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Coldwater Fly Fishing Trout, Salmon, Steelhead, etc...

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Old 11-08-2013, 06:31 AM
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Default Newer Fly guy with a question

Not so new but kinda. Did some fly fishing about 16 years ago and loved it then life got too busy....long story short I've decided to spend my spare time fly fishing from now on. The question is...

What would be the best weight rod for me to start out with. I have a 5 wt Fenwick streamer I bought years ago with a Cortland LTD real on it. I just bought a Hardy 5000 cls to go with a new rod.

I live within a 25 minute drive of 4 of the best Lake Ontario Steelhead creeks and rivers although my main love is Brook Trout. I guess what I'm asking is a 6 weight too light for steelhead and is a 7 weight too much for large brook trout waters?????????

Opinions greatly appreciated.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:11 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

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Originally Posted by ontariooutdoorsman View Post
Not so new but kinda. Did some fly fishing about 16 years ago and loved it then life got too busy....long story short I've decided to spend my spare time fly fishing from now on. The question is...

What would be the best weight rod for me to start out with. I have a 5 wt Fenwick streamer I bought years ago with a Cortland LTD real on it. I just bought a Hardy 5000 cls to go with a new rod.

I live within a 25 minute drive of 4 of the best Lake Ontario Steelhead creeks and rivers although my main love is Brook Trout. I guess what I'm asking is a 6 weight too light for steelhead and is a 7 weight too much for large brook trout waters?????????

Opinions greatly appreciated.
Yes to both, but screw it, go fishing anyway, the fish won't care. Once you get a sense of what you need to throw, and how far you need to throw it, then you can more accurately pick a rod. Fenwick used to make pretty solid rods. It will do to get started with. I'd fish first and shop second. YMMV.
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:28 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

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Originally Posted by ontariooutdoorsman View Post
I guess what I'm asking is a 6 weight too light for steelhead and is a 7 weight too much for large brook trout waters?????????
First, Welcome back to fly fishing, hard to find a hobby more peaceful

My opinion is that 6 is too light for steelhead, i go with an eight weight when chasing them.

Large brook trout waters I'd fish a 5 weight

small spring creeks maybe a 3 weight if most fish are under 20 inches

Those are the weights i fish for those applications by me
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Old 11-08-2013, 07:59 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

Welcome to the forum. Always nice to see a post from a new member !
I have to agree with Fq13, use what you have on the waters you fish, and get a realistic feel for what you need. The best way to do that is to go fish.
Talk to guys who fish where you do, talk to the staff at the local fly shop, and then spend your hard earned money on a rod if you actually need (or want) to.
Take your time, and enjoy the selection process. Keep us updated, and post often !
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Old 11-08-2013, 08:25 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

you know, i am all about not throwing a ton of money into something until you decide your going to stick with it, agreed? I'm also a firm believer of not bringing a knife to a gun fight...

i will tell you when i first started to fly fishing for steelhead all i had was a 5 wt rod. 3 weekends in a row i went fishing with my pal and we got skunked every single time. That fourth weekend we found fish. I hooked up two times in an hour, and both those times those steelies dogged me, i didnt have a chance. Ripping down the river jumping and tailwalking the whole way. Not a snowballs chance in hell of turning those fish around.

That was truly heartbreaking to me as a young steelhead fisherman. It almost made me not wanna come back for more. Instead, we left the river and went straight to an outfitter and picked up an 8wt. That very next weekend i caught my first steelhead on the fly rod.

If you know your going to stick with the sport id say invest in the proper equipment from the get go. Regret can be a B*tch. You can pick up some very nice rods for under 100$ these days.

Just my opinion, but you sound pretty serious about fishing and sticking with it...
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Old 11-08-2013, 09:04 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

Welcome back to fly fishing and to the forum. I have to agree with the palm, you don't want to take a knife to a gun fight. While its certainly possible to use a 5 or 6wt for steelhead, it's not going to be ideal and may detract from your overall enjoyment of steelhead fishing.

My personal experiences with Steelhead are limited to Lakes Erie and Michigan, steelhead in those rivers are certainly different as are the most ideal rod for each. I can get away with a 7 in Erie tribes, and truth be told a 6 will get it done there, but in Michigan tribes, a 7 may get me by but an 8 would be more ideal. Given what I know about Ontario, I'd have to believe an 8 would be a better tool for steel but you can always ask your local fly shop or other anglers what they prefer.

If you have the disposable income to invest on a second rod/reel by all means go for it. If not, fish what you have until you reach the point that the palm described
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Old 11-08-2013, 10:19 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

Welcome!

I'm not sure what size Hardy you got, but here are my thoughts: You can fish brookies fine with your Fenwick 5wt. If you didn't have it you might want something lighter depending on the brookies size, but a 5wt should be fine. I'd get an 8wt or higher personally. It'll work for Steelhead and you can target other large fish - pike, musky, bass, salt if you get the chance. A 5wt and an 8wt or 9wt would be a nice mix.
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:28 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

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Originally Posted by williamhj View Post
Welcome!

I'm not sure what size Hardy you got, but here are my thoughts: You can fish brookies fine with your Fenwick 5wt. If you didn't have it you might want something lighter depending on the brookies size, but a 5wt should be fine. I'd get an 8wt or higher personally. It'll work for Steelhead and you can target other large fish - pike, musky, bass, salt if you get the chance. A 5wt and an 8wt or 9wt would be a nice mix.
That's about the ideal set up. A five and eight weight will get you into as much trouble as you want to in most places. If they are small brookies maybe a three, if you,re looking at big water steelhead maybe a long nine or ten, but for trout, panfish and bass/pike/steelies a five and an eight ?are great places to start.
If only someone on this board was selling a nice Orvis eight weight for $115 or a cheap but adequate Bass Pro eight for sixty bucks.......;-)
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Old 11-08-2013, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

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...If only someone on this board was selling a nice Orvis eight weight for $115 or a cheap but adequate Bass Pro eight for sixty bucks.......;-)
Ontario, that was a subliminal message to check the classifieds. I heard some cat from Florida is peddling some Orvis junk for a very reasonable price.

You should give it consideration. IMO he won't be stuck with it too long. He posted it up a couple days after I bought my 8WT or I'd likely be casting it today.
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Old 11-08-2013, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: Newer Fly guy with a question

I was taking a trip to fish for brook trout in the Shenandoah National Park one day. I drove two hours to the stream, and then realized I had left my rod back in the garage. I had an old 7wt 8.5' fiberglass rod with matching click-paw reel in the trunk for some reason. Well, I fished with that. It wasn't optimal, but I caught my biggest trout ever out of the SNP, checking in at 11". Not a bad trout for the Park.

I think people spend way too much time worrying about having the right gear and not nearly enough time fishing with they have.
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