Christmas and my birthday are both a ways off, yet, with the gifts Iíve received this last week I had to double check my calendar to see if Iíd missed something.
It started last Thursday evening at the poker table during our regularly scheduled game. As Cody and Bill showed I figured Iíd arrange a fishing day with one or both this weekend, and that turned out to be Boyd yesterday. Gift one, the privilege of fishing with good friends.
Brian Chavet, owner of Elkhorn Rod and Reel Fly Shop, one of my sponsors, also joined us for cards. Having him at the table is always a delight, gift two, and as the group allowed me to end the night with a few extra dollars, another gift. Brian told me I needed to drop by the shop soon as he had a rod for me, one of his new Traveler II series in a seven weight, my staple for warm water fly fishing.
Saturday I headed to Elkhorn in Loveland. For those of you who havenít yet been to Brianís shop, it is located on the west side of Loveland on highway 34, 3121 West Eisenhower Blvd, stocked with an excellent selection of fly tying materials, equipment, and rods. Brian provided me with a new four piece, 9 ft., 7 wt. Traveler II series rod. So when Brian laid the rod in my hand, gift four, and asked me put it through its paces, I could hardly wait to get on the water. The kicker is Brian feels these new rods will prove to be so durable that they will stand up to me and my foolishness. Time will tell on that one.
These new rods are built with Elkhornís new proprietary graphite fiber that provides both high performance and reliability at very affordable price. Sporting a matte finished blank and oversized gunmetal guides wrapped with dark olive thread wrap the rods are pleasing to the eye. A feature I appreciate is the alignment markings making accurate rod alignment simple. Iíd cast a couple of the demonstration models a few weeks prior and knew that these rods should be a pleasure on the water. I say should, as you really know how good a rod is until you fish it.
After only one day of fishing the rod is still whole, and Iím impressed with its performance. It handled my three clouser fly rig with ease, shooting the fly line with as little effort as any rod Iíve ever fished. It was interesting to me that my comfort level with this rod was immediate, no settling in period, something typically required with a new rod. So while not fully vetted, Iím looking forward to many great days on the water with my new toy.
Ah, the final gift(s), as with any new piece of fishing equipment, you always have more confidence in it when it catches fish, and this rod did well. I had an eight species day, with the first seven fish being seven different species, smallmouth bass, white bass, walleye, trout, crappie, yellow perch, and largemouth bass in that order, After that it was mostly largemouth, with the best being a chunky 17 inch specimen. The eighth species was a decent sized green sunfish. Needless to say, one cannot ask for much more from a rodís initial outing.
So if youíre in the market for a new fly rod, have a look at Elkhornís new Traveler II series rods, at a price point of little over $300, I donít believe there is a better rod for the money.
Good to see you got into them. I am not much into fly-fishing myself. Have you ever got multiple species on your three flies? Whats the most species you've gotten in the same outing.?
On occasion you will pick up two or three species on a single cast. Typically it will be a bass, bluegill, and perch or crappie. Some of the stranger combos (to me) have been a green sunfish and bullhead, crappie and bullhead, carp and bullhead (carp and anything is rare). Not sure on the most species on an outing. Fresh water I think it was 10-12. Salt water at least that. You can up the odds of multiple species by the mix of flies.
Great review of the the new rod. As a rod builder looking for a winter project I will give the Elk Horn rod blanks, a look. The jewel in this article is that you fish three Clousers at one time. I will try that at Chatfield. It's good to be a FxR+ member.
Fishing three clousers is a challenge at times. Be aware that it can be dangerous to both you and your rod. If you fail to open your loop and wait for the line to extend before starting you cast you risk wearing the flies and equally as bad hitting your rod with the clouser. Do that and there is a good chance your rod will break down the road. I don't recommend my foolishness for all. Start with weighted flies (singles), then try doubles (one unweighted), then two weighted, finally three flies, (one weighted), then two, finally three weighted.
Different species in seven consecutive fish... that is outstanding. Sounds like a great day on the water.
Dave, what's the approximate mass and size of the Clousers you use? I checked several online sources and could not find this information, thought you'd probably know. Reason I'm asking is for a hybrid fly/spincast technique I'm trying out. Thank you.
I know this is probably an ignorant question but was the price of just over $300 for the rod only or that whole rig?
Concerning the clouser sizes at Boyd I was fishing a 3, 2, and 1.5 inch size. Colors were Blue/white, gray/white, and pink/white. I wrote this article on clousers that I tie. They are heavier dressed, and lighter eyes/hooks than most commercial ties (saltwater), as a result they sink slower and offer a larger profile. As to total weight, I'm not sure. Less than a 1/16 oz I suspect. The cost is for the rod only. Not the least expensive rod on the market, but I find it casts as well as any rod I've cast. I also own several other rods, including Scott, Winston, Sage, Cabelas, a White River, and a couple others.
Oh, the link to my clouser article, https://www.fishexplorer.com/co/blog.asp?action=det&bid=1694
Thanks for the detailed reply, Dave.
Yes, thank you for the detailed replies for sure :)