Podcast: 16 Things I wish Things I Wish I Knew About Trout Spey Before I Started, with Shawn Combs

In today’s podcast, my guest is Shawn Combs, Orvis rod and reel designer and head of Orvis Rod & Tackle product development.  Last year, Shawn devoted a lot of time to using a “trout Spey” rod, committing himself to swinging flies through the entire reach of the Battenkill in Vermont over the course of the season. 

If you have been thinking about trying to swing wet flies or small streamers for trout with a two-handed rod, also known as “Micro Spey,” this will be a valuable lesson for you.  (We’ve got them in Clearwater and Mission models.) These are light two-handed rods, in line sizes 3 and 4, designed for covering a lot of water.  It’s especially effective in the fall, when trout are getting aggressive as they move into winter, and brown and brook trout are migrating to their spawning grounds.  It’s fun and, for many of us, a new way to fish for trout. 

Shawn Combs with a Vermont brown trout.

In the Fly Box this week, we’ve got some great questions and suggestions from listeners:

  • I know there are large trout in my river.  What kind of water do I look for, and what else should I keep in mind when targeting these larger fish?
  • I have been setting the hook on smallmouth bass by sweeping my rod parallel to the water.  Can you take a moment or two to discuss the pros and cons of various rod angles when setting the hook?
  • How can I tell if my waders are leaking or if I am just sweating inside them?
  • My wife and I had over 40 fish rise to our dry flies and only hooked a couple.  Any idea what was going on or how to land these fish?
  • What, to you, is the essence of Atlantic salmon fishing?
  • A tip from a listener on how to target flathead catfish on a fly.
  • If I take my 9-weight switch rod to Florida, what line size should I use on it for fishing from the surf?
  • A suggestion from a listener on another thing to be careful of regarding river etiquette.
  • What is the best way to get unstuck when you hook your fly on an object?
  • Do you have any recommendations on fishing crayfish patterns for smallmouth bass?
  • When there is thick aquatic weed on a river, what do you suggest for nymphing techniques?
  • Why am I suddenly beginning to hit my rod on my back cast?
  • A suggestion from a listener on the benefits of multi-focal contact lenses.

If you don’t see the “Play” button above, click here to listen.

For more info, here’s a great Introduction to Trout-Spey Fishing from our friends at Montana Angler Fly Fishing .

One thought on “Podcast: 16 Things I wish Things I Wish I Knew About Trout Spey Before I Started, with Shawn Combs”

  1. Interesting re use of Spey. Would be nice if you showed a time directory of items so we could focus on areas of interest.

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