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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 16:54 • # 1 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
ImageHey all:Image
ImageImageImageI just joined this forum and wanted to introduce myself.  My name is Todd Hirano.  I am from Springfield, Oregon and I am a fanatic for chasing steelhead on surface flies.  I have started using glass for my surface steelhead fishing this season and I've been having a blast.  I was inspired by Randy (Clarkman) after seeing his pictures and postings on another forum. 

I have owned a Fenwick FF705 since the late 70's when I lived in HI and had ordered one from Cabelas.  I didn't really learn to use it until I moved to OR in 1988.  My father in law in Montana later gave me a FF756 in 1989.  I began my flyfishing career using these two glass rods in small streams in MT and OR and even used them on the Deschutes.  Of course the allure of high tech graphite took over my desire to own the latest and greatest and my two little Fenwicks sat on the sidelines for almost two decades.

Just for a change of place, I decided to use my FF756 for steelhead this summer and got a couple hatchery summer runs on the Willamete and I was surprised at how well this rod handled fishing for steelhead.  I started communicating with Randy (Clarkman) and was elightened about the fine qualities of the FF807 and FF857 for steelhead.  I found a FF807 on eBay in pristine condition and proceeded to hook a little summer steelhead on my first outing with that rod.  I found that a 7wt Wulff Ambush line is just pure magic when combined with the FF807.  Single hand spey casting became effortless and I found myself using this combo 95% of the time, with my two handers collecting dust.  I managed to hook several more steelhead on surface flies with this setup and continue to be overjoyed with the smooth casting qualities of glass.  I recently bought a FF858, SA/Hardy system 8 fly reel, and 8wt Ambush line on eBay and this is also a very sweet combo.  Most recently, I purchased a FF857, also on eBay and I have been watching the mail for it's arrival any day now.

 I love doing something different than most of my peers who are into Sage and Burkheimer two handers, Skagit heads, intruders, T-14, etc.  As I am sure is true for most of you, I don't see other folks out there throwing glass for steelhead.  I would love to hear from others who have similar inclinations or interest in chasing steelhead on the surface with glass rods.

The glass road is a fun ride!

Todd


Last edited by 808steelheader on 26 Nov 2011, 22:10, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 18:21 • # 2 
Administrator
Joined: 01/10/06
Posts: 6270
Location: Holly Springs, NC
Todd,

Welcome to the Fiberglass Flyrodders! It sounds like you are hooked deeper than the steelhead.

The FF756 was the all purpose Fenwick. It can throw a 6 weight line for trout or panfish or a 7 weight line for bass buggin' or bigger game. It could toss light fly rod lures and, perhaps, the occasion garden hackle. If you like the FF807, then you will love the FF857 (an true to weight WF8 is good on these rods too). The FF858 and System 8 are bigger guns and will handle heavier lines for a longer distance.compared to the rest of your collection, the FF705 is a dainty little wand. It is a nice collection indeed!

Tom


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 21:11 • # 3 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 12/29/10
Posts: 1012
Location: Osage Orange Range, North Texas, US
Todd,

You sure know how to enter a room.

Welcome.


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PostPosted: 17 Nov 2011, 21:29 • # 4 
Master Guide
Joined: 07/18/07
Posts: 601
Location: US-NH
Todd, it takes guts to wade among Sage and Burkheimer two handers, Skagit heads, intruders, T-14 with a Fenwick Glass!ImageImageImageImage

Very nice pictures of steel and glass!


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 02:53 • # 5 
Guide
Joined: 10/25/10
Posts: 340
Location: Genoa City Italy
Todd,
I'm a modest fly angler from Italy.

I recently re discovered pleasure of glass fishing.

Very impressed by your story and overall stunning images.

I just Face Book shared your post

I'm going to show my buddies on PIPAM Italian fly fishing main Site,Your story and pics

I hope you like it.

Make me know please if you are in agreement

Thanks for sharing

Hold the line!

Uncle Ben


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 03:48 • # 6 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
Thanks for the welcome guys. Ben, no problem sharing my post/pictures.

Kimosabe: I have no problem wading among the crowd with the high end gear. It's amazing to be able to purchase classic glass for a small fraction of what current high end rods cost. Having been a two hand caster for the past 16 or so years, coming back to glass single handers has revealed how I was probably too focused on casting distance. With my glass Fenwicks I fish the short to mid range game more easily than I did with my two handed graphites. As a bonus, I found that steelhead can still be caught within that shorter range.

Swellcat: Hope I didn't overwhelm with all those picturres here in my intial post. I'd been meaning to join in here sooner so I guess my excitement over glass has been quietly contained for too long, until now!

Tom: Thanks for the welcome. Yes, my collection of glass is growing more quickly than I anticipated. Forgot to mention, I purchased one other glass rod this year, the Cabela's CGR 5'9" 3wt. I absolutely love that rod for small stream trout fishing, that is when I can get my mind of steelhead.

Tight Lines,
Todd


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 04:29 • # 7 
Guide
Joined: 10/25/10
Posts: 340
Location: Genoa City Italy
Todd,
thanks for reply.

In Italy fiberglass rods are not appreciate by many Anglers, they consider them not yet performant.

By your post, with beutiful huge trout not at all common into our waters want to bring to the attention of all, the amazing capabilities of these rods.

Maurizio


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 05:20 • # 8 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/06/09
Posts: 602
Location: US-WA
I'm, with you too. I do fish a spey and a very special fiberglass switch rod I have for winter more then single hand rods. But for my sumner fishing. All but one of my single hand rods are fiberglass. And yes I'm with you on that, I think to many fisherman fish to far out and miss a lot of that are right next to them. Good fishing to all.


Last edited by Anonymous on 18 Nov 2011, 05:41, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 05:31 • # 9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/23/05
Posts: 3482
Location: US-MT
Growing up those Fenwick rods were the "high-end" rods on the steelhead rivers. I can still remember my first 857, I had many pics like those you shared, cept mine had Medalists hanging on em. Haven't got a steelhead now in 15 years or so, moved to Montana. But your pics bring back memories. Wow.
Oh, and surface flies, there were times when the fish would be pretty tight to the bank, and a greased Muddler would bring wonderful surface strikes. Nothing better.
Keith


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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 06:27 • # 10 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/12/06
Posts: 1149
Location: US-CA
808stlhdr,
Great pics, nice fish and rod. I began fly fishing for Steelies with glass in the Fall/Winter of '69/'70. While my folks lived in Brush Prairie, Washington I had the pleasure of meeting Bill McMillan on the East Fork of the Lewis and on the Washougal rivers. I also haunted the Greased Line Flye Shoppe in Vancouver. Needless to say I was exposed to the capabilities of the floating line for Steelhead fishing in all seasons. I favor 9' 9wt rods, my favorite being a Winston 4 3/4oz, 2pc. I line the rod with a 9wt DT, on a Young Landex and still fish this rig to this day. However, today it's more a fall back choice. I have crossed over and use two-handers when ever I can, picking up the glass rod when the mood strikes me.
9' 9wt Winston(top) with Young LandexImageImage
Still like fishing with these rods with a floating line. Respectfully rvreclus


Last edited by rvreclus on 18 Nov 2011, 06:31, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 13:55 • # 11 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
Image
Maurizio: You are right, glass rods are very capable. They fight steelhead very well. Even my FF756 landed the two steelhead pictured here in about 5 minutes each, about what it would take with a two handed rod. I love how well they peform single hand spey casts.

John: A fiberglass switch rod would be nice. I've seen on here how Yuhina and Clarkman have put extended butts on the FF909 and made them into nice switch rods, now I have to find one of those next! I'll be using my FF858 as winter rod this year and see how it works with smaller flies in shallow lies.

Keith: I love medalists too. I was using a beat up 1494 in the pics below. I just got my FF857 today and I'll be using a 1495 on that rod. I love the simplicity and the inexpensive "blue collar" aspects of Medalists, but I've also been enjoying hearing the scream of old Hardys when a steelhead takes off running. I also have to agree, surface takes are the best and I like muddlers too, I often riffle hitch them to wake on top.
Image
Rvreclus: Your Winston looks like a sweet rod. Awesome to hear that you are acquainted with my favorite mentor Bill McMillan. My values, ethics and my whole approach to steelhead fishing can be traced to Bill's writings in Dryline Steelhead. As a result I fish wakers all through the summer/fall season and sometimes even in spring and winter. I also fish a floating line throughout the year. Through Bill's writing, I learned the value of self-imposed restraint in making steelhead flyfishing an endeavor that is about finding pleasure in dryline approaches rather than focusing catching maximum numbers of steelhead. Bill taught me the value of wild steelhead and how we all need to be concerned and involved in conservation to protect them. I have been blessed to have had some communication with Bill and have met him in person at a Steamboater's event this year and I am glad to see that he lives up to his reputation as a true gentleman, humble and knowledgeable in his role as a biologist for the Wild Fish Conservancy. I am ever thankful to Bill for all conservation work he has done for NW salmonids.


Last edited by 808steelheader on 19 Nov 2011, 19:11, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 18 Nov 2011, 16:21 • # 12 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 1774
Location: Orygun
Todd,
welcome ... sweet fish ... especially the one with that skater in its mouth. good stuff.

Randy



Also, here's what I did with my FF857 ... helps even more with the Ambush line ...

Image
Image


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 04:02 • # 13 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
I like that little bottom grip on there, I'll have to copy you. Where did you get those from? I know you also put a bottom grip on your FF909. By the way didn't your FF909 come with a bottom grip from the factory? I've seen some listed with what looks like a 5-6" grip that can be put in the bottom of the rod. Also, I bet a 9wt Ambush would be sweet on the FF909. Those Ambush lines really bring these glass rods to life, especially for single hand spey casting (or double handed if a grip like yours is added).

Love your pics.


Last edited by 808steelheader on 19 Nov 2011, 04:05, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 05:13 • # 14 
Administrator
Joined: 07/17/06
Posts: 5544
Location: South Carolina
WOW ... what a great thread. Fine work all.

808steelheader ... please check your PM box.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 05:27 • # 15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 1774
Location: Orygun
Todd, I think I got that one from Dan Craft or possibly The Angler's Roost, but I can't remember for sure. It's 3 1/2" detatchable. The mount doesn't fit perfectly, but with several coats of epoxy, I got enough built up so it is snug and then glued in there. I ended up putting one of those 5" ones on my FF909 (mine didn't come with the extended fighting butt). it's not pretty, but it works really really well.


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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 18:35 • # 16 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
I tried out my FF857 today. Mannnnnnn, that is one sweet rod. It casts the 7wt Ambush very nicely, really a smooth casting rod. Can't wait to have a steelhead pulling on this one. I got this rod for $42.06, can't beat that price!

Next, I'll have to start looking for an extended butt for my FF858 and FF857. That extended butt on Randy's FF857 is very aestheically pleasing to the eye.

Randy: by the way, that reel seat on your FF857 is unique, is that a factory reel seat? I've never seen another one like that on a Fenwick.


Last edited by 808steelheader on 19 Nov 2011, 19:08, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 19 Nov 2011, 19:32 • # 17 
Guide
Joined: 02/24/11
Posts: 173
Location: US-MO
Hi "808steelheader"!
Another great stealhead rod is the Fenwick FF85. It will handle any thing from a 6 to an 8 weight line. Back in the day, if you fished for stealhead on the west coast, you had a FF85 in your choice of rods.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 04:42 • # 18 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 1774
Location: Orygun
808steelheader wrote:
Randy: by the way, that reel seat on your FF857 is unique, is that a factory reel seat? I've never seen another one like that on a Fenwick.
I can only assume it's factory. I've seen them on occasion, but they're certainly not the norm.



I was watching an FF837 that ended up going for $25, I forgot to throw in a bid on that one before it ended ...



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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 09:08 • # 19 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
An FF837 went for $25? that's a deal. I understand they are kind of rare.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 09:38 • # 20 
Sport
Joined: 03/18/11
Posts: 50
Location: Northern Sierra Nevada Mnts. Ca.
Randy, I really like the way that fighting butt looks on your FF857. Good job! I'm curious though, do you find yourself casting more singlehanded or with two hands? I got to cast a rod with a detachable fighting butt once and found that the rod felt much softer casting with two hands than one. Is that true of your rod too? Also, is the Ambush line your using a 7wt? I've been thinking of getting one of those and was wondering about their overall performance. Thanks.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 17:21 • # 21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/21/06
Posts: 1774
Location: Orygun
Thanks Lakefly,

I think Todd can answer the Ambush questions a little better as he's been using it a little longer than I have.

but here are my thoughts in limited use: It rocks on both my FF807 and FF857 ... I'm throwing the 7wt (265grain) for both of those rods. It casts equally well single-hand or double. When doing single-hand spey casts, if I throw a haul in there, it really flies. Using two-handed spey casts, I get it out just as far, it's just less energy consuming over the course of the day. It also will cast overhead nicely, just one backcast, a quick haul and let it fly ... and fly it does.

It does feel a bit softer with that line, but that's what I like when throwing a two-hander, so it totally works for me. It will also throw a small (2inch) intruder type fly plus any of the 10' versileaders. With the heavier versileader (Type Image, I just had to adjust my stroke a little bit to keep it from biting to much into the water when performing any of the spey casts. It can do it, but if your timing is off, you'll either blow your anchor, or it'll stick too much and you won't be able to shoot any line out. Keep in mind that this is also only with the 265 grain line. I'm thinking about getting this line for my 9wt (350grain) and it should turn over any junk that I could possibly need turned over.


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PostPosted: 20 Nov 2011, 17:39 • # 22 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
lakefly:

I have the Ambush lines in 7wt (on my FF807 and FF857) and 8 wt (on my FF858) and they fly! I primarily do single hand spey casts with them and get about 60'+ with ease consistently. They work well with overhead casts as well. They cut the wind and turn over bushy/large flies. For my specific style of fishing, which is fishing for steelhead with waking flies (wind resistant foam wakers) on the swing, sometimes in tight quarters, this line is the bomb, highly recommended. I'll be fishing the 8wt Ambush this winter and anticipate that I won't have much trouble casting reasonably sized winter flies.

I should really empahsize the advantage with these lines of being able to get casts out there in tight quarters and deep wading - the short head really makes life easier in those situations. Despite how short and heavy the head is on this line, it casts very smoothly, especially on glass rods. I tried the 7wt on a Sage RPL and to me, it felt "clunkier".

I don't have my rods setup like Randy with the extended butts yet, so I often put a haul or two in during my single hand spey casts. If casting overhead, like Randy said, using a single or double haul will send that 20' head out easier than any shooting taper I've ever used.

Todd


Last edited by 808steelheader on 20 Nov 2011, 17:55, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: 21 Nov 2011, 05:22 • # 23 
New Member
Joined: 06/25/11
Posts: 23
Location: Portland, OR
Man, I really need to venture south for some fishing. I always seem willing to drive to Tillamook, Pacific City, Depoe Bay or Newport, but never think about heading down to Eugene ... That will have to change.


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 11:55 • # 24 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 02/19/08
Posts: 2345
Location: Seattle, WA
Very inspirational pics 808. I'm a novice Steelheader who has been trying to figure it out on my own. I've yet to corner my first Winter Steelhead but I had one on the line briefly last year ... close but no cigar. The quest continues this Friday on the Olympic Peninsula (WA). : )


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PostPosted: 27 Nov 2011, 19:36 • # 25 
Guide
Joined: 11/16/11
Posts: 101
Location: US-OR
dhoover8448 wrote:
Very inspirational pics 808. I'm a novice Steelheader who has been trying to figure it out on my own. I've yet to corner my first Winter Steelhead but I had one on the line briefly last year ... close but no cigar. The quest continues this Friday on the Olympic Peninsula (WA). : )

The key to winter steelheading is persistence - stick with it, keep your fly in the water. Learn to read water or start by fishing proven spots over and over until you learn them well, eventually good things will happen. The past couple winters, my goal has been to get winter steelhead on a floating line, on the swing, ala Bill McMillan's deep wetfly swing. I've manged to get a few winter fish on the method and found it very satisfying. This winter, my goal will be to get winter fish on the dryline/deep wet fly swing on one of my Fenwick glass rods. I will also spend more time fishing wakers especially during mild winter conditions and during the spring.


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