Discussion in 'Spey Clave' started by Sean Matthews, Jan 18, 2013.
Just looking for thoughts about casting big flies and distance expectations with heavy tips.
Only if you have the ability to make it happen. The rod is capable in the right hands.
Only having taken it out twice on the Sauk for some Dollies, I am consistently casting 50ft (head and running line), I figure I can get more out of it with practice. I asked the question because I was thinking of getting a 8wt spey as well.
i would just get an 8wt too.
I personall have 7wt 11' switch with compact skagit 510 grains and sink tips, also extral reel with 7/8 rio switch line. I will use this for summer runs and small to medium rivers.
then i have a dec hogan i just bought which is an 8wt 13'3 dedicated swinging/ big ugly chucker winter rod.
I don't know what the Echo SR 8 wt is. However I fished the Skagit for years with an 8 1/2' single hand fiberglass 8 wt and caught more steelhead than I have since with all my Spey rods on all rivers. So it's more likely than not that your Echo is enough rod for the Skagit. As for heavy flies, heavy tips, and distance, I have no idea. The rod I mentioned was generally equipped with a 15' SA High Speed, Hi-D home made sink tip, 4' of Maxima leader, and a fly tied on a size 2 hook, cast about 60'. Now I use a Spey rod to make those same casts with less effort.
I used 9' and 9 1/2' 10-weight graphite rods on the Skagit for many years, with a sink tip like Salmo_g's. I liked that weight line for casting flies to weighted No. 1. With double hauls and a stripping basket, routine 90 foot casts were no problem. The Skagit is a huge river, and you can't cast across it with any fly rod combination I've ever heard of. But you can cover a great deal of productive water, nonetheless.
I just bought an Echo 13' 7 wt SR. I have fished it a day on the Skagit and one on the Nooksack. Pleanty of rod with a Skagit head and sinking leader. It casts a long way and has the backbone for most any fish you will catch. So the 8 wt is an excellent choice.
The way I see it, there are two basic runs to fish on the skagit. One are tight to the bank and relativley deep, in close. Others are wide, and relativley shallow. Heavy tips are helpful in the tight to the bank spots--but in those places distance isn't really an issue. A switch rod will do just fine in those spots. If you feel like you want to cast farther, I'd go with a full-on long rod. If you're fishing places where distance is an issue, depth is usually not a primary concern--so heavy tips won't be necessary. So, if you're fishing the broader runs you can go with light (type III), or floating, tips and lighter flies. At least, if the bucket is out at 80, 90, 110 ft, you'd better hope that that fish is going to move (they will from time to time) because, you can't rely on getting the fly down very far at those distances.
If you get a longer rod, I would learn to cast longer short to mid belly spey lines (50-65 heads'). I think that that will be more important. If you plan to make long casts, get a longer line. Given that the season only runs in the dead of winter these days, save yourself the frozen running line, fingers and guides. One set up for the tight spots, one set up for the classic fly runs. But, all that said, you'll only very rarely catch fish on the hero casts--but when you do, it's pretty cool. Fishing shorter distances, you probably aren't really missing many fish--but you might just be missing that one fish in that little pucker of a seam at 110'.
Most good water on the Skagit can be covered by casts of 40-80 feet. If you're able to use this 8 weight to cast that far you should be fishing just fine. In terms being "enough stick" to catch some of the large natives that return (or used to return) yes that is plenty. That river is fabulous for playing fish. In fact, that is a great rod you have there. It may help to talk with someone at a shop about how you want to line the rod for your purposes. Salmo_g has given you a very nice home grown recipe that is classic. Not to mention the designer of that rod has won quite a few long distance casting contests so no doubt it has potential.