Re: Which Reel Do You Take?
First of all... the Sage is an excellent fly reel. You can't go wrong with that one.
Now... a 5wt or 6wt rod. Hmmm... seems to me that there are a lot of variables here. What size fish do you plan on catching? How far do you need to cast? What is the wind conditions on these waters? What size flies are you trying to cast?
I must say that I have no experience on the Bow or Crowsnest. But I do have a lot of mountain stream experience. Also, I have fished some local waters that are pretty big and hold big fish.
So... I would go with the lightest weight rod that will do the job. If the choices are bewteen a 5 and 6... then I'll take the 5wt. Unless I have to cast larger flies a long distance and I have some considerable wind to contend with. You must be the judge of that. For me... If I can get the fly where I want it, then give me the 5wt.
Yes... you can tell the difference between a 5 and 6wt.
Now... mountain streams. How small of a mountain stream are we talking about? How big, or small, are the fish? If its a typical mountain stream, a 6wt is way too big. I even think the 5wt is too big for a small stream. I use a 2wt on the mountains streams that I fish in Colorado and New Mexico. A 3wt is probably ideal for that type of setting for most anglers.
So... if this is going to be a single rod with multiple uses, an overall rod, the I would go with a 5wt. A better scenario would probably be to get a 3 or 4wt for the mountains streams and 5 or 6wt for the big rivers.