Sunday, December 30, 2012

Montana Fly Fishing: Tip of the Day


More and more these days it seems fishermen show up with a rod or, worse, rods not suited for the job at hand. In Montana, as well as, most of the west wind is almost a given. At least some time during nearly every day you can bet the farm the "wind will blow." Such wind you need three hands, one to hold onto your hat, the other two to manage the casting operation. Trust me, it only gets worse...usually. 

Three, four, even one and two weight, rods are all the rage these days. Day-in, day-out NONE are suited for fishing western rivers. In my opinion, based on years of observation, very few anglers can get the job done even under ideal conditions wielding one and two weights. Decent casters can get away with modern 9 feet, 3 and 4 weights pitching relatively non-air resistant dry flies and relatively small, light-weight nymphs in light to moderate breezes. But should the wind kick up and/or the need to pitch the big uglies arise best have a stouter rod along for back-up. Yes, I know guys like Ed Shenk pretty much blows this theory out the water until one considers how few of us can do it like Ed and friends...In my experience about as rare as white buffaloes...OK, maybe not that rare but... 

In gathering material for this rant I polled a few sources in the industry and found out pretty much as expected 5-weight rods and, of course, lines far out sell all the others. No surprise there since I can hardly remember reading or hearing anything but "five-weight" whenever the question arises. How long this has been gospel is more than I know...But I do know back in the day, say 30-40 years ago, 6-weights, even 7-weights, were the norm. Which brings us to the point of this discourse...That being of course if you ask me I say...9' feet, 6-weight rules...No contest, end of discussion. Why?

Better in the wind. Handles two nymphs/split shot/indicator rigs better. Better for chucking big air-resistant and/or heavy-weight flies--salmon flies, hoppers, big attractors, buggers, you name it. In other words anything a 9-feet #5 can do, a #6 can do better. And don't even bother with argument smaller line spooks less fish...I cut my eye-teeth fishing small "technical" spring creeks full of so-called "PHD trout" and any fish spooked was my fault, operator error, period...Really.

So there you have it...If nothing else I hope this gives you pause for thought, hell, it might even make your days astream more enjoyable...over and out...Chuck

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