Instead of the the typical turkey-day traditions, we decided to go swing flies for steelhead this Thanksgiving. The fishing was slow, but we still managed to get some tugs and even landed a couple fish. Here’s some evidence.
“12 foot, 5 weight!! … what are you going to do with that?”
I have heard this question many times since I picked up an Olympic Series Two-Handed rod from Allen Fly Fishing a few weeks ago. The short answer is to cast and fish streamers for trout and bass on bigger rivers. Loaded with a 330-360gr head, this rod can cast a streamer long distances easily, but that is only one of the advantages of this two-handed rod.
I can also use this rod in smaller rivers where distance wouldn’t normally be an issue with a standard 9′ rod, but lack of space to make a good backcast limits the spots you can target with your fly. I ran into this situation last season when I was shuffling around the bank of a deep, overgrown creek that holds big brown trout that eat big streamers. I just couldn’t find a spot where I could make a backcast or even roll cast to a prime lie on the far bank. Then I found myself hot-tubbing when I pushed the limit on the steep channel edge in a last ditch attempt to get a casting lane. I spent the rest of the day soaked and pissed off. Using the 12′ 5wt, I can now hit structure on this river with no problem.
Beyond streamers, it is also an effective nymphing rod. You can fish pocket water and riffles using high-stick (or do I have to call it European…) techniques. Add an indicator and now you can cover an entire pool with long, drag-free drifts. Just make sure to using a thicker running line when you’re drifting — it makes mending a lot easier.
Here’s some more information on these rods from developer, Evan Burck: Allen Fly Fishing Blog