The Our Two Hands Kickstarter features 5 signed and personalized copies of Dec Hogans "A Passion for Steelehead". Get one to expand your library or gift it to a fellow spey fisherman all in the name of supporting the film and spreading the word about this magnificent sport and the health of the Steelhead and Salmon.
Building a body of knowledge around your fishing is the best asset tool in your tool box. There is plenty of literature out there about how to do it the right way, what flies to use, how to cast further, mend correctly and position yourself in the right places. What's tough is weeding through the BS and narrowing your focus on the best possible information to get the most out of your fishing time. May we all be so lucky to have a large chunk of freedom to figure out this complex sport and make the most out of our time on the water. The reality is we have lives, families and jobs. Set yourself up for success by studying the literature of the professionals and go home feeling like you fished that run the most effective way possible.
In comes Dec Hogan and his pinnacle theories on swinging flies for Steelhead. "A Passion for Steelhead" is a great place to start for beginners and and experts. The book begins with a great story about the physiology and biology of the fish and what they go through to achieve their natural goals. Understanding how we intercept these fish, where they've been, how they mature and why they take the fly are pieces of the process that often get overlooked. We get so excited about catching, we for get about how it all comes together. We can all become better fisher-people from understanding why pieces worked and why some didn't. Many of the factors that go into hooking and landing these magnificent fish are overlooked and Dec does a great job at putting them in context for the novice fisherman and experienced spey-geek.
Dec's words are derived from thousands of hours fishing and guiding in the PNW for chrome. His stories bring personality to the quest and his instructions on casting, fly tying and fishing the swung fly are unmatched. For modern day steelheadders that are finding their passage through the journey of swinging flies, do yourself a favor and pick up the bible from the Our Two Hands Kickstarter and feel confidence flood your body the next time you step into the run.
My first two handed rod was a Winston. It was given to me by a buddy when I first started in the industry both guiding and working at Western Rivers Flyfisher. I spent hours and hours, watching sunsets down at the local duck pond practicing casts, dialing in lines and building my confidence for the upcoming fall steelhead trip with the shop boys.
After the casting bug got into my bloodstream, I wanted to throw anything I could get my hands on. Over the last few years I have cast a multitude of different two handed rods and have always come back to my trusty green sticks. When I held the new 7133 I immediately noticed the handle shape. I have always liked the smaller and streamlined cork that Winston uses. It just feels comfortable and ergonomic in the palm and makes clutching a 13’ 3’’ rod much nicer during that 7th hour of bombing loops and waiting for a tug. The overall weight and notably the distribution of that weight in the 7133 is interesting. It feels substantial in the butt section, which I really noticed helped keep my stroke compact and consistent. The rod tracks well during the cast and allows the bottom hand to freely find leverage on the forward stroke.
I have a fair amount of experience with the cult favorite 7133 BIIX and was worried that the BIIITH wouldn’t hold it’s own next to it’s older sibling. I loved the BIIX for it’s versatility to seamlessly switch from shooting head lines to mid-bellies and longer traditional lines. The BIIITH follows along it’s side with a modern feel of power and punch. The BIIITH is substantially faster than its predecessor, which has added length to my casts as well as accuracy.
The rod fights fish well. Since the overall feel of the rod is faster than its predecessor, I was worried it wouldn't respond well to subtle eats and big head shakes, but once the fish is connected the rod stays in line, holds its foundation and reacts with the fishes fight. The tip is no limp noodle! The last section of the rod packs punch while still responding delicately to soft plucks and bumps through the swing. The stout butt section of the BIIITH helps when landing fish in fast current, battling through crosswinds and putting the wood to bulldogging chromers.
Everyone knows Winston has always made great fly rods. In my opinion there are very few companies making single handed and two handed rods like they used to. The movement towards super fast rods had me worried that my favorite rod companies would soon follow suit. Winston has struck a great compromise with the BIIITH. The rods are not only modern and powerful, but they maintain the feel, flex and soul that green sticks have always been famous for.
Fly rods and their impact on fly-fishing and the experience we’ve come to enjoy has morphed over the years and now more so than over the past decade. In the ever changing world of fast action fly rods R.L. Winston has stuck to its roots and developed a rod that bridges the gap between modern fly rod flexes and traditional technique. Enter the R.L. Winston BIII LS.
For a long time Winston has produced trout rods that have a full flexing profile, catering to the angler who revels in the cast, the presentation and the simplicity of a single dry fly. As our sport has grown, fly-fishing with a single dry fly has slowly been pushed aside in response to the various creative ways anglers have engineered to catch fish with a fly rod. It's not that the single dry fly doesn't catch fish anymore, but precise overhead casts, well timed mends and delicate presentations are not the name of the game for many modern flyfishers. Finding a fly rod that loads in close with a dry fly, can turn over a light nymph rig and that can efficiently present a dry-dropper or small bugger is not an easy task, and I believe that the BIII LS fly rod is the first trout rod in the Winston line up that fits into this diverse category.
The Winston BIII LS fly rod has backbone. The BIII LS features Boron III technology which reduces weight throughout the length of the rod while still providing sensitivity, quick response and power throughout the cast. The LS tracks well with little recoil, even when making longer casts. I love this Winston rod for places like Silver Creek and the Henry's Fork where mornings are calm and the afternoons are blustery. The fish don't care that the wind came up, but they do care when your fly is dragging from a badly executed cast or drift. Being able to battle through the breeze and be confident that your equipment can handle what nature throws at you during your day on the water lets you focus on finding that next fish and making an edible presentation.
Big fish, small flies and light tippet. Need I say more? For me, it's about the process. The Winston LS excels in precise casting situations long or short with fish of all sizes, but its ability to protect tippet and put the wood to fish during big runs, fierce head shakes and tough landings is unlike any other rod in the Winston line up.
I'm a big fan of slow rods that throw dry flies like butter and bend to the cork, but they are not my everyday tool for conquering a variety of conditions that I may experience on my local ditch. The R.L. Winston BIII LS is a great all around stick that would fit into any experienced anglers quiver, but would also serve as a great tool for the single rod owner who's ol' trusty must serve a variety of purposes on the water.
CHECK OUT THE VIDEO FOR MORE INFO ON THE BIII LS
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