I first heard the quote, "The Tug is the Drug" from Landon Mayer referring to hooking fish on streamers. My first self-sufficient fly-fishing adventures began with fishing streamers, because that is all I knew how to do, and it was very similar to gear fishing. Either the bite was on, or the bite was off, and all we fished were black or olive wooly buggers, and sometimes cone-head Autumn Splendors. Eventually with more flies and knowledge under my belt I began to fish dries and nymphs more than streamers, simply because they were far more productive: slowly I lost all confidence in streamers, and was often surprised when a fish would actually take the streamer. However, if I could hook fish consistently on streamers, that might be all I would fish.
On Sunday I got the pleasure to fish a couple hours with Brent Boyd, and let me tell you, he is magic with streamers. I was cold as hell, and getting a little sick, so I fished half-heartedly and out of the corner of my eye I watched Brent work runs with streamers and nymphs. Brent doesn't leave any water untouched, and gives many different presentations with the streamer through the same spot before moving on. And Brent gets takes! What I picked up most is Brent's confidence in the streamer. He believes: he believes the fish want to follow his streamer and kill it. Brent hooked a 30 incher on a streamer that very day, on the most pressured tailwater you can find this time of year.
So I have decided I will fish streamers more than I do, because its challenging, incredibly rewarding, and quite simply I'm not that good at it: actually far worse than I was ten years ago. So earlier this fall I was given the opportunity to purchase one rod for a very low price, and I new I needed to get a rod that I really could throw some meat. So I narrowed my choices down to a 6 weight fighting butt Sage the "one" or a 7 weight 11' Sage Z-axis switch rod. Both rods can chuck, but I am attracted to them for different reasons.
The 6 weight is what I would fish everyday, on all the rivers I already fish. It would be better suited for the big fish I chase, and has the backbone to chuck 5 inch articulated streamers.
The switch rod falls into the story-line of my idealized vision of my fishing future, a rod I can fish for steelhead in the pacific northwest, Kamchatka, or even the Great Lake tributaries; a rod I can swing big leaches to freestone Browns, or even Russian Atlantic Salmon. The reality is I have never fished in any of these locations, and probably won't in the near future.
So what did I get?
Well, the reality is I love spey casting. I am not very good at it, but I can do a few casts, and find myself doing Snap T's and Double Spey casts with my nymph rigs just for fun on my one-handed 5 weight. And it actually does have some applications here. Even with a one handed cast, this thing can chuck: carp just out of reach, ice off rainbows...Also have you ever wanted to high stick the Toilet Bowl or certain runs at the taylor? I think the 11 feet could come in 'Reel' handy. Winter trips to the pan will now probably include stopping off on the colorado through Glenwood to do a few Perry Pokes and Snake Rolls.
Yesterday was Angler's Christmas for this guy!