: Lincoln Park Revisited
09-19-2003, 04:04 PM
I hit the beach in the dark at 5:30am. This morning was totally different than yesterday's. I wanted to fish the incoming tide in the dark and would have if only the wind were either not blowing or at least coming over my left shoulder instead of my right. No way was I going to let that #2 Gamakatsu get near my head – so I sat down and lit a cigar and waited in the rainy dark until I could at least see my fly to duck as it flew by.
Sure enough, the rain lessened and the wind died as the sun continiued to rise. Once again, there were no signs of fish. I blind cast over and over as I worked the beach hoping that my popper would attract any hungry coho in the vicinity. It wasn't long before a small school moved through and in quick succession, I hooked a fish and "doublespey" aka Brian Lencho, had a big one follow his popper to the beach. My fish was about 4-5 pounds and simply wallowed and twisted at the beach. It never took out any line and I slid it onto the beach after about 30 seconds. I released it thinking I would get my dinner fish a bit later. Brian thought I should have removed it from the gene pool.
Pretty soon, a few other flyfishers showed up and we all flogged the water into a froth. I had two more follows and hung around until 11am when I caught one of 2-3 pounds.
Ahh, dinner at last.
Sounds like another day in paradise. :)
Curious - when we get a crosswind around these pahtz (parts) we either turn around and throw the backcast or if we are lucky enough to have a two-hander reach across the body without turning the head and throw a reverse overhand cast with the lower hand doing much of the work. Even in a howling wind this is a safe and kinda fun kinda cast, and it throws a very tight loop for distance.
Would this work for what you are doing in a crossing wind?
09-19-2003, 04:46 PM
Absolutely, I simply chose not to out of simple laziness.
As a note, no other gearchuckers or flyfishers fishing "dark" turned any fish.
My theory is that the popper is an even more effective attractor than I give it credit. What few fish show up move to the surface commotion, particularly in choppy water when it is even more "visible."
Cool... I hope we can get the pacific version of the beach rod out quickly, I want to get one in your hands ASAP while the run is still on!
09-23-2003, 12:11 AM
Speaking of the new Puget Sound Beach Rod, I was out casting a different shooting head gizmo I thunk up. Since I disintegrated my 12 foot Loop chasing silvers, I pulled out my old Sage 10150. I had been tossing 200/300/400 grain big boys and aqualux heads. Trouble is, they don't make a 500 grain head in the Aqualux. Then it hit me. 10 wt floating line is about 10 grains a foot. So I cut a 10 foot chunk, tied up some loop connecters at the ends and ran it like this;
.024 powerflex floating running line, 10 foot/100 grain floating middle section and then the heads.
Total head length is now 34 to 36 feet, depending on the type of head, which feels a heck of a lot better. Head weights are now 300/400/500 and it turns over that clouser a heck of a lot better. I can shoot 80 to 100 feet of running line which gives me a lot of room to change up retrieves like speed or herky jerky etc. The more time you have to play with it, the more the silvers like chasing it.
Just wish I had a faster rod for the two handed overhead cast. That old 10150 feels slow, infact, all my rods feel slow. Going to run this shooting head stuff through a CND Thompson on Wednesday and then a T & T hopefully. Sure wish I had a really fast 10 wt, 14 or 15 foot Puget Sound Beach Rod from CND. I'd make that rod wish to God it had never met me, aarrgh, and few Silvers too!
09-26-2003, 12:43 PM
Please let us know how the heads work on the Thompson and what head you are using.
09-26-2003, 01:43 PM
Actually, I went and tried the CND's. Fell in love with the 15 foot Salar right off the bat. Better than my Sage, Loop, Flylogic and St Croix spey rods, all put together. Now don't get me wong. I have tossed the Burkie's and B&W's. They feel really good in my hands. But I'll be able to get line and new reels for the same price.
The Salar is going to get me into the big belly area of line. Jack Cook let me toss the Accelerator with it. First time I had ever tossed that type of line and it sort of looked like I new what I was doing. But I wont have any qualms about using shooting heads on it. I'm already doing that with my Sage 15' 10wt, but the Specialist series feels like it is a better rod for that task.
I'm also thinking the new Skagit or Steelhead specialist will be a better option for my shooting heads off the beach. Going to try it as soon as they come in. 14' 9wt or 13' 8wt will also work better for me on the rivers plus I have plenty of spey line for up there if I don't have room to overhead those heads.
Don't know if the 11 or 12 foot beach rods will be the ticket, but will be trying it before passing judgement.
Also I'll have to redo my basket. I think with longer fingers in the bottom, I could shoot into the backing on that Rio .024 floating running line. That's a 120 feet of running line and about 35 feet of head. I know it's just a dream but I'm close (30 more feet close on that slow ass Sage). Getting the fly to lay out straight off the leader is hard. If I could build the heads with some taper it might work a little better. Plus I found a head shop that sells digital dope scales. I'm really going to have to watch my grains on those heads and set them up for the different rods.
Anything is worth getting out past the buzz bombers. Not that the fish are there. All my hits are still pretty close up. It just looks cool and besides, the chicks dig it.
09-28-2003, 02:38 PM
Which accellerator were you using on the Salar. The 10/11 does well on the Thompson.
09-29-2003, 12:48 PM
Watch it Matt. We were casting a 7/8 GrandSpey which is what we would suggest for a sink tip system on this rod. If I were using a floating line I would use the XLT 8/9. I am sure one of the Accelerator lines would work very well also, just look for one about 900 grains and you are on your way.
Matt was casting the entire GrandSpey, on the grass, with no effort, it was fun to watch. I want to see him perform with a 13'8 Skagit Specialist and a shooting head!
09-29-2003, 01:07 PM
That was a Grandspey? I've never cast that line before. Just airflo with tips and windcutters. I have used a midspey with the middle section taken out on my 5120 and my slo-mo flylogic. But man, oh man I love that Salar. If I had a little water to add some grip, there is no telling what I could do. I'm buying the Salar from the first person that gets it in their shop.
09-29-2003, 01:13 PM
The Salar is currently available. I could have sent you home with one. I still think you should try the 13'8 before you decide.
We should have one before the end of October.
09-29-2003, 01:43 PM
I'm getting both for the beach and the river. Do you have a virgin Salar in the shop right now?
09-29-2003, 02:08 PM
And I can put your name on it.
Emaill me offline at email@example.com
09-29-2003, 02:32 PM
I don't want to throw water on the party, but 15 feet of 9/10/11 for the poor little cuttys and 6 pound silvers on the beach:eyecrazy: I've thrown nothing but a 9.5 foot six weight, and have yet to feel undergunned or outfished.
I've cast the Salar, and frankly, I love it. Personal preference issue, but the Thompson is too much stick for me. Can't wait to see the steelhead and the skagit. If they live up to their billing, which is same league as the Salar and Thompson, but with distinct personalities, it's going to take months of test casting to choose one!
Matt you should just wait for juros new two handed beach rods he has coming out. He is working on one specially designed for puget sound.
I think they are just under 11' and if distance is what you are after with proper technique you can throw the whole line and more with these.
Plus when you stick em under your arm for a 2 hand retrieve you are back at a 9ft rod. With longer rods like the salar the tip reverb is gonna suck when stripping.
I for one cannot wait to see what Juro comes up with since he lives and breathes salt water fishing. They are gonna be sweeet.
Hurry up Juro!
09-29-2003, 03:38 PM
My Sage 5120 is what I use on Cutts in the salt or N F Stilly, the Yak for trout and Dry Falls like places.
The Salar will be my primary big river rod and a way to graduate to bigger belly lines.
I'm thinking about the Skagit specialist for the beach with the heads I use. It will also fill the gap on the river in the 13 foot mark that I will be using spey or shooting head line.
I also can not wait to try the Puget Sound Specialist. Unfortunately, I know I'll end up buying that one too and be my own CND rep where ever I go. I'll be my own Spey/Two-handed Clave too. :hehe:
Speaking of heads, I went down to the local drug paraphernalia store and bought a scale that measures in grains. Did you know that 400 grain heads actually weigh 400 grains. I had been using the postal scale at work and had +/- 75 gns on my previous measurements. The guy freaked out when I whipped out some of my experimental heads to measure. I think he thought I was going to pull out a big fat green bud to measure. Bet I'm the only guy that buys stuff in there for its legal intended use, weighing fly line.
Mattzoid, that's hilarious! :hehe: You should've pulled a blazing saddles... "s'cuze me while I whip it out".
The two I am supposed to have shipped to me today (will take a day or two to arrive) are the 11' 11/12 wt and the 10' 9" 9/10. The Puget Sound rod is a 7/8 and will follow soon, I will find out and post expected dates. After a quick test I will ship out to you guys for testing, or better yet maybe there will be a cheap fare so I can come out and try it with you!
The CNF-1099A should be a decent coho rod, as you know with two hands 300-350 grains is nothing! That's 200-300 grains LESS than a 6/7 Spey line!
Philster, I think the 7/8 10' 7" two-handed beach rod will be a very nice searun cutt rod, but quite frankly the 9/10 is more suited to coho conditions and sizes and the 11wt is really not out of the question for hooknoses at all.
11/12wt standard line == approx 500 grains, still 100 grains LESS than most 7wt spey lines!
The thing is those grains are concentrated in a well- behaved 30' weight forward section and with a good shooting line... ZOOM.
So far I've found that although distance is there for you, it's not the only advantage. Too much running line is hard to manage in a basket or even worse without one. I like a consistent low-effort 100 foot cast best when having to strip retrieve the fly between casts. With the bigger rods, this is as simple as a single backcast and a good straight poke of the rod.
Another huge advantage is casting in a hard crossing wind, just reverse-overhand it out there. It's even easier than a reverse spey! Or left-up, which with two hands is quite easy. Many are already used to casting backwards, but it's been nice to keep my eyes on the prize especially when sight fishing the flats.
Still another is for fighting those big chinook, once we all figure out what the heck they'll hit. The lower handle provides significant leverage advantage for fighting very large fish when it's on the hip.
Sneak in to Hoodsport on a weekday and battle some huge chum with the beach rods, that would be a good field test!
I used to fish Westport a lot in the fall, those big Satsop coho will put a bend in the 11x11 easy. Sometimes you just need the big heads to put a hooknose fly out there where the action is, I see a fit for all models in the saltchuck.
I'll bet those short spey lines really cast nice with an underhand spey motion as well, like Simon's new Scandinavian heads - they will do double duty.
The biggest advantage, in my opinion, is simply this:
Your fly spends a lot longer in the water with a beach rod.
Why? It takes about 3.5 seconds to throw 100 feet when you roll out the head, make a single backcast, then shoot. In a moderate current in a deep fishy seam it can take you as long as 30 seconds to retrieve a 100 ft cast to the butt. That's almost a 10:1 ratio of casting time to fishing time!
The explosion of coastal flyfishing in the northwest is really awesome to see. In the early years of my tenure there, it was a rare sight to see anyone flyfishing in the saltchuck. Now there is a strong, thriving community of salty flyfishers, great stuff! I genuinely hope this rod brings a new tool to this community, if not we'll keep trying till we get it right!
09-29-2003, 09:08 PM
"Philster, I think the 7/8 10' 7" two-handed beach rod will be a very nice searun cutt rod, but quite frankly the 9/10 is more suited to coho conditions and sizes and the 11wt is really not out of the question for hooknoses at all. "
Juro, I have 4 years of experience with Northern California beach/jetty Striped Bass on a Sage 9126-3 (30 years total striper experience). Big fish was a 28 pounder on that stick, and as you know from your guiding, 28 pounds in a pounding west coast surf is much different than 28 pounds in the flats or river mouths :eyecrazy:
I will be very interested to see the 7/8 rod! Shad, smallmouth... Man, the possibilities are ENDLESS!
We all fish differently, which is why it's so much fun to fish with new people. Learn something everytime. But I have to say, when I think 11 weight I'm thinking mexico yellowfin tuna, not coho. In fact I'll be thinking about mexico yellowfin tuna all winter as I swing my 15 foot... Regulations willing that is :smokin:
Sounds like fun, down in the sun... I will be shivering and jealous again this winter!
I own that Sage 9126-3 too have landed fish in that class on Nauset with it so I can relate! What did you think of it as a surf rod? I thought it was super nice but the handle was meant for euro-style/spey where and the softness in the blank felt a little bouncy to me while stripping flies. Probably the best commercially available option for two-handed surf work back then. The high price tag restricted it's adoption by striper guys and it's been discontinued since. Great stick on the river though!
I still believe true overhand rods are better at the task of somewhat violently reversing the direction of a cast 180 degrees in mid air. Also the 10'9" prototype in the hands is hard to distinguish from a single hander while stripping line. The IM8 graphite has a lot of guts to move fish and I believe the 11x11 can take a 50 pound bass, I just need to find one! ;)
Hey maybe I can send one for you to test in Mexico! Do you have roosterfish where you winter?
09-30-2003, 09:19 AM
Hey Juro. I found, and still find the 9126-3 a great surf rod (and a great chum stick since moving up here). Unless the surf is truly crazy, I stick as much rod as I can under the water whether fishing a single hand or double hand rod, so the bounce isn't really a problem. Better fly contact too.
As to handles, having grown up fishing stripers conventional and fly, I will make the following bold *ss statement: rods intended for surf fishing, and in fact, rods intended for big salt fishing should have FOAM handles!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know the consumer won't accept it, but I for one would pay a surcharge to get such a handle on a quality saltwater rod! hint hint
Do you fish conventional? I have some 8 inch pencil poppers lying around. I'm talking original wood, handpainted, not cotton cordell plastic ones. Maybe next time you're out I can get them to you if you have room in your checked bag.
P.S. I don't chase roosters. When I see them I cast to them, but the big ones are possibly the most frustrating fish on the planet in terms of peeling off 3 inches from the fly after racing in from 10 yards away :eyecrazy: By the way, this approach has both kept me more relaxed, and gotten me quite a few roosters:)
I don't fish conventional at all. I've shown cape cod tourists once or twice how-to if they offer to help me pay the rent, but those poppers are probably worth a mint, you should hold on to them!
Send striblue a pic, he's quite a collector.
I am hot for roosterfish on the new rods. It's a quest I will fulfill someday.
09-30-2003, 09:46 AM
"Your fly spends a lot longer in the water with a beach rod."
This has been the crux of my two handing the salt. My striping arm can be hurting more than my back with this casting. My intensions for the Salar are strictly Steeleheading with a big belly line on the rivers. I may pervert the Skagit special into double duty on the salt and river. Your salt rods just seem a little short and very stout. 11x11, what the hell were you thinking? Te he, te he, probably what I'm thinking. Anyway, I'd have to try one of the shorter surf rods you are talking about in the salt and I tell ya, I wouldn't be very nice. After throwing 400 and 500 grain heads off the beach, I've developed this little Steve Choate like power forearm thrust thing. That little cast is the reason why I'm waiting for both my Loop rods to be replaced. I've learned this beach casting myself by raiding the east coast sites and reading what they do for striper. I did this on 14 and 15 foot rods, so I've developed a slight preference for a longer beach rod. But with the IM8 blank on a 11' 11 wt surf rod, who knows. I would prefer 12 or 13 feet, but if it works for me then it would be the only rod I use in the salt for that kind of casting and save the wear on the Skagit or Salar. Right now, if I go out on the salt I use my St Croix because I wouldn't mind seeing it in pieces floating in the water in front of me. I had been using my old Sage 10150, but it is a classic and George Cook taught me to Spey cast with it so it holds a lot of sentimental value and I don't want to break it. That is why I am praying that CND's beach rod is the answer to my salt question.
I would love to hook up with you if you come out to Puget sound. There are a lot of aspects to the beach casting technique that I'm sure I could learn. When I'm shooting 120 plus feet of fly line, getting my leader and fly to turn over isn't always consistent. I've never seen anybody do what I do on the salt over the last year, so I don't have anyone's example to follow. It would be nice to have some footage of our style of overhead casting from the beach in the video section here with a big fat Silver hitting the fly.
(drool) I would love to watch that video, especially once old man winter sets up for 6 months around here.
But I have to ask "did you happen to catch the grains discussion I posted?" The 11x11 casts a real 11/12, in other words a line that is lighter than a spey line in 7 or 8wt! Usually around 400-500 grains over 30 feet whereas a 7/8 midspey weighs 560 grains. I would assume that the lines you are throwing are 800 grains or more, no?
Once you tune your motion into the action of the rod, based on a tournament overhand taper, less is more. When I show people how to use it, I show them how to throw the minimal energy possible to make a loop, then add just a little kick. That's about all it takes to throw 80ft with a single backcast.
Now shoot a little running line into the backcast, stay relaxed, and keep the loop in the "lane" in both directions. Punch it only slightly more than the 80 ft cast - that's about 100-120 feet if all goes well, and with a single backcast.
You couldn't break this rod casting 100+ feet all day in a relaxed manner with a true 11/12wt line that is by the way lighter than a 7/8 spey line! The thing is you don't have to ride this rod hard and put it away wet to reach the distances of over 100' consistently, you just have to keep the driver in the lane on both sides and let it fly.
I will have to send one out or come out in person to do some beach clavin' with the gang if I can swing it.
09-30-2003, 10:35 AM
Yeah I caught the head weight breakdowns. I only toss in the 400 to 500 grain area on a 34 to 36 foot head. 24 to 26 feet if I'm not using my 10' 100 grain middle section. I just can't imagine 600 to 800 unless I was fishing really deep off some rocky coast line. I also had noticed that instead of bringing the head right up to the tip of the rod, if I leave a couple feet of running line that it does fly a little better. I was going to try and keep extending that distance out to see what would happen. I just kinda thought it was taboo to leave a lot of running line out past the tip.
OK, my mistake! Looks like we're throwing the same grains afterall.
In striper land if the fish are following you strip right to the leader knot, which make the short heads more attractive because they're easy to roll out. In fact while forming the first roll cast, I use the grip of the water to hold the leader while I slip about 10-15 feet of the head back out just coming back to the firing position, then roll the other 15 feet out easily. Before it sinks, pick it up into the shooting backcast and fire forward for distance in one motion. Takes about 3.5 seconds to complete.
In any case you're pioneering out there with those setups and I'm very interested in your progress, definitly keep me posted!
BTW - are you going to go for those salter steelies on Whidbey this winter too?