When it comes to spending time in the outdoors I will be the first to admit I am a hunter first and everything else plays second fiddle. Camping and Hiking often are just activities that support hunting and over the years fishing became just something to do when convenient. Even though I really love spending time on the water, especially with a fly rod, for the past several years I just always would think of something else I felt I needed to to more. Scouting, repairing equipment, swapping out cards in trail cameras and such. Any free minutes were spend honing my archery skills or attending 3D shoots all in preparation for September.
Dedicating time to this site and to getting the podcast up and off the ground has forced me to start diving back into other Outdoors activities from a different perspective. It has actually been quite refreshing as well. Spending late nights surfing the web looking for content and potential guests for the show I was re-introduced to aspects of many outdoor adventures that I had loved at one time or another but in recent years just lost interest in for one reason or another. At the top of that list was fly fishing and I would not say I really lost interest, I just always found an excuse to do something else and put off pulling out the waders and all of the other gear that, over time, had been packed and tucked away to make room for hunting gear. Then I happened across Cameron Mortenson’s blog, The Fiberglass Manifesto, and within minutes a spark deep in the recesses of my brain began to burn. First I pulled my favorite rig out of hiding inside my gun safe. A beautiful 3 wt combo that has caught its fair share of North Georgia trout over the years. Then I dug my trusty waders out of hiding and later in the week I even sat down and broke out the fly tying materials to whip up a few bead head woolly buggers. A favorite of mine for my local waters.
But that was not enough, Cameron’s site had really stirred my interest in fibeglass rods so I started doing a little research on glass rods. I had wanted a 2wt rig for many years and just never pulled the trigger and now seemed like a good time to do so. I even joined a couple new groups on Facebook related to Fly Fishing to ask more questions and to read what others were posting. Later that week I made a post in one of these groups with a rod and a reel I was considering requesting feedback. I did receive a few responses and then one individual asked if I would be interested in a glass rod he had built for himself. Scott Spray explained that he had built this 2wt for himself but ultimately he had decided a matching 3wt he had also built for himself just suited him better. So after a bit of negotiating I purchased the combo from Scott. A custom 7′ 2wt with a very nice Abel TR1 reel. It arrived later in the week but that just happened to be days before tax weekend and for those of us that procrastinate on dealing with taxes there would be no stream time that weekend but the following weekend was shaping up to be wide open!
I hit the first stream about mid day the following Saturday. The tiny little creek is only about 10′ wide at the widest point you can find and seemed like the perfect place to try out the little 2 wt. I tied on a little bead head prince nymph and began drifting through pockets and pools and it was not long before I found a taker. A hungry little rainbow was soon in the net. A quick photo to mark my return to the streams and I let him slip back into the cool mountain water. Before all was said and done I managed 8 of these little guys to the net. All between 4 and 6″ in length, beautifully marked and feisty for their size. But I wanted more, I wanted to really put the little 2wt to the test. So I packed up and headed to a much larger stream about 30 minutes away.
Once parked, back in my waders and rod in hand I began the 30 minute walk deep into the woods from the parking area. There was a section of this stream that had always been good to me and I made a B-line for that stretch of water. Once I finally arrived I tied on an Olive/Black bead head woolly and began a drift. I missed the first strike and it felt like a solid hit from a decent fish. So I lifted the line into a roll cast and tried again, determined to shake off the rust. It wasn’t long before I found another taker. This one I didn’t miss. With a raise of the rod tip I felt the surge of the rainbow on the other end. For a brief moment the thought crossed my mind that I may have bit off more than I could chew with this little rod.
The rod tip dipped and surged with the runs of the rainbow. I found myself marveling at the graceful bend of the little rod and I swear I heard a much younger person giggling and laughing with every run the fish made. I worked the trout over into the shallow water on the other bank and soon had it into the net. A quick photo and a little time making sure to get some oxygen back into his lungs and I watched the 14″ rainbow swim back into the dark depths of the stream. I would end up catching a couple more rainbows in the 12″ range both equally as fun as the first. I hoped to hook into a fat brown but they eluded me this day but I assure you I will be back.
That day was a refreshing change of pace from my sole focus on hunting the past few years. Both to hit a couple strings with a fly rod and a handful of flies but also to return with a glass rod. This was not the heavy, clunky figerglass rod I learned to cast with over 30 years ago. This “glass” was nimble, light and absolutely full of life with a fish on the other end.