One of the greatest advances in fly fishing in recent years is the development of new fly lines. Shooting heads and running line have allowed fisherman everywhere to be able to sling 75 foot casts across rivers with spey and switch rods. But what about single handed rods? My attraction to two handed fly rods was the ability make long cast in tight quarters. In the past, weight forward, floating or sinking lines have been the norm for single handed rods. I’ve spent a lot of time attempting to learn the art of roll casting with traditional single handed fly lines. Most of the time was spent untangling the rat’s nest I turned my long leader, heavy fly, and indicator into. It’s hard to have confidence in your fishing when you can't cast and are constantly fighting your gear. The development of new fly lines such as the Wulff Ambush Triangle Taper have changed the game for single handed fly rods.
I recently purchased the Wullf Ambush TT-7-F for my single handed 9’ 8 weight. The line has a 20’ 265 grain shooting head that transitions smoothly into the running line. Since the line is all one piece, there are no loops or knots between the head and the shooting line, creating smooth casts. I purchased the line with hopes that it would double as a roll casting nymph line for steelhead and as a rocket launcher on the beaches for Coho.
My first outing was a trip the Skykomish River on closing day of the season in mid-February. Using a big thingamabobber, a long leader, and a heavy egg pattern I tied the night before, roll casting has never been so easy for me. The 265 grain head turned over my long leader and heavy fly extremely well. The full floating and smooth running line was very easy to mend. Line control is essential when being a dirty nympher, and the Wulff Ambush made it easy. 90 percent of my time on the river has been spent swinging, but the productivity of nymphing has encouraged me to do it more, and this was fun. The argument between nymphing vs. swinging is a whole other debate, but I like “fishing” so I’m just gonna do both.
Yesterday we hit up Picnic Point Park during high tide in hopes to find some sea run cutthroat. My normal rod of choice for sea runs is a 6 wt., but I thought I’d bring the 8 wt. and my new line along to give it a try. The Ambush line casted decently with normal overhead casting. Casting these lines is much different than standard single handed lines. I found that pulling about the first quarter of the shooting head in past my tip and making as few false casts as possible worked best. Too many false casts with too much line out and you’re going to be asking your fishing partner to use his needle nose pliers to extract a hook from your ear.
My 8 wt. is a 9’ 4 piece that I built for myself a year or so ago. I think a 10’ rod and the 235 grain line would be ideal for this. But even with the shorter rod and heavier head I think it worked pretty well. The best piece of gear to catch fish that a person can buy is gas to put in your car to go fishing with. Experience and time on the water is #1 to being successful, but some of us can’t help but be gear whores sometimes. So overall, the Wulff Ambush line has definitely added to my fishing arsenal and I'm getting excited for salmon season from the beach.