In all reality a Buff is one of the most underrated pieces of sun protection that you can possibly have. This simple tube of fabric can be used so many different ways. A Buff is a staple in my fishing pack and can be used in all situations from high temps on the flats to the snowy conditions at altitude. For those who have never seen or heard of this product I would urge you to check them out, your face and neck will thank you later! For more information click HERE.
With each passing year, fly rod manufacturers, continue to push the boundaries of manufacturing fine fly rods. The status quo is constantly evolving and hype is generated with each new release. The team up at Sage has hit a home run with one of their latest releases .“The One” is definitely lives up to the expectations and all the hype that was generated by this highly anticipated release. I have had a chance to fish this rod over the last two seasons and I would love to share my thoughts.
In this article I will be focusing on the Sage One 890-4. I just recently returned from a trip down on the island of South Andros with the folks over at Deneki Outdoors at their great lodge on Kemp’s Bay so my article will mainly focus on the usefulness of this rod in bonefishing situations.
First off let me start by saying that a fly rod can only do so much for an angler in tropical saltwater conditions. Bonefishing itself is NOT easy at all , don’t let anyone tell you differently. Practicing a double haul and dialing in a solid casting stroke is the best thing you can do for yourself when throwing bigger flies, especially in situations like you find in South Andros. Practice does make perfect.
Rod: Sage One 890-4
Reel: Hatch 7 Plus Mid Arbor
The first thing you will notice about this rod is that it is very light. This rod tips the scales at a scant 3 ½ ounces which means that you will be able to throw casts all day without too much in the way of fatigue. This rod is the perfect mixture of a nice crisp fast action and lightweight feel which means that as an angler you can feel this rod load up in no time and be ready to cast. This came in handy because a vast majority of the shots that we were presented, with out on the flats, came in at anywhere from 20 to 40 feet from the boat itself. That is not to take away from the fact that you can go “operation launch” on this rod and send casts anywhere from 60+ feet when paired with the right line. We had a few days of extremely high wind gusts of 20+ and I never once lost confidence casting into the wind with this rod. Let’s just say the rod did its job when delivering the line into the wind and any blown shots could be attributed to my bad casts.
This rod is NOT a true saltwater rod and for that reason the rod isn’t designed to muscle fish around whereas if you had the Sage Xi3 for instance which has a much larger blank diameter and more powerful butt section it would not pose as much of a problem. So when hooked up with the larger bones I found that you have to be much more patient with them and be very mindful of surrounding mangrove clusters.
To top it all off the black blanks paired with the metallic tread wraps give this rod a very unique and great look. In short this rod a lightweight and accurate rod that performs well in pretty much all situations in both freshwater and saltwater applications. My “One” 8wt has seen everything from bonefish, bass, carp, pike, tiger musky, and trout. The possibilities are endless. This rod is truly “accuracy redefined”. I would urge you to get out and give this one a cast or two to see if it is the ONE for you. You can check out the rod by clicking HERE
Howler Brothers: Our Story
We are Howler Brothers. We are not really related by blood. But we are bonded by many shared callings: Surfing, fishing, paddling and the good things that come with these pursuits. Things like fire pits, really good tequila, limes, and pre-dawn coffee.
Above all we’re united by a belief in doing things the honest and pure way (which is not usually the easy way).We design and craft all our garments, and everything we make, with these passions and values in mind. Put our products to the test. Heed the call.
***The staff at Fishwest is no stranger to the Howler Brothers and their fine offerings. Their message is simple. Stylish functional apparel designed by fisherman for fisherman. In my opinion Howler Bros has a very unique style which I for one find quite refreshing and cool I mean honestly who can argue with the Gaucho shirt (The dual hibiscus flower look is awesome!)
Don’t just take my word for it. Check out all the offerings by Howler Brothers by clicking HERE
The Winston BIIIx was the most recent addition to my quiver this summer in a 590.4 . This rod is simply amazing for throwing dries. I cant wait to fish this thing more and really put it through it’s paces. Once I do I will most definitely have share my thoughts on that beautiful piece of Winston Perfection. Till then check out this video that explains the intricacies and benefits of Boron infused blank construction that make these rods so special to cast & fish.
Check out all Winston products by clicking HERE
The staff here in the shop have been extremely impressed with the Method Series rods for both freshwater and saltwater applications. As always Sage is pushing the limits in terms of fly rod performance.
You can check it out by clicking HERE
I know most guys complain about their in-laws, but I have to say, my in-laws give some of the greatest gifts. A Christmas or two ago, I ripped off the wrapping paper to find the Fishpond Road Trip Fly Tying Kit. Fishpond definitely hit one out of the park with this bag and it goes with me on any out of town fishing trip so that I can tie a few extra flies after a long day on the water..
What I like -
Organization – there are more pockets and compartments in the Fishpond Road Trip Kit than you can shake a stick at.
- Padded internal storage pocket for your vice and tying tools.
- 2 small storage pockets
- Four large “see through” zippered mesh material pockets
- Two 9” clear tubes for thread spools
- One 4.5”x9”x1” molded plastic organizing box for hooks, beads, etc.
- Nine 4”x6” resealable, clear, poly bags with Velcro binding attachment
- Nine 3”x4.5” resealable, clear, poly bags with Velcro binding attachment
Before any big trip, I sort through the different pockets and make sure I have the right materials for area that I’ll be fishing. Most of the bags, boxes, tubes are velcro attached and can therefore be rearranged to fit whatever your needs are for a particular trip. It never ceases to amaze me how much I can actually fit into this case.
Construction – The case is built out of the Fishpond Diamondtech fabric, which makes it extremely durable. Being constructed of fabric and with dimensions of 12” x 9.5″ x 4”, The Road Trip Kit is just the right size to squeeze into a suitcase or gear bag.
The Fishpond Guarantee – “At Fishpond, our goal is to build a reputation for unmatched quality among the outdoor enthusiasts using our products. Our soft goods are covered by a lifetime guarantee.”
What I don’t like
The thread spool tubes - Nice idea that doesn’t really stand up. The tubes hold multiple spools of thread, but have a tendency to pop open and have them fall out everywhere. I ended up using a piece of tape to keep it securely shut.
Bottom line – The Fishpond Road Trip Fly Tying Kit is an essential piece of gear to keep you organized and churning out flies when you’re on the road. A must have for the traveling fly fisherman.
Check out the Fly Tying Kit by clicking HERE
I’ve been wearing the Simms Rivershed Wading Boot for about 3 years now and while I don’t quite agree with the Simms marketing angle, I sure do like the boot.
Simms describes the Rivershed Boot as, “An athletic design for anglers who want lighter boots to hike into the backcountry.”
At 62.4 ounces, it’s not clear to me what Simms is comparing this boot to. It is lighter than their Guide Boot, but only by a few ounces. I think it compares more to a heavy-duty backpacking boot—good for hiking into the backcountry, but not exactly light.
Just know that if you make this purchase thinking you’re buying a light boot, you’ll likely be disappointed.
Here’s how the Simms Rivershed Wading Boot performs:
Awesome. The boots are fully lined with soft neoprene, and the soles have plenty of cushion for my needs. I tend to hike 2 or 3 miles whenever I fish, and I have never had a blister, hot spot, or aching feet at the end of a full day on the water.
Note: I wear extra-thick socks to fit these man-sized boots to my lady-sized foot.
Stability & Support
Excellent. The boot cinches tightly at the ankle, the footbed feels wide and sturdy, and the toe box is stiff and covered in durable rubber.
I’m not the most confident wader you’ve ever seen, so I’m always pleased with the foot and ankle protection these boots provide. I never wonder if I’m going to twist an ankle or crunch my toes while navigating a difficult streambed.
Out of the water, the StreamTread soles perform just like a serious backpacking boot. I’ve hiked on muddy trails and scrambled up and down steep stream banks without losing my footing.
In the water? You have to install the Simms HardBite Boot Studs or Star Cleats to get trustworthy traction. The StreamTread sole grips wet boulders just fine, but add a little slime and your foot will slide.
I put up with the slip-and-slide effect for a while (good balancing practice I told myself). But when I finally installed the Simms HardBite Boot Studs, they made a world of difference. No slipping. No sliding. Just a solid grip that I trust.
The bottom line: The Simms Rivershed Boot (with studs or cleats) is a great choice for anybody who wants a rubber-soled wading boot that offers comfort, on-trail traction, and serious foot and ankle protection.
Today I would like to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart. Winter fishing! My favorite time of the year as an angler is the upcoming winter months. These are the times when most Utahans trade the fly rods for ski’s or a board. This leaves the trout waters of Utah a little less crowded.
The name of the game totally changes in the wintertime however. This is the time of year where tiny flies and light tippets are the name of the game. It is pretty much the norm to throw bugs ranging from size 22-28 with tippet in the 6 or 7x range here in Utah from now until springtime.
This is the time of year that I find myself fishing one of my favorite rods in my quiver. I am talking about the Scott G2 884-4. This is one of my go to rods during this time of year because of its slower action. In the winter I have found that most casts need to be highly accurate at shorter distances. By my definition shorter casts are in the ballpark of 15 to 30 feet, definitely distance where a fast action rod just won’t cut it. The more moderate action of the G2 allows the angler to feel the rod load precisely in that area thus making that cast to those picky rising fish much easier.
The nice thing about the G2 is that power is not compromised on this rod whatsoever. Sure I feel that this particular rod excels when fishing smaller dries however the 884 G2 can do it all from big dries to light nymphing and swinging soft hackles. The greatest thing about this rod is when you catch a fish you know it. I for one can tell each headshake and movement of the fish when playing them. The light and soft tip of the rod also leaves me to know that my tippet will be just fine in the heat of the moment when the fish is on.
What rounds this rod out to be one of my favorites in my quiver is what I would like to call the “Scott Touch”. The first thing that I feel sets Scott Rods apart from most other manufacturers is the unsanded and unfinished blank. Some may not like this aspect of the rod because the status quo for rods these days has become wild colors like Lava Red for example, however I find the minimalist design and finish to be quite refreshing. One look can tell you that this rod was made by rod builders with a true passion for the sport that I feel is capped off by the hand signed rod description that you find on each G2 series rod.
Don’t take my word for it though. Come on down to the shop and give one of these rods a cast or two or you can check them out by clicking HERE.
The leaves have changed and the temps have dropped which means one thing is certain. Winter will be here in the blink of an eye. Finding the right jacket or pullover for the variance in the ever changing Utah weather landscape can be difficult at best. Having a jacket that is too light and you find yourself freezing, on the flip side a jacket that is too warm can be just as detrimental to your angling opportunities.
The Rogue Fleece Hoody has been in my arsenal since this time last fall and I can say with the utmost confidence that it is a favorite of mine. Since I picked this jacket up I have used it fishing on many occasions. This jacket has kept a smile on my face a lot lately. From fall pike fishing in 40-50 degrees to snow flurries where the thermometer barely touches 30 and the pesky ice forms on rod guides..
The reasons I like this jacket are simple. First off this jacket will not break the bank. It is a nice lightweight piece that is water resistant and it is nice and warm. This is not a piece I would trust if the temps drop even further but overall for this time of year when the weather can be as unpredictable as the fishing I would say with a good base layer this Hoody will stand up to just about anything.
Downsides are few and far between with the Rogue Fleece however the sizing on this piece is pretty hard to decipher. This jacket runs huge and the variances in sizes are quite noticeable.
- Lightweight design with DWR treatment (Durable Waterproof Repellant). The jacket holds up well in light rain and other types of moisture (No taped seams so this jacket is not waterproof by any means)
- Overall usefulness – Great for all seasons – fall , early winter , spring
- Hand warmer pockets – Essential for coldweather fishing
- Zippered chest pocket – good for fly box, keys , snacks…really whatever you please.
- Makes an excellent layering piece
- Price tag of $99.95 – One of the greatest values in the Simms lineup.
- Sizing- The sizing on this jacket is a little bit on the larger end. (Plan on one size smaller than normal.)
I honestly cannot say enough good things about this piece. It has definitely become a personal favorite as well as a favorite of all the shop staff here at Fishwest. It is no secret that the staff here have a great deal of respect and admiration for Simms products and it is easy to see why. Simms has outdone itslef this time with the Rogue Fleece. If you find yourself in need of a jacket for fall / early winter fishing or even just a jacket that is good for a “kick around” jacket certainly consider the Rogue Fleece Hoody.
You can check it out by clicking HERE.
There’s nothing much more enjoyable than taking a break midday from fishing and smoking decent cigar. All the craziness of life fades into the background as the river continues it’s run downstream through the haze of cigar smoke.
Although there are several different options of transporting your sticks to and from the river, Sage really hit one out of the park with their Sage One Humidor. Here’s what I like about it
1. Protection – The aluminum tube keeps your cigars safe from danger so you can focus on your fly presentation. Also for those that wade a bit deeper, fear not. The screw on lid of the case is lined with a water tight gasket to keep the water out should you take an unsuspecting dip.
2. Plenty of room – The Sage One Humidor has a 2” diameter. Depending on your choice of cigar, you can carry multiple cigars on the water so you can share with a buddy or smoke like a chimney all day long.
3. Humidor – There’s nothing worse than the anticipation of a good cigar only to find a crispy, dry stick instead. The inside of the Sage humidor is lined with cedar and on the lid is a small little humidifier that you can add some distilled water too, so you’re cigars will be kept in that optimum environment.
Bottom line: The Sage One Humidor is an excellent option for the fly fisherman who enjoys a nice cigar on the water.
For more info on the Sage One Humidor please click Here.