There is nothing quite like swinging a wet fly on moving water. For a moment time seems to stand still while you methodically work a long run. Cast then step…cast then step as each swing melds into one. A sudden pull on the line quickly brings a sudden surge of adrenaline! Reality begins to set in that a fish has just eaten the fly that has been dangling freely in the current for so long. Suddenly the weight of a fish begins pulling line from the reel and you slowly lift the rod to ensure the connection. There are no words that can describe this sensation. Those that have had the fortune to feel the pull of a fish on a swung fly understand the addictions that follow. The two-handed or Spey rod has become more mainstream today, so to speak. These long rods allow an angler to cover more water quickly and with less effort. For many, this type of fishing is still very foreign but technology in rods and lines are changing this.
It has been almost 20 years since I started casting a Spey rod and a lot has changed in the industry since that time. As Spey fishing has evolved over time so has rod design and Thomas and Thomas Fly Rods have always advanced this technology. If you look at where we are today from say 20 years ago, the biggest change has been in Spey lines. The double taper and long belly lines that were popular so long ago, really don’t exist today. These lines have been replaced by shorter shooting lines that make casting almost effortless. Rod builders have had to advance their designs to handle the different lines and line systems on the market. The DNA line of spey rods certainly sets the mark for versatility and the ability to handle these various line types and casting styles.
I grew up in Western Pennsylvania and moved to Missoula, Montana in the mid 90’s to follow a dream. In a short time, I carved out a niche and make a living doing what I love. Fishing for me is a way of life and moving to the West opened many different fishing opportunities. Naturally, I was intrigued by the concept of Spey fishing. The big western rivers like the Clearwater River, Snake River and the Salmon River were very daunting and pushing past the small Great Lake tributary mindset was not easy.
A good friend of mine introduced me to Spey fishing and little did I know how that would change my approach to fishing the larger and smaller rivers. I cut teeth on my home waters such as the Bitterroot River, Blackfoot River, and the Clark Fork River. Although these are great waters to swing for trout, I believe most people think swinging flies is for anadromous fish like Steelhead and salmon. However, new rod designs are changing this mindset. The DNA TroutSpey line of rods gives the trout angler a valuable fishing tool. Swinging wet flies for trout is a lost art but making a strong comeback because of the TroutSpey.
What does this all mean?
For some, there is still a mystery surrounding casting and fishing with a Spey rod. But with these advancements in technologies, even a novice angler can easily learn to be an efficient caster and have success on the water.