TRC and Me

I made a trip to the Little Red River in Arkansas last week with my favorite people, my wife, son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter. We had a great time, I caught two really nice rainbows, 18 inches or better at Cow Shoals and with a guide we caught quite a few stockers, including a nice brown. But one of my most memorable moments was using the full five strokes of the Tongoriro Roll Cast to catch a nice Brown.

Where we were staying there was a nice private access to the Little Red at Possum Hollow. One day my son and I walked down to the river even though we knew the dam was generating and it would be too high to wade. We thought we might find a shallow spot near the bank with enough room to cast. We found an area with willows about fifteen feet behind it, no back cast room in other words. The set up was river right which was the best set up for my Tongoriro. I had a wooly bugger on and I would let the fly sweep, pulsating it with the rod tip some until it reached the dangle position. Once the the fly was in a dangle I would use a double spey motion over my left shoulder and then do a big roll to drop the tip of the fly line just in front of me. Then I would sweep the rod low and forward, throwing additional line and slack on the water, raise the rod tip at an angle to throw a D-loop and then make the forward cast with a strong haul. It was classic TRC and it was actually the first time I had river current to do the entire five steps, or strokes, which Herb Spannagl describes in his article at

It was very enjoyable and the cast was exactly what I needed as I couldn’t do overhead casting with the willows right behind me. The TRC was an elegant solution helping me to gracefully change direction without any entanglements and allowing me to make long casts out into the current. And I was rewarded with this nice brown trout, below:

The stripping bucket produces longer casts, especially with the TRC, which is like an underpowered overhead cast. The few times I had line on the water instead of the bucket when I made a cast, I could tell the difference as I could feel the water and current sucking the energy out of the cast. Also having the rod holder in the bucket is handy as you can see for the pic I had hands free and didn’t have to perform any circus acts to get the fly rod in the photo.

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