Sunday, May 30, 2010

Review - Ross CLA Fly Reel

If you’re looking for a tough dependable reel that won’t break the bank, the Ross CLA is a great choice. Guiding for steelhead is without a doubt one of the best tests for a reel’s longevity. They’re constantly being thrown around, fallen on, set in the dirt, and most of all, given a good work out by pissed-off steelhead.  While they lack some of the aesthetics of higher priced reels, they make up for it in price and over-all dependability.

The #6 Reel Specs:
  • Frame / Spool Material - 6061 TT6 proprietary aluminum alloy.
  • Drag - Delrin 500AF with impregnated Teflon and maintenance free.
  • Width: 1.20"
  • Diameter: 4.25". 
  • Weight: 9.1 oz.
  • Line weight: 10-12wt, WF11 + 275yds Spey lines 9/10/11 +200yds.
  • Retail Price: $270

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Switch Rods, they’re not just for Steelhead and Salmon!
So now that the typical Steelhead season has come to an end, I just have to swing flies and practice my Skagit casting somehow. Stream trout, that’s just the ticket. Most people probably think of hatches and dry flies when talking stream trout fishing. Not me. Time for the streamers and crayfish patterns. In the past, I have been spey casting with my little 8’ 3wt single hander, it gets the job done but with way too much effort! This year I am armed with a custom 8’9” 4/5wt that I built with a bottom grip of 3”. Chopped up a 6/7 Delta Long to make a custom Skagit head for the rod. After multiple trips to a local trout stream during higher water periods, I can officially claim success! What a great way to spend the day trout fishing, as a good buddy claimed after multiple aggressive takes-”this is like mini Steelhead fishing”. Yup, exactly.
Using a small double hander has many advantages. The first being that it allows me to throw 3” string leeches and a short sinktip for those chunky browns. I can very easily cast it with one hand when the need arises, which isn’t very often. It keeps me in tune with my casting while covering bank to bank effectively. I can also fish spots that other fisherman pass by because of back casting room. Boy do I love those spots, not only for the challenge of casting in tight quarters but for the simple fact that they are not fished as heavily compared to other locations on the stream. Swinging streamers for resident trout also immediately vaults you into the top 10% of the trout population. Now a 13” trout sounds dull, but when that 13” trout is 6” around-that’s a whole new fish!
Follow the same principles as you would while casting a true double handed rod and it will transform your summer trout fishing. All while practicing your casting for the big show come September.
One disclaimer though. Be prepared for conversation and strange looks on a trout stream with a double handed rod. Seems as though the hard core trout guys are feeling a bit invaded by my antics with this strange casting style. Now I just need to pick up a 3.5/8” Perfect for my smaller rods.
Here’s the fruit of my labor while banging log jams and over hanging brush with a double hander, custom line, and some creative thinking....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Skagit Masters invade the Salmon River

Well Ed Ward, Scott O'Donnell and Mike McCune made the trip east to the Salmon River, to show us first hand their style of Skagit casting. 

Friday we met up with them to float the river, What a great time.  These guys opened all sorts of windows for the upcoming fall season. 

                                  Scott O' Donnell demonstrating a cast.

Ed Ward giving Loren William's a casting stroke tip.

Mike McCune and Drew watch Scott fish thru a run.

Part of Sunday's Beginner class

Mike McCune Fishing the tail out

These guys are die hard steelhead bums, we had to almost force them off the river to be at a gathering at the DSR on time. 

Saturday's event at the Douglaston Salmon had a good turnout. In the morning session Ed, Mike and Scott did casting demo's and a Cast Crasher's demo, to show common things people do wrong. Hardy, Loop, TFO were a few of the rod companies on hand and all had plenty of rods to try out. After lunch we moved up river to Pineville, here they did more casting demo's and answered questions til 5:30. They also helped a lot of people with their casting if they were up talking.

Sunday Skagit classes were held at Pineville, the morning class had a lot of people attending it. They afternoon class had about 15 people, a good number of women were in attendance for both classes.

I asked Ed, Mike and Scott if they planned on coming back next year and the were excited too, they couldn't wait to.