We’ve got another post in our Expert Rig series today – in which we profile, in detail, how various expert anglers set up their gear to chase a particular species in a particular place.
We’re really proud to have Whitney Gould on our guide team at Alaska West. If you don’t ask her about it she’s not going to bring it up, but she happens to be the reigning women’s world champion of spey casting – having won the Spey-O-Rama earlier this year. Not only did she win – she was the first woman ever at the Spey-O-Rama to make a cast of 140 feet in competition, and the first to break 500 feet in total. So yeah, Whitney really knows her way around a spey rod. Sorry if it sounds cocky, but the level of spey casting talent on our team at Alaska West is really pretty ridiculous.
Anyhow, if you were to bump into Whitney swinging for kings on any given gravel bar at Alaska West, chances are you’d find her fishing this rig.
- Burkheimer 9135
- Airflo Skagit Compact, 660 grain
- Tibor Gulfstream
- 30 pound dacron backing, attached to the spool with an arbor knot
- Guideline LRL .032″ running line attached to the backing with a double nail knot, coated with UV glue. “LRL is my favorite running line – it doesn’t kink and I can fish it in both cold and hot conditions.”
- Skagit Compact head looped to the running line using the factory loop on the back of the head and a hand-welded loop in the front end of the running line
- 10 feet of T-14 looped to the head using the factory loop on the head, and a loop on the back end of the T-14 created by folding over the T-14, tying a nail knot with 10 pound Maxima, and sealing the knot with UV glue
- 20 pound Maxima butt section attached to the front end of the T-14 wth a nail knot, sealed with UV glue. “I don’t like Albright knots in this application – I find that they slip.”
- 3 – 4 feet of 15 pound Maxima attached to the butt section using a loop to loop connection and double surgeon’s loops on both pieces
- Marabou tube flies, stacked as necessary (more on this below)
- Owner SSW #2 hook, tied on with a non-slip mono loop looped through the eye
- “I use 15 pound Maxima for my tippet because I don’t want to risk losing my head with 20 pound.”
- “The idea with the marabou tube flies is that we can create a large profile fly that’s still easy to cast. We stack multiple flies to create different sizes and color combinations, depending on river conditions. The bunny fur piece is used mostly when the river is high and dark. A yarn ball tied in with the marabou really flares the fly and gives that big profile.”
- “I add bullet weights above the tubes for extra depth. If I’m in a run where I want to really slow the fly down, as opposed to sinking it, I’ll go with a longer tip, like 15′ of T-14, instead of adding that bullet weight.”
More Expert Rigs
mauro giuffrida says
unless i miss read reading rigging descreption,how long is butt section?
Hi Mauro, thanks for the question. We’ll double-check with Whitney on the length of the butt section.
Frank Dalziel says
Hi Andrew: Could you also double-check with Whitney about her shooting line, and perhaps ask her to comment further. I’ve tried AirFlo, Rio, and Scientific Anglers, but never Guideline. Been satisfied with all – each having strengths/weaknesses. I’m very interested in hearing from a world casting champion!
Hi Frank all of the companies you have mentioned above produce great running lines. My use of the guideline was simple, superstition, it never failed and the running line was unaffected by a variety of water temperatures. This year I plan to use Rio’s Powerflex Core in .030 and .035 because of the same attributes regarding water temperature variances and for it’s durability. I also like that it is memory free , highly visible and has little stretch.
Randy Lanzendorfer says
Hey Whitney! What about the guy who stays in the background that knows more about what your doing than you could ever understand! HMMM? M S Mc?
Have you used Classic Salmon flies or Spey flies on Salmon fly hooks with Spey hackle like Blue Eared Pheasant?