Next week at this time I'll be in Alberta, fishing for cutthroats and bull trout. My dilemma is just that - I'll be fishing for cutthroats, where the average fish will be 13-14" and I'll be tossing dry flies, and I'll be fishing for bull trout, which can run up to 30" and where I'll be flinging big (as in, size 1), heavy streamers. So my 7 weight would be overkill for the cutts, but my five isn't going to cast those big weighted flies very well.
So, has anyone ever carried two rods on a walk/wade trip? I was thinking I could just lash my 7 weight to my backpack (unfortunately it's a 2-piece) and fish my five until I come to a very bull trouty looking hole (or if I get a bull to take a swipe at a cutthroat that I have on), and then switch to my 7 weight for that hole, then go back to my five. With my 7 weight only being a two piece though, it's not going to be particularly easy to carry around when I'm not using it. Anyone got any ideas?
I've been in similar situations and wished that I had only brought one rod due to the 2pc rod being such a pain strapped on my back. In one case it was a tidal river that holds everything from 4" brookies to legal-sized stripers. The rods in question here were a 3wt and an 8wt - a little different than 5 and 7. What do you plan on catching more of (or which species do you plan on casting to more often)? If it were me, I'd opt for the 7 wt and hit those bulls w/ streamers until I found rising fish. Then tie on an especially long tapered leader and with patience you can lay down delicate dries. If you want to bring two rods, my recommendation is to carry the 2pc in a rod/reel tube pre-rigged and strap it to your backpack so that the top is by your head on your non-casting side and the bottom is going towards your casting side's foot. Even still, expect it to get in the way.
Is this a back-country trip or will you have a place (car, lodge, etc) to store one rod while you use the other?
Just my thoughts. I'd be interested to hear other experiences.
I bring two, sometimes three, most times out.
It can be a pain in the butt but mostly worth it.
I'll keep em rigged up all the time and most of my fishing involves a lot of walking, usually a couple miles, a lot of it not on a trail.
the worst part is trying to figure out where you stuck the other rod right before you went chasing a fish downstream. ("Dangit I know you're here somewhere)
I've used two different methods for this. The less effective method was tucking whichever rod was not being used into my wading belt, sticking out over my non-casting shoulder. More effective was rigging the rod up, then taking it apart into two sections and folding it and placing it in one of the water bottle holders on my backpack, again over my non-casting shoulder. I've tried just setting one rod down and then going back for it, but like Carl says, this can be frustrating.
This may not sound attractive and like most of my ways to cope with 'dilemmas' it will seem too simple. If both rods are the same length,....... take the seven weight rod and make a leader that will work for you casting dries with it. Then get out for 1/2 hour and try it out with a #16 dry on the tippet. I have fished dry flies on my big heavy 8 weight bamboo salmon rod and although it takes some finesse to get the stop made right so that the fly and leader flutter down the fish never knew the difference.
Before I carried more gear than I may need and that could become cumbersome I would at least give the #7 rod a try while still at home. When you think of it, many excellent dry fly fishers use 6 weight rods and they do just fine. A seven isn't like a 9.
What do you think?
PS. When I said, 'the same length' I mean approximately. If one is 9' and the other 8' 6" that's close enough for me. If one is a 9' and the other 6.5 for little brooks then my advice is a moot point.
What make/model 5wt do you have? If it's fast action, I might be inclined to use that rod exclusively given that it packs down. As an example, I have a 590 Z axis that I often fish where many might fish with a 6 or 7wt.
If you end up taking the 7wt with you and leave the 5wt at home. In addition to the longer leader suggestion, you might want to give a furled leader a shot to help soften the presentation of the 7wt line.
I'm not familiar with the area there to advise on whether taking two rods or one would be advisable. I have carried two rods strung up before and it's not ideal but not that terrible either. If the rods were more contrasting in nature, say a 3wt and a 7, then I'd carry two. Stick with one if you can. My 2 cents.
I have a 5wt and a 7wt and there is a major difference between them. The 5wt is a medium action and the 7wt is a fast rod with lots of backbone. Even with that said, I would still recommend just using one rod and for me it would be the 5wt. I have seen 15# fish landed on a 5wt in short order with no harm to the fish. .... It also sounds like a good reason to get a new 4 pc. rod. Maybe an 8wt to help justify a new rod.
I never fish with less than 2 rods when I'm on foot, and anywhere from 5-8 rods when I'm on the boat. and I always have them rigged and ready to go, who wants to rig up a rod, when I see something that needs to be cast at I want my rod at the ready. I just carry both and set which ever rod against a bush/tree that I'm not using at the time, it's never seemed to be a nusance for me.
Thanks for the responses. I think I'll just carry my 7 weight between spots, rather than trying to attach it to my backpack.
Fighting the fish isn't my concern; I've landed 12+ lb grass carp on my 3 weight. It's casting the flies. My bull trout flies are basically akin to pike flies. Many of them are several inches long and/or very, very heavily weighted. So I'm definitely going with two rods.