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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A general question for anyone and everyone....I have a 14ft 9wt Hardy Gem with a full belly (65ft) Sno Bee floating line and find it a little heavy for dry fly fishing for steelhead. A guide on the Bulkley River in B.C. last week suggested I would be better off with a 6wt 12 or 13 ft rod together with a lighter shooting head line. Any comments?
 

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6wt for the Bulkley

I'd like to see the expression on your face when a 20 lb plus fish hits your fly and all you have is a 6 wt rod to hold him.

I would think your Hardy would be the correct rod for this river and after all, you're talking about the possiblity of a fish of lifetime, why jeopardize this by undersizing your equipment.

Henry
 
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However, a six weight speyrod is a LOT more rod than a typical single-handed six. I know guys who throw 10 and 11 weight Outbound lines with the 6126 Sage. It might be a bit of an adventure, but I just don't feel you'd be totally out of the game. However, I haven't found speyfishing to be particularly suited to dry flies anyway. A switch rod maybe, but 12 and 13 foot rods won't dry the fly even a little bit between casts.
 

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JR, the dry fly fishing that redfin is referring to is more waking than dead drift - the design of most wakers forces the fly to ride up under tension - perfect for the speyrod.

Redfin, I would concur with your guide's choice of a 12 or 13' 6-7 or 7/8 rod (I would personally go with the 7/8 unless I were up on the Morice). I am less sold on the shooting head line, but that is a personal preference. I would go with a longer belly as I don't like to strip too much, a mid belly or a line like the CND GPS which has a graduated length belly (the 6/7 is 60' and the 7/8 is 65') would be very appropriate for the Bulkley and other Skeena tribs.

!2-13' rods like the 13' and 13'6" CND Black Speys and the 13'1" Solstice are designed with this kind of fishing in mind and I know that other manufacturers have similar type rods as well.
 

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A 6-7 wt. 13ish footer is perfect for a dry fly rod for the Bulkley. Yes there are big fish in there but the average is 28"-34". Back in the "old" days we used 10' 7 or 8 wts. and had no worries with these fish. The odd huge buck might not run and bull dog down and give you a hard time with the little rod but if you point it at him and fight with the butt you won't have a problem. Besides, dry fly takers are usually spunky and go a little nuts and tucker themselves out pretty quick. If i am fishing a dry line with a wet fly I would agree with Tyler that the longer belly lines are great and i do like the CND line that he mentions. However, with dries i kind of miss the old days of seeing the fish take a dry 20-30' away so i have been fishing short lines that are a little more comfortable fishing really short. Especially on the Bulkley were the fish are close in more often then not. With a short line I can fish short well but reach out there if needed.

Greg
 

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On another famous BC river I fish wakers pretty much daylight to dark , no matter what the conditions. I do ok. The rod is a 11'8 scierra Henrik Mortensen Series for 7/8. I fish a 7/8 midspey on it. Most fish are taken close...18 feet of leader and maybe 20-30 feet of line. More than one 20 pound plus buck has been taken with this system.fwiw. Personally I think the more line weight in the head makes it easier to make the right presentations and mends in a bad wind condtions; and the lighter lines do not afford that sometimes.
 

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I've cast, but not fished, the 8141-4 Burkheimer. It seems to be a 7/8, unlike the 8139 which pushes more to the 8/9 imo. My impression of the 8141 was that it would be a near perfct dryfly tool, yet with enough power to throw tips if need be. I suspect it would marry well with the CND lines.

I think that a 6/7 is little underpowered for steelhead that range 28-34", but that's me. Trying to land a hot fish with 13' of rod, I want to know the thing's stout enough to lever with when the fish is in close.
dn'l
 

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My rod of choice on the Bulkley is a T&T 1307-3. It even got a good amount of time on the Kispiox last year. The past two summers for Puget Sound summer fish I have almost exclusively used the 1206-3 T&T. It is a joy to fish wakers on and matched with the 5/6 CND GPS fits nicley into that midlength: don't have to strip too much, don't have to shoot too much class. Next year it will also see some Bulkley time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks to everyone for the advice. Henry - I was lucky enough to catch a 20lber (my estimate) first morning this Sept on the Bulkley and even with the Hardy it took 40 mins to land. Tyler, Greg, Sinktip - I am not familiar with your recommendations but will search the web for CND GPS lines, Black Speys and the T&T 1307-3. Right now I am leaning towards a 7/8 wt with matching full belly line...it will have to turn out quite a bit lighter than the Hardy or it's not going to be worth the extra dosh. Still, that's for next year....my Hardy and I are off to the Bulkley again next Tuesday. Cheers.....John
 

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My dry line combination for many years on the Bulkley was a Sage 7136-4 with an 8/9 triangle taper. More recently I have switched to a Sage 8150-4 with an Airflow Trditional 9/10 (800g with an 80' belly) as I have found that the increasing pressure this system is seeing is putting more fish further out. In all honesty I must admit that I often carry a singlehander #8 for close in dryline work though.
speydoc
 

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redfin,

Use the search function here in the speypages and you will find a large amount of reading on each of these topics.

sinktip
 

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redfin said:
A general question for anyone and everyone....I have a 14ft 9wt Hardy Gem with a full belly (65ft) Sno Bee floating line and find it a little heavy for dry fly fishing for steelhead. A guide on the Bulkley River in B.C. last week suggested I would be better off with a 6wt 12 or 13 ft rod together with a lighter shooting head line. Any comments?
How big are the steelhead? A 7/8 beulah switch would be perfect, tho maybe a bit light.
 

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Oregon Fly
2/3 fish are 2 salt (8-11lb) most of the rest are 1 salt (3-5lb) and about 10-15% are 3 salt (+15lb)
If you hook into one of the larger members of the latter class in my experience it is not the rod, but the leader and the reel that decide the outcome of the battle!
speydoc
 

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6wt for the Bulkley

It's my understanding we're talking about using a 6 wt for large Bulkley fish, where a rod such as Sage's 12 1/2 foot 6wt comes to mind. This is not the same rod as a T&T 13' 7/8, (which I own) and feel it leans more toward an 8 wt. The T&T is alot more stout, and has alot more "butt fighting power" than the Sage, and I would think it would be quite appropriate for these fish. Yes, you could use a light 6wt to catch these fish and have a great time fighting them, but why put un-necessary strain on these fish and take the chance of having a hot fish of a lifetime overwhelming your equiptment.

Just my 2 cents worth

Henry
 

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If you can….. get from Kerry Burkheimer the 13’9” 7/8/9. The rod is perfect for dry fly will alsocast very well WC 8/9/10 with tips, or SH ( Guideline, Sierra) around 450 gr + tip. This is also very good Skagit rod if you need. It is a pleasure to fight on this rod 8-10 lb steelhead and you should very well with 15+ lb fish.

Another rods which comes to my mind are CND Solstice 14’3” 7/8/9 or lighter 13’4” 6/7/8.
 
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