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Discussion Starter #1
My first spey rod arrived Thursday, now that my wife is over it I guess she is going to let me keep it. Had to threaten taking the assignment in Switzerland though.

Oh well our 25th wedding anniversary is in May I guess we will get over this little event.

At first when I took it out of the tube this morning I thought wow this looks to big for great lakes streams. I have been fishing mostly 8/9 weight 9.5 ft graphites single handers for the last 20 years. Glad I did not get the 9/10 weight as I was originally planning until I got all of the feedback from every one here and another board.

Just got back from the Forest Preserve lakes casting it. Tried it with a weight forward scientific anglers 9/10 weight seemed to load OK. Was putting them out there a ways without to much problem however it was quite windy on the lake. Others who have used this rod said the 7/8 weight line would not load it properly and I believe them now. Will try the 9/10 weight line for now and see how it does.

The rod could be christened the end of this week on Michigan steel !!

Is there a special ceremony to christen a new spey rod I should be aware of ?
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Right on both points.....

After casting a 13 footer can't imagine what casting an 18' foot
spey rod feels like.

Would have to double my lunch time weight work out to tackle a day of casting something like that.

Must take a real man to handle something like that, right Fred ?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
St Croix Spey - 13' 7/8 - Baptised

Took her out yesterday for the on first on river and lake field test. Fished the St Josephs in Michigan for steelhead in the morning, fishing was slow for everyone, on 10th cast or so, thought I hit a small sluggish steelhead with a michigan hex nymph turned out to be a 4 lb red horse sucker, which was released. Water temp 40 degreess air temp 48 degrees. Water was clear for the St. Joe at this time of year. Used a 9/10 weight WF sink tnp which I cut back a little and put one of my own deep water express sink tips from my single hander steelhead fishing set ups. Good test for the rod and me, could defintely shoot the line out 60-70 feet easier than with the 9 foot single hand graphites I have been using. Fly got down well with out any split shot. Baptized her with a dunking in the river, appropriate since the St Joe is the first river I steelhead fished in 1979 when I moved to South Bend Indiana and where the first salmon and steelhead were caught.

In late morning drove over (one hour) to Lake Michigan Harbor country and dunes national seashore area of south Lake Michigan. It was a cloudy rainy day. Hit my favorite harbor to throw streamers at the cohos, browns, and steelhead that are cruising there this time of the year. St. Croix again did great throwing the streamers with the sink tip. Walked around the breakwall to the Lake Michigan beach which was vacant, waded out and threw there for about an hour and half. Thank god there was no wind, it was really awesome being out there all alone looking across lake michigan in a heavy rain and sleet at times throwing the spey. At this time of the year the water on the southern side of Lake Michigan is the warmest in the lake and huge schools of coho, browns, white fish, and steelhead are in the shallows. If you hit it right it can be awesome fishing. Had one pluck in three hours, baptized her in the waters of Lake Michigan and headed back to Chicago. (one hour drive). The bait guys had a few cohos and white fish off the breakwall but it was slow. Lake michigan water temp was 40 degrees.

Yep I think I am going to like this spey fishing thing. Can't wait to try it out on the 15-20 lb summer runs come May.

Have a great holiday!

Hal
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Spey Field Test - 50 Hours

Gave her the first big steelhead field test up in Michigan this week. Must say spey is a much more efficient way of fly fishing at least for wet fly and nymph fishing. I was able to realize more drifts and more efficient targeted swings placing the flies into the strike zone.

Day three was a killer on my body though, everything ached from the walking through the national forest, wading, and casting the spey rod all day. Don't know how you PNW and UK FFs do it with those even heavier spey rods multiple days in a row. I was popping the Advil but they did not help much. Day 4 and 5 were better though on the body, maybe it was just that I was out of shape ?

Amazingly I was the only Spey FF I saw all week in Michigan. The guides were drifting by telling their clients look at the spey fisherman. Did not see any of them either with spey set ups. Little did they know I was a rookie spey FF. :chuckle: :chuckle:

The rivers I fished were not wide except for the Muskegon which is like a PNW river perhaps 60-80 yards across in most sections. The others were 20-40 yards across on average and some sections no more thab 10-20 yards.

Now my question is what do I do with my four single handed steelhead and salmon fly rods ?

Will post a more detailed report on the entire trip later today ?

My body and mind is still recovering.

Hal
 

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loco alto!
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what you do with those single handed rods is start to adapt spey casts to them. really fun, useful
 

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you can do what i did, sell the singlehanders to get more spey stuff. you realy need a good spey line to get the most out of your new rod. when i started i to had to use my old short belly wf lines, youll enjoy th rod more if you have more line to load it and less shooting, i would recomend a accelerator(sp), or wait for the nrw SA......nate
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I was using an old SA wf 9/10 sink tip coupled with a 3 foot deep water express head. Will be looking for a new spey line but really not sure which ones to go with. Need a multi sink tip I set up I think. Need something to dredge 3-8 foot riffles and something else to dredge 10-15 foot deep holes.

Doubt if I will ever need to cast farther 30 yards in most situations here. Rivers are smaller in width.

Can't sell the single handers to many memories, will save them for one of my sons I guess.

Whats the name of the new SA line might as well leverage off of you PNW cutting edge spey guys ?

Hal
 

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Aches, pains, and spey rods for the Great Lakes

I can totally relate to what you are saying with regards to both your statements on rod size and the aches and pains you're feeling after fishing for a few days.
I started fishing with my Sage 8150 (8/9 wt, 15ft) in Ontario early last winter and have started to consistently hook fish late this spring, almost all swinging. At first I thought that this rod would be overkill for many of the rivers in my area, but it has proven me wrong and I have still gotten good fights out of smaller fish and have been glad I have had the rod for some big fish I have hooked.
As for your soreness, my casting arm shoulder was getting tired after a few hours fishing up until late this spring, but the last few outings I have been fine, even though I have been fishing bigger water, casting farther and fishing longer. I would imagine that not only do certain muscles in your arm used in casting strengthen over time, but as your form gets better, you probably use said muscles more conservatively and effectively.

Mike
 

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Coast2coast Flyfishaholic
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While you're learning how to Spey cast well you will be sore as heck tryin', but once you can do it you'll only be half as sore as you used to be with the single handers due to efficiency of motion and much less energy - not to mention much more coverage of the river.

It always feels good to rip a hard double haul with a single hander, keep them for all the other venues including saltwater flyfishing!
 

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hal, welcome to the land of the empty check book!

Missed your thread on the new rod/first trip. Juro's right; once you get your timing down the effeciency of a spey rod will take care of the rest. Do think I need (since you asked:hehe: ) to get you out here to test drive several other rods ..... including the 18' Bruce and Walker.

My first GOD DA..... IT with the rod yesterday. First time in years I laid a tip under a boulder and couldn't get it free. So much for a 600 grain shooting tip system .... Mark B thought it ok; it cost me about $80 bucks on the phone to "get the parts" to rebuild the tip system.

Welcome to the "hood!"
fe
 

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Re: St Croix Spey - 13' 7/8 - Baptised

pmflyfisher said:

In late morning drove over (one hour) to Lake Michigan Harbor country and dunes national seashore area of south Lake Michigan.
PM,

My parent's home is in Ogden Dunes, I only lived there for a short time myself but I somewhat am familiar with Northern IN and Southern MI. Maybe we could go fishing next time I am in the 'hood. If nothing else we could fish Burns Ditch. <g>
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I was getting efficient with it by Wednesday, that was after I estimate 10 hours Monday, 12 hours Tuesday, another 12 hours on Wednesday, man did my body ache from the casting, walking through swamps and up/down clay banks, and of course the wading in fast currents through log jams, and many times chasing steelies running down stream. Got many more casts and efficient ones sinking the fly into their zone for sure. By thursday I was becoming a spey casting machine and the body started to feel some what normal. Never did use my usual 9 foot 8 weight fenwick HMG which has had 21 years of steelie and salmon fishing to its resurme. Felt kind of sorry, since it still is my favorite fly rod.

Yes I think I like this spey casting thing.

Fred, I don't know what these Michigan FFs would do if they saw an 18 foot rod, I could see many looking at the 13 footer strangely. BTW do you have an outside the car rod holder for your spey rod when you move from spot to spot. That was pain breaking it apart to put back in the Trail Blazer the few times I did move the car to another location. Once I put the whole thing in it and opened the passenger window then I almost rolled up the power window on the rod tip !! Did not do that again.
 

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Hal, I just brake the rods (leave them rigged) down

into two sections or, with a three section rod, the tip and mid section+butt. With the old Ford Explorer, even the 18' B and W slides in nice as pie. Usually have one of the back seats folded down for more floor space and the rod tips slipped in between the two front 'bucket' seats.

Takes a little longer to really move from A to B but much of our fishing here, are fairly long sections of the river. Moving from one place to another is is 'real move' from one place to another. I've seen several folks who use exterior rod racks and think they're the cats-meow.

I'm just chicken as all he.....:eek: I've already had to have sections on two of them rebuilt(one major dumb s.... move!~!!!) . I left two rigged rods on top of the car and started to drive away. The 'clattering sound' from the roof of the car got my foot off the gas and onto the brake in a nano-second. Cure for this dippy idea is to just stack them against the drivers side of the car if they're not going into the car first (unlock, open back window,break down-insert rods, etc.). It's too easy to get off on a chatty conversation and "forget" that you've put them on the roof of the car to "temporarily" get them out of the way.

Forgot to add: no wonder you're beat at the end of a day. Sounds more like a military campaign than a fishing trip.:devil:
 

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BULL DOG!!!!
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PM, order for yourself a vac-rac rod holder for the rrof or hood of your rig, you will never go back!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Fred
BTW when I moved the car from one site to another a 3 minute drive down the road on Monday , had the spey rod out the passenger window. But in my excitement to get into the PM and fish, I forgot to put the passenger window down. Went fishing for probably 5 hours came back to the access site. No one touched anything in the car, I had money on the dash board, my nikon camera laying on the seat, and my wallet and other rods in the back of the car. Some one could have cleaned me out for sure.

Honest folks those michigan people I will say at least in the flys only no kill area. Cannot say that for other rivers though some of the anglers are down right scary.

Avid

I drove through the dunes and harbor country area again yesterday on my way back from Michigan. Stopped in New Buffalo for something to eat "Redamacks" great hamburgers very old well known place. Was thinking of throwing some streamers in the New Buffalo rive mouth for cohos and browns if the weather was right but it was not. Sunny and very windy, plus they were dredging the river mouth.

Never been to Burns ditch, best steelhead fishing to that area is St Josephs river a 30-40 minute drive from Ogen Dunes at most or you can fish the river mouths and piers for them with streamers. Big skamania will be around in another month. St Joe gets around a 50-60K steelhead return and lots of skammanias due to the Indiana stocking program. Let me know when you are out here and If the time is right bring your fly rod and waders. St Joe also get something like a 75-100k salmon run.

Or you can drive 3 hours north to the really good Michigan steelhead and salmon rivers where I was this past week.

Hal
 

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Hal, I think all that walking around you do with

a Bible in your pocket just got paid back big time. You were lucky; as the old saying goes locks are just there to keep honest people honest.:rolleyes:
 

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pmflyfisher said:
Never been to Burns ditch, best steelhead fishing to that area is St Josephs river a 30-40 minute drive from Ogen Dunes at most or you can fish the river mouths and piers for them with streamers. Big skamania will be around in another month. St Joe gets around a 50-60K steelhead return and lots of skammanias due to the Indiana stocking program. Let me know when you are out here and If the time is right bring your fly rod and waders. St Joe also get something like a 75-100k salmon run.

Or you can drive 3 hours north to the really good Michigan steelhead and salmon rivers where I was this past week.

Hal
Hal,

What is the best time for fishing in the area? I haven't been home since my mother passed away last June and need to schedule a trip to see my father. It would be great to have the opportunity to go fishing with you.

Burns Ditch drains a lot of the Class 1 agricultural land in northern Porter County. My father, not a serious fisherman by any means, caught a couple of huge Chinooks there many years ago. I have seen the huge schools of salmanoids in shallow water while water skiing. In fact, I have been surrounded by very large fish while waiting for the ski boat to turn around. The first time it happened to me, I almost walked on water. <g>
 

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Discussion Starter #18
David,

Yes you can catch salmonids in Burns Ditch and several other smaller creeks in that area Trail Creek, Little Claumet and Salt Creek, but I prefer to drive further for a real river situation. Best time to visit for fishing Lake michigan salmon and steelhead in the St Joseph river (AKA "The Joe") is September 15th to October 15th. Also the most scenic time with the leaves etc...

Hal
 

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An Old fashioned veiw

I aquired one of these rods last year , me being a Falkus Accolyte,I have found it works sweetly with a DT 9,the St Croix is of to Waterville in Co Kerry this coming week to pursue Spring Atlantics on the Lough from a boat ,it was ajoy to fish with on the river teifi in wales last back end . Areal sweet little tooth pick of a rod .
If you want to feel tired try fishing with a 16ft green heart ,see my TD malloch posting on main message board
BTW when I was talcking tackle with Falkus His veiw on rods longer than 15ft seemed to be raise your casting arms higher and you get the extra feet and the bigger loop >>bigger loop =longer cast .:smokin: :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Andy,

Yes it is a sweet light spey rod, looks like a great value for the price, $ 230 I paid. For great lakes steelhead I am usually using 4 and 6 lb test leaders which this light rod matched up well with.

Don't think I want to try the 16 ft greenheart, I would have to double my noon work out sessions to endure a day of casting those. No need for the longer spey rod on the rivers I fish. UK and PNW has larger rivers where I guess I can see having the longer rod. I myself prefer shorter more targetted casts into the strike zone.

Cheers,

Hal
 
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