So there I was, thinking about steelheading again on the Lower Deschutes when it came to me in a soft voice: "You need a new Redington Chromer 6126 with a Behemoth for those fish." I listened to the voice in my head, and it came to pass that the rig was put together and I was off on the adventure of chasing steelhead this last weekend with a good buddy.
Getting there in the twilight of Thursday evening we set up and fished a run below Nena Creek, and I put the Chromer with an Airflo Skagit head and Rio Sink Tip with a small intruder pattern into the wind and current.
The Behemoth was lined up with backing and Rio Gripshooter line which gave the Chromer the punch it likes to launch line into the waters of the Deschutes. Having a few years of practice using 13 foot plus rods (I also own a 7wt Dually) - I really wanted to see how this shorter and lighter system would respond to the swing.
I wasn't disappointed in the least. The Chromer has a bit more backbone than my Dually, and it performed the cast as well as I expected. For the shorter length, it was still able to shoot out the distance needed to hit seams in the spots from Nena boat launch all the way to Wapinitia take out. Fishing the buckets and feeling the fly skip across the stones in the water was exactly what I hoped for.
As it goes with most steelheading, the tug is the drug - and we got ourselves plenty of fix on the morning, day, and evening sessions we did along the river. We fished hard for all three days and both came out of the experience smiling from ear to ear.
Overall the system worked flawlessly. Single Spey, Double Spey, Snap-T, all of the casts were easily done with this light weight setup. The smaller weight also made for some amazing feeling all the way down to the cork when the tugs came in. There's nothing like the feeling of a steelhead just hammering down on your fly - and this setup made it that much more enjoyable.
For the money, this setup is just about as good as it gets. The variability of waters you can fish with it is also intrigues me. I can imagine casting big streamers for fish all year long with this rod. I would recommend you pick one up at your earliest convenience.