Found this passage while re-reading Steelhead Paradise
At the other extreme, I have a strong prejudice against the huge, two handed rods still widely used by British fishermen. I have found them very clumsy to handle, and not necessary on any streams I have ever fished either for steelhead or Atlantic salmon. My friend, Al Swinnerton of San Francisco, advised me that the Alta in Norway is just such a river. The swiftness of the current, the huge wet flies used, and the large size of the salmon all combine to dictate the use of unusually large and powerful tackle. It is only under such a set of circumstances, however, that I would concede the desirability of employing these old-fashioned 'telegraph poles.'"
My, how things have changed. Now, these old-fashioned "telegraph poles" are standard equipement on almost all steelhead rivers... of course they really are not telephone poles any more with the shorter and lighter weight spey rods. I know I really enjoyed fishing a 5/6 Loomis Metolius this fall. It held up throwing relatively large flies with tips on both the Deschutes and a Lake Erie trib. The trout I caught still were enjoyable and I didn't feel overgunned on the one bright lake-run steelhead I briefly hooked.
Hopefully, I'll still remember how to cast an old-fashioned "pencil" on smaller waters and the salt.