Gear

4+ Piece Rods: Don't fear the Ferrule

  • By: Zach Matthews

FACT: Fly fishers love travel. Unfortunate fact: Travel is a lot more difficult than it was 10 years ago, thanks mostly to international terrorism. In fact, I’ll never forget the time I watched a gentleman heading out on a cast-and-blast trip trying to negotiate security at Miami International Airport. He had forgotten that he had recently worn his travel vest while doing some upland shooting. Thanks to a little gunpowder residue in his pockets, he was locked inside MIA’s shiny new “puffer” bomb-sniffing device, while red lights flashed and security sprinted into the area (to the great amusement of his fellow anglers).

Travel Fly-Tying Vises

  • By: Buzz Bryson
  • Photography by: Aaron Goodis
Travel Vises

There are two primary considerations for any fly-tying vise: It must hold the hook snugly, and it must allow you to tie a fly easily, i.e., the vise can’t get in the way. The only practical reason to buy a travel vise is that it is smaller—lighter and more compact—than your primary vise, while maintaining an acceptable level of function. It’s that simple.

Angling Duffels

  • By: David Hughes
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Once you’ve booked that trip of a lifetime, you almost immediately bump into the twin set of questions: “What do I take?” and, “What’s the best thing to take it in?”

Trips rarely get ruined by any absence of gear; don’t worry about that, unless you have size 14 feet and forget your size 14 wading boots. If that happens your anatomical predisposition may prove troublesome; for most of us, lodges carry anything you may have left at home, within the range of averages for fitting and gear. Size 14 boots don’t fit the average.

Tenkara

  • By: John Gierach
  • Illustrations by: Bob White
Tenkara

We were in my kitchen in northern Colorado on a warm August evening. I was at the stove stirring a pot of elk spaghetti sauce; Susan McCann, the journalist and editor I’ve lived with for the past 20 years, was constructing an enormous salad and Ed Engle, the fishing writer and my oldest continuous friend, was slicing French bread. Daniel Galhardo, owner and founder of Tenkara USA, had offered to help several times, but it was a small, crowded kitchen with cats underfoot and there was nothing left to do, so he’d settled for volunteering to wash the dishes.

New Gear

  • By: Jim Butler
  • , Ted Leeson
  • and Darrel Martin
Ross Evolution LT Reel

Fly Rod & Reel reviews the Ross RX reels and Evolution rods, Patagonia Nano Puff pullover, Abel's nipper and Nautilus FWX reels.

N.Q. (Not Quite) Spinner

  • By: A. K. Best
  • Photography by: A. K. Best
Not Quite Spinner

It was a phase of mayfly hatch I hadn’t seen before nor heard of. That evening, I sat at my vise and tied some N. Q. Spinners and went back to the stream the next day. If you think I got lucky, you’re exactly right. The new fly was a killer.

From Scratch: Fly Rods

  • By: Zach Matthews
Graphite Prepreg

If there’s one thing fly fishermen get worked up about, it’s fly rods. Golf addicts may expound for hours about a club head’s “sweet spot,” and ammunition reloaders go glassy-eyed talking about ballistics and shot patterns, but even these fanatics would be hard pressed to rival a shop full of anglers discussing “swing weight,” “modulus” and “action.” The funny thing is, most of these same experts have little idea how a graphite rod is made (and in the fly shop we’re all experts, at least when it comes to what we think a rod should be). The process is as fascinating as it is complicated. Knowing a thing or two about rod construction greatly increases your appreciation of what fly rods are . . . and yes, maybe what they should be.

Undersize Me

  • By: Landon Mayer
  • Photography by: Barry Beck
  • , Ted Fauceglia
  • and Cathy Beck
Undersize Me

Streamers often coax big trout into violent takes, causing many anglers to say, “The tug is the drug.” That’s why most enthusiasts run heavy, articulated streamers through the deepest water; these flies have so much motion they may convince you to take a bite. Other anglers target big browns and rainbows using ridiculous stoneflies that appear to be part nymph/part tarantula, with legs wiggling in every direction.

An ounce of Protection

  • By: Ted Leeson
  • Photography by: Barry Beck
  • and Cathy Beck
Protective Clothing

Whether it’s a winter escape to the tropics or a trip farther north in high summer, you can’t say enough about warm-weather angling—packs of bonefish “Hoovering” the flats, lolling tarpon, trout dimpling under sapphire skies, peckish bluegills on a farm pond, shirtsleeves and shorts, sandals and shades. On warm, sun-soaked days and mild, congenial evenings, everything conduces to a larger and fuller fishing life.

The Logic of Bonefish Leaders

  • By: Chico Fernandez
  • Photography by: Jim Butler
Casting Bonefish Leaders

For the third day in a row I had set my alarm for 5 a.m, and after a quick cup of café con leche I drove across the then-small city of Miami (this was in the early ’60s), over three bridges and onto Key Biscayne. Then, after a left turn onto a narrow, partially hidden, sandy road, I parked under a large seagrape tree, a tree I had parked under many times before. From there, just a quarter-mile walk along the beach brought me to the northeast shore of the key, where I looked out on a large, open flat facing the ocean.