Double Threat Skagit System for Euro Nymphing Rods
Lately I'm guiding less, fishing a bit more, and really trying to stay "real" on what it's like to be a DIY angler out there battling public water, smart trout, and fishing the same water as the guide boats. It's tough. This game isn't easy and my goal is to empower you with the knowledge, skills, and gear to have successful enough outings to stick with fly fishing.
If you find a fishing strategy that you enjoy, casting that feels good, and gear that you are comfortable with; it's much more likely that you'll still be fly fishing in 5 years. Remove anyone of those joys and the odds that you will give up, burn out, and won't obtain the skills required for consistent success catching trout. Find a strategy you enjoy and stick with it. The catching will happen.
For me, I have grown to enjoy fishing without indicators, on foot. There is nothing wrong with strike indicators, in fact, I guide with them all the time. It's great and can offer the angler incredible control especially on big swift western type rivers. My personal preference has shifted towards Euro nymphing on a tight line, dry fly fishing (#1 choice), and swinging middle weight streamers on a tight line (preferably after a spey cast of some sort). I like this type of fishing and it's also best done on foot which is great for all you DIY anglers out there.
I think that this system, while not entirely new, will be a really nice option for anglers that want to pack 1 rod, 1 reel, and do a mix of Skagit style spey fishing and tight line nymphing. Double threat with minimal gear.
My "Euro/Skagit" Combo Setup:
- Beulah Platinum G2 // 10'8" 3 Weight Euro Nymphing Rod
- Lamson Guru 5+ HD Fly Reel (my preference due to full cage design and adequate line capacity).
- RIO Slick Shooter 25# Running Line (acts as your Euro Nymphing line when Skagit Head is removed)
- OPST Commando 175 Grain Skagit Head (remove and this leaves you a mono Euro line)
- RIO 10' Spey Versileader (I personally like 4,5,or 7 ips as a faster sinking leader, lighter weight fly tends to present better IMO)
- 2X-3X Fluorocarbon tippet for my streamers when spey fishing, 4X-6X Fluorocarbon Tippet on my nymph rig.
- RIO Two Tone Indicator Material (1X used in demo, a combo of 1X/3X is my preference typically).
- RIO 2mm (small) Tippet Rings
Is This Setup for You?
This setup is reserved for anglers that will be on larger rivers and want a Euro rod that favors some power over sensitivity. I'll be frank in saying the Beulah wouldn't be my first choice, or even in my Top 2 for a rod that is going to exclusively throw little jig nymphs #14 and smaller. It isn't nearly as sensitive as a T and T. No contest.
What this rod will do however is allow you to double up and have a quality single hand trout spey rod, that easily converts back and forth from ESN to SHS. The tip on the Beulah also has enough umpphhh to bury a heavy wire stonefly nymph hook into a mature trout. Something a lot of ESN rods lack, as they are really designed for ultimate performance with small nymphs.