Despite the cold winter-like weather, most Adirondack fly fishermen are gearing up for trout season. Organizing fly boxes, checking line, patching waders, purchasing new gear, the list goes on and on. I have tied a full stock of flies for my personal use, as well as a couple hundred for Tom Conway at the Ausable River Two Fly Shop in Wilmington. I will be dropping them off at his shop around April 1st. If you are in the Wilmington area, be sure to stop in the shop. The season starts off slowly in the north country; it's not easy to find productive fishing unless you are very familiar with some of the early spring "honey holes."
Over the winter I managed to finish a few new rods for my guide service. The first one is a 4 piece 81/2 foot 4 wt. I used a Batson Rx 7+ blank; it's my favorite Batson product, but for some terrible reason they do not make the blank anymore. I used TiCr single foot guides, a reverse half wells cork grip and a lightweight uplocking reel seat with cork insert. The rod balances perfectly with a Hardy LRH fly reel, loaded with WF 4 wt line. I have only cast the rod in my yard. It feels very light in hand with med fast action and enough power to punch out a ton of line. I created a feather inlay using grizzly saddle hackle; I really like how it turned out. It looks like fish scales or snake skin. It is hard for me to look at the inlay without imagining the many dry flies I could have tied using the feathers.
I also got my hands on two fiberglass 7 foot 3wt blanks from Great Bay Rod Company. By the way, I really like this company; everything they sell is manufactured in the USA and the costumer service was very friendly and quick. I bought the Northeast series blank. It is a 4 piece blank with spigot ferules. They use S-Glass to roll the blank; it's faster and lighter then E-Glass. Great Bay sells a whole line of finished fiberglass rods designed for small stream fishing. I used TiCr single foot guides, TiCr tip top, Silk wrapping thread, a 6 inch cigar shaped cork grip, and a REC down locking cap and ring reel seat. After spending some time casting this rod, I was very happy with its medium speed and buttery-smooth feel. I tried it using both 3wt WF line and 4wt WF line. The rod is a true 3wt. After trying a few reels, I have decided that the perfect reel is an old Pflueger Progress 1774. I love the reel; it's sturdy and utilitarian, plus I think it looks cool especially on glass.