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About djtrout

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    Advanced Member

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  • Favorite Species
    Brown, rainbow trout; smallmouth; bluegill
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  • Location
    harrisonburg VA
  1. trout: #1 is pheasant tail nymph in size 12. #2 and 3 are black crystal bugger or black nosed dace tied clouser style. bass: #1 is white baitfish, #2 would probably be a crawfish or just plain ole' popper. Especially this time of year, though, I add a letort cricket to the menu. I've been having tremendous results with it.
  2. I purchased an HMH Spartan this year to try, and I'd like to divest myself of it now. It's virtually unused, just a few flies. Pedestal base, polished chasis, standard and midge jaws. New condition. PM me if you're interested.
  3. djtrout

    632 bucks

    I need to check with Steeldrifter myself, I always assumed his price point was up there a bit. Worth it I know, but I passed on thinking of his when I went looking for budget rods. Now to yours, budget of 632. Good suggestions above, but $632 can go quick. I have the most expensive rods and reels, and some of the cheapest. While I enjoy my premiums, I ooh and ahh every couple years when technology advances, but I can't afford to keep buying top of the line equipment every couple years. That said, I am in love with my Redington butterstick (about $250 as I recall). I reeled it with a Redington Drift reel on sale for $75 (3 wt). Cheap setup but I love it. Action on an Orvis glass rod was a bit smoother, but that's $800. I bond with my equipment choices over time, so I am not afraid to choose something that works well for me in my price range; I'm very, very difficult to upsell. I like the 2 rod recommendation. I went from 9' and 8'9" 5 and 4 wt respectively to my 7' 3 wt butterstick. the smallest for small brookie streams, the 4 and 5 for varying trout and panfish situations. I kayak fish and like the 9' length for that. If you stick with 4 wt (no reason not to) you can have one line and reel, 2 rods. Here is my recommendation on spending priorities: rod - low end, not cheap, just low end. around $150 - $250. For 2 rods, need to keep to the $150 range. I think Orvis has one; I've been impressed with Redington's lineup, check them out. Go good on line. I'd spend the $70-$90 for a good weight forward line (I like Rio right now, but Wulff triangle taper and Scientific Anglers are good), IMHO that matters, having a top quality line. Figure in $30 for leader and tippet material. So, without tax, about $100-$130 for the complete line setup. You can save money by getting a $35 fly line, and upgrade it later if your budget is hard, because your stuck with the rod and reel choices sort of more permanently, but good line matters. Reel: for trout you don't need to get fancy. Redington has fine reels for under $100 and just over $100. Sage 2200 is a nice reel for around $125. Shop around. Definitely, if at all possible, cast the rods you're looking at. 2 rods at $150 each + $130 line/leader/tippet (top price) + $125 reel = $555. With sales tax at, say, 5% = $584. That gives you a little slack to go up on one or both of the rods. I'd leave the reel where it is, and focus on upgrading rod, unless you just fall in love with a reel you gotta have. It happens. Settle on the line and reel, then do your thinking on 1 or 2 rods; look over all you can in the $150-$250 range. If you really can push your total cost to more than $632, consider a "better" rod, but one mistake new folks to the sport often make is looking at the price of a rod and forgetting all that goes with it. Limitation of this strategy is I'm unsure I'd want two different rod lengths in the same weight line, so I'll discuss below. If Steeldrifter can meet your need within your budget, wow I'd scarf that up. Only thing is you can't test cast it, but I think you would be thrilled with his work. Final note on the 2 rod thing. If I had a 9' 4 wt as first choice, for #2 I would be looking at a 6'-7' 2 or 3 wt. That would mean, reference my strategy above, you settle on one rod right now, and get the shorter later. Otherwise, you might not be happy with two 4 wts even though they are different lengths. I am amazed how different my 3 wt feels compared to the 4 wt. In practice, I shoot either the 3 wt or the 5 wt, my poor 4 wt sits in the car as backup anymore. So, you might, in my scheme, want to upgrade a bit on your 9' (or whatever length you decide, I think 4 wt is probably a good choice) rod and wait to acquire the lighter shorter rod. If you must stick to your budget, it's going to be difficult to pull off 2 rod/reel/line complete outfits. Doable, but you might make more compromises than you'll be happy with.
  4. Totally understand Vic, thanks for your lead. Mine are in the mail.
  5. Pocket. I throw it away in the first Sheetz or gas station trash can I come across.
  6. Well, like they said ... Castability. Now, I get a zen thing out of casting a fly rod, so if it casts with a fly rod I'll probably go with it. I grew up throwing small fly rod flatfish and colorado spinners, so as a youngster I accepted this as normative. Dad was solely a fly fisher (I eyed with interest the old bait and spin cast rods tucked away in a corner of the garage, and the huge mounted crappie hanging on the living room wall, but by the time I came along it was all fly fishing and about the trout), but he found he could tease a strike with the flatfish. You couldn't cast them with a spin or baitcast though. Since mom was not really into fishing but wanted to be a companion, dad got her a fly rod, and she attached a worm hook and worm (live) to the leader and sat on the bank of pools. I found, too, after rescuing a spincaster from the garage, that I could throw a little black gnat a mile using a bobber a couple feet above the fly, and maybe a little split shot. I could hit rising trout way out beyond my fly casting range. So, my boyhood view of fishing was likened to that of the plot of "River Why" - a sometimes bizarre mix of pure and anything goes, and I never spent a minute wondering about it. I don't use the spinners or flatfish today, seem satisfied with what I do. I have drawn some lines for myself, which have nothing to do with an opinion on what is a fly, they just define what feels good to do. I don't do bait, I guess that's where it starts. I stick with whatever I can create with fur foam feathers and hair, complemented with flash, and of course I use chenille. I have sort of an intuitive barometer that warns me when I'm going too far into manufactured parts, like cut wings and legs and plastic insect bodies. The craw claws are about as far as I'll go using manufactured stuff. I go back and forth with natural hair vs synthetic, but I tend to stick with natural. Right now I'm on an elk hair kick. I doubt I'll get into tube flies at all. I do tie an occasional crease fly for bass, but even there I stick to the same materials formula as for my trout. ​When I float bass river, my companions are fly rod, baitcaster, spinning rod. I use either what I need given weight of lure/fly, or simply what pleasures me. I get immense pleasure from throwing my rods, mostly from the fly rod. It just feels good. I also take great satisfaction in catching fish on flies I tie, so the more the fly is my creation, the more satisfaction I get. I do pay attention to the official rules on special regulation waters, that define what a fly or lure is for any particular stretch of water. My CCT fur baitfish vs Rappala - if one a fly and one a lure? Do I respectfully but cynically refer to a Muskie "fly" as a "fly?" Shoot, I dunno. Don't care. Since to me a fly is one of the pesky little black things stuck on my kitchen flypaper (I don't empty the kitchen scrap barrel to the compost heap as often as I should, so little critters take hold in the kitchen sometimes ....) it makes it difficult for me to relate the concept of a fly to a lot of stuff I tie for my fly rod. So, maybe "fly" is getting a little outmoded, but with such a rich history behind it we should probably just give it a respectful nod and go on about our business. No need for a naming convention.
  7. Thank you good sir; thought I crossed over into a parallel universe ... I'm back
  8. Hey gang, I think I missed something; several of you have already sent in March flies, but i don't think I know what we're doing for March? Could someone post or pm and let me know? (yeah, I'm sure I missed something...)
  9. Flies in the mail; they will arrive at your box Tues latest. Giant stonefly nymphs; season for them is coming up, they are good for river trout, but smallmouths as well.
  10. I had an Outcast pontoon for several years, now I'm in a yak, Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 (2011). I loved the pontoon, went to the kayak for a number of reasons, mostly to minimize all the streamside fuss putting it together and dismantling at end of day (don't have trailer). Kayak has also been more versatile for me. I had to adapt a little to fly casting from the low seated position of kayak, but find it to be just fine; I have no issue with slapping the water on the back cast, but at first I did have a little issue with that; had to practice. Key thing in my thinking is the type of water you'll be fishing. I'm not up to speed on the new kayaks I've seen come out that you can stand in, they look great, but I doubt you want to try standing in any of them in class 2 or 3 rapids, which I float all the time. This would be the deal breaker for me. If my budget allowed, I'd have one of those new jobs, a jon boat, and my Tarpon. My budget supports a one-kayak-does-all solution, and my Tarpon is that. Goes everywhere, lake, gentle stream, roiling river and gets the job done nicely. I will be getting a trailer for the kayak (that's just lazy because it's no hassle to put it up on the kayak rack on our van ...), but tha's the end of the budget.
  11. Sure have, but really, even if I don't consult a pattern at all, insects, baitfish, terrestrials, crustaceans, all inspire whatever I tie; the upshot of that is, no matter what I do it will bear uncanny resemblance to some named pattern out there somewhere. There's lots of room for creativity, especially in exploring new materials that folks discover or manufacture all the time. As we say in business when someone has a great idea for a startup, it may be a good idea, but chances are someone somewhere has tried it before. Makes for a wonderful world. I still marvel at all the twists fly tyers can come up with (how many ways can you tie a BWO? well, how do you relate to the concept of infinity? ...) I love this gig!
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