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....