You couldn't have asked for better weather. I arrived at the Pineville parking lot around 8:30 am. My first order of business was to cast some new rods. I walked over to the LTS booth and was immediately drawn to the 12' 6" 8-weight X1 with its sexy matte black finish and high-gloss wraps. I wish more rod companies would leave their rods in this natural matte graphite finish. Now, if the X1 cast half as well as it looked...
|Double speying with a LTS X1 spey rod at the Nation. Photo courtesy of W. Robin Hill. See more great photos from Spey Nation 2014.|
I also cast the LTS Explosive spey rod, another 12' 6" 8-weight. It was "explosive" all right, but not in a good way, at least for me. It felt way too tippy. I also took the new Beulah Onyx and latest Sage Method spey rods out for a spin (6–8 weights). While I enjoyed casting them, I'm still waiting to find a spey rod I like better than my G. Loomis NRX two-handers ;).
I met Poppy from the Red Shed fly shop. He and Mrs. RedShed drove all the way from Idaho to attend Spey Nation. They were the nicest people and I hope to make it out to their Clearwater clave some day! I really liked the 54-ft. Gaelforce lines Poppy brought along. And I regret not taking one of the Gaelforce rods for a spin. But they were huge! 12- and 10-weights (16 ft!). A bit too much rod for this flygirl and for this river.
|2014 Spey-o-rama casting champion, Whitney Gould. No errors in this cast.|
Speaking of lessons, my friend Sam had taken one with Travis Johnson (2014 Spey-o-rama men's champion) at last year's Nation. She heard he was giving a lesson later that afternoon, so we both signed up. But casting all day long finally caught up with me and I was too tired to get the most out of it. I lasted maybe 80 mins. Which was a bummer, because Travis turned out to be a good instructor. I picked up some pointers (different hand/arm setup positions) that I'm eager to experiment with. Plus, I was able to cast a prototype mid-belly line Travis designed (to be manufactured by Scientific Angler and distributed by Beulah shortly). A really nice casting line, definitely a contender for my 13' 8-weight NRX.
|Sam, clearly having a miserable time ;) during the lesson with Travis Johnson after the Nation.|
See you at SN VIII!