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Ard

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I have the 13 foot 6 inch Sage One #8 rod and can now report that the rod works just wonderfully with a RIO 595 grain Mid Spey line @ 55 foot with integrated running line. I took the rod yesterday trout fishing and lined it with the 595 for the first time. Instead of my mini head system I used a 10 foot AirFlow clear intermediate Poly leader with 4 foot of 0X fluorocarbon tippet and a hair wing tube with a medium size drop weight on it.

It was just plain fun all day long. The rod / line combo provided more distance ability than any stretch of the river could handle and it was easy to tap the rocks on the opposite shore if you thought you needed to go that far. Casting can be done with the entire head outside the tip top which allows you to have approximately 69 foot of line leader & tippet involved in the setup before you even launch the cast so you might imagine how distance can easily be accomplished.

Since most of the fishing required only 80 to 90 foot casts it was a very relaxing day with very little line stripping between re-casts. The reduced line handling was a welcome thing because we had 36 degree temperature at the beginning of the day with a high of 40 on the water. Water temperature was a toasty 40 degrees as well so dry hands was alright with me. I had a fellow with me who is totally new to the 2 hand casting game and he caught his first fish on his new Beulah 13'2" seven weight early on in the day. He finished with 2 trout and 4 silver / coho salmon who although all were spawning stage males grabbed his fly and gave him a thrill.

Water is still high and carrying a significant tannin stain due to all the wetland drainage and these conditions always make the trout fishing more difficult. There's simply a lot more places for a fish to be hanging out than if the river were confined to a narrower channel. I caught one in an area close to the shore I was fishing from where I've never picked one up before and I've been fishing this same area for 14 straight seasons. We had little help from the sun but by 4 PM there was actually some peaking through at times but the wind was nonexistent.

It was easy to remember how many fish were caught because there were few, I finished with three trout however they all hit and got hooked with zero hits otherwise. I rigged my hair wing Dolly Lamma style fly with a #10 barbless Patriot double hook and we had no damaged fish at all. As you might imaging, when you catch a trout under 4 pounds on an 8 weight rod 13 1/2 foot long there is no prolonged battle after they become hooked, reel them in, scoop them into the Nomad Boat net and they unhook themselves ;)

So, if you have the 13' 6" One or a similar rod I can whole heartedly recommend the 595 Mid Spey as a fun line that you can still catch a few fish with. I found it more enjoyable than my 44 foot Scandinavian lines due to the extra 11 foot of floating head. Turnover with the fly I described was great with the fly slapping down with authority wherever you wanted it to go. Do be careful not to hand it in trees on the opposite side of the river unless you have a boat and someone with you who can untie it from the limb while you hold the boat static in the current and yes that happened. No harm done because we were at the end of the run and ready to drift on downriver anyway. The river was wider by the little island and I figured I'd unload one toward the far bank as a last cast before we went back to the boat. Nice cast but a little too high with the stop which resulted in a wide lazy loop sailing across the river way to high and the leader tippet did that triple wrap thing when it went around the dead limb. Duh

So get your self a longer head and have some fun. I'm not trying to tell you Scandies aren't fun but I learned with full Spey type lines and had forgotten how much the constant tension style casting could be.
 
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Ard

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Based on this mornings temperature the days are numbered here and the number is small. It doesn't take long before the river will be floating with icy slush until late afternoon. I did take the water temp on Saturday and came up with 39-40 degrees which had the fellow I had with me staying in the boat by 5:00 PM due to cold feet and legs. Funny thing is I never notice it while I'm fishing but once home my feet felt like blocks of ice.

While I'm at it I must say that the Sage One seems to be an excellent casting tool. I've had the rod ever since they were the new, latest and greatest rod on the internet but have not used it much. Finding the line that would work well with the rod and for me was a situation where nothing seemed to click. The 542 Scandi line at 43-44 feet is OK but just OK and now I feel like the rod is better suited to the longer Mid Spey line. Granted just 7 hours with it but it was a fun 7. These rods have what seems to be a large amount of power due to the flex and material compound they are made from and they (in my hands) really come alive once you put some load on them. I wish I had more and better conditions available for this type presentation because it was fun.
 
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