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five percent : grayling
Post 20 Oct 2023, 17:18 • #1 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 07/11/14
Posts: 1781
Location: urban Colorado
We had a couple of days in Steamboat Springs thanks to the kindness of our neighbor who lent us their condo in the off-season.

My primary goal was the big pike I'd hooked and lost two years ago, in a slough on the river. The first morning had frost on the grass and a very slow start. It seemed the fish weren't enjoying the fall cooldown. This was fly rodding, Fenwick FFL807 and Abu Delta 5 reel. Never did see that big pike, did get a pikelet and then a nice 30" one for dinner. The pikelet took a small streamer tied to imitate the rainbow smelt of the BWCA lake. The big pike took a black rabbit fur bunny leech, my version is tied with a rabbit tail and palmered marabou for the body which makes it easier to cast than the standard version with rabbit wrapped for the body. A good swirl and pull at a 6" deerhair-headed streamer, we missed each other. That could have been a good fish to judge by the boil left behind.





The next morning fished the river through town for trout, lots of fishermen and no sign of fish. Smelly old skunk, pfui. Sunday morning my pike spot was occupied by some duck hunters with their decoys planted right in amongst the fish. From 200 yards upstream I thought, those ducks don't look natural, must be a set of decoys. If I could tell so fast and easy you have to think the real ducks would not be fooled. I'd had several flocks of both teal and mallard come through while fishing the first day. Oh well one year maybe will find that mighty pike again. Fished the pond instead, the fly shop in town thinks it has pike, but you couldn't prove it by me. At least the scenery was worth getting up in the frosty pre-dawn.



Another day we took the canoes up to a lake (in fact a reservoir). This has always been rumored to hold grayling though all I ever caught was cutthroats. No fly rod as my wife's patience with me flyfishing has dwindled over the years. Instead it was the 5 percenter, Abu ZoomSafari 765L rod which is 5% glass, and a rebuilt Abu 3600 reel. Fishing from a canoe is too easy, it's all beer and skittles.



That's an Avery Brewing, Patrol Dog Pale Ale, lot of words for a nourishing gulp of good beer. My son in his solo canoe got a nice 18" cutt first, then I had a 10"er.



I was fishing a Ryuki Spearhead 38s, absolutely my favorite trout lure these days. Tie it on at the start of the day and usually that's what I take off at the end of the day.



Something better hit it on the troll, brought it in thinking a nice trout, it was a 17" grayling. Wild. Later making some casts it appeared what they wanted was bass-fishing style, burn the lure in fast and they'd slam it. Grayling are supposed to be these delicate insect-feeders.. Fabulously pretty fish, took dozens of pictures of which most were blurry messes.




These are Arctic grayling, a long way from home. There's two lakes in CO I know for sure have them, one is the brood stock lake, and another on the Grand Mesa is reputably reported to hold some. Now I want to come back and try for them on the fly.

Unsolicited fall colors picture to finish with,



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Post 20 Oct 2023, 17:51 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1750
Location: SJC
Very, very nice !


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Post 20 Oct 2023, 19:14 • #3 
Master Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 600
Location: Eastern Wa
Awesome! Well done. Im hoping to give pike a try hopefully in the next week or 2.


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Post 20 Oct 2023, 19:28 • #4 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
All Good - trip, fish, combo, lure.

and beer - fewer words than the one I treated myself after today's bike ride, and I know I'm leaving some words out,
Belching Beaver Phantom Bride IPA


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Post 11 Nov 2023, 15:58 • #5 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 06/09/05
Posts: 2524
Location: US-CO
That is the prettiest picture I have ever seen of a nice grayling! When I was assigned in Alaska, it was amazing to see one come up through 8 feet of crystal clear water to take a fly on top.


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Post 11 Nov 2023, 17:04 • #6 
Master Guide
Joined: 08/23/19
Posts: 359
Location: North Central Oregon
Awesome pictures! Thanks for sharing.


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Post 21 Dec 2023, 20:04 • #7 
Sport
Joined: 07/30/23
Posts: 61
Location: Shropshire, UK
Lovely pics, a bit of autumnal colour is a delight. Grayling taken on a spinning rod, well that’s a new one on me.


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Post 22 Dec 2023, 10:54 • #8 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
@ wrekin fly, this is why you should have your location in your profile.
Many others may not recognize your etymology, and will think you're talking about this

Image

Regarding grayling, they're as voracious and dumb as any other wild salmonid (just happen to be singularly beautiful).
Also, a decade ago, when I was sourcing finesse tackle, many of the Japan rod models had already found their way to UK shops, with none then in USM.
At least one UK ebay seller is offering very nice glass finesse blanks.

Since 1985, the Japanese have offered parts that will get the working range on Ambassadeur down to 2 g.
Doug's 3600C has the most-important first step swap, which is the spool and line.
BFS is catching on world over.

Proper set on that mag brake makes these 100% backlash proof with light lures.
If any of this interests you, you've found the right page.
I've even built my own "surf hybrids" using a mix of UK and Japan aftermarket parts.

I'll also add this - casting a fly rod is over-rated - most people use it to put down fish.
Lawn-casting a fly rod is boring, and best used to match rods and lines.
But casting a baitcaster is Fun, and so many different casts to work on.


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Post 23 Dec 2023, 22:25 • #9 
Sport
Joined: 07/30/23
Posts: 61
Location: Shropshire, UK
Location added, must have overlooked that when I first joined. The style of reel pictured is typically referred to as a fixed spool reel in the U.K.


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Post 24 Dec 2023, 12:31 • #10 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks - found you in the midlands.
Way ahead of you on the math
On this side of the pond, that's commonly referred to as a spinning reel (noteworthy, also common to est. 300-500 million anglers outside of UK).
"separated by a common language"
Casting, Spinning, Fly is world usage.


Brits see the need to separate fixed spool from under-rod spinning reel, which is also centrepin - the rest of the world here uses centrepin and mooching.
Wallis cast is definitely a British tradition, and the under-rod reels are traditional for British coarse fishing (in turn, goes back centuries to lords, commons, water and game rights).

As I linked, bait finesse system (coined by Hiroyuki Motoyama c. 2000) was developed by the Japanese over the past 35 years to fish what we call a baitcaster, using the same sizes of threadlines and baits that fixed spool reels were first developed for in UK
(in modern PE, threadline is up to 20 lb-test, v. the original 4-lb silk, same dia. as 4-lb mono).
It's noteworthy, every fishing culture has a threadline tradition (long progressive rods) that goes back further than current monikers.

BFS was first aimed at stream trout,


quickly moved to shore fishing for bass in Japan, and into salt bays and estuaries over the past decade.
In the US, BFS is catching on for reservoir bass fishing - the largest fishing market in the US.
As Doug's thread shows, cold stillwater fishing is a major BFS niche on FFR Another Spin page.
Finesse fishing gets confused on our side of the pond, too, because most people grew up with UL spinning (your fixed-spool) and spincast, generally using short para-taper UL trout and panfish rods.


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Post 26 Dec 2023, 04:18 • #11 
Sport
Joined: 07/30/23
Posts: 61
Location: Shropshire, UK
Bait caster style reels are not very common in the U.K. although they’ve been around a good while. Fixed spool i.e. spinning reels and bait runners are by far the most common for freshwater. Centrepin reels are also used, but less widely.

I have an old Alcock centrepin that I occasionally use on the river for trotting. For those unfamiliar with this term, it is a style of float fishing usually done with a long rod, centrepin and a stick float. The float is cast a relatively short distance (using the Wallis cast) and allowed drift downstream. The centrepin is set to free spool and that flow draws line from the reel. Often a little loose feed is thrown in every few casts. Some game waters which are fly only during the trout season will allow trotting for grayling during the winter months. It’s a nice way to fish and can be quite effective.

If I’m spinning or drop shooting I’ll used a fixed spool/spinning reel loaded with braid.


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Post 26 Dec 2023, 07:51 • #12 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
When the season arrives, bring us some photos.
So far, all we have is Albert Finney


Trotting is called steelheading here, most used in Great Lakes and Pacific NW for sea-run rainbows.
Trotting was also discovered in the Rockies for trout with the advent of mono line in the 50s.
For this, they made a side-spincast reel know as Colorado reel, used with a fly rod or a mid-length para taper made just for the technique.


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 26 Dec 2023, 08:07, edited 2 times in total.

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Post 26 Dec 2023, 08:00 • #13 
Sport
Joined: 07/30/23
Posts: 61
Location: Shropshire, UK
:lol
Happy to send pics, they might even feature some fish.
Trotting = steelheading. You live and learn.


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Post 26 Dec 2023, 12:40 • #14 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 19013
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
wrekin fly wrote:
Bait caster style reels are not very common in the U.K. although they’ve been around a good while. Fixed spool i.e. spinning reels and bait runners are by far the most common for freshwater. Centrepin reels are also used, but less widely.
....

Multiplier reels were first used as line winches in UK, primarily for trolling and mooching.
Baitcasters and bass fishing here go back before the US Civil War.
Dog-walking wood plugs on long wood "paw-paw" rods (no reel) for bass goes back before the Revolution (blacksmiths brazed treble hooks).
dated 1914 combo, Talbot reel and Thomas bass rod.
Image

When S. Allcock Co. brought English fly reels to the new world market, they returned with American (Bronson) multipliers for the English market (1939 Allcocks Angler's Guide)
They also brought home the (Meisselbach-Catucci) bakelite moulds to build Aerialite fly reel
Image Image

Though finesse casting reels didn't have that name, they existed prewar, with lightweight alloy spool and shallow cork arbor for silk threadline.
The diminutive Shakespeare Tournament Freespool will fish 1/8 oz on 4-lb silk.
Image Image

Ambassadeurs in UK are primary in surf/ tournament casting, with a cottage aftermarket industry, including RocketReelCo.,
and Akios has grown into their own surf reel line, leaving aftermarket parts behind.
(Interesting, when I visited Akios this morning, they reserve "fixed spool" for their surf variants, and call their coarse fishing reels "spinning")
Another thing about Ambassadeur, the parts are large, the mechanisms make sense, and these reels are a blast to work on.


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