This Spring T&T gave me the opportunity for a little product testing trip to the mountainous “Patagonia” region of Chile and Argentina. My trip began with the dull visual spectacle of JFK airport in early spring. After a grueling day of travel the scenery improved considerably, and I was viewing the dynamic Patagonia landscape painted in the vivid transitional colors of Fall.
At my final destination, I met up with my friend and T&T Advisor Lance Wilt. Our plan was to target brown trout that reside in the deep lakes (or locally “fjords”) and migrate into tributaries to feed and spawn. Brown trout are not native to South America, but have been introduced and flourished through natural reproduction. These wild trout spend their life in fresh water, but the strength, behavior, and holding positions are similar to anadromous fish like Steelhead that grow in the ocean.
During my trip to this region last season, Lance and I worked on product development of different test versions of a 10’8” 6wt specialty rod model. Thomas and Thomas officially released the Contact 10’8” 6wt model at the IFTD trade show in July, 2018. This year we fished in similar situations as we tested the prototype versions last spring with the finished product. We put the Contact 1086 to work in a wide range of weather conditions, flow levels, and different gradient holding water.
Contact 1086 is a single hand rod with the sensitivity to detect bites by feel, but the strength and backbone to effectively subdue powerful migratory trout. For Steelhead and Tributary anglers that have become accustomed to the precise drifts that long single hand nymph rods deliver while targeting trout, this unique rod model fills a critical equipment void.