Tongariro River, muted monochromatic tones on overcast day
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Trout Spey :
Favourite Outfits

I usually use the following Trout Spey outfits on small, medium and large New Zealand rivers.


Small rivers (2-9 cumecs):

A 9 ft presentation 5 wt with a Skagit Lite 150 and 25 lb Scientific Angler's flat mono shooting line for:

Larger weighted streamers on 7.5 ft of T-8.
Light to moderately weighted streamers on #5 10 ft Replacement Tips

Soft hackles and wee wets on 10 ft intermediate coated leaders around 50 grains.

A 5wt Loomis NRX LP is outstanding in this role.


Medium to large rivers (10-25 cumecs):

A 9.5 ft 5 wt rod and 35lb OPST Lazar running line with:

A SA Skagit Lite 180 with 3-D MOW light tips, T-7 FO tip or or 9 ft of T-11 for fishing progressively deeper with large streamers and for stripping close.
A Skagit Lite 180 intermediate with a 10 ft #6 Rio Replacement Tip or S3/S4/S5 3D MOW tip for deep pools, areas of even flow, or when the wind is blowing.
SA Scandi Lite 180 with a 5 ft clear intermediate Trout Polyleader for soft hackles, and a 9 ft tapered leader for swinging dries during the evening caddis hatch, and small streamers near the surface or in shallow riffles.

A 5wt Sage X-597 is a great stick for this purpose.


Larger Rivers (25-50 cumecs):

An 11.25 ft Sage 4wt Trout Spey HD and 35 lb Scientific Angler flat mono running line with:


A 325 grain Scandi Body and #6 10 ft Rio Replacement Tips for small to medium streamers in low summer flows and fishing at night.

A 300 grain Skagit Scout with light 3D MOW tips, 10 ft T-10 Flo tip, 10 ft of T-11 and a 10 ft 110 grain OPST bucket tip for medium to large streamers.
Skagit Lite 270 intermediate and 10 ft S3/S4/S5 and S5/S6/S7 3D MOW tips, and a 10 ft 110 grain OPST bucket tip for swinging and stripping medium to large streamers in deep pools and runs, or when the wind is blowing hard. This head with the OPST bucket tip is my go to combination for the Tongariro in winter.


A 9.5-10 foot 5wt rod with a Rio Trout Spey 190 and 5 ft clear Polyleader for soft hackles and a 9 ft tapered leader for swinging dries during the evening caddis hatch, or small streamers near to the surface.


For large South Island rivers flowing at more than 100 Cumecs a 6wt 12-13 ft double-hander and a Skagit head would be most suitable.

What is Trout Spey

+ How it all began
+ What is Spey casting?
+ Fly lines
+ Single versus two handed rods
+ Favourite Trout Spey outfits
+ Conclusions

Single Hand Skagit - Science behind the magic

+ Where it all began
+ Head design
+ Sink tips
+ Casting heavy sink tips
+ Running lines
+ Reels
+ Rods
+ Intermediate heads
+ Favourite outfits
+ Conclusions
+ Casting Notes for 12 Skagit Heads I tested
+ Table of Sink Tip Recommendations
+ Table of Lengths and Weights of Sink Tips

Single hand Trout Spey : Getting started with a 9 ft 5wt rod

+ Getting started
+ Rods and Skagit heads
+ Sink tips for Skagit heads
+ Tippet for Skagit heads

Intermediate Skagit heads

+ Hybrid heads
+ Floating tips for Skagit heads
+ Running lines
+ Cost effective approach
+ Learning to Spey cast
+ A final word

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