Gear

2012 Kudo Awards

  • By: Buzz Bryson
  • , Zach Matthews
  • , Greg Thomas
  • and Darrel Martin
2012 Kudo Awards

In my opinion, the late Jack Charlton’s legacy is that he designed and built the two best fly reels ever made. Ever. We could debate that over a single malt, and I acknowledge there are exceptional fly reels other than the Mako—and its predecessor, the namesake Charlton reels—but I don’t know anyone who thinks he can trade up from a Charlton.

Fab 5 Fall Hatches

  • By: John Holt
  • , Skip Morris
  • , Greg Thomas
  • , Tom Keer
  • and Matt Supinski
  • Photography by: Louis Cahill
October Caddis Serendipity

I enjoy watching friends fish, but this debacle was too much and I was on the verge of losing it. My pal Dan Summerfield had just missed, like, 15 eats in a row.

“WTF,” I shouted from my perch above Idaho’s North Fork Clearwater River, mocking our dreadful societal sway toward slaphappy acronyms, as if I were texting instead of sharing an afternoon on the water with a friend. He answered, “This size 20 Baetis is so small I just can’t get a good set.”

Cold-Weather Trout

  • By: Dave Hughes
  • Photography by: Dave Hughes
Oregon's Deschutes

The standard advice for trout fishing in nippy winter weather is TO rig with a sinking line and a big streamer (to coax idle fish into action), or with a pair of weighted nymphs (to roll along the bottom and right into open mouths). Both formulas have their appropriate places, when temperatures fall and also when water levels rise. But rigging takes second seat, in winter, to something far more important: Reading water to find the trout. If you cast those sunk streamers and tumbling nymphs in water that holds few fish, or just as often no fish at all, you’ll have system failure, even if you do everything else precisely right.

Sight-Casting for Black Drum

  • By: Chico Fernandez
  • Photography by: Chico Fernandez
Black Drum

Black drum get no respect. And I really don’t know why: THEY TAIL while feeding on the flats, you can sight-cast to them in shallow water, they are plentiful, they grow to more than 100 pounds (that’s not a typo), they can fight hard and they are not easy. If you haven’t cast to a big, tailing black drum, I recommend you give it a try. You may become a better angler for it. I have always thought that when you go after a new species, you can’t help but learn more about the fish’s environment and the different foods in their habitat, while improving your casting accuracy, fly manipulation and fish-fighting.

Midges in Moving Water

  • By: David Hughes
  • Photography by: David Hughes
Midges in Moving Water

The most difficult part of solving any moving-water midge situation is figuring out when you’re in one. Midges are usually so small, and so often hatch at either dawn or dusk, that it’s often impossible to see them. You see trout rising, you suspect they’re not doing it as a hobby, but you can’t see anything they might be taking. When that happens, make midges your first thought because they might be dying in those rises.

Don't Let the Snow Blow You Away

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5 Tips for Staying Warm on the Water During Winter

There’s nothing worse than knowing that fish are rising to Baetis or midges, or whatever else might hatch during winter, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Why? Because you’re freezing your gluts right off, not to mention that your fingers don’t work, your feet feel like wood planks, and you can’t even speak because your lips are nearly frozen shut. So you sit in the truck, watch those fish, and wonder how that dude who’s out there railing them can stand the cold.

New Sales Methods, New Markets

  • By: Kirk Deeter
Angling Trade fade

We’re hearing a lot about the new products fly companies will unveil in 2012 (and rest assured, FR&R and Angling Trade will detail the hot newcomers before they even hit the racks of your favorite fly shop). Here are a few hints: Patagonia is coming out with a wading boot that uses mountaineering technology to dramatically improve traction. Sage shelved its Z-Axis in favor of a rod line called “One”; by early accounts, it is indeed something special. Orvis, Hardy and others are introducing new products across wide price ranges that should have consumers chomping at the bit to try (and buy). Overall, I expect 2012 to be a solid new product year—one of the best in a decade.

The Gurgler for Steelhead

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This post courtesty of Angler's Tonic,

Take those metalheads on the swing
Let's say you've just been through a few days of bliss, banging up steelhead on light sinktips and whatever your delivery of choice is—Fall Favorite, sunken Muddler, Pick 'yer Pocket...

Korkers Fisherman's Mocs

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These 'aint your mamma's fluffy pinks
Maybe this isn't the best time of year to review what is, basically, a slipper. But, we've been getting close to frost each night in Missoula and the elk are bugeling, not that I would know personally, as I've been roped to this desk like a steer. Each day, as that knot ties around my ankles I look down and see Korkers Fisherman's Moc's attached to my feet. Why? Because these things are about as comfortable a shoe/slipper/sandal as I've ever worn

New Gear

  • By: Buzz Bryson
  • , Ted Leeson
  • and Zach Matthews
Hardy Fortuna X Reel

Why on earth do we need a fly reel that pulls over 30 pounds of drag? That was the question when Hardy unveiled its new Fortuna X fly reel at the recent International Fly Tackle Dealer Show, in New Orleans. Jim Murphy, President of Hardy North America, and Andy Mill, renowned tarpon angler and author who helped develop the product, said it’s all about big fish. They explained: If you’re fishing IGFA class tippet, you are limited to a maximum10kg breaking strength, so you don’t need that much drag. If you’re going for big billfish, tuna, shark or the like, however, and aren’t concerned about records, this reel allows an angler to really put pressure on a fish. That said, if you’ve never fished an outfit with 20-plus pounds of drag, especially on a longer rod giving more leverage to the fish, you’ll quickly find out why people use fighting harnesses.