Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Way up in the Great North Woods in Pittsburg, New Hampshire sits one of the best lodge experiences available. I am very proud to announce that I will be teaching two Spey & Switch classes at Tall Timber Lodge. The May class was fully booked, and now a second class is being offered on September, 19. What a great time to be swing and dangling flies on the Connecticut River system to big browns and landlocked salmon. This class is going to book fast so if you have any interest please call the lodge.
For more information on class availability or class creation at your location please contact me at William@FlySpoke.com. For information about the September Tall Timber class please contact Tom@talltimber.com.
Thursday, July 2, 2015
Saturday, May 30, 2015
Wednesday, May 27, 2015
I have developed two new rods for the trout and landlocked salmon angler who wants to have full versatility while on the water. Increased distance of casting and mending and a real switch rod concept. Each is based on a true 2, 3, 4 or 5 weight power according to AFFTA yet has all the added ability of a two hand rod. Also having a length that will not cause shoulder fatigue when single hand casting is desired. Feeling the take and excitement of the play is so important.
So, if you are looking for that perfect nymphing stick that will quickly change into a swinging stick and with only a line change be a dry fly rod then these two versions will be a sure hit.
FlySpoke builds custom fly rods in many other designs for your exacting requirements. We take the time to create that perfect stick that will be the most versatile for where you fish. If you would like to explore the possibilities of creating that build I would be happy to offer you a high quality fly rod, made in America at what seems to be an imported price.
Monday, March 30, 2015
The Narraguagus River is a Queen of waters among salmon rivers. She has all the components that make for strong shouldered fish like those of the Matapedia and Moisie. This is a river of Salmon and very few Grilse.
It was not my first year in pursuit of a Salar encounter. I had been traveling to Maine in late May and June for three years and visited most of the other rivers with major runs. Penobscott, Sheepscot, Pleasant, Dennys and Machais had all received some time with no takers.
I arrived in Cherryfield late in the day and spent the night in a local motel. The rain had been coming in buckets and was not giving up. The river would be in full glory and sounding a dark rage. Reality was far more harsh than my words. Even with such conditions the casters were lined up at the Cable Pool. Other pools down river were available but most anglers would put their rods in order and wait their turn on this highly productive water. I seem to remember hours between rotations at times.
On this day I decided to cross the rail trestle below the pool and fish from river right. My 8 1/2 foot Fenwick glass 8 weight would be a limited match for a raging river that offered little back cast room. Sinking line and a huge Mickey Finn was my set up.
As the rain continued, I made cast after cast shooting out as much line as possible and then letting the heavy current take more line down river through my fingers. This is a technique that I now use to control the side ways speed of my fly in faster water. In the middle of a swing it finally happened. I had a salmon on my line in a raging river with no less that thirty people lining the banks. The show was on. The fish jumped multiple times, screamed down river, bored its way to the opposite bank where I thought it had wrapped a rock, coxed close at hand on a heavy leader and finally came to net. I then did what seemed natural. I removed the hook quickly scampered back to the river and let the fish go. What a thrill.
You could have heard a pin drop!
Now, today we call it 'Live Release' and before that 'Catch & Release' and up in Maine in 1973 they called it 'I can't believe he let it go'. I remember one fellow coming up to me and telling me that if I am going to release a salmon that I should not have used the net. I have hand tailed many fish for myself and others, removed the hook and having the catch on it's way in a matter of moments since.
I think for many that day it was the first time they experienced the release part of the equation. The following year I made a stop at L.L. Bean for supplies and a fellow said, "Hey, you're that guy who let the Salmon go up on Naraguagus." I proudly said, "Yes I am".
Sadly, the salmon of the cable are now visions in my mind. I Remember Atlantic Salmon In Maine.
Saturday, March 28, 2015
I have been fishing my medium action high stick nymphing rods for about ten years now. The advantage over what I see most anglers using is just amazing. Longer drag free drifts, easier mending and control as well as effortless casts. I carry two different leader set ups. One for nymphing with or without indicator and then a collection of poly and versi leaders for when the swing is the thing. I make these rods in a number of configurations from 10 feet to 11 feet with removable or static bottom grips. $325.00 to $450.00 If you would like any further information please contact me at William@FlySpoke.com.
Friday, March 20, 2015
Any day in February, that you have five hook ups is a great day to me. I then asked how his partner did. "He didn't get any to take" he said. "We were fishing the same water with the same flies and I just can't explain why. He has all the passion and desire and did work hard, but just did not connect."
Well, I think I can explain exactly why and it has to do with what I call Learned Instinct. Fish have instinct that is extremely powerful. The slightest thing out of place will freeze them from moving, let alone take a fly.
Some of us will go through an entire day and not give a thought as to what is happening under the water. Some of us will watch with great concentration as our line moves with the flow. Some of us could close our eyes and feel every move the line is making. When you get to that point you have achieved Learned Instinct.
The angler who throws out his line without thought is relying on luck. The angler who watches every movement is learning. The angler who can feel has learned what is right and makes it happen without thought. Sort of like a basketball player who has achieved spontaneous action. No premeditated thought goes into the process but the result is a basket.
The difference in my friend and his partner is the number of hours of careful attention paid to what is happening at every moment.
The moral to this story is that you need to fish a lot if you want to be successful. Not every day will produce the catch, but your chances increase with every moment you are willing to pay attention.
Thursday, January 29, 2015
Friday, January 23, 2015
Had a great time tying at the Three Rivers Stocking Association Jam last night. Three Rivers is a wonderful organization that works to clean and stock some of the waterways in southern New Hampshire that were decimated by the industrial revolution.
Today the Lamprey and Cocheco are clean and hold trout year round. Look them up and make a donation. I am happy to be a contributing member.
Today the Lamprey and Cocheco are clean and hold trout year round. Look them up and make a donation. I am happy to be a contributing member.
Sunday, November 2, 2014
Over the past two and half months I have been playing with some truly unique Landlocked Salmon. Some of the largest available in North America. These are lake inhabitants for most of the year and find their way up rivers on their fall spawning run. They are in every way genetically correct to Salmo Salar that roam the North Atlantic yet never have tasted salt water.
My normal start to this short, and sometimes very short, season is swinging streamers and leaches with my eleven foot four weight. I run a Skagit integrated short with tips and leaders that are correct for the situation of the moment. But this year was very different. The run started so early that my favorite style of angling, the pure swing, was null and void. The fish were not lake dwellers any more and the taste of river life was in their brain.
For the swing I have no problem using a 2x tippet at eleven pound test. The 4 weight performs perfectly on fish up to ten pounds and my confidence in handling the screamers is very high.Then there is the darker side of my angling. My conviction is simple. "Swing when I can and nymph when I must". I have no problem hooking up a strike indicator and using weight to correctly fish with nympths and eggs and micro worms and what ever is needed to get the take. Then I use another four weight in my collection. A ten foot four inch two hand switch that has medium flex that will let me drop down the tippet size to as low as 5x if needed. What I loose in tippet strength I gain in the flexibility of the rod and the fast bending forgiveness that sudden rapid movement requires..
For many years now, the fly rod industry has been following the line makers. That's just the reality of the industry. The weight of the first thirty feet of a standard single hand fly line determines what designation the line will get. Juice the weight of the line a bit or lengthen the head and it will seem to cast easier. That little bit of extra weight that will bend the rod more and let's us slow down or stroke. So the rod makers working on their marketing make the blanks a bit faster. And faster, and faster and faster. That is what makes the recovery from bent to straight happens quicker. Denser cloth that is rolled on mandrels and baked that makes a faster action rod.
What does that do?
These faster rods are a casters dream. They fly straight, recover quickly, bend less and get the same transfer of energy and handle those slightly heavier lines very well. Today we are seeing lines that more resemble a Scandi or Skagit than a double taper.
But there is something missing in this equation. It is the fact that when we have a fish take our fly that wonderful casting tool must change it's persona and become a tool that plays the fish.
You know what happens when a crazy ten pound Landlocked Salmon or Steelhead is played on an ultra fast action rod with 5x tippet? Yep, that's right, you say goodbye very quickly with a snapping high pitched sound of fine quality fluorocarbon. In addition I ask anglers who fish the steelhead run in New York what weight fast action rod they are using. The most common answer is a seven weight. A seven weight fast action rod and 4X to 5X tippets. Then the next statement is, "I don't understand why I am not landing any fish".
My position is that a fly rod needs to serve as a fishing rod and if that means it will not cast an ultra tight loop yet cast well and land the fish, then that is the correct tool for the job.
After you have had the great fortune to hook and play a number of such fish you will know the range of your equipment's ability. The only way we are going to see fly rods that are fish playing friendly is because we demand them from the rod makers.
In order to have such a rod I must build them myself. I call them SWIMPH rods. SWIng when you can and nyMPH when you must. A simple conversion at the loop connection at the end of the line changes the rod system from a nymphing leader rig to poly and versi leader swing. Ten and a half feet is the longest I will use as casting single hand is also desired without shoulder injury. Here is a photo of a beautiful twenty four inch Landlocked Salmon and one of my custom rods. I have 10' 6" four piece 5 wt's as well as some 10' 4" 4 weights with removable bottom grip available now. Please let me know if you have any interest. My price with rod, two tips, sock and tube is $325.00. A great choice in a medium action ultra forgiving rod that handles the new Switch and Chucker style lines for a true switch in function.
Monday, October 13, 2014
Another fine choice would be to find locations in the two fly zones that offer water that is less frequented because of proximity to access points. You will not find any center pin or spinning rods here. Most anglers are using indicators and nymphs and there are an increasing number of two hand casters. In low water these places will be available by crossing and walking. In higher flows you will need to use one of the bridge crossings and walk. In some cases you will be the only rod on your side and looking at six to ten on the easy side.
Many of the Lake Ontario and Lake Eire tribs are producing well right now. The Salmon River is but one that gets a great deal of attention. We need to swing more and hope that in the future some of the pools will start to rotate. I expect the next few weeks will see a lot of action for the few who will make the effort.
Wednesday, October 1, 2014
I have something special to share with you. I have been entrusted with two matching numbered sets of Pierre Lutz prints from the Grande Cascapedia Series. Pierre was a five time artist of the year recipient from the Atlantic Salmon Federation. His work is well known on covers and maps of the great rivers. Each set of four(4) numbered 66/200 and 67/200 were printed in memory of Pierre as he pass away shortly after their completion. They are not signed. The stipulation for me is that they be sold and 100% of the proceeds be donated to charities of my choice. The beneficiary of set 66 will be Project Healing Waters. They gave to me and I can give something small back. The beneficiary of set 67 will be Hope on the Rise. (Hopeontherise.org) I have met Susan and Mary and what they are doing is special and deserves support. If you would like to own these beautiful 9 1/4" x 6 1/4" prints ready to be framed please send to FlySpoke@gmail.com your offer and set number desired. Bidding on these SILENT auctions will close on November 1, 2014 at 10pm Eastern Time. Winners will then be notified. Own these depictions of "The Forks", "Bend At Parsons", "Charley Valley Rock" and "Pool Eighty" Opening bid for each set is $150.00.