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PEC54 01-13-2011 10:46 AM

Calling all 2 hand fly rodders.
As a lot of you know I fish the 2 hand rod on the Cape Cod Canal pretty regularly and have great success with it over the years ,but I never see any other 2 handers out there.What I'd like to see is more people out there taken advantage of this excellent fishing one can have with the 2 hander on the banks of the canal.
I hear a lot of reasons why others don't fish this area,no backcast room ,can't cast for distance are just a few of the reasons I've heard over the years,which all can be over come with today's modern spey lines,and skagit lines.Because the canal has gained a storied reputation over the years as a plug casting mecca ,and you have to be able to cast 300 ft plus to be successful, a lot of fly rodders think you can't fish it well unless you can reach the middle,well as much as this may be true during the spring tide(full or new moon tide ebbing in the early morning hours)it does not play out during other tides,I have taken and I have seen some of the largest fish taken not more then 30-50 ft from shore. If you familiarize yourself with the general make up of the canals structure,such as current seams coming off of points and rocks jutting out into the current flows and the steep drop offs that are found just off the banks,these current flows combined with the steep drop offs make for perfect striper highways where they cruise along during their travels or set up feeding stations behind the rocks and boulders that make up the floor and banks of the canal.What I'd like to do is set up some days on the canal to introduce other 2 hand fly rodders to the canal,Juro I know it has been talked of before ,but I'd like to see this happen.I look forward and welcome any other thoughts and ideas about this.

juro 01-13-2011 10:53 AM

OK you definitely have my attention.

Let's start with a JF Basser commemorative outing, even though he was a plug master at heart he loved the idea of two-handers applied to his beloved ditch. You call the date, and we'll make it happen on the Forum.

Also I pass over the canal twice each time I commute to Boston, and back from Chatham. It's inexcusable that I do not wet a line in such a magnificent resource. I won't let that happen in 2011, even though I am usually in a hurry I'll make the schedule work Paul.

My spey gear sits idle between PNW trips, not acceptable! Thanks I'm in.

vtloon 01-13-2011 11:12 AM

Paul, great; thank you the kind offer. I'm in. Please put me on the list.

striblue 01-13-2011 11:22 AM

I think that would be a great idea, especially for me now that I live in Plymouth. JBasser outing sounds appropriate. He may have ended up plugging but he did make several trips to Chatham and was in on the early rip trips and did use a fly rod . He continued tying flies as well while he spent more time plugging. I also drive over and am always trying to carefully scan the road down by the Canal to see if there is any activity.

PopnesetBay 01-13-2011 10:05 PM

2 Handing the Canal
Paul, count me in. Date/dates, time and place and I will be there. Thanks for thinking about this and bringing to the forum.

Pete "PopnesetBay" Readel

sickb4st4rd 01-13-2011 11:01 PM

May? scwheet
Wow this is a cool event, please put me on the list. Driven by, and over, the canal many a time wondering just the best way to exploit it and was always left thinking I can't even swing this water without making a 150' cast. ... could chuck gear and 4oz soft swim baits but... rather fly fish

Be cool if it happened in early May? Is that a good month for tolerable weather, presence of fish?

What's best to show up with, skagit and tips, or scandi/sinking lines? I would venture the latter, no?


juro 01-14-2011 05:21 PM

If the fish are up, any type of line would do provided there is enough clearance for a d-loop. The scandi and skagit are both very good choices for shorter stroke / smaller d-loop casting with strip retrieve, and support high-density tips and heads too.

If one needs to get deep, then there are a number of choices in sinking configurations as well, BUT short belly lines would be best in such strong currents and rocky shores.

In traditional Spey fishing the ability to re-cast a long line from the fully swung position called the 'dangle' is one of the biggest advantages. Well over 100ft in fact, re-positioned at the start of the swing in one or two motions. Such long belly lines would not work well with large flies and sinking lines in the average Spey caster's hands and it would limit the spots you could fish due to large d-loop size.

Because we use a strip retrieve anyway for stripers (most of the time) the compact short belly lines can be pulled to the load point and shot back out with less space behind (e.g. jetty rocks) and bigger flies as well as high-grain tips. Since it's in vogue to wear a stripping basket on the striper scene we'd have an advantage over the typical short-head Spey dude out west or in Europe, most use line mgmt of loops in the line hand.

A particular rod will take a certain grain weight range whether it's packed into a short head or spread over a long belly. Because of kinetics / object in motion physics the long belly heads can be a higher grain than the short for the same rod. However, if the long belly sinks the water resistance makes it impossible to cast so the short heads are superior for sunk line work as 99.9 % of hardcore salmon and steelhead anglers will attest.

Anyway - short answer, yes and yes :D

flydoc 01-14-2011 05:35 PM

Paul- count me in- I recently bought a spey rod from Juro that should be perfect for the canal- it matches up nicely with the Rio Skagit Versitip line that I had previously tried to use on my old Atlantis (RIP) with marginal success. I also have the Rio Spey Casting DVD set (with Simon Gawesworth). Looking forward to giving my 15 ft beauty a workout!

PEC54 01-15-2011 12:19 AM

Short heads-
with tips work the best ,one of my most favorite techniques is to cast out into a current seam at near low tide,this enables you to be on or pretty near to the drop off that is along the banks of both sides of the canal,using a 15 ft 9 sink tip I cast out towards the middle and swing the fly towards the current seam,to combat excessive drag I constantly feed line and small s curves into the line as it enters the main seam to allow it to dredge at deep as possible. I'll do this using over 100ft of running line plus the head and tip,I'll continue this until I can't effectively fight off drag any longer.As drag takes over it's causing the fly to rise,I get a lot of takes as the fly is rising out of the depths,if I get no response I slowly work the fly in stripping slow with a lot of hesitations allowing the fly to swim naturally along the drop off,I'll feed line back in to allow it to sink again then work it back. I may do this multiple times during the retrieve which actually extends the length of time a presentation from one cast will last. If you have ever fished a darter or metal lipped swimming plug in a current seam you will see it's basically the same procedure.

sickb4st4rd 01-15-2011 08:50 AM


Originally Posted by PEC54
with tips work the best ,one of my most favorite techniques is to cast out into a current seam at near .. to combat excessive drag I constantly feed line and small s curves into the line as it enters the main seam to allow it to dredge at deep as possible. I'll do this using over 100ft of running line plus the head and tip,I'll continue this until I can't effectively fight off drag any longer.

Interesting you describe this! I do exactly the same feeding line into feeding lanes at fast march or jetty outflows, allowing the fly to sink through its journey and often will have 100' of running line out with my backing out the tip, and have hooked up that way too!

The canal seems pretty daunting because of its sheer width. Actually I was more concerned about secure footing than back cast room. Seems an ideal place to Perry Poke though, and like you'd need both right hand up and left hand up skills in place to get through the day..

Am I right in saying on the flood tide the canal flows Westward and on the outgoing it changes directions entirely and flows East? Or does the canal empty out in either direction regardless of the tide?


Guernseybass 01-15-2011 09:31 AM

If someone could lend me a rod, I'd love to spend a morning with you on the canal Paul - I'll buy ya breakfast !

I have tried it with a single hand rod a couple of times, and I didn't really enjoy it because I couldn't step and cast as I like too.

For me to fish the ditch regularly with either SH or DH I'd want a spot where I could do that and it not be crowded. I admire the patience of the plug guys who fish off one rock for 3-4 hours but it's not for me, I like to 'work' the water.


gunner 01-15-2011 02:41 PM

Depending on the date and weather, I'd like to join in. The last spey day I joined in was a couple of years ago -- got some good pointers.

PEC54 01-15-2011 04:48 PM

Mark consider it done!
Sickb4st4rd; the canal changes direction 4 times in a 24 hour period,you have Buzzards bay(west end) at one end and The Cape Cod bay (east end) at the other,both bodies of water have different high and low tide times,so the current flow will always head in the direction of the lowest level of water.The current flow will move west for the beginning of the ebbing tide,because the east end (cape cod bay) is also ebbing ;the water level will get lower at the east end causing the westward flow to slow until it stops,this is whats refered to as slack tide,this is roughly 1 hour and 45 min. from dead low at the east end,the current flow will now change to an easterly direction until it reaches the end of the ebbing tide (at the east end),it will continue to flow easterly into the flooding tide.Cape cod bay will reach the high flood stage before the west end does (Buzzards Bay),so the same thing happens as in the ebbing tide,because the east end is now higher than the west end the tide will slow to slack tide and reverse direction about 1 hour and 45 min. from high tide ,now it will flow west into the remainder of the flooding tide .Confused?:Eyecrazy:The simplest way is to look at a tide chart for the canal,for example if low tide is at 6:00 am the tide will change to an east directional flow at 4:15 am ,if high tide is at 12:00 noon at the west end the tide will change to a westerly direction at 10:15 am.

Jim Miller 01-15-2011 06:46 PM

I have new toys to play with...
Count me in Paul! :D

Guernseybass 01-15-2011 08:52 PM

I think Paul was trying to also explain that the bayside tides can be three feet higher or lower than the sound side - so slack tide occurs at zero exchange of water, not at low tide...

It's not ya average bear.

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