Thursday, June 02, 2011


This post was just begging to be brought back in lieu of a posting on that bastion of fly fishing tradition called "Westfly"
Using an indicator is a legal means of fishing...okay? However it should in no way be considered fly fishing and it's use in fly only water should not be allowed.
The use of an indicator on a spey rod seems to be about as ridiculous enterprise as I can imagine.
It's like using an expensive Porsche to take trash to the dump. So rave on at me if you will but why do these guys who use indicators on spey rods always have to mention that they "swing" flies for steelhead most of the time? If you feel so great about what you are doing then why mention that you "swing" most of the time?

There has been an interesting internet discussion concerning the use of spey rods with an indicator for nymphing. I have certainly let my feelings on this travesty be known on this blog.
Am I being an elitist to think that there are certain traditions in our serene sport that should not be messed with? Does the ends, catching a lot of steelhead, justify the means?, the bastardization of the tradition?

Here are some notable quotes from the anti-speydicator crowd

Nymphing and spey rods would be like a vegetarian and eating some kind of veggy jerky or veggy sausage. It defeats the point!
Swing with a spey rod, and if you want to be a nympher, then bag the two handed rod! Nymph with a 10' or a switch even, but please keep the true two handers for swinging.
It is simply anti-flyfishing and super anti-pure too!

It is hard to believe that someone would spend 750 bucks on a 6126 or even a 7110 z-axis and put on an indicator.
Why wouldn't they just go out and buy a decent bobber rod set up for 4 to 8lb. test and call it for what it is, bobber fishing and nothing more. The use of the indicator or bobber is very effective and the rods used for this style of fishing have a lot to do with the effectiveness. If you feel that this is the only way to achieve that fish then stick with a spinning rod and reel combo. The Canadians use rods in the 10 to 13 ft. in length.

The real kicker in all of this is the fact that they are having a hard time casting an indicator. I could only imagine how well they can cast and wade a true swinging the fly situation. The use of the indicator has made it easy for anyone to say they can cast a 2 handed rod and that's about it. Handing a 2 handed rod to the new angler and getting him to cast it are 2 different things. If your with a guide then it is up to the guide to help in the understanding. If you are using a 2 handed rods in a drift boat and floating downstream with an indicator well you are not spey fishing all you are doing is drift fishing or side-drifting with a 2 handed rod. When you can wade and are able to cast and swing the fly effectively only then will you understand the reason for the lack of respect that is received.

Most of the people I see "trying" to nymph with the two-hander are simply trying to find a crutch for their bad single handed casting. Even on bigger river, you can cover plenty of ground with heavy flies with a good single hand cast!! Don't wear yourself out trying to use the "Spey", just practice with the short rod. Besides you look ridiculous casting that big stick with a bubble on your line!

It may be fishing with the fly but so was fishing with the water bobber on a spinning reel set-up as a little kid. Some have graduated others are still learning.e

You certainly can use a wrench to hammer nails, but is that really what it is used for?? Two handed nymphing is not practical and those that say it is have a long way to go!


  1. Yes new to the sport and all the yuppie guide idiots are doing it with their clients, and even people who should know better are doing it! That’s why I did not purchase a true spey rod! I wanted to use a bobber and in knowing this I purchased a switch rod come on people wake up! On top of it all a lot of these people are fishing in fairly shallow water with a 15’ stick! I love evolution (the lack of)!

  2. To top it all off it looks like to me he is usin ga centerpin float called a drennan on the spey rod!

  3. Amen!

    Coming soon...
    Spey center pinning
    Spey bait casting
    Spey spinning
    Spey Bob Sponge Bob kiddy rods
    Powerbait spey flies
    Shrimp scent Dee flies
    10' long super super super compact 'Skagit' heads.

    Seriously though, this crap is common in the Midwest. Guides dropping the 'spey' word and using mono with split shot and indicators. $700.00 nymphing rigs for lining fish with glo-bugs.

    Spey means a long limber rod and a long line. Period.

  4. lol... Be well Shane!