Spring, Spey and Caddis

Set up …….

I often hear I have a job to be envied as a guide/fly shop hack. Not to squash anyone’s dream but with any form of work its always better looking from the outside.

Like deciding you wanted to be a veterinarian from watching the charming “All Creatures Great and Small”  television series, without figuring out the reality meant climbing out of warm bed in a snowstorm to go shoulder deep in a large bovine. Read the book.

But some days you get lucky and the dream actually turns to reality, like yesterday which was a nice capstone to the intensity of our trophy brown streamer season, and what a killer season it was, and mark the entrance to spring weather and caddis.

Yesterday afternoon was just seriously beautiful, and below Cotter we found fish feeding on caddis pupa and some of the big bugs on the wing. Spring is certainly coming hard.

Part of my job is to take various industry figures out on our waters: which basically means I get a day to pester them without too many interruptions. Yesterday I had a day on the water with Frank Smethurst who handles among other lines, our Montana Fly Company products. Frank has done a whole bunch of things in this business from guiding, shop rat, company rep, and television/film host. But remains pretty relaxed for the most part and with an inquiring mind. As I discovered yesterday something of a cheerleader for the spey rod.

Frank, and my mate Simon Gawesworth too, have espoused how well suited the White River is for the dual handed rods, particularly the lighter switch rods, the 10’ to 11’ 4wt and 5wts. Now I enjoy making a dual handed rod, if not exactly sing perhaps squark a little, particularly after Simon’s valiant attempts to correct my technique.

And Go ……

But the fishing itself seemed a little well, dull. But yesterday it kind of fell into place, and really I barely caught a thing, though Frank did get a couple of nice browns and hooked a good one. Yesterday I actually relaxed and let myself follow the pace of the swing, steering the wet fly around boulders, and along seams.

Honestly it was just what I enjoy doing with a single handed rod and a couple of soft hackles all spring, just with an 11’ rod and a size 6 fly. And heck you can rig a team of soft hackles, or a bugger or two and translate some of our most popular style of fishing here over to the double handed rods in a heartbeat.

And learning to cast 2 handed isn’t all that difficult. I really have had a couple of hours instruction and I have a fishable cast. And if you dig the satisfaction of a well timed single handed cast you will love it when you nail one from a two-hander.

If you want to see more check out our White River Spey video from last year