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Solo Trip to Field Test the 8′ 3wt on Native Eastslope Cutties
ith the rod completed and ready to go out the door I decided to field test the rod before giving it to a good friend of mine as a retirement gift. With that in mind I headed out the door with gear loaded in the Troutchaser Jeep towards the same tributary that the boys and I fished the previous Sunday for Father’s Day. I own a nice little J. Austin Forbes Thistle that holds a weight forward floating 3 weight line and a enough backing for most small water fishing and that is what I brought along to match with the light 8 footer. It was a nice morning and the drive towards southern Alberta was uneventful so my mind turned to thoughts on:
- How would the rod actually cast on the water as opposed to lawn casting?
- Would there be a hatch today?
- How would the rod hold up to catching fish?
- Does it have enough backbone to throw big foam wind resistant flies like a Chernobyl Ant?
- Hey that cloud looks like Donald Duck!
- How many times will my dog swim across the run I am just about to fish?
You know the usual stuff.
arrived at the water just before 11am and proceeded to rig up and head to a nice little run I knew about that would be well suited to running the rod through the paces from near and far casts and some technical casts under some overhanging growth as well as a need to mend line repeatedly. Upon arriving at the run, the dog luckily stayed out of the water, I decided to watch the water for a while as on the way over I had noticed the odd mayfly in the air. Shortly after arriving there was a subtle rise on the water and then another and then another no so subtle splashy rise. I couldn’t take it any longer. I attached a new Cutthroat furled leader and attached 18 inches of 4lb tippet to which I tied on a size 14 Grey Wulff. I cast the Wulff 25 feet up against the nearest side of the current in the run and let it drift…. Nothing. I repeated the same cast and within 10 feet of drift a 15 inch cuttie shot out of the water and ate the fly. I was so dumbfounded it took me a moment to set the hook but there was no need he had hooked himself. The fish ran down the pool towards the tailout but the rod held him in and as I put sideways pressure on him with the rod he quickly came to the net. A very nice start to the day and gave the 3wt a good test right away.
caught a few more good sized cutties and then put the rod away. It was a successful outing and the rod performed beyond expectations. I pulled out an 8′ 5wt 2 piece Dickerson taper at this point mated up to a 3¼” Hardy Bougle with a WF5 and Cutthroat Leader Company 76″ Ultimate Camo furled leader. I switched up the fly at this point and went with a clipped down Fran Better’s Haystack as the rises had changed from subtle to splashy. Second cast I was into a nice 15″ cutt and so it went for the rest of the afternoon. Early in the season but best day so far!