A while back when I was posting to a thread (I don't remember which one) I made reference to learning to ice skate on hockey skates and what it was like when I got my first pair of figure skates.
Last year I bought a 13' 7/8 two hand rod. Due to the water conditions here in Alaska (deep and very swift) I have been using a 15' type 4 or Hi Density sink head for fishing. Now when using this setup on a swift river you don't make those incredible casts that are described in many articles about Spey casting. I had read a lot about 80 - 110' casts but can tell you that these don't happen when you are using the heavy head needed to reach the fish in deep water. I have been happy with 35 - 50 feet as the workhorse casts needed in order to fish effectively on my rivers.
Recently I found myself at the outflow of a lake that was protected from the wind and shallow. There were many small trout and Kokanee feeding in this large area so I (for the first time) put on the floating head. It didn't take long for me to forget about trying to catch fish as I became caught up in how far I could cast when I was not anchored by the 15' of heavy sinking line. When compared to the effort needed to cast the sink tip casting the floater was like a vacation. I estimate that with a single Spey type cast I am able to reach out to about 90' with no exertion! At this range the leader is still turning and the casts are beautiful to watch as they unfurl. This is a big difference from being on fast water with a sustained wind and casting a heavy line. I was duly impressed with both the rod / line combo and how well I have learned to use this incredible wet fly fishing devise.
Just thought I would share this with you and say that if you are learning to cast with a two hander I don't think you would go wrong by learning with a Hi Density tip. It will keep you from trying to reach the other side of the river and teach you the basics of control while working with shorter casts.
That's a good story. Ever since I started Skagit style casting, I have not fished with a floating tip. I took my old Windcutter 6/7/8 out of storage and spooled it on my old SA System 2 8/9 reel. I may just go to the river and goof off with the floating line just for fun. It will be interesting to see how I adapt to the longer bellied floating line.
I'm sure you'll have fun, after my still water casting I went back to the type 4 and a big Santiam Spectrum and the fast deep stuff. The fly is proving to be a quick favorite for me. I caught every fish of the trip on the same fly. Funny, I met up with a 'Fly Fishing Guide' on an island Thursday and he and all his clients were using weights and single plastic beads. They weren't exactly knocking the fins off of em, and the guide ask what I was using. I showed him what was on the end of my leader and he said "What is that?" I told him that it was a wet fly called a Spectrum and he seemed surprised that I was catching fish. He also mentioned that it probably looked like food to the fish..............
I am amazed at how many people who use fly rods seem to have virtually no faith in tying a real 'fly' to their line. They carry really nice rods and the latest reels and have slinky weights and plastic beads clamped to their lines with a tooth pick or whatever. I run into darn few people who are actually fly fishing here.
I told him that it was a wet fly called a Spectrum and he seemed surprised that I was catching fish. He also mentioned that it probably looked like food to the fish..............
That's ironic. You are catching fish that see your fly as food. He's throwing beads that look like roe. I guess that guide needs to expand his fly arsenal. Hopefully he'll start experimenting with different types of flies.
Ard, Beads! Not much challenge there. Just, "get us a fish". Floss'em baby!
In a state where you can only fish two flies, beads ( or "hookless flies") up the odds that a take might happen, (add 3,4,or more, what the hey.)
Here, we see guides who fish the "worm" (or two) and little else. Not much challenge there either.
I predict, some day, you will have to attend a "real school", (and score well) to get a guides license.
Classes in entomology, ethics, etc..
"Guys who like to fish" shouldn't necessarily be on an auto career path.
If no-one is fly fishing up there, I may have to come and visit! Provided I don't get shot first for the bead/guide comment.
I'll be sure and bring the big stick, when I do.
Nothing against using a sj worm or an egg pattern either, I just believe that here, the fishes foodform menu is a bit more varied.
I tell beginners that fly fishing, is about taking a "simple activity" and making it "harder".
We seem to be heading away from a stylish means of meeting a fish, to the "any means possible" form.
I'm waiting for a product line any day, a consumer version of the shocking equitment DFG uses.
The ginsu lectroshocker, "Big browns will be putty in your hands." Buy one today!
You know the process. One of the problems (at least in California) is that anyone can get a guide's license. All that are needed: a surety bond, insurance, and the licensing fee. For someone who will be working under an outfitter's license is just the fee for an employee's license.
My biggest pet peeve about fishing is seeing people rake the redds. It's worse when a guide is taking his clients there. I know of a guide who does this on some waters in my region. He claims not to do so, but there has been photo evidence. I'm sure that you have seen that on the Little Truckee.
Who knows, Jim. You might be on to something in Alaska.
Call me stubborn or whatever I have been catching fish on streamers for over thirty years and it works. When I first started salmon fishing what I found the most disturbing was that everything I had read about it seemed not to be in practice by everyone I saw with a fly rod in their hands. Slinkies, flat mono running lines, beads, nymphs, chuck and duck, and of course all out snagging. I stayed the course and worked hard to develop techniques that began to yield results. It is true that I have no understanding whatever of why a person would spend huge amounts of money on the latest rods, reels, waders, and attire, only to participate in a fishing style that at best could be said to remotely resemble fly fishing.
Ard, what do I know?
High-jacked a brothers thread about two handed casting. I get good visuals thinking about your water, and you casting.
Sorry. No more rants. today. Except....
"STREAMERS RULE DUDE!!!!!" especially on a big stick.
I've been useing a steel head taper floater, and sinking leaders, on my switch rod.
Tying different weight streamers to fish different water/species.
I can change my leader, and fish dries too.
I was (I thought) agreeing with you. I don't mind a hijack either especially if the poster has something to add. I liked your input. Keep it coming, I've been grousing about beads since I joined this forum.
Ard, thanks. We do agree, it's all a matter of perspective.
Dry-fly guys think.., bobber guys think.., streamer guys think.., bead guys think....
I think ,it was Lao tzu, who said. "Many paths lead up the mountain".
I'm just saying no to the bead path. I'll take the harder way.
But really, how much difference is there between a real salmon egg, a tyed salmon egg, and several plastic beads in a row, besides better marketing?
To me, a guide can teach you how to fish, in more than one style.
But I'm not sure what you call someone who can take you to you to a hole full of spawning fish, and floss'em with beads.
A fish mercenary maybe. Rambo style. Let's be honest, that is what many consumers want.
Personally, I think you learn more, the hard way.