|Ice on the my rod guides and Trout in my hand, Priceless!|
Those words are as much to encourage myself as they are to encourage others. You see I don't need another excuse to not go winter troutin' but when I put it all aside and finally get to release a strong beautiful fish like the one in the picture all of the excuses to not do it are erased.
How to do it
On this day I had three rods with me. That's another advantage of floating, you can carry multiple rods. My tried and true Winston BIIIX 4110-4 Microspey with a Bauer CFX #4 Trout spey reel. I loaded it with the Airflo Switch Streamer line of 330gr and 10 foot of T-7 Sink Tip. I must confess I modified the Airflo line. Everything is perfect about this line except the abnormally large running line part of it. I couldn't take no more so I chopped it at the back side of the head and applied a RIO Braided loop so I could connect it to RIO SlickShooter mono shooting line. I'm not suggesting everyone should do this. Try it first and you might be fine with it. I made it through last year fishing it but winter freezing temps finally made me give up on it. Too thick to work in icy guides and shooting lines such as mono are much better for this cold weather fishing.
My next outfit is the new Sage ONE 3110-4 Trout Spey coupled with a Lamson Litespeed #3 reel and the RIO Intouch Switch Chucker #3. The Sage rod feels great! I'll be doing a full review on it in the near future once I've had a chance to fish it some more with some different lines and heads. Right away this grip on the Sage feels so great...It just fits me and the rod balances perfect. What I didn't like on this day was the Switch Chucker. I just don't get this line. It just doesn't turn over for me easy. Maybe it's me or maybe I expect too much from it. I started out with 8 foot of T-7 sink tip but backed off to a 10 foot fast sinking polyleader. It still seamed difficult to turn over. Maybe it needs a 5 foot polyleader or just a regular leader. I will fish the Sage rod again soon with the RIO Skagit Trout Max heads and also try my favorite scandi the RIO Scandi Short VersiTip. I wished I had the VersiTip with me this day. It would have been ideal for some of the slower riffles that were holding fish. The sink tips I was fishing were too much for them.
|Mr Brown hammered a streamer in icy cold water|
Towards the end of my float is a long great swing run. Another advantage of floating is I was able to set up on the opposite side of the river of were it could be foot accessed. A nymph angler was across the way so I stayed clear of him. I was backed up tight to the bank and needed to Snap T cast to set up my swing. A minute later the nymph guy yelled down and said "Nice Snap T!" I yelled back and said you are the first person on this river to know what that is. I went on and caught a couple and he also caught a couple. When I left I rowed my boat across river and up the back eddy to the guy. Got out and chatted. Yep he lived in the NW and had been spey fishing for 20 years on the peninsula and BC. He continued to fish as we chatted and I couldn't help noticing the double spey he was doing with his single hand nymph rod setup. The only reason I bring this up is that it doesn't matter what technique you're doing out there anyone can benefit from some two hand techniques. After watching him perform endless double speys I had no reason to doubt any word he spoke of his steelhead experiences. He wasn't thinking about what he was doing, he was just doing it.