Sunday, August 21

Well, I finally saved enough pocket change to buy a Sage rod. Took about 5 months. Having never cast one or fished with one, I have to say it certainly is put together nicely. I had my jaw set on the Sage Flight, 8'6" 5 weight. Found it at Leland Fly Fishing Outfitters for 275.00. Interestingly, when I hit the "Buy" button, the price went up to $280. So, I wrote Leland and asked them to honor the price as originally posted. They did and conducted themselves professionally. Also, very helpful and friendly lot of folks over there. They stayed in touch via emails keeping me up to date on the arrival. My final price on the rod ended up being $271.00.

I was figuring that the less expensive rod would still have some of the 'niceness' that all the Sage rods reportedly have. I haven't been disappointed. I have about 20 hours casting with it now and dozens of catches of all sizes and the rod handled them all with authority. The first couple of hookups saw the catches pulled out of the water for a moment - such is the backbone of the rod. (And the fluorocarbon tippets :) really made for a positive take. There was no, "oh, did something touch my fly?". I could feel it throughout the rod.)
 Even though the line is less than optimal for the rod, I could toss some very handsome loops of several shapes effortlessly. The rod loads with certainty and shooting line with the slightest of hauls was indeed fun. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of use out of this rod and can see myself getting another one maybe next year if the donuts are right.

I paired the rod with a beautiful Bill Ballan reel and some really cheap fly line. I have ordered a line from The Fly Line Shop the GT90 weight forward floater. I've heard very good things about the line from all over, and from Carl McNeil who also had positive things to say about it. It's coming all the way from Scotland, so I don't know when it will arrive. The price point was very good and free worldwide shipping. So, if this Sage casts well with a very cheap line, it will probably cast very nicely with a better built line.

They'll be aerating the golf course where I work, so next week I'll have three days off. One of those days I'll take the Sage out and put it through some paces with distance in mind and see how it performs, and hopefully, also get a lot of hours in the water with it. I'll report back here. In the interim if any of you owns the Flight or have cast the rod: What were your impressions?

Monday, August 1

Up pretty early this morning, drove to Artist Lake and it was a fun morning. Bluegills, bass, and crappie.

 this starts the morning, first cast.
 and such a lovely morning it was
 fifty to sixty feet in every direction was plentiful
 caught one of these - crappie with attitude.
 I did have one beefy hook up with a big boy while I was reeling in a small bluegill. But, I couldn't land him. Booger took all the fly line and some backing out the tip, and then...nothing. Got himself a nice brunch tidbit
and I got my favorite drug, the tug.

So, the sun is up and I left Artist Lake and drove to Upper Yaphank lake. The water was absolutely still and crystal clear. Always walk to the water softly and there's 8 or 9 nice bass just lolling around. This is a serious problem to solve. If I spook them they're gone. Damn, the shadow from the line just disturbed a I add about four feet of 4x and a size 10 gr Hare's Ear. Very nice cast  laying the nymph right on the fringe of the cover and barely a breath passes and a fair sized bluegill takes the nymph and a few wiggles later this hefty largemouth chases it right outta the water and next thing I know the characteristic zing of the Bill Ballan reel echoes in my brain.
He got his gill and his picture on my blog. A worthy battle thru twine thick matting and pressure on his lip never relaxed. C&R successful.
Now time for a nap. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look.