This week we will continue our One Rig to Rule Them All Series. If you are not familiar, we have presented the idea to our shop employees and guides to choose one Rod/Reel/Line Setup as well as a choice of 3 fly patterns to fish for an entire year. This week we have caught up with our Professional Guide and Shop Employee Austin Manthey. Here's what he had to say:
Rod: Winston BIIIX 590-4 The Winston BIIIX is hands down one of my favorite fly rods of all time. The classic smooth and delicate Winston-feel of this rod matched with the backbone of Boron technology make this the most versatile series of rods available. Whether you're casting micro-midge dries to tail-water fish in the dead of winter to throwing a big gnarly multi- nymph rig in heavy spring flows, this rod can do it all, comfortably.
Reel: Hatch Finatic 4 Plus The Finatic series of reels offered by Hatch offer incredible durability, unmatched performance, and overall just look damn sexy. The fully sealed stacked disc drag can be tuned in to just about every level of pressure you could imagine and the reel itself has next to nill startup inertia. The days of snapping off a toadulous chromer rainbow on the hook-set are a thing of the past. Combine all the top level performance engineering with the bomb-proof machining of the housing and spool and you have one heck of a reel to play around with.
Line: Scientific Anglers Wavelength MPX WF5
The GPX line from SA is without a doubt my favorite fly line. As an all-arounder, this line can do everything you want it to from tossing dries to turning over heavily weighted nymph rigs. The heavier nature of the taper also loads the rod a bit deeper and mends like a dream. From a durability stand point, this line tends to last a little longer than most others making it worth every penny.
Flies: Singling out my top three favorite flies is a bit of a tough endeavor because I'm a bit of a fly snob.. I'm addicted to having boxes and boxes filled to the teeth with all of the latest and greatest from my vice and others. That being said, I tend to reach for the same bugs with a fair amount of constancy. My favorite streamer has got to be the Double Gonga. The lack of obnoxious flash combined with a perfect amount of movement really seems to get the fish around here fired up. My favorite dry fly is definitely a small Chubby Chernobyl. I think fish will eat it as just about anything from a terrestrial to a mayfly (The olive Chubby in a size 12 makes for a fantastic Green Drake). When it comes to nymphing, it is unfortunately really hard to top the old San Juan Worm. Worms are a very important part of the trout diet here on the Front Range rivers and have accounted for more fish in my net than all of my other flies combined. Feed them what they want, I guess...