Seated in a comfy armed chair before a crackling fireplace, elixir in hand, your thoughts suddenly shift to future flings with fur and feather. Those daydreams, for the brotherhood of fly anglers, are of trout slurping dry flies from the outer shell of a riffle as it slowly wafts downstream.
Realize, however, that the abovementioned is what makes cinema…not reality.
Truth be told, it’s a rare occasion when fish solely focus on feeding at a river’s surface. That’s because the windows of time insects make their way to the water’s veneer to don wings and flutter into the shoreline scrub are finite. Most of the year fish feast on insects in their nymph modes. Fanatics of flipping flies know, overall, they’ll catch more trout all year around while wafting nymphs within the flow versus dries on top.
But even as commonplace as fish eating creepy-crawlers under the water’s facade, nymphing maniacs have never had a fly rod manufactured with their distinctive drifts in mind; a stick that doesn’t make you have to perform magic just to imitate an immature insect, but rather a rod custom made to conform to the way nymph anglers fish bugs before their wings unfold. To make a long story short: St. Croix Rods once again teamed with the guru of the substrate-swing, Kelly Galloup, so he could let loose his inner flies; this time leading to three new rods in the High Drifter Series.
“No one, and I mean no one, had ever built a stick made just for nymphing. St. Croix’s changed all that by having me co-design a few High Stick Drifters for the way we really fish nymphs – no gimmicks. 100-percent the right rod for the job,” says Galloup, who not only designs the most angler engaging fly rods and flirtatious flies, but also runs the Slide Inn on the banks of Montana’s Madison River.
Now, we could delve into the state-of-the-art aspects of the High Stick Drifter, such as special lightweight tip made of high modulus/high strain SCV graphite with NSi resin (featuring 3M’s nano Matrix Resin) and a carbon-matte scrim, as well SCVI graphite in lower sections for added power with reduced weight and St. Croix’s proprietary ART and IPC technology, but we won’t. Er, sort of just did…
Instead, we’ll just tell you all three (a 9’6” 4wt, 10’ 4-wt and 10’ 5-wt) balance perfectly in the hand and have a parabolic flex (head to toe) you can feel when the rod’s loaded with line and being roll-cast, or the hook plants firmly because of the rod’s quick tip. Their lengths, too, have been analyzed and devised for keeping your fly line up and out of the current for drag-free drifts. Even something as simple as where the hook keeper should go has been scrutinized and is now where it belongs – near the second Fuji K Series Tangle-Free stripper guide (all with Alconite rings), instead of right above the handle and in finger’s way.
In short: The High Stick Drifter series has been designed explicitly for fishing nymphs. “The average guy can pick it up, drift a nymph and catch fish. It’s as simple as that,” finishes Galloup, and then drifts away into the sunset.