Sage Trout Spey HD – Fishing the Evening Rise

I have fished the Sage Trout Spey HD two weight enough to be able to give a far better review than my initial review. This is a superb rod that has dramatically increased the number of fish I am catching because I am fishing to fish that rise once or twice and move. Getting emergers to these fish quickly results in a huge number of takes.

Until about 15 minutes before sunset I expect to hook most fish I cast to if I can get the fly to the fish quickly and accurately. As it gets darker the fish are less willing to take an emerger on an intermediate rig, but swapping to a floating tip and a foam caddis and hare & copper combo results in a lot of hook ups.

Here are some of the fishing tips that have caught me more fish.

Target Specific Fish:                 I am pretty disappointed when I do not get a take when I get a good presentation to the fish. Most fish take first or second cast if the flies are in the right place. Making an accurate cast that is close to the fish and swinging the flies across the fishes nose usually results in a take.

Swinging a fly in the general direction of a rise or a series of fish rising is nowhere near as effective as targeting a specific fish.

Fish Flat Water:              It is hard to be precise with your presentation if you are fishing a pool that is not flat. It is still possible to catch fish but it is not as easy to make accurate casts if there is riffle. This is especially the case when fishing a caddis near or after dark. Obviously this is not always a choice that can be made, but if you have a choice fish the flat water rather than the one with riffle.

Note that water that is very slow is hard to swing emergers in, and hard to catch fish in. Even with a strip retrieve to match the swing I have not been as successful in very slow current as I am in faster water.

Prerig Leaders & Flies:           This speeds up changing rigs as the conditions demand it. Smith Creek Rig Keepers are a huge advantage. Pre tie leaders with loop knots so you can quickly replace damaged or lost leaders.


Smith Creek Rig Keeper set up for Mayfly hatches, with a couple of double Hare & Copper rigs for fishing on the swing.

Leader Length Matters:            One night my cast was appalling. I couldn’t get it anywhere near as accurate as I had been the night before using exactly the same flies. What had happened is I had replaced the leader with about six feet of nylon, instead of the three feet I had been using. That was a valuable lesson as the six foot leader did not turn at all well.

Flies:             I have experimented with a number of different flies with by far the most successful being a #16 Hare & Copper with a 2mm tungsten bead. I have tried a vast array of different wet flies, but the only fly that has approached the fish catching numbers of the Hare & Copper is a #16 pheasant tail.

When it gets a little darker I switch the intermediate tip to a floating tip and fish a Caddis & a #16 Hare & Copper. I started out fishing with a Deer Hair Caddis but found this was not buoyant enough so I tied a very simple caddis with a foam tube cut in half which floats exceptionally well. This fly skates well and allows me to see where the fly is in relation to the fish.

My confidence with my cast and especially casting in low light means that I am fishing two flies rather than a team of three.


Flies I have used without ever being as successful as I am with a Hare & Copper #16

Shorter Casts are Better:        I am fishing a 10ft intermediate tip on a Rio Intouch Trout Spey. This is an easy set up to cast and it will cast a long distance. The trade off with distance is accuracy, so it is more efficient to fish 40 or 50 feet maximum, rather than try to cast 70 feet. This means moving to get a good position to cast from.


A Small Fish that took a #16 Hare & Copper on the swing.

What is hard to convey in writing is what an awesome rod the Trout Spey HD 2wt is. It is an absolute pleasure to use, and while I love fishing the evening rise with dries and emergers on a single hander I am heading out early to with both rods set up so  I can swing emergers across the nose of fish that aren’t rising consistently.