|A Long Time Ago it Seems|
It was lunchtime in September 2015 on a river in Southwest Montana. The wind was blowing from the North and the Cottonwood leaves were choking the few back-eddies that still had water in them. I don’t remember if there were bugs out or not. I was guiding two of my longtime clients on a day that was dramatically different than the previous twenty something days in a row. There were clouds, we wore waders, I think I even had a jacket and a beanie on around lunchtime. It was a lunch to remember for me.
The bite had been slow in the morning and then we switched to stripping streamers. There for a couple of hours, fish were coming out of everywhere that you always think they should be. Giant white flies, stripped fast and all the way back to the boat. The action was frantic at times.
Sage had just released two new models of fly rods that August, the Bolt and the Accel. They came in at a weird price point ($650) and were based on Graphite V Technology which was relatively outdated by this time. The Bolt is a very fast-action rod while the Accel is more of an “all-purpose” medium-fast action rod. By this time in September that year, I had watched several of my clients make these rods look pretty awesome to fish with, but I was yet to wet a line with one personally. Brenda was fishing the 790 Bolt with an Outbound Short WF/I line from Rio and making it look EZ!
We stopped for lunch just above some froggy water that forms after a little rip-rap pinch on the other side of the river. I told the ladies that I was going to make a few casts and swing a fly around a bit while they ate lunch and relaxed out of the wind. Three or four casts later and about 80’ out, something serious tugged the Goldie midway through the swing. It came tight, jumped, and took line with fury. Brenda grabbed my net and came down to help me land the fish, which turned out to be an honest to goodness 25” of Brown Trout. I decided that I liked the rod pretty well at that moment.
For whatever reason, these two line of rods have not been overly popular. I’ve fished them both a lot over the last two years and am always just thrilled with how well they fish and their durability. They are light in hand, have unique finishes, and really handle line well both in the air and on the water. They are both USA made and have lifetime warranties to the original owners. They are worth a look if you are looking to step up to a premium fly rod, but that $800 price point is out of the question. These two rods are nicer than many other companies high-end rod choices, to be honest.
From April 21-April 30, you can save 15% on the purchase of any Bolt or Accel in our fly shop or our online store. It’s rare to see a promotion like this at this stage in the season out west, so give it some thought and check these rods out. We are well stocked with a wide range of size offerings, so we probably have just the rod you are looking for. If you need a reel to go with them, we also are offering 15% off the Sage 3200 series of fly reels during the last 10 days of April.