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.