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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This season was interesting for me in regards to trout fishing. I canoed and explored some local rivers when the water was gin clear and low. I saw a surprising number of big bows that moved like rockets in the cold snowy water dispelling my previous thought that they were slow and sluggish. Which they are comparatively but they were zipping around in frigid water too, even residing in fast water

My fly preference has graduated again. For years I used primarily bead head zonkers with rabbit tails with large success. Then I began using nymphs with a SH before discovering Spey. After which when I began my 2H rod love and sold all my SH I used cone head streamers of varying colors to moderate success. Now yet again I've moved into clousers and traditional Spey flies with great success

As for rods, anyplace other than Spey pages I'd be embarrass to admit my collection will only grow

I also learned if you want to catch a fish by skating or any other way, dedication is the key. But I never resign myself to anything other than the mood I'm in and the conditions around me

Prior I thought fishing for trout with a six or Seven weight was sacrilege. But having discovered big water and fishing conditions versus what fish you are fishing is much more intelligent and effective. When possible go light. Although I still think a lot of us overload our rods.

It was a good season and I'll likely explore some winter trotting 2H work

What about you?

Cheers,
J
 

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I have had a lot of fun this year using the sage one 4116 on my local lake. I initially bought it just to practice my Spey casts for salmon trips but I now find I really love fishing the rod on the lake as well. If I had a decent trout river near by I would d finitely swing sculpins on it but surprisingly on thelake I use small nymphs and dries a lot as well.
The line has made a big difference and the new airflo switch floater helps especially fishing nymphs closer in.
So now I practice my Spey casts, really enjoy the fishing and have caught some lovely trout.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Good stuff Neil

What grains are you casting on the 4116?

I caught this last week
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Might help to actually upload a picture . . .

This is my 1195 which loves 300-325grains
 

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tiny

I went small. Grew tired of seeing all of the dry fly fishermen have all of the fun catching Trout so I temporarily bagged the two hander. Also, it was a hoot with small Smallmouth on the main stem of the Umpqua.

6.5' 2/3 Tiger Eye with the smallest grip I had ever seen from the Payne fly rod company in Sisters Oregon so I had to build around it. Use little, mini shooting heads to swing Wooly Buggers and unclassic wet flies with all of your basic waterborn, touch and go with double hauls and all that stuff, although the rod is so short it looks like I'm having some kind of spasms most of the time when going for any kind of distance. Execute overhead flailings too.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
"although the rod is so short it looks like I'm having some kind of spasms most of the time when going for any kind of distance. Execute overhead flailings too."

Hahaha the image is very clear and vivid in my mind :)


Thanks for sharing!
 
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Put my Meiser 3-4 wts to good use serving double duty for big bows and small Salmon. Paired with Saraciones new "small" MkVs made for a great set up. Swinging for trout on our local rivers is new to me...hell this whole two handed thing is new to me and I'm having a blast!

The light rods are put away until next Spring/Summer as its Winter Steel time here in the PNW!!
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Good stories and great pictures. Is that the MK5? Is that the 3.5?

This one out a nice bend in my six
 

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Well I had a late start to the season, I just got my first two hander in late September, an echo classic 10'9 5109
I got out a hand full of times, mostly chalked the trips up to casting practice. I have gotten my self a few heads and went out and got some flies wet, still yet to hook up on a fish but just the casting alone, I think I am hooked and will continue to fish with DH rods unless I'm upstream dry fly fishing, glad I made the decision to grab one and try it out, can't wait until next season now that the rivers are freezing up and getting chunky where I live, might be able to get out a few more times but looking forward to fighting some bows next spring
 

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Good stuff Neil

What grains are you casting on the 4116?

I caught this last week
Another great shot! I use a 270 to 300 scandi mostly, a 325 skagit short is also good, even tried a 360 skagit switch which also fished very well. This rod has a wide window.
 

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Arrived in Montana mid April. One river that I fish in the spring was on the rise and was slowly going off color so I started swinging streamers with red butt trailers. Some nice browns and rainbows up to 24" were brought to the net with the help of an Abel switch reel and a Burkie 5115, the little bull dog rod for onry trout. April and May also had some nice caddis hatches going off in the late afternoon so the GVX single hand with a Sage 2550 came out in order to send purple haze and adams to fish looking up.

Then the summer began. The water levels dropped and the water temps were rising. For the most part I left the fish alone in the summer....or should say they left me alone. The fish had changed their normal address and were trying to cope with changing water levels and higher water temps..... but on cooler mornings an Anderson 1173 and a CLA4 with an Elixir 275 ( birds nest/red butt combo) was the cats meow when finding fish that did want to play. During the summer, besides limited fishing, it was furniture making, bridge work, honey do's, and 17hmr goffer huntin' while waiting for the colorful fall browns to show.

Fall began with mild weather...lot's of 70* days thru October. The fish had become active with cooler water temps and spawning on their mind. Given the small size of creek and stream tributaries I changed over to a single hand rod using spey casting techniques with skated flies. A small black ant with floss legs and a cdc wing was the fly of choice in October. The tide had turned. The fish were big, aggressive, and plentiful....some of the best action in a couple years. With leaves falling and a cold front coming in from our northern neighbors it was time to hightail it. Already looking forward to a spring return....

Sorry no pics. They were downloaded to a computer which decided to take a dump. :mad:
 

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I had Bob build me an 11'1" 4 weight switch. Mid July, when I usually start poking around for summer runs always yielded some nice sized resident bows. So this year, armed with the new rod, a Bo Mohlin click and pawl loaded with 35# OPST Lazer anda NC FF 35, I hit the river in early June. I was rewarded with a number of rainbows in the 12-14" range and one that taped at 19". Then there was he occasional bull in the 18-20" range.


After the steelhead showed up, I was facing so much fun with the switch I kept fishing it accounting for a couple of nice summer-runs as well.
 

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When it comes to trout I'm pretty much a dry fly guy. I try and be on the water at times and places where there's a likelihood of there being a hatch and fish rising. A two hander doesn't do the dry fly thing anywhere near as effectively, or as enjoyably, as a single hander so I've resisted the two hand trout thing. I built a 2 wt two hander a few years ago and quickly sold it. This year I tried again and built an 11 ft 4 wt switch that I planned to use primarily for dead drifting nymphs. I had Steve G make a line for it, his nympher supreme taper with an integrated tapered running line to help with mending. The whole setup has been awesome, making nymphing actually enjoyable, more effective than my singe hander, and man can it throw some seriously heavy stuff with ease. Now I have an enjoyable way to spend time on the river when the trout aren't rising.

What I didn't expect was how effective and fun the switch is to use on stillwater, specifically for fishing a chironomid under an indicator. When I fish with friends out of a boat it doesn't matter which end of the boat I'm on because I can cast off either shoulder. This has made things so much easier, especially on breezy days. I know a switch will never replace my single hander for dry fly fishing, but it has me experimenting and expanding my trout fishing horizons a bit and it's been especially good on days when the bugs don't hatch and the fish don't rise.
 

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I don't really chase trout with anything but 2handers these days, and am lucky enough to fish on some pretty good trout swing water when I do.

The spring opener in Alaska can be a pretty intense affair, and if you are on the right water at the right time, you have the chance to see some pretty big fish. I fish the 6127 and 7130 ECHO E3 rods in the spring, as well as the 6.5129 DHII. I like the AirFlo 390gr rage / 10' floating poly on the 6127 and the 420gr rage / 10' Intermediate poly on the 6.5129, and a 480gr Skagit / 10' t7 FLO tip on the 7130. I usually rig a floating smolt on the 6127 for the topwater bite in the early AM / late PM, and fish a small, lightly weighted smolt pattern on the 6.5129. The 7130 gets everything from 2" sculpins to 7" lamprey flies, depending on the mood of the fish.

On the particular river I fish in the spring, the fish feed on a braod, fast gravel flat, and when hooked immediately leave for deeper water. It is not uncommon to have a 24"-27" fish take you 100yds+ into the backing, and I have had bigger fish take almost all of the 300yds that I spool my reels with...after 200yds, it pretty much turns into a "save the line" game, and I have yet to land a fish that has gone more than that. Below is a good representative fish from an awesome day that saw a friend and I hook 20+ fish in the 24" and up range.



I spent a week on this same river in the fall, this time armed with the 8134 ECHO E3, fishing a 540gr skagit head / 10' t-10 or t-14 depending on the water. Flies for the fall are a little different - I fish 4"-6" flesh flies mostly, with the odd 6" black leech to change it up every now and then. The water is about 2'-3' higher in the fall, and moves much faster...as a consequence, I ended up losing a lot more big fish than I landed. Here are a couple fish from that week, both in the 28"-29" range.





This is a pic of a friend's fish, and the reason we fish 8wts in this particular river.



I closed out my trout season with a little time in Montana. I like the ECHO DH5122 with an AirFlo 360gr Skagit / 10' t7 FLO tip for most of the places I fish in MT, and got taken into the backing more than a few times this year by some decent fish. I tie a pattern called the Goblin that is pretty productive for trout and steelhead in AK / OR / WA, and it turns out the MT fish like it too. A few fish from the last trip of the year.





All in all it was a good trout year on the swing, and I am already looking forward to the 2016 AK spring opener.
 
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