming the fly and the fish?

This question separates into two issues:

The first: Does a larger size rod and line over-control a small, lightly dressed fly? I'd say no. Although I used to worry about the same thing, experience has shown that there's not much difference in the forward end of a line. Most, whatever their rated size, taper to .040-.045." The heavy part that determines the line's rating is probably 40-90 feet away from the front end, and the leader that goes between the line tip and the fly has a lot more to do with how the fly is presented.

The second issue is: Does a larger rod overwhelm a smaller hooked fish, keeping the fish from having a sporting chance to fight back? Yes; that does happen. I think that much of the interest in lighter weight spey rods and lines originates from that result. It's like the feel of hooking a nine inch trout on a nine-weight fly rod. It's subjective, but still important; a lot of the pleasure of fly fishing comes from matching the conditions of the moment, and that includes the power of the fish to resist being played and landed.

So you'll probably end up with a graduated series of spey rigs in time. In the meanwhile, given the choice between fishing with a too-heavy spey outfit or not spey fishing at all, the choice is obvious.
 
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