Sunday, July 7, 2013

Montana Fly Fishing: Rods for Western Rivers...

Yesterday a guy showed up with a nifty bamboo rod, a well-crafted, beautifully fitted creation, a typical work of art created by the "Boo Boys" at Sweetgrass Rods in Twin Bridges. A fine rod to be sure but not one at all suited for the challenging, ever-changing conditions our big western rivers demand. At 7' for a 4wt. the rod ranks right down there with your 7' foot any weight as one the worst, if not "the" worst rods no matter what made of or who made it.

In my experience most anglers, especially those who land in my boat, have no idea how to cast such rods in the first beginning. Beyond that should the conditions warrant tossing big, air resistant bugs or, perish the thought, rigging for deep running...for-get-it. Experts perhaps but rookies and intermediates no way.

Back to yesterday's fiasco: Right from the get-go it was obvious this was going to be one of those days. Either get the fly in the exact right spot, with the exact right drift or suffer the consequences. My guy, though to his credit he tried really hard to get it right, never did. When he did manage to get it out there in almost every case the fly landed in a heap or three feet off the mark or without the proper mend in the air to control drag or worse...Worse being the more frustrated he became the worse his casting and many, many casts ended up in snarls which of course only worsened the frustration quotient. Stubborn to the end he refused to put the pretty rod away, get it on with a "real" rod and well, what can I say.

Trust me, you will have a far better time chucking bugs with a rod at least 8 feet long--9 or even 9 1/2 feet is better. A four or five weight works but a six--the forgotten weight it seems these days--is even better. Rigged properly and, perhaps with a little help from your guide, even if the fish don't cooperate you can at least take satisfaction in knowing you got-er-done as best you could. Better still unlike my guy who went home totally frazzled, actually arm sore, you can at least go home and enjoy the evening--physically and mentaly pain free, even...Imagine.

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