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peter-s-c 12-26-2004 02:39 PM

Since I've had a bit of time over the holidays, I’ve started construction on a GL spey fishing site devoted to the use of the long rod in the GL basin. This site has to have a “purpose” so to fill that I need, I’ve been kicking around the idea of a specialised GL approach. While Scotland, Scandinavia, and the PNW have their traditions, we have nothing that approximates a GL tradition or approach. Something like this doesn’t get started from scratch, neither can it be dreamt up by an individual – it’s an outgrowth of the accumulated, shared experiences of numerous anglers. So, since we haven’t yet created our own, perhaps we can pinch the best of others and meld them together into a useful synergy that can serve us well.

For this website, I’m working on a 1-2-2-2 concept – one rod, two lines, two casts, and two variations -- but before I go to the bother of building this into the site, I want to run it past the folks here to get your opinions. I’m banking on this being an approach that should appeal to a first time long rodder as it simplifies this business down to into something manageable. It should work for the experienced long rodder as it provides a basis for the building of an efficient technique and it should work for that ‘tweener’ who has been down the long rod road for a while but for whom things have yet to gel.

This approach is based on the idea that it should be applicable to the broadest range of GL waters while using the minimum amount of gear and technique. It does not preclude the use of other casts, methods, or gear rather, it answers the simple question, “What is the minimum I need to have and know in the way of rods, lines and casts, to fish these waters with reasonable efficiency?”

For rods, I’m suggesting something in the 13’ to 13’6” lengths in the 7/8/9 weight ranges, as rods in these classes seem to be suitable for the widest spectrum of our waters. Some rivers might need smaller rods while others need larger, but if you had to make do on these rivers, a rod in this range would suffice. For the rest of the majority of rivers, a rod in this range is ideal.

As for lines, we sometimes have the need to cast short and sometimes we need to cast long. Sometimes we want to strip line and other times we don’t. Sometimes we need to get real deep and other times we don’t. Sometimes we want to dead drift and other times we want to swing. To find a single line that does everything on this list is pretty tough so I’m suggesting two, a Skagit set up and a mid-belly tips line. If the purchase is well planned, one needs only a mid-belly tips and then uses those tips on a Skagit belly to complete the set.

As for casts, the more you can do the better, but if you had to live with two, what would they be? These casts have to handle wind, large changes of direction, be easy to perform especially off the wrong shoulder, and be able to lift tips with ease. I’ve found the combination of Double and Circle to be the best. First off, they’re mirror images of each other so if you can learn one, the other is easy. They cover upstream and downstream winds, right and left banks. The high lift and broad sweep is ideal for tips, and they can handle all sorts of directions.

Finally, we don’t always have the luxury of lots of room so the ability to perform both of these casts with either regular D-Loops or continuous/water loading loops, gives us the flexibility to move between situations with lots of room and limited room.

So, my intention is to build a site with this 1-2-2-2 method at it's core, plus include river essays and articles from GL anglers who would like to describe their successful technique (agreement with 1-2-2-2 is not required. :) ). The site would also have space for gear and technique descriptions beyond the 1-2-2-2 as obviously, I'm not promoting this as some be all and end all. It wouldn't include a forum or a chat so it wouldn't compete with this forum in any way.

Any thoughts?

Shaq 12-27-2004 02:41 PM

A consideration:

I would focus on the flies which work in the Great Lakes system and the techniques which make those flies successful, not try to come up with a new technique with the goal of naming a GL technique. Some environmental factors could come second, size of most waters, weather throught the winter months, and so far. One of the demanding factors of our winter fishing is the fact that our winters tend to be much harsher than the PNW and our water sources have less springs and are more dam oriented, at least in NY. If you ook at the skagit style or the tip systems they use in the PNW you will find, if the flies they are throwing that way didn't work, they would be using different flies in a different technique that works. Any thoughts?

peter-s-c 12-27-2004 03:29 PM

Ya, I can drop that part -- going by the underwhelming response it received, it's probably a smart idea. Probably flies and technique should be high on the list, followed by lines, and lastly rods since we're usually, "dancin' whit what brung us."

Actually, I cut to the chase with that description of the approach, but much of what is implict in it, involves dealing with winter -- specifically casting mid-belly tips lines that don't need to be stripped, etc.

I'm hoping that peole who contribute, will provide info on their waters along the lines you've mentioned.

Shaq 12-27-2004 03:31 PM

I'm heading up to the Salmon, this week. I'll let you know how what where, Supposed to be in the forties on Thursday.

peter-s-c 12-27-2004 03:39 PM

Thanks, we're heading off to the Grand tomorrow for one more round before she closes till April.

I'll be saving any info people send me on rivers and such, then roll them into the site, (with the appropriate credits of course).

BLACK FRANCIS 12-28-2004 07:49 AM

i would be happy to contribute to the stew, but i'm not really sure what you are asking for. if it's just a went here caught this then no thanks. but, if you want technical details and notes on technique for certain waters or flies for the like i think it may be very useful. imho your first post was difficult for me to understand exactly what you wanted out of us. definitly interested and willing, just need some direction.

removed_by_request 12-28-2004 08:20 AM


I like the idea, this sharing of information can be very handy.

We could tailor it to I fish river x using this rod in the winter with the following lines, using these casts(some rod/line combos to me anyway have certain cast/casts that light them up). We could get down to what fly is used whether it is swung or dead drifted etc...

We don't need fishing reports per se, maybe more like a river condition report. When on the Mo' with water at xyz cfs with this clarity and H2O temp fish turned on for me.

This sharing of fishing related information would surpass tss and the other fishing hotspot sites. IMHO we don't need to know if the fish are stacked below an area, half the fun is the hunt of these chrome babies.

Shaq 12-28-2004 08:21 AM

If I have been reading Peter's notes right for the half year I have been conected to the site, I know he doesn't need to know where and when. I think he is interested in coming up with a distintcly Great Lakes way to use the spey rods. One of the things that I have noticed from reading about the Lakes is that my fishery in the eastern part of Lake Ontario is vastly different form the upper Penninsylia of Michigan so coming up with a way to use all throughout the Lakes may be difficult. In my neck of the woods the rivers are littered with shale boulders and bedrock creating jagged ledges and long smooth flats. Some hold fish, others do not. The way I have seen most people use speys on the Salmon river is with a straight line on 10lb mono, a swivel with 1,2, or 3 #7 splits and then a four foot piece of whatever tippet. Peter's continueous load system works well for casting this rig up to a certain point. This is a good system to fish nymphs and eggs and probably grew out of an extention of the running line system which is the most popular and most productive. I have been fooling around with cut sections of type 6-8 tips with my windcutter with some success and popsicle type flies. One of the advantages of both of these is that on cold days we needn't strip line in, and our guides don't freeze.

peter-s-c 12-28-2004 05:22 PM

Yup, the enthusiasm for an idea gets the better of me sometimes and I blither on. Basically, I wasn't trying to invent a tradition (that can't be done) but I was trying to take a minimalist approach to detemine what rig will fish the widest spectrum of GL rivers.

As far as info was concerned, exactly guys, I'm not interested in, "The weather was such 'n' such and we caught three fish." rather, I'm interested in collecting technique and river info like Shaq mentioned. "On such 'n' such a river, we have to use this sort of rig to get down between the boulders. We've found the xyz line works great, etc. etc." The idea being that if one of us wants to fish a GL river that we've never been to before, by reading the stuff on the site we'll have an idea of what we'll face in the way of river conditions and some idea of gear and technique that'll be needed to catch fish. Think of it as a collection of river experiences.

BTW, I was out today on the Grand getting one last fling in before the season closes. I had only one pull but Dave hooked up and lost two.

grouseman 12-28-2004 06:12 PM

I agree with nixing the show and tell type site, which already exists and is abit nauseating sometimes. I'm an experienced flyfisher, but a rank amateur 2-hander. I enjoy learning from this site and its contributors. Today I cast a spey rod for the first time. Not sure what type of cast I was doing but got it to work and was amazed at how easily 60 or 70 ft of line flies. No fish, but I'm hooked.

peter-s-c 12-28-2004 06:18 PM

Hey, the angler has to be hooked before the fish can . . . .

grouseman 12-28-2004 06:23 PM

I bought a Sage 14' 9wt and rio lines/tips on ebay. The tips weren't identified. How do I tell what each tip is?

peter-s-c 12-28-2004 06:40 PM

The tip with the yellow loop is type 3, the grey loop tip is type 6, and green loop tip is type 8.

Quick hookset, I see. :)

Jamey McLeod 12-29-2004 08:59 AM

Peter, great idea on the site. I really think the GL long rodders get overlooked on other local websites. That, and I am sick and tired of some of aft said web site.

I like MJYP's input above. Mo was flowing at "XXX" cfs, clarity was"XXXX", I was fishing a long/short, deep/shallow, run/riffle/pool, using "XXXX" tip, on "XXX" line, with"XXX" rod. "while fishing "XXX" run, an "XXX" cast was needed due to "XXXX" conditions. Get what I'm saying? No need for pictures of garbage bags full of kings, or king roe, but an occasional pic wouldn't hurt.


Gillie 12-29-2004 09:15 AM

Rather than another website have you considered talking to Dana about a seperate section under the speyclave that would deal with this issue. Perhaps you would able to moderate it.

I think the concept is a good one but I wonder if it wouldn't be better to keep the conversation focused here where people like Simon, Dana, Bob Meiser, Juro, and countless other reps are frequently on line and can answer technical questions.

Perhaps instead of just having a "Great Lakes Steelhead & Salmon" section on the fly fishing forum we look at adding a GL section to the spey clave to do what you are talking about.


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