Everyone has their niche. Mine happens to be fishing. I prefer river and stream fishing because I can catch pretty much anything with my spinning rod. However, I decided this past year that I need to up my game and attempt fly fishing. I may have watched Norman and Paulie McLean in “A River Runs Through It” one too many times. Let me tell you, it only took one cast of the fly rod to get hooked. Pun intended. In the moment I brought in the first fish, I made the decision to master the art of fly fishing. I needed a good fly rod.
Grandpa recommended a rod that was both affordable and great for a beginner. This four piece rod weighs in at a beautiful 5wt/9 ft. tall. Produced by the Orvis Company and officially named the Orvis Encounter II rod and reel, it feels like an extension of my arm. It provides a weight forward floating line which allows an angler fishing the great rivers and streams in Wyoming to have an advantage over the great trout species. It is both light in feel and heavy enough to get the line out in the deep pools and curves in the river.
The first fish I ever caught using this rod was a brown trout from Notellum Creek. My buddy and I decided to hit the water one afternoon and it wasn’t long before we were into fish. My friend
advised me to throw out my line and catch a fish that had slipped his line just moments before. I am not the fish stealing kind, but he insisted I send my fly over in his direction to hook that fish while he got his line out of the willows. After a brief (very, very brief) hesitation, I cast the little black fly upstream and watched it float on down. It took a couple casts to get the line in the right spot (I am sure it had nothing to do with operator error) and a beautiful Brown rose out of the water and my 5wt line pulled in my hand. He wasn’t huge, but he wasn’t going down without a fight. I walked myself to the shore and slowly reeled him up. The reel was smooth and steady. Though I was exerting some effort, the rod and reel made it feel effortless.
I would recommend this rod to anyone that is beginning to fly fish or looking for a decent rod and reel for a spectacular price. Although I plan to move on to different rods, I will always have a special place for this one because it was my first. It may be my daughter’s first. Then her three younger brothers. For right now, though, the Encounter II and I are ready for the ice to melt so I can get back in the water. As Norman McLean so poetically reminds us, “One of life's quiet excitements is to stand somewhat apart from yourself and watch yourself softly becoming the author of something beautiful even if it is only a floating ash.” Yes, indeed.