Today we’re continuing our series on rods quivers – combinations of rods that you should bring to our fisheries at various times of year.
August on our piece of the Dean represents the second half of our steelhead season. We fish the Dean for steelhead both below the canyon, and on the 3 miles of water directly above the canyon. While one versatile rod can do it all, the wide variety in the runs and the range of water conditions that may be encountered mean that multiple options can be good.
These days most of our guests fish two-handed rods most of the time, but single-handed rods are just as effective now as they were 30 years ago. Our Dream Quiver below combines double- and single-handed rods, but you could easily fish the Dean with all single-handers or all spey rods too.
- An 8-weight spey rod between 12 1/2 and 14 feet. More often than not, we fish sinktips that range from fast-sinking (e.g. type 8 or 13 feet of T-14) to slow-sinking (e.g. type 3 or even intermediate). An 8-weight rod in a moderate length does an excellent job combining ‘fun to cast’ with ‘can huck the heavy stuff’ most of the time. Some runs on the Lower Dean are big and broad, and some runs on the Upper Dean are real, real small; if you had to pick one rod to fish all week, this rod class would be the one.
Nice to Have
- A 7-weight medium-action spey rod between 12 and 13 1/2 feet. August is the time of year that most often gives us the water conditions that make dry fly fishing productive, and a lighter rod like a 7 combined with a dry line will set you up for classic fishing on top.
- A 9-weight fast-action spey rod between 12 1/2 and 14 feet. Contrary to popular belief, low, clear water conditions often mean that fishing deeper is more effective, because the fish feel safer in the biggest parts of the river. If you really want to dredge, a rod with some real horsepower will make your life a lot easier. Yours truly got a couple of fish on the lower Dean this past year fishing 18 feet of T-14 with a weighted fly in low, clear conditions – dredging may not be as fun or as easy, but it can certainly be effective.
- A slow- to medium-action single-handed 7 weight rod. If you really want to be traditional about things, do like the pioneers on the Dean and fish your dry line with a single-hander. It’s not nearly as much work as fishing a tip on a single-hander, and it gives you a really direct connection to the fish once you hook up. If you really want to class things up, go with bamboo!