I went to Narrows Park today, hitting the beach at the tidal change on the ebb. I had two goals in mind. The first was to test out the new integrated Commando Smooth line from Olympic Peninsula Skagit Tactics (OPST). The second was to see if I could entice a migrating Coho salmon to take my fly.
The Commando Smooth line I used was a 225-grain (for a six weight single-handed rod). The line has a Skagit head, i.e., a short-heavy head originally developed for two-handed spey casting in the Pacific Northwest, integrated with a much-smaller diameter running line. The Commando Smooth is 99 feet long with a 12-foot Skagit head.
I used a 7.5 foot intermediate sinking tip along with six-foot length of 1X leader.
Casting overhead was easy even with a bit of overhand (a few inches of running line outside the rod tip). The line shoots a looongggg way overhead. I didn’t observe much hinging and this seemed to be my most effective cast.
I tried making a few roll casts that went nowhere. I think the problem was less the line than the sinking tip that that created too much drag and collapsed the cast.
What I should have done is raise the rod tip eye to bring the tip to the surface and then swing back to get ready for my roll cast. Good tip: always do research before trying something new.
All in all, I liked the Commando Smooth. I just need to learn how to do single-handed spey casts.
In terms of finding a Coho salmon, I didn’t have much luck. Under the Narrows Bridges, I had just made a cast to my left when a bright silver Coho jumped about 50 feet from me to my right. I retrieved my line and cast in that direction, but there was nothing there.
I saw no more sign of Coho for the rest of the session. Even the local heron and harbor seal that were along the beach came away with nothing.
It was a fun trip with the last bit of warm sunny days we’ll have for the next week or so.