Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Swings of Winter

Brown trout perfection 
on the 5110 Loop Opti NXT 

I start fly fishing for trout again in early October when the water temperatures drop into the 50s and I'm sure the trout have recovered from the summer. A man has to have a code. 

I stop fishing for trout at the end of October once I see the first signs of trout pairing up. Even then, it might be a little too late, but a man has to have a code. 

I don't pick up my trout spey rod again until after the Christmas holiday and I'm pretty sure most of the spawning is done. Even then, it might be a little too early, but a man has to have a code. 

A growing, albeit vulnerable, wild brown trout population is spawning and I want to let them do their thing. A man has to have a code. 

The guides can continue to guide everyday, anchoring their drift boats on the gravel tailouts "fishing," but a man has to have a code. He goes musky fishing instead...

In the winter, I could grab a box of nymphs and a bobber, but I don't. I know I can do that. A man has to have a code. 

I opt for the two hander, the swing, and the oft chance that a fish will move in near freezing temperatures to eat my offering. A man has to have a code. 

The handicap continues until the mayflies start to stir and the first trout begin rising. A worthy pursuit forcing me to put the trout spey rod away. 

A man has to have a code...

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Orvis Mission 5120 Review (Line List Updated)

Orvis Mission 5120 Trout Spey Rod

Grain Window: 300-420


Instagram Review (click)

Over the last several years, I've predominantly fished trout spey rods on the major river systems and streams of eastern Pennsylvania. After my first two handed rod in 2009, it was only natural to take the techniques I practiced on the Great Lakes tributaries and move them to my local haunts. Since then, the industry has created a "trout spey" monster with specific rods and a myriad of lines to cater to this demographic of anglers. I've fallen so far down this rabbit hole that my buddy Ryan has begun to describe me as a "one trick pony". Out of this obsession, I began looking for a rod that bridged the gap between the short spey rods designed for steelhead and the trout spey specific offerings on the market. 

The search requirements included the need for a rod with more length and power while still maintaining a certain degree of finesse when a 16" trout takes your fly. These ideas arose out of swinging larger rivers with a 11" 3 or 4wt. rods attempting to fish flies on the larger side (3" +). When you add in deeper water, heavy winds, and distant lies, most will struggle under those conditions. I decided that a longer rod between 12' and 12' 6" would allow greater control while the extra grains of a 5wt. would take the burden off the rod when tossing a 4" articulated sex dungeon. The length and power would also come in handy while swinging, or stripping, flies at long range. The tricky part with this situation is finding a rod that does not overpower trout. Almost every major manufacturer now makes a 5120 (Sage, Orvis, G. Loomis, Winston, Beulah, and others) or slightly longer, higher end models from the likes of C.F. Burkheimer, Meiser, or Anderson Custom Rods. After reaching out to an Orvis representative, I had an opportunity to try out their new (ish) Mission series and the 5120.