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fly fishing hawaii:

bones in the salt and bamboo on the lake (part I).


so since the last blog i spent most of my time and much of my effort battling a nasty cold.  it was truely an epic battle but i got the upper hand and finally kicked it.  not without collateral damage.  the cold left me with a stubborn cough and a wrecked voice.  i couldn’t speak at all and today while writing this blog i still have a pretty weak voice.  fortunately, fly fishing is sometimes referred as  “the quiet sport” so despite my missing voice, i was able to get out on the water a couple of times.  both days speaking as little as possible (probably to the delight of the guys i fished with).


on thursday (as a treat to myself)  i took out my g loomis classic glx 8wt.  this rod, that came out in the early to mid nineties, is my all time favorite rod.  over the years i have fished (and have) many, many, really, really good rods.  i love all the rods that i have.  however, the original g loomis glx, to me, is still the best rod ever made.  it is still available in a two piece version in limited line sizes.  on this rod of rods i hung an older sage 709 reel from when loop made reels for sage.  loop was the first company to come out with a true large arbor reel back in the mid eighties.  a simple frame with three axels on which rode six delrin ball bearing rollers that the large arbor spool rotated on.  this design was a radical departure from other reels at the time.  the drawbacks of this reel design (and probably the reasons they are no longer made)  is that the drag is adjusted by tightening the screws that held the delrin rollers.  the tightened rollers made it harder for line to come off the reel but also harder to reel line in.  the other draw back was that sand and dirt could easily get into the exposed system and lock it up.  it’s a super cool reel though and a part of the on going fly fishing saga that i was and am so lucky to be a part of.


anyway the day turned out to pretty good for me and my beloved setup.  i sight fished that day and the rod performed to perfection.  like an extension of my arm (as they say).  i hooked a few bones and doug hooked like six.  doug was probably happiest that i didn’t have my voice.  for once, he didn’t have to listen to all my sh_t.


on friday, dean and i went up to the lake to see what was what.  i haven’t been to the lake in a while and was dying to go.  dean wrapped this bamboo blank (a payne #100 taper 2/2 4wt) that i was thinking of buying from him so we took it out for a chuck.  i used a peerless no.1 reel on that rod... another setup made in heaven.  dean also had a 3wt. thomas and thomas and a 5wt. g loomis nrx that he had been wanting to get wet for a while.


when we got out there it was raining pretty hard.  we both didn’t really want to fish in the rain so we were contemplating just bagging it and bailing.  we just sat in the car for a while debating what to do and were just about to call it when the rain stopped, the clouds parted and the gods decided they would let us fish.  just a little punishment for staying away for so long i guess.  we got out on the lake and immediately noticed that there were a lot of red devils around.  sweet!  just the way i like it.  dean started things off by catching a few devils.  i played with the bamboo rod which casted like a dream... so sweet.  i hooked some devils on it as well and then let dean try it.  bad mistake.  once dean got a hold of it, i couldn’t get it back.  while dean was conking devils with the bamboo, i picked up my g loomis classic glx 5wt. (i think i’ve already said enough about this rod) and started searching for peacock bass with it.


i pounded the “good woods” but couldn’t get bit.  as it got late in the day, i had the feeling that tucs just weren’t going to happen... sometimes like that.  i had to use that bamboo rod again so i broke down and said, “hey dean, let me use that rod and lets go back to where we saw all those devils.”  dean gave me the bamboo rod and said he would take over the  tuc finding duties.  we motored back and i began looking for red devils when dean hooked a peacock.  it was a schoolie size peacock so we threw back in and the bite was on.  we ended up hooking a bunch of peacocks (what can i say when they’re on, theyre on).  i hooked them all on the bamboo rod... so much fun... so much fun.  i had heard reports of spawning fish though we did not come accross any.  we did hook a couple of peacocks that looked like spawning fish.  they had what i call the “summer colors”  so we were careful to put those back where we had hooked them even though we didn’t see a nest (it was probably deeper than we could see).  it felt so good to be back on the lake and that sweet little bamboo rod was just pure joy to fish.  i had forgotten how nice it is to cast a bamboo rod.  what else can i say except that little four weight bamboo fly rod is mine now.  i’ll see you on the water.


the sage 709 reel made by loop...


somewhat old school but still catches bones with style.


to me, still the best casting rod ever made.


the proof.


doug is a bit more new school than me preferring current tfos, redingtons, and (purple) nautilus reels.  which, by the way, conk bones just as well as the nostalgic stuff.  it's not what you like to use, but how you use it.



then on the lake...


dean got things started right with a few devils.


(click here for part II)

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"Nervous Water Fly Fishers- your guide to fly fishing in Hawaii"