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Mark Stangeland - NUFlyGuide
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Single Hand rods,girls and steelhead on the North Umpqua

Posted by Mark Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Let me start by saying I fish and love spey rods, I have a bunch of them. There are times and places for them and the North Umpqua does see some action from my 2 handers. Winter time is a time when I am usually throwing some larger creations on heavier tips and it is kind of a no brainer to use a long rod. Much easier on the body than single handing with that same fly and tip combination.

Summer is another thing all together. I fish single hand rods a lot in summer, probably 75%-80% of the time. I enjoy it, and I believe I can actually fish faster,and more efficiently with a single hander than a spey on most pools. On a river where a lot of  pools takes 15 minutes or less to cover, I am all for the SH rod. Much more fun to fight a fish on as well.

My wife Debi is a hard core single-hander. She will not pick up a spey rod.....refuses to do it. She loves her 10ft 7wt and casts it well considering she has only fly fished for 5 or 6 years. In  her short time fishing on the North Umpqua she has landed a dozen or so fish and most of those on skaters and all on the single hand rod. In the few years she has fished and the limited number of total hours she has put in, her hours fished to fish hooked ratio is off the chart! She got out of the gate quick and has never looked back. A couple of kids slowed her down a little the last few years but she will be out a lot more, especially now that I work on the river.

She doesn't cast across the river and doesn't need to. She can fish out to 50 or 60 ft and that will catch most every fish just about anywhere steelhead live. Girls just have the vibe to get um, I don't know what it is but it's true. They listen well and do what you tell them. They don't over think it like most guys do. Most girls don't obsess about flies,lines, reels,rods etc like we all do. They can be very good casters because they use good technique over power. This results in a smoother more natural stroke.

Debi's first fish on the North Umpqua in 2004 I think,was pretty funny story. She was fishing below me with a skater in a run and said real excitedly, "Hey, something splashed behind my fly!" I said "you got a player, make that drift again" She did, and the next thing I know a fish is peeling line and jumping all over and her rod is bucking wildly. "I think I got one" she says, not really realizing what had just happened. "

"Ah Yeah, I think you got one Honey" too funny. She was wrecked after that. Now she gets why we do what we do, and she wants to go. Pretty cool to have a wife that fishes for steelhead and likes it, and digs skaters and single hand rods. I am a lucky man indeed. She is a lefty too so all the roadside stuff(river right) is to her advantage. Us righties roll cast or cast off shoulder and she can come back and up river clear of the trees and brush and overhead cast. There are advantages to being a lefty on the NU.

 Debi waiting for the big tug!

Debi,getting it done with the single hander.

The rewards are worth it!



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