Friday, May 6, 2011

Swinging big rods.

Yea, I know. The title of the post could go in several directions, each more low-brow than the last. But thankfully we're talking about fly rods.

I took the 11' Cabela's rod I scooped up over the weekend out for a trial cast at one of our local lakes, Blue Marsh. Blue Marsh was created by the Army Corp of Engineers in the 70's as a way to stop the flooding of the Tulpehocken (not really sure how to spell that one, we call it the Tully.) And how do you stop the flooding of a stream? You flood a valley, of course!

So while you wander around the lake, you'll come across roads that lead straight down into it's murky depths from when it was a community. People also used to scuba dive and go down into the houses at the bottom. God only knows what the degeneration of those is putting into the water.

But anyway...... I get to the lake with about 2 hours until it closes at 9pm. I gear up and wade out and start slinging an Ant's Special Streamer on a sink tip. I notice that the tail of the streamer is a bit long; this must be one of the one's that I tied while still working out the pattern. Whatever... tied it on anyway.

XXX, baby.
After about the 5th cast, I start to wonder how adding a few extra feet (lately I've been fishing a 7' rod on stream) adds about 60 lbs to the rod. Man was my arm getting tired!

But the rod did cast pretty nice. I think the sink tip slowed it down enough that it had a medium action, which I liked. The longer rod did give me a bit more line control, as I like to change directions in my retrieve to give the streamer the look of a darting, or dazed fish, depending on the strip length.

But I cast it out and stripped it in. Finally, without any nipples or anything, I switched to a twist retrieve.Twist...twist....wham! I lift the rod to set the hook. I felt a tug back and then pop! The fly pops out of the water.

Stupid long tailed fly.

Muttering I change to an Outlaw Minnow. I spent some more time defining my shoulder and back muscles, but no more takers. I slowly wade to shore and start to walk around to the other side of the "bay." I look up and see dozens of fish rising right along the bank about 50' from me.

Now dry fly fishing with an 11' rod and a sink tip line didn't really sound like a good time. But I still had my Tenkara rod in the back of the van. I rush back to the van, already seeing the blog post title "Tenkara to the rescue."

And I'm sure it would have. If....... a) night didn't fall 10 minutes ago, b) I could see what the hell the fish were rising to and c) I could see where the hell my fly was landing in the water.

I'm a firm believer in big flies at night, so I tried a #14 Adams. Big but not too big, as I think that they were rising to something a lot smaller. I cast and cast and cast, but no takers. Finally, at 8:45pm, I call it a night, and gear down.

But I did find this. And I will admit, yes, I thought about taking some feathers to tie with, but no I didn't.


  1. I've never cast a rod longer than 9'. I don't think I would adjust well at all, but I do have rod envy...(sorry, someone had to take this down a notch!)

  2. Before this, neither have I (other than the tenkara rod, which is a bit different.) I think once I get used to it, handling the longer, stiffer rod will become second nature to me. I guess I'll just need to get used to being a little sore after handling it, for now.