Step, step, and step again

img_1901-e1384977467882One thing I have often seen while guiding spey fisherman is that they just wont move. I’m not talking two-stepping here but simply working a run in a methodical and timely manner.  Under most conditions I prefer to move three to four feet between casts which has several benefits.

1) By steadily working your way through a run you will cover more water throughout your day than the person who only moves a couple feet every few casts.  Remember, we are looking for players, the fish who are aggressive enough to eat your fly on the first pass.

2) Constantly fishing new water it is simply more interesting and I tend to stay more focused as I move though a run.

3) We are not trout fishing – you will not find a steelhead river with 2-6 thousand fish per river mile, so covering water is the key to finding fish.


I do slow down for several reasons.

1) If I know fish are in a certain area and I feel that they are not willing to move far to a fly, I will slow down my pace and work the fly with different presentations.

2) If I feel a grab but don’t hook up I will cast back to the fish, trying a couple of presentations. If this does not work I will mentally note where the fish was holding and make another pass with a new, smaller fly.

dsc_0707-e1385752827440By maximizing the amount of water you cover in a day you will swim your flies through more holding lies. When searching for winter steelhead covering water can make the difference, it only takes one fish to turn your day around.

Gear Review: SAGE 1090-4 MOTIVE

This past weekend I had the pleasure of taking a 9’ 10 weight Sage Motive saltwater fly rod out to the Oregon Coast to try for Chinook on the fly. To be candid, I am a novice salmon fisherman, but I have spent a good deal of time “in the salt” chasing surf perch, halibut, and rockfish on the Pacific Coast. One common theme during my trips is a desire to reach for another rod with a heavier tip instead of changing out flies or line. This is where the Sage Motive entered the equation, albeit this “2nd” rod turned out to be much nicer than my primary rod and the one I fished most of the time for two days on the water.

Casting Performance

This rod is a fast action, which helped propel a Rio Outbound Short Type 3 and streamers with bead-chain and bar bell eyes into tidewater. After fine tuning my “custom” maxima leader, roll casting and using a spey cast put my fly into the zone as far as 30 to 40 feet away. I’m sure a little more tweaking with the leader, and/or a better caster could throw it further. There was limited space behind me, but overhead casts (when not throwing the last of my go to flies deep into Himalayan blackberry) balanced well with the line. Mending worked well with the stiff rod tip. I was not very worried about presentation beyond ensuring my line and leader were straight without loops and turns.

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