Niagara River, Skagit, and two-handers
Spent a bit of time discussing the Niagara with one of Ontario's most accomplished Niagara anglers and tyers, Joe Penich, and he's put that river back into my mind. Joe usually fishes the river with float gear but he does get fish on flies as well (often on the end of a bottom bouncing, float rod). He's just getting started in the two-handed business so we were talking today, trying to find a fit.
The river presents some unique challenges for employing fly techniques and I've tried on and off since '97 to try and find a way to fish it effectively. I've tried overheading shooting heads, dead drifting using floating heads, Scan style casting with fullsink heads, and so on, never really finding a way to master the grainage needed, combined with the currents, combined with the lack of backcast room.
Having tumbled to Skagit casting recently, it's obvious that this method solves the backcast room, however, other challenges remain. We see fish boiling on top and gear chuckers tossing spoons, are taking fish when their lures are only getting down six inches or so. The 'pool is thought of as a place to go deep but it may take a different mindset to fish it well with fly gear.
We also have to seriously look at appropriate gear (another struggle of mine) as substantial tippet strength, high capacity reels, and long, seriously stiff rods would seem to be the order of the day, yet the river does get fished successfully with lighter tackle.
Just trying to get an idea of the people on this board who have fished the Niagara River (Whirlpool, ArtPark, etc.) using two-handers. Anybody fish it successfully with a two-hander?