Winston Boron III X, 9’ 5-weight Fly rod
So where does the 5-weight fit into the spring versatility mix? This time of year string it up with a heavy sink tip and pitch streamers along the banks of valley freshets. It has all the spine required to send lead-eyed size 4’s to the bank over and over, easily and accurately. When you do find your brown sitting behind the high water willows just where she should be, the feel of the hook set is solid, and taming heavy fish in fast deep water is a joy This isn’t necessarily a streamer rod for the boat, but it’s more than just suitable, it’s exceptional, for a walk and wade in high, off-color spring flows. Of course, this rod comes into its own, later in the season throwing drakes and golden stones, but this is about the excitement of spring and discovery. All of the BIIIX rods are built on the classic green Winston blanks with burled wood or anodized aluminum reelseats. Price $795-$870. A rod for a lifetime.
Winston Boron III X, 10 foot 4-weight Fly rod
Everything about this rod screams spring angling. It’s beautifully made, it’s green, and it’s a gun. The primary use for this rod is nymphing, specifically high stick nymphing. Its length and light weight lend it to keeping the rod high and setting heavy cranefly and caddis pupae quickly and securely, no tip bounce, and no excessive flex through the mid-sections. It has backbone to deliver heavy 2 and 3 nymph rigs into spring gusts, and leverage in spades to turn heavy early season rainbows. It could be argued that this is a 5-weight rod, but it casts a 4-weight line wonderfully into the wind, split shot and all. However, this rod has more to offer than just its Euro-nymphing credentials; its a dry fly casting machine. It excels when the wind is up and you’re surrounded by picky midge sippers, or pods lined up under blankets of baetis. On the big western creeks and rivers, this rod casts far, cuts wind, and mends like magic. 10 feet of modern graphite and boron create a magic wand indeed.