All About Fly Fishing!

Can You Have Too Much Fly Fishing Gear?

I’m wondering if it is possible.  Am I there yet? Except, I wouldn’t part with any of it except to my sons or my best friend (if she decides to seriously take up fishing, she can have and use whatever I’ve got! It’s a deal, Colleen 🙂 ).  I’d lend some of it to others – as long as I were present while it was being used.  But maybe I have too much.

I’m planning a trip out west with my “wee man,” who will be 7 in August.  I haven’t had time to do much research on what exactly the fly fishing opportunities are in the area I’ll be fishing. I know there is a lake with ‘bows in it, a couple of rivers with who knows what, and a small pond with some stocked trout – but I am not sure what will be best suited and time is drawing near. So I’ve been going through my stuff, and realizing I’ve got stuff here that I love, but haven’t used in a long time, and need to enjoy the pleasure of again.  I’ve also got fly lines coming out of my ying yang – stuff I purchased two and three years ago with a plan in my head, but since then, my head lost those particular plans.  And being ADD apparently, naturally I forget to put the little labels that tell me what line and wt. are on the various fly reel spools I have.

As I type this, within four feet of me in either direction are:

3 Talon Fly Rods.

1. One I built myself about 14 years ago, and I love that thing, but the ferrule was crushed, and I still need to try to get it off to Ralph O’Quinn who believes he can fix just about any graphite rod damage so it is like new.  Ralph for those who don’t know is the brains behind the U-40 products, and a fantastic guy.  The one I built was a 9′ 5 wt. IM6 Plus that has been used more times than I can remember.  I loved – and still love – that rod.

2. Another is a 9’0″ 8 wt IM6 Plus, built in the Talon factory.   A lovely rod for large size bass, steelhead and salmon.  Admittedly, I have not used it as much as I would have liked.

3. Then there is the 3 piece Talon Elite 9″0″ 9 Wt. “Big Game” rod. Beautiful cork grips on this! Again, a rod I have not used often, but have enjoyed when I have.

1 Grey’s Greyflex M2

I picked up this 10 1/2′ 7/8 wt when I was in Belfast, Northern Ireland in June of 2007.  I was looking for a three piece rod that I could travel with and that would perform well while lake or loch style fishing in the Canadian Fly Fishing Championships held September 2007 in Grande Prairie.  I really enjoy this rod, but when conditions are warranted, I do prefer the Meiser Switch Rod (more on that later).

3 Sage

How many Sage rods do I have?? I think there are three, but only  one is a fly rod. Back when I built rods, Sage made some nice spin blanks, and I’ve got a couple of them. The fly rod is an older “Graphite II” 7’9″ 2 wt.  I haven’t used it much, but when I’ve been out on some small creeks, I’ve enjoyed it.  I think it’s been ten years though.

At Least 2 Loomis

I’m looking at the rod tube and know it’s a 2 piece, one I built about 18 years ago – an IM6. I disliked very much their IMX stuff back then – seemed too many of them broke. This one is a bit on the heavy side, I think it’s a 9′ 8 wt.  But I can’t remember. I’ll have to give it a few casts this summer.

1 Tony Spezio

Never heard of a Tony Spezio? Pitty! I have a lovely two tip cane rod he built and it’s lovely to cast! I don’t know why I don’t use it more; perhaps because it is one of those rods I think will be an heirloom to one of my children and their children.

1 Admira

A 10’0″ 4 wt. that I purchased last spring at the behest of Ernie Kalwa, Captain of the fly fishing team I was on.  Apparently a good rod for Czech nymphing, but I’ve never used it.   Turned out that I resigned from the team due to health concerns (don’t ask how I managed to severely sprain my right hand – I’m still trying to figure it out) so I never did compete and didn’t get a chance to try this rod.

2 Temple Fork Outfitters

I’ve got two of these – a 5 wt three piece and a 10′ 0″ 7 wt. 4 piece that was my backup rod to the Grey’s in Grande Prairie. I didn’t use it much, but I did like it – but preferred the Grey’s when fishing from the boats.  I liked this one for fishing from the shore of the pond that was one of the venues though.

The 5 wt is what I’ve been using on the Grand River and other such places after the ferrule was busted on my Talon, above.

For the money, TFO rods are hard to beat!

1 Fisher

About 8 or 9 years ago, I was looking for a 9 1/2′ 5/6 wt rod, and they were hard to come by at 9 1/2′.  I can’t recall now why I wanted a 9’6″ 5 wt, but I did, and this one was relatively inexpensive.  I think I traded a year’s worth of website hosting for it.  I remember when it arrived – I was quite excited to try it out, but when I did, I was disappointed.  I’ve never used it since. But I will.  I think the action was just too slow for me at the time.  I recall I did not like it as much as the Talon that I had owned and been using for so long. But maybe it’s time to revisit this one and give it another chance.  If nothing else, it’s a spare and one that I can lend to someone else if they don’t have one or their’s breaks.

1 R. B. Meiser

A disclaimer: R. B. Meiser (actually, I shoud have noted that Talon is too) is a client of mine.  So I realize that giving such positive reviews of both R. B. Meiser and Talon rods could be construed as a conflict of interest for me.  In Meiser’s case, I think Bob has done well by me and I’ve done well by him long before I ever tried out one of his rods though.  In the case of Talon, I loved Dwight’s rods and blanks long before he ever became a client of mine, and used to build a lot of custom rods on Talon blanks when I had my own custom rod building business.

Anyhow, prior to the Canadian Fly Fishing Championships in Grande Prairie, I was talking with Bob Meiser about some work to his website and I mentioned I the competition and that it would be fly fishing from boats for all but one venue.  I told him I had picked up the Grey’s and the TCO, and he said, “Ian! You should have told me! I’ve already supplied another competitor with a rod that will be perfect I think, and I could work something out with you too.”

I kind of felt ashamed that I hadn’t even thought of talking to Bob before selecting some gear for Grande Prairie. Anyhow, he agreed to build me a rod on his System 2 blank – a “switch rod,” and shipped it out to me. Sadly, the rod did not arrive in time.  It arrived here in Ontario the day after I arrived in Alberta.  When I got back, I was eager to try it out, and it seems ideal with the Sixth Sense series of lines.   Although this rod is built with the two handed style of fly fishing in mind, I can easily lay out 70+ feet with one hand. That is why it is called a “Switch” rod – you can switch from one to two hands and cast comfortably either way.

I’ve never much got into spey or two handed casting but I’m hoping I can get out with Neil Houlding at some point this summer and we’ll see if we can teach me some two handed techniques and put that Meiser rod through it’s paces.  But as it is, I’m very pleased with it!

So those are my fly rods in my office here. I’ve got more in the porch, and at least one more in the trunk of my vehicle.  Do you think I have too many?

Perhaps I’ll write about my reels and spare spools the next time!  Colleen – forgive me if I’m a bit disorganized here with all this stuff, but we’ll get you set up with something, for sure! Looking forward to fishing with you next week!

1 Comment

  1. Winford Tolly on December 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

    Everything is very open with a clear explanation of the challenges. It was really informative. Your website is very useful. Thank you for sharing!



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