Decided I'm Going Purist...

Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by JesseC, Jun 3, 2012.

  1. No more two handed rods - they are new fangled fads only accepted in the mid 70's. If you're a real purist then it's a silk line on a single hander damnit.
  2. Pot Stirrer! Two handed rods have been around longer than you are willing to acknowlege. 70's you say? 70's of what century?

    Fish however you wish, be it broad based in gear, scope and methods; or narrow. We likely all define purist differently. Will your silk lines be on click pawl reels and rods made of natural materials free of modern age carbons, graphites, fiberglass and resins?

    I think you are just bored and trying to poke the bear.
    fredaevans likes this.
  3. all kidding and pot stirring aside I really prefer single hand fishing more than double hand fishing...
    constructeur likes this.
  4. Pretty much Ed - just began reading A Passion for Steelhead and was amazed at how recent the two hand rod became "traditional" equipment in North America.
  5. Jesse, check out 'A River Never Sleeps' by Roderick Haig Brown. That guy was making the two hander a staple of his own in the Northwest long before Dec Hogan and crew were up to the task.
  6. No pot stirring for me...... Great book
  7. Jesse,

    Purist is gonna' cost ya'. A purist uses only rods made of split bamboo, reels made in England, silk line, gut leader, and flies tied with natural materials only. Oh, and you'll need to wear a houndstooth tweed fishing jacket.

    And while I knew of one local steelheader packing a two handed rod in 1976, they didn't become popular until the very late 1980s and early 1990s. Many, I dare say, more steelhead were caught on single hand rods if for no other reason than that there were so many more steelhead around to be caught. Take the NF Stilly for example; from July 4th on there would be 40 or more, usually more, summer runs in Fortson Hole and 60 or more in Skiers. And those numbers would hold through the summer and into the fall with new fish arriving as anglers caught and removed them. More steelhead caught on 8 1/2' FF85 Fenwick fiberglass rods and Pflueger Medalist reels than all else combined since Spey rods showed up. Which is why it's hard not to laugh when a newbie inquires if he buys a $400+ high end reel with a drag that will stop a VW, will he have enough reel for steelhead fishing.

  8. i've gone purist with fly tying for my own use - i only tie and use classic flies now, wets, streamers, salmon flies. I just cleared out a bunch of 'contemporary' materials. Oh, and i bought a new glass rod, and even thinking about a bamboo....and i aint read no books either!!
  9. Yeah - it's been an enlightening experience and great read so far. He gives a lot of credit to Roderick Haig Brown for influencing him to move into the two handed game.

    I just couldn't help but laugh when I found out that two handed rods have only gained mass popularity on the NW rivers in the last twenty years. That's a pretty DEEP religion for a lot of folks that's only a couple decades old.

    Its humbling to learn about the tradition of this sport and what a epicenter our PS rivers were for the foundation and resurgence of the sport. It makes it that much more absolutely sad that the PS rivers have been decimated.

    I'm starting to really understand how foolish it was for me to get into this sport when there's a high likelihood it's something I'll never get to pass onto my children. I'm sure I still will. But it'll be stupid and based upon chasing a memory or teaching the art of patience.

    The foreward to the book was the most depressing - Bill McMillan finally saving up enough cash to buy a place on the Skagit - enjoyed 1 good season - and then the run collapses. Poor fella.
  10. Thanks - I think I'm just going to use the houdstooth tweed jacket. Perhaps the world will implode upon itself when I slip my much beloved thingamabobber into the inside pocket.

    I can't wait to tell my kids about the "good old days" when I caught 6 steelhead in one day..... they will think I'm bat shit crazy..... chasing a probable 1 fish a season.
  11. purist don't use vices to tie...If you want to see truely the old hardy tyers etc. all was done while holding the fly in hand...How the hell they could do that I have no idea..and these were classic i.e. jock scott flies which I can't tie with a vice or three hands....

    Spey rods have been around for a long time...check your scottish history....Modern spey rods i.e. graphite...about as long as modern single hands...materials change, rods follow...

    Hell hasn't Ed been trying to pawn an old boo spey for awhile?

  12. Touche...i'm working my way up to tying in hand....a dying art form, no doubt about it.
  13. pffft...

    You young guys and your fancy two hands. I tied with just one hand.
  14. One interesting tid bit you'll find as you get farther in to A Passion for Steelhead is that (much paraphrasing here) is that Ed Ward coined the term "Skagit Casting" because they were not using traditional "Spey Casting" techniques while fishing on the Skagit river for Steelhead using two-handed fly rods and that as a group they were not "Spey Casting" so much as "Skagit Casting". So the pot stirring is kind of amusing to me on the basis of the word traditional.

    Another interesting tid bit is that getting a hold of a two handed rod, pre-maid or just a blank, was very difficult until the 90's and even then there were not a whole lot of choices. So it's hard to get any sort of tradition when there is very little availablity. Here's a quote from Mike Kinney in an interview with Dana Sturn on his first two handed rod set up:

    Dana: What got you started with the two-handed rod?

    Mike: I started flyfishing on the Stillaguamish with single handers and whenever the rod companies came out with longer single handed rods I liked them better. I started reading about the two-handed rods coming out of England and got interested in them. Then I heard that Sage was going to be making some of these rods so I asked for some of the first ones. In those early years they didn't even make rods, they were just blanks. I knew Les Icorn, the Sage rep in the Northwest at the time. I met him at a local fishing shop and got my first blanks through him.
    URL to the entire interview:

    As for my two handed rig, it is about as traditional as not being traditional because the main point of what I'm doing is lifting heavy sink tips and large to really big ass files and sending them for a ride (Skagit Casting) with out tearing up my shoulder.

    As far as I go with tradition, I appreciate it and think it is great but I like to build on the ground work that tradition has laid and move forward. Keep reading A Passion for Steelhead it's one of the best books on the subject in print, which is why I got my signed copy when Dec made the offer about three months ago to or so.

    Oh and have fun greasing your silk line when you want it to float or how your wool coat itches in the cold and rain :D
  15. Hi All.
    Now stop it....... Speycasting history being my thing, rods that came out of England....... thats like me saying American football came out of Canada ........ or maybe it did. :D
    Speycasting has changed since the first Double hander was built in the 1840's and will always get a new name or casting style, Underhand casting...... Scotland 1890's while they were still bait fishing in norway, Switch rod........ 1880's,
    Nowadays its easy to make a silk line float.......... car bumper polish, makes almost anything float. and a good Ghillie's Tweed Jacket is 100% waterproff (Harris Tweed), better than most of the new ones i have bought.
    Cheers Gordon.
    Patrick Gould likes this.
  16. You call yourself a purist? Try fishing a two handed rod with one hand tied behind your back!
  17. Yeah but Gordon...a good Harris tweed jacket would make these guys think Simms was cheap...hmmm maybe a Simms tweed wading jacket..

    Oh the howls.....LoL...

    Oh and for the record...I love them and tweed hats and own a few of the hats...but for some reason when I wear one of them is causes great comic relief for my buds...asshats that they are...hell even my kids make me take them off...and it IS in my blood too...
    (maybe a sherlock holmes one? hmmm)
  18. When I think of purist ,I envision a person barefoot adorned with a grape leaf loincloth& a wooden tenkara rod !!!!
  19. Marrying this thread with your thingsmabobber thread, I'm inspired to take a pledge of purity myself....

  20. a true purist screws studs into his feet and wet wades year around

    ok maybe we need a " you might be a purist" thread

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