Podcast: Steelhead and Demystifying Two-Handed Casting with Jason Cotta


In this week’s podcast, we continue our series on steelhead fishing by going into even more detail on demystifying the terms used in two-handed casting, when to use a Spey or a switch rod, and lots of information on lines for two-handed rods because it is a whole new world with new vocabulary. But take heart—Jason Cotta, fishing manager of Orvis Bellevue, walks us through the details and explains them very clearly. He also gives some solid tips for the novice steelhead angler.

In The Fly Box, we cover dealing with a road-kill squirrel’s tail, small-stream rods, saltwater fly lines, difficult albies in shallow water, fly pattern trademarks and royalties, fish leverage on various types of hooks, the life of nylon tippet, bobber alternatives, and the effects of drought on small stream trout populations.

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Jason Cotta shows off a Klamath River steelhead.
Photo courtesy Jason Cotta

4 thoughts on “Podcast: Steelhead and Demystifying Two-Handed Casting with Jason Cotta”

  1. How about a discussion of the difference between materials used for leaders verses standard nylon or fluorocarbon?

  2. You made the comment that glass safety glasses were preferable to plastic. Actually the best safety glasses and the lightest safety glasses are polycarbonate. If quality non-prescription safety glasses are needed the angler can go to their local welding supplier, or other industrial equipment supplier.

  3. You guys need to go through different spey/switch setups for different kinds of applications (bass/steelhead/salmon/striper/river/lake/beach/swinging/nymphing/stripping). Don’t be afraid to make specific recommendations. I know setups can be preferential, but recommend setups that you can start with and grow into. Give me the complete setup breakdowns (rod/reel/shooting head/tips/running line/leader lengths/backing/integrated shooting head with running line). Be specific so I know what to get.

  4. I’d like to counter what a few comments here mention about getting into specific setups: the podcast is a great introduction to the terminology and basics of fishing for steelhead and switch and Spey. However, the scope of this podcast is clearly not intended to cover details mentioned in the posted comments of reel, line, head, tip, leader, etc. selection.

    The only thing I would add to the podcast would be recommendations of resources where a listener could find the information that the posted comments are asking for. There are plenty available.

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