Simms Fishing Products is one of the few fly fishing companies that is actually growing in a down economy; their expansion into the conventional fishing market has largely been a success, and their clothing lines have expanded and sold well.
Simms 2012 Guide Wader
R.L. Winston took the cover off three new rod lines last year, so this season they have kept it simple, expanding the BIIIx into a line of five-piece models but otherwise leaving their lines unchanged. As always the boron-heritage lines from Winston are powerful lifting rods, but with the IIIx iteration they have also dialed in the tips, resulting in a smooth, hard-charging caster's rod. Both the 10- and 12-weights are especially excellent striped bass, large permit and tarpon sticks.
Scientific Anglers always has a slew of new lines, but this year we're seeing something slightly different. Many of the popular tapers in the Sharkskin series are switching over to the even more popular Mastery Textured lineup.
Fishpond carved a name for itself making great angling-specific bags and this year they've gone back to the well with three updated new designs.
The Nimbus Guide Pack is a monster hip bag with enough space to stash a jacket, fly box (and heck, probably even a sleeping bag!) Retailing for $109, it's intended for serious all-day angling in places where weather might change rapidly.
While most manufacturers tend to wait for the yearly trade show to unveil their new offerings, Sage took the covers off a little early this year with the new fast-action, ultralight "ONE" series of rods.
- By: Greg Thomas
Fly Rod & Reel Offers Live Coverage from IFTD New Orleans
It’s the end of Summer and that means one thing to the fly-fishing industry and the people who make and sell all the gear we love—it’s time for the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show in New Orleans.
This trade-only show should perk the interest of every fly-fisher on the planet because this is where all the new gear for the upcoming season is first revealed… months before you’ll see it in a local fly shop. At IFTD, writers and photographers also get their first look at that product and have an opportunity to separate the great from the good and the good from the bad.
- By: Darrel Martin
- and Buzz Bryson
Years ago Dave Whitlock, a doyen of American fly-fishing, trudged toward the beaver ponds on Montana’s Big Hole River. The glorious day promised tight tippets. As he clambered through thick brush, Dave’s elastic-tethered net snagged. He did what we all do: He kept walking, waiting for the net to pull free. It did not. He turned around just in time to receive the net between his eyes. After regaining consciousness, he gathered his spiteful net and continued on his way with two black eyes.
- By: Ted Leeson
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
If there’s another piece of fishing equipment that serves as useful a range of functions as sunglasses, I am unaware of it. Good glasses defend your eyes from careening hook points and the large-caliber metal ordnance increasingly found at the end of a leader these days. They shield your eyes from the ultraviolet (UV) rays linked to such delightful prospects as cataracts and macular degeneration. Sunglasses reduce eyestrain and increase comfort in retina-searing sunlight and enhance vision on hazy or overcast days. And they allow you to see things with greater definition—important things, such as your fly on the water, the structure of the bottom, fish. Throw in the ancillary coolness factor and you have a pretty advantageous package, particularly for something that sits, largely unnoticed, on your nose.
- By: Zach Matthews
- Photography by: Greg Thomas
“DEAR SIRS,” the e-mail started, “My name is Reginald Kibugi, and I am seeking to sell you excellent-quality fishing flies.” My cursor hovered over the Spam button, but the next line made me hesitate: “My asking price is $3 per dozen.” That’s a quarter a fly. Was this a good deal? A bad deal? I didn’t know, and chances are, you’ve received similar e-mails, if not this very one, and you don’t know either.
In order to answer that question, you have to know a bit about the world of commercial fly-tying, and that means you need some history. Back in the 1970s, an American professional fly tier named Dennis Black was driving from shop to shop to peddle his wares. On one of his long road trips across the West, he had an epiphany: He might be better off supervising other tiers than doing all the work on his own.
- By: Chico Fernandez
- Photography by: Louis Cahill
- and Chico Fernandez
Going fishing is an adventure, and no matter how long you’ve fished, you never know what awaits you. And this is part of the thrill, sometimes.
Once, on a flight to Belize, I looked down and all I saw were whitecaps, even on the shallow flats. A few minutes later we were on the small island of Ambergris Caye; the wind that met us had to be over 20 miles per hour, with stronger gusts. This was not good for any kind of fishing, but for a group of fly fishermen looking for bonefish, it was terrible.
That evening I gathered the small group before dinner and suggested they think of fishing some of the creeks and rivers in the area. They offer great protection against the wind and a variety of fish species to chase. But the group was set on bonefish. They had thought about bones for months, and they couldn’t give them up. I understood.