My initial reaction to rigging up my new Trout Spey HD Two Weight was one of joy. It is a beautiful rod, and more importantly felt like the five weight single handers I use. Unlike the other two handed rods I have picked up it felt natural in my hands. I was pretty sure it was a rod that would cast far better than I could, and that proved to be a reasonable assumption.
I have matched the rod with a Waterworks Force II reel, which is my favourite trout reel. The black version is a beautiful, functional reel. The line I chose is the Rio InTouch Trout Spey Two Weight, which is an integrated line, and I took Tore’s recommendations for tips and end up with five tips:
10 ft Intermediate
10 ft 3 IPS sinker
10 ft 4 IPS sinker
7ft 5 IPS sinker
7ft 7 IPS sinker
Casting initially took a little getting used to. This is a considerably slower rod than the Winston Microspey 5wt I have been using, and I was trying to muscle the cast. Starting out with the 10ft intermediate was not a great idea because it did not provide enough weight or the transfer of energy was wrong so the flies did not really turn as well as they can, and the line did not really pull out on the cast.
I was out with James Mabin who also had a cast and could not get the intermediate tip to work properly immediately. He also gave me the most useful advice anyone has given me about spey casting – hold your bottom hand still and use it as a pivot. That immediately improved my cast but the intermediate did not really feel right even with improved technique.
Switching to the 7 ft 5 IPS sinker made an immediate difference. The cast was considerably better with the heavier tip, and the rod started to feel like it was loading properly. The 10ft 3 IPS sinker also cast pretty well, certainly a lot better than the intermediate.The rise had started as we arrived, but had died off while we were testing different tips and had a few practice casts. It started up again, so I took the tips off and fished a leader attached to the fly line, and it cast pretty well.
This was exactly the scenario I had got the rod for, sporadic rises when the fish were not easy to target with a dry and emerger because they were moving too much and not rising regularly. The Sage Trout Spey HD two weight is absolutely perfect for this type of rise, perhaps even better than I had expected.
Unfortunately I busted off on three of the first five fish that took and missed the other two. The misses were an issue for the rest of the night, and I ended up missing seven without connecting with the fish. Fish taking an emerger reject it very quickly, but even so it was disappointing and needs some analysis.
Aside from not landing any fish, the evening was thoroughly enjoyable. The Sage Trout Spey HD is a beautiful rod, casts nicely and feels right in my hands. I am looking forward to my next fish with it, although I am not sure where that will be because the Tuki looks like it will be dirty for the next few days.