Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Favorite Steelhead Rod

For two years I have used the same set up for steelhead, an Airflo Skagit compact in the winter and Scandi compact in the summer and fall.
It use to be, you had a big winter rod and a smaller summer rod. Advances in fly lines made the way for the ultimate compromise, to combine the big and little rods to do all the work. A 13 ' 7 weight was the middle ground.
It's nice to just keep it simple and have one rod for the entire year. My one rod has gone through it all and seen above average abuse. Thrown in the boat or the back of the truck countless times. Wet for days....make that weeks on end, from constant days of guiding and playing. Scratched, mangled, and trampled it has stood the test of time and not broken! It is fun to have a variety of rods though. Little sticks for those small "a" run summer steelhead and big trout. Long rods for those big rivers and "b" run fish. Casting a variety of line lengths and an assortment of rods has its challenges and I find a challenge pretty fun. On the contrary, I also find easy, effortless, and simplicity to be quite pleasurable. It is just nice to be dialed in. I found by using this one rod 80% of my time spent on the river over the last two years has given me confidence in my approach. With that comes success, whether it be on the Sandy, Grande Ronde, Clearwater, Klickitat, Deschutes, Skagit, or John Day Rivers. My Echo, Dec Hogan 13' #7 weight has landed steelhead on them all!