You hear it all the time; “the tug is the drug”. As a Steelhead junkie I get it, but lets be honest: not everyone has patience or location to experience it first hand. Living in Montana limits my opportunity to chase Steelhead to a handful of trips per year. So what’s a Steelhead junkie to do?


Through years of trial and error, I’ve found that both brown and rainbow trout are very willing to eat a swung fly. Early on, I quickly figured out that catching a 16” trout on a 14′ 8wt was not particularly exciting. Thankfully, technology has progressed to the point where it’s not uncommon to find 3, 4, and 5 weight spey rods with matching lines at your local fly shop.


Trout anglers are always looking for ways to cover water effectively. Two-hand rods allow anglers to present flies in water that would be difficult to cover using conventional single hand rods. On big, wide open, western rivers a two-hand rod is a super versatile tool. When swinging streamers, or nymphing a far seam, the long drifts and added mending capability can make a big difference. When flies are kept in “the zone” for a longer period of time, it usually results in more hookups. Also, people are often surprised when they figure out how much less energy it takes to fish with two hands. Using less energy makes those long days on the water much more enjoyable.

Brown trout 2010 089

The thought of adopting two-hand tactics for the first time can feel a little overwhelming, but there’s more information online than ever before, and chances are high that there’s a local shop in your area with at least one employee with two-hand experience. Modern short format heads and lighter rods make it easier than ever to start learning how to fish a two-hander. Besides, its really fun!


Rick Matney is an Echo and Airflo ambassador and designer. He is professional outfitter for Wild Steelhead in SE Alaska and a professional guide in Montana. When Rick isn’t guiding he spends his time on the water perfecting his skills at home or traveling to saltwater locations.

Book a trip with Rick: http://chromechasers.com/

Check out the Echo TR-4120, TR-5120, FG-3106, FG-4108, and FG-6110, if considering tapping into the trout spey game.