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I'm heading to Manhattan, Kansas, in late June and am wondering about swinging a spey rod in the area. Is the Big Blue River wadable and good swinging water? Is bass the main species I should be thinking about? Should I just leave the spey rod home?

I'll rent a car, so driving a short bit is feasible. I can fly into either Witchita (Arkansas River) or Kansas City (Kansas River). Are either of those locales good for wade fishing with a spey rod?

Thanks for any help folks can provide.

Sincerely,

Tom
 

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Manhattan Kansas... Now there's a blast from the past. I was in eastern Colorado working on a ranch, she was in Manhattan growing wheat. Both of us 17. Fortunately there was a very rough old pickup in the barn that just might, maybe, make it to Kansas. What I always wondered about that country was how do the rivers actually flow? So, so flat. Horizontal snow all winter, dust all summer. The Arkansas flows at times. Best of luck.... Cheers...Jimmy
 

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Meiser, T&T, and OPST two handers; Scott, Orvis, & Winston SH. Danielsson and Hardy Reels
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As a native of Kansas, I was going to stay out of this, but Jimmy's post changed my mind. Yes, our rivers do flow, generally west to east. Flyfishing in Kansas is largely limited to bass in the big impoundments and carp, catfish, and sturgeon (see John Geriach's book). There are few Kansas rivers I'd wade. Most will suck you down in the muck. It is mostly a shore or boat fishery. Kansas is not as flat as most people think. The rise in elevation from east to west is significant. The Flint Hills are pretty hilly. But west of Salina, I'll grant it seems flat, but the rise in elevation sure takes a toll on gas mileage west-bound.

For Tom, I'd leave the spey rod home and bring a 5 weight SH.
 

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I'm heading to Manhattan, Kansas, in late June and am wondering about swinging a spey rod in the area. Is the Big Blue River wadable and good swinging water? Is bass the main species I should be thinking about? Should I just leave the spey rod home?

I'll rent a car, so driving a short bit is feasible. I can fly into either Witchita (Arkansas River) or Kansas City (Kansas River). Are either of those locales good for wade fishing with a spey rod?

Thanks for any help folks can provide.

Sincerely,

Tom
pm coming your way....
 

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Bugger... I was rather hoping Fatman would reveal some small, well kept secrets. If only for the reputation of Kansas.
Just the mention of catfish by Caddis immediately stirred a nasty, nasty memory of Grandpa's stinkbait in a mason jar. Goodness, that was powerful stuff. I worked but... WHEW!! What a different thread, nice to mix it up a bit. I wouldn't mind learning how you go Tom.
Regards...Jimmy
 

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I just totally fail to get this fascination with swinging flies. Now I like to do it. But I like to use it as an effective way to fish for the fish I am targeting. Not to use a two handed rod for the sake of using a two handed rod. Had a guy who wanted to use a two handed rod on the front of my skiff for redfish. Didn't matter that I told him it wasn't a good tool for what we were doing. He was/is just fixated on two handers. So much so that I flat told him I will not take him if he has to use the two hander.

Two handed rod in KS? Seriously? That doesn't mean you can't but why would you want to? SMH

Ok flame away.>:)
 

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If "effectiveness" were...

... the only reason for choosing a method of fishing, then the circumstances/conditions for using flyfishing would be far, far fewer than currently is popular.

My first fly caught carp was 48 years ago on a Black Gnat fly on Kanopolis Reservoir in central Kansas. I wish that I had had the equipment and skills then, that I have now, to have used on the reservoir's white bass and also the Smoky Hill stock pond largemouth (back then, at 13 or 14 years of age, my fly outfit was a 8 1'2" Garcia Conolan fly rod with a DT6 floating doubletaper... not exactly a great wind cheating or distance casting setup, both very necessary fishing attributes for successful reservoir fishing). I'd bet that a 6 or 7 weight Switch rod and shootinghead line would be quite the viable flyfishing approach there.
 

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The reason I got into 2 hand fishing was to ease the stress and strain on my body. A nice easy stroke with a two-hander will propel the fly a lot further than with a single hand rod. But, I must admit the flow of a stream really brings the longer rod into play. I seldom fish my long rods on my 7 acre retention basin pond, except to practice my spey casting. However, I use single hand spey casts extensively with my SH rods. Swinging is another matter entirely, you can't do it without current, at least not in the true sense of the word. I have a 10' 7 wt switch rod I occasionally rig up with the a fly fisher's version of a plastic worm and heave it out as far as I can and twitch it back, but isn't swinging.

I still say, to each his own. If I want to do it because I like to and I accept the limitations it will bring, who are you to judge me?
 

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I'm heading to Manhattan, Kansas, in late June and am wondering about swinging a spey rod in the area. Is the Big Blue River wadable and good swinging water? Is bass the main species I should be thinking about? Should I just leave the spey rod home?

I'll rent a car, so driving a short bit is feasible. I can fly into either Witchita (Arkansas River) or Kansas City (Kansas River). Are either of those locales good for wade fishing with a spey rod?

Thanks for any help folks can provide.

Sincerely,

Tom
Ive fished the Big Blue river at and around Rocky Ford Sate Fishing Area. I never did well there in the summer. Lots of big gar hanging around that area. The ponds in Tuttle SP area are stocked with trout in winter and fishing for giant crappie in the spring in the reservoir can be just outstanding! Fishing for me was always better over on the American River from the outflow "tubes" downstream to the junction in Junction City. This is roughly a 10 mile stretch and easy to wade where you can access the river.

Depending on water release from Milford - swinging muddlers the American will bring smallmouth bass or wipers, or catfish. Sight casting to tailing carp is an option too. The Gathering Pond below Milford opened for the 1st time in many years while I lived there. I don't know if it remains open but the wipers there provided plenty action action in the mornings and evenings.

You'll find stretches at both the Big Blue and on the American that are big enough for two-handed rods and long cast, but these tend to be too shallow to hold much fish. My preferred outfits where a 9' 5 wt and a 10 foot 7wt for wipers, smallmouth and carp.
 

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I just totally fail to get this fascination with swinging flies. Now I like to do it. But I like to use it as an effective way to fish for the fish I am targeting. Not to use a two handed rod for the sake of using a two handed rod. Had a guy who wanted to use a two handed rod on the front of my skiff for redfish. Didn't matter that I told him it wasn't a good tool for what we were doing. He was/is just fixated on two handers. So much so that I flat told him I will not take him if he has to use the two hander.

Two handed rod in KS? Seriously? That doesn't mean you can't but why would you want to? SMH

Ok flame away.>:)
This. 100%.
 

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The water in the Big Blue and Tuttle reservoir can be very murky , while over on the American water runs clear due to the zebra-muscle infestation. This according to a state biologist I talked.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I just totally fail to get this fascination with swinging flies. Now I like to do it. But I like to use it as an effective way to fish for the fish I am targeting. Not to use a two handed rod for the sake of using a two handed rod. Had a guy who wanted to use a two handed rod on the front of my skiff for redfish. Didn't matter that I told him it wasn't a good tool for what we were doing. He was/is just fixated on two handers. So much so that I flat told him I will not take him if he has to use the two hander.

Two handed rod in KS? Seriously? That doesn't mean you can't but why would you want to? SMH

Ok flame away.>:)
No problem. More water for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
pm coming your way....
Thanks Fatman, super info. I'm excited to try something/somewhere new. I'll bring both a long rod and a single hander, but I'll use the two-hander where I can.

The more I read about the Flint Hills the more pumped I am about the opportunity to be there.

Tom
 

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I just totally fail to get this fascination with swinging flies. Now I like to do it. But I like to use it as an effective way to fish for the fish I am targeting. Not to use a two handed rod for the sake of using a two handed rod. Had a guy who wanted to use a two handed rod on the front of my skiff for redfish. Didn't matter that I told him it wasn't a good tool for what we were doing. He was/is just fixated on two handers. So much so that I flat told him I will not take him if he has to use the two hander.

Two handed rod in KS? Seriously? That doesn't mean you can't but why would you want to? SMH

Ok flame away.>:)
So....

I once knew a guy who bought a used .458 Winchester bolt-action at a pawn shop. He bought reloading dies and worked up some accurate loads for the rifle. When I asked him when his safari was scheduled, he replied, "I just want to be ready when the opportunity presents itself"

Living in the middle of the US, I don't have steelhead rivers to fish on a whim. I take a couple of trips every year to fish for sea-run/lake-run fish. I'm headed to the Gaspe' in about three weeks for Atlantics. Now, it would be real stupid on my part to spend a half day out of each of those trips working the kinks out of my two-handed casting...so I search out streams with a good flow to practice on. If I'm gonna practice, I may as well have a flea on the end of the leader. Also, as athabascae will find out, there's precious little backcasting room in these spots, so the two-hander works better than a single-hand rod. If the object were just catching fish, why not fish bait?

There's plenty of opportunity to fish with single-hand rods; I've got a particular jones for deer hair poppers on Fenwick glass (some people think that fishing glass is stupid when there's "superior" graphite rods available) In short, there's an ass for every seat, and if you've got a desire to fish a spey rod in Kansas, you can find places to do it. There's a fairly dedicated (but quiet) group that follows the white bass (Hillbilly Coho) runs with spey rods all the way from Arkansas through Oklahoma and Kansas. BTW, fishing is supposed to be fun, so we don't take ourselves too seriously...

relates: fishing a two-handed rod from a boat is stoopid

The water in the Big Blue and Tuttle reservoir can be very murky , while over on the American water runs clear due to the zebra-muscle infestation. This according to a state biologist I talked.
I believe you're referring to the Republican River (rather than American). If I remember correctly, fish0n4evr lived at Ft Riley for a spell. While it's true that the waters are murky (turbid) remember that the fish live in it and can see well enough to be caught on all manner of lures...including flies (although I've yet to catch a river fish on a surface fly) Gar can be caught on simple Rope Flies (no hook) but they're a sumbitch to get their teeth untangled. Also, be prepared to see piles of dead gar left behind by the bowfishers...

The more I read about the Flint Hills the more pumped I am about the opportunity to be there.

Tom
The Flint Hills is a truly magical place, a unique ecosystem. Those who think Kansas is "flat and boring" haven't paid attention when they've driven through...
 

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So....
relates: fishing a two-handed rod from a boat is stoopid
That one is gonna haunt you, bud. And one of these days I'll get to prove it with you.


The Flint Hills is a truly magical place, a unique ecosystem. Those who think Kansas is "flat and boring" haven't paid attention when they've driven through...
As a guy who makes his living from looking at the land, I'd suggest that there is no boring land, just unappreciated. Everyplace is beautiful sometimes.
 
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