So with all this what line and what set up do you use.... I had to stop and wonder "Why" Personally I at first didn't like the spey guys, saw enough idiots on the river that couldn't cast further then me with single hander....would cast over to the water on my side, like there was no etiquette now with a fly rod....I would double haul it and send my fly to their feet as well and just look back at them.. Then I followed a guy into a run who knew how to use a spey rod...worked both sides of the run and was on to the next one before I'd fished the top end of it on one side.....Then and there I decided...It was time.. So that's the why.... My reason for fly fishing in the first place was I was bored with gear, bored even with the pin I used to make it more fun...bored with bait, spoons etc. The fly side fascinated me, the idea your fooling a fish with something made of feathers or fur...not the normal instinct of biting bait,bead, metal or plastic... Etc. etc. The more I learned (single hand at first) the more I got engulfed in all of it and then started tying flies...trout ones still blow me away, spey ones even more so.... Read books, fished some of the ugliest shit you've ever seen...learned, talked, argued over and debated which were best, which worked..what kind of dressing, feather, fur etc. was legit or was it just what you caught fish with and became your "comfort" fly....I still have this discussion with a bud who's become a traditionalist in a lot of ways... So here's the thing...The guys that I've talked with and fished with..who have caught some serious numbers of fish...seem to take it to another level...they become ultra purists in a way...swing dries even in winter, swing classics...tie some of the most beautiful flies I've ever seen and are a helluva lot more content to be on the water challenging themselves to catch a fish they hold more respect for then probably more then a few people they know.. The spey for me started as a tool, a method...the more I fished one the more intrigued I became with all things spey.. At first I only fished ultra modern gear/reels etc. didn't get why the hell you would fish the old stuff....found it hard to land a big fish on a clicker pawl you couldn't palm and kind of laughed under my breath at the old bastards.. As time went by...after I'd a caught the odd fish here and there...my ties while still more modern then not..(especially for winter fish) I'm finding I try and tie (like Lani Waller) modern flies but with some link to the past if possible...some not so much.. Summer runs I'm finding more and more I'm tying trouty flies and classic tubes (if there is such a thing) and exploring the skated dry fly and grease line methods... I always believed this was a process, that I was in no hurry to get there..frustrated at times yes...Challenge what others said wouldn't work but I had to find out for myself..certainly.. My gear has slowly become more old school...not the rods so much (though I covet a bob clay and am saving my pennies for one) but the reels have slowly become classic's or old hardys...The challenge if you can call it that or the connection with the past...has taken time to sink in but there is a pleasure fishing these items...that I didn't think I would ever get... I guess that's why these skagit thread versus the world threads bemuse me...I like fishing all types of lines during different seasons...they are tools for getting the job done...for me that is....The old school guys...I get that, they enjoy what they are fishing and making it more of a challenge is all part of the game....I'm not there yet..but can see it in my future... What I don't get is this....From the beginning..I took up the fly because it was a challenge.....If I wanted to just catch fish then I would have stayed with gear....part of that challenge was learning the equipment..then it became learning to fish it effectively.... Spey was like starting over...back to learning to cast..then to make your cast work..(i.e. it's fun to cast it 120-130' but is there a reason to?) then all the way back to reading water and fishing it properly again.... But all I read now is how it's not about that..it's about how many fish you can catch..no matter what method you use or how you use it...tradition is for old farts...except for the gear...I see more old perfects on switch rods then I've ever seen on spey rods....Fuck what can happen to the fish...fuck the consequences for what you use...swinging is dead...I want a fish to hold up in a picture and don't give a good goddamn what happens to it afterwards....as long as my buddies see it that's all that matters...big hero shot please...and another and another....hmmm I think he floated away belly up...Who cares Dude...keep fishing... So why spey? Maybe I'm just lucky or unlucky in that the guys who taught me all seemed to be involved in steelhead society's or clubs that had strong roots to conservation...( SSBC, WSC, etc.) Where you respected the fish first more then the catching.....You were eyes on the river to make sure others weren't pouching or using illegal methods. Like I said before their fly boxes were amazing...their stories more so...going to places I've only dreamed of where these might fish would take such a fly got into my sleep cycle...I dream now I'm fishing a run in my bed..pisses me off when I wake up and I've been inching over as I work down that run...Never catch a damn thing either..but I've been to a couple of those places now..not many..but a couple and damn....My respect for these fish is even more amazing... Guess having that pounded into me and putting the time in..many months if not a year of pounding the water hard before I caught my first steelhead on a swung fly...made that catch and every subsequent one very special to me....there is nothing that can replace that feeling..that tug..nothing!! Something was written in another post about if there are twenty steelhead in a hole, maybe only a couple of them will take a swung fly...Well those are the two I want to catch...If they won't take a swung fly maybe that's because they have been pricked before by another fly or bait or spoon and are resting so they can pass on their gene pool....I don't want some worn out beat up fish...I want the fresh one...the one that will hammer that fly and dance down river with my old bougle or perfect screaming....If I lose it..that's fine....I danced with it for awhile and that's the important thing to me...and to those I fish with... So what's important to you? is conservation just something you stick on the back of your truck or do you actually live it? Is it the cool gear and showing it off for your buddies even though you don't know how to use it, the social thing....Do you look at the different lines, have you tried them? Do you want to learn them or is it just...this is my method and it's all I care about? Do the scots and their long lines totally blow you away...or are you a skagitmaster and think that's all b.s. ? Tell me you side of the sport...enlighten me to this new breed of fisherman.... So why do you spey?