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Spey rod for the big ones

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I have a new favorite setup for the big ones.

It used to be that when we went after big salmon we had to fish 14 to 16 foot rods in 10wt. As a steelheader, I have gotten very comfortable with my shorter 12.5 to 13.5 ft rods and do not like casting the extremely long rods that much any more. I like the compact lines and compact casting strokes that go with the shorter sticks.

This summer I got to fish for monsters in a few amazing places, and fell in love with a new heavy duty spey rod that everybody should love for big fish.

Sage figured out the need for the shorter 10wt and knocked it out of the park with this one. The 10130-4 Sage One, 13ft 10wt rod, is phenomenal. Short, lightweight and powerful it launches laser beam loops with even the nastiest tips and flies. A very clean and smooth rod tip...

King Salmon on the fly

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King salmon on the fly
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King salmon on the fly
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Although we all dream of swinging grease lines, or skating dries, the reality of the game is if we plan on fishing often throughout a calendar year one has to come to terms with a sink tip. Once you get used to that idea an entire world of spey fishing opens up, one that we have been fully immersed in for the past 5 years. 

Swinging for kings is technically similar to winter steelhead.  Depth and speed of the swing are very important to be successful. Similar to winter steelhead, under the right circumstances King salmon are extremely aggressive to a swung fly.  They often hold right in steelhead water, but also enjoy runs with a little less current and a little more depth. They are extremely aggressive making them an incredible fish to swing flies for. They hold in the right kind of water for spey fi...

Haida Gwaii

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              For several years a friend of mine who lived on Queen Charlotte Islands, constantly told me stories of fantastic fishing in the primal streams flowing through the thick rain forests surrounding him.  Another friend of mine and I decided to visit him and see how much of what he had to say was BS and how much was possible.  We discovered no BS and all kinds of possibilities.  We fished small rivers and streams every day for a week.  While we did not find huge numbers of fish, we did hook and land some steelhead and silvers.  But the fish were not the highlights of the trip.  The rivers and the forests were.  To get to some of the fishing runs, we had to pass over active lumber roads.  The trucks that traveled these graveled roads moved...

Kola Peninsula: Varzina River

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atlantic salmon
kola atlantic salmon
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atlantic salmonkola atlantic salmon
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Join Justin Miller, The Fly Shop Sea-run Travel Specialist and Spey casting junkie, as he makes the leap between the Steelhead world and Atlantic Salmon. Justin has fished and guided steelhead from California, all the way around the Pacific, to the Kamchatka Peninsula and is excited to explore some of the best, most remote salmon rivers we can get to, and swing flies for some of the biggest and brightest fish in the Atlantic.

The Kola Peninsula is home to the strongest remaining populations of wild Atlantic Salmon left on Earth, and the Varzina River has some of the largest specimens. Fish in excess of 20lbs are a weekly occurrence in camp, and fish over 30lbs are recorded every season. The largest salmon ever taken in the Varzina was a monster of 59.9lbs or 30 kg. The fish here are no joke and neither is the fishin...

Justin Miller hosted trip winter steelheading

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Every year more and more trout fisherman are learning that they have been missing out for years not swinging flies for steelhead. However as more people are drawn to the sport, those of us that have been steelheading our entire lives have been in search of more challenging situations with a spey rod.  These are the trips that I like the most. I host trips around the world where great challenges equals great rewards.  This winter I am hosting a trip to just such a location.  

Winter steelhead fishing on the Queen Charlottes Islands now known as Haida Gwaii.  This trip is for intermediate to advanced anglers looking to target steelhead off the grid. The rivers are small walk and wades with fish up to 20lbs. Ever dreamed of having a steelhead river to yourself and fishing under old growth 700 y...

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