I was able to get out on the local sewer the last couple of days and test out Beulah's new line of Spey Rods. The rods are all 4 piece and come in three sizes from 11'7" 5 wt, 12'6" 6 wt, and 13'2" 7 wt. These are medium-fast action rods that are very crisp and extremely light in the hand. These rods are finished in a deep grey/charcoal finish with clean wraps and some of the most beautiful cork on the market. Not only do these rods looks good, but they cast great!
This mornings trial run was with the 13'2" 7 wt. and a Beulah Tonic head and a 10' 150 grain tip. This was an extremely smooth casting setup that was very light in the hand and threw a ton of line. I would say this line is a bit on the light side for a Skagit setup and I much preferred an Airflo Compact Skagit 540 that I tried later on. The 540 loaded a bit deeper into the rod and I would say that a 570 head is not out of the question. As for Scandi style lines this rod matches up well with a Beulah Elixir Spey 7/8. Add a 14' poly leader and you have a summer/fall setup that will throw a country mile.
The 12'6" 6 wt. is a sweet little stick that will cover a variety of situations on small to medium sized rivers. This rod has enough backbone to land a strong summer or winter steelhead and is light enough to have fun fishing for half pounders. This rod matches up well a Beulah Elixir Spey 6/7 for your summer and fall fishing. For winter fishing or situations when you need to throw bigger flies or get down deeper, an Airflo Compact Skagit 450 is a perfect match. While I have not tried a Beulah Tonic on this rod yet, I can bet there is one that is a great match for this rod. This is a perfect rod for rivers such as the Deschutes, Grande Rhonde, Rogue, Trinity, and Klamath.
While I have not spent much fishing time with the 11'7" 5wt, I was able to cast this rod a little bit this summer on the North Umpqua. This rod is fun to cast and will be perfect for trout, half pounders, and smaller summer steelhead. A Beulah Elixir Switch 5/6 is a great match for this rod that will fish well on rivers like the Rogue, Klamath, and Trinity. I can't wait to spend more time with this rod swinging flies for trout and steelhead on the Lower Yuba in the next couple of months.
These new Beulah Platinum Series spey rods will be available soon and if you would like to give one a test drive, feel free to contact me. Happy holidays and go for the grab!
California's North Coast rivers offer a great opportunity at hooking winter steelhead on the fly in a beautiful surrounding. Many of these rivers run through some of California's largest redwood forest and provide an amazing backdrop when fishing for winter steelhead. Rivers such as the Eel, South Fork Eel, Van Duzen, Mad, and all host good returns of wild steelhead and offer the chance at hooking the steelhead of a lifetime. While most winter steelhead in these rivers average 6-8 lbs, fish in the 14-20lb range are hooked each year. The down side of fishing these North Coast rivers is that they tend to blow out rather easily when we get rain and can take anywhere from 1-3 weeks to come back into fishable shape. When they do drop into shape the fishing can be great as many fresh fish will pour into these systems after a storm. Some rivers clear quicker than others and can provide fishing for a lot longer period of time than say the main stem of the Eel. The South Fork Eel is one of those. We tend to spend more time of the SF Eel than any other system because it clears quicker and stays in shape longer.
Because of this I usually do not book trips too far in advance. What I am going to do is put together a call and email list of those intretsed in trips on the coast and or specific rivers one would like to fish. I will give you 3-7 days notice of when a system will drop into shape and a fishing forecast. This will allow us to have good fishable conditions and not have to worry about a certain date being blown out and having to rebook. That being said, if you do want to book a date so that it is reserved that will work as well.
These rivers are a great place for swinging flies on spey rods for chrome bright winter steelhead. We utilize spey and switch rods on the 10'6" to 14' range and skagit style fly lines with heavy sinktips to target these flies. This style of fishing is not for the faint of heart and typically requires casting skagit style lines with 10-12' of T-14 and flies in the 2-6 inch range to target these winter steelhead.
For those interested, please send me an email with a contact number to get a hold of you when these rivers begin to fish. Our time frame for fishing these rivers in from mid December to March 31 when most fo the rivers close to fishing. Thank you and happy holidays. Go for the grab!