Spring-time in the Montana high country means no tourists, no bugs, and eager fish. This beautiful mountain lake cutthroat was caught using a damsel pattern and was released to swim another day.
The Orvis Helios 2 is a new arrival to the shop here at Fishwest. The 905.4 is quickly becoming one of most sought after rods in the shop collection to fish for the day. The reasons are simple. These rods are super lightweight with a nice crisp fast action. Simply put the 905.4 is a fine tuned, high performance, trout catching machine. Don’t take my word for it stop in the shop and talk to Jake or Morgan about it and see what they have to say. While you are there give this rod a test cast or two. You will surely be impressed as well.
Scott Fly Rods is a company steeped in tradition. From it’s humble beginnings in the early 70’s in San Francisco to the present day in Colorado the staff of Scott Fly Rods has been focused on one goal. That goal is simple: To create high quality, handcrafted fly rods. Scott rods are a favorite of the staff at Fishwest and it’s not hard to see why. They are wonderful sticks. If you haven’t already, please check them out. Stop by the shop and cast one or two!
**Big Thanks to Felt Sole Media for letting us share awesome video**
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 Scientific Anglers rep for Fishwest , Greg Pearson dropped off a few of these lines for us to put to the test. We now have the 5wt GPX and 8wt Saltwater taper to fish. Scoot will have the pleasure introducing the Sharkwave Saltwater to Andros Bonefish starting Sunday. That 5wt GPX will be visiting Utah waters ASAP. After we have a chance to try these lines out we will share our thoughts and reactions. In the meantime check out what SA has to say about this innovative fly line***
The Development of the SharkWave -
When we introduced the Sharkskin(TM) family of lines in 2007, they weren’t simply the latest in a long line of high-quality innovations. The Sharkskin created an entirely new category of product: textured fly lines. These lines, developed and manufactured at the Scientific Anglers facility in Midland, Michigan, represented one of the most interesting and groundbreaking evolutions in the history of fly line technology.
The benefits of the textured lines were numerous: increased surface area allowed the lines to sit higher in the water, offering less drag, easier mending, less water spray, and easier pick-ups; the micro-textured surface trapped air to provide increases in both shootability and flotation—all while decreasing friction; and the microreplicated pattern increased the durability of the lines, allowing them to last up to twice as long.
The accolades mounted. But we knew we could do better.
Using what we learned while developing the Sharkskin, we developed the Mastery Textured series. These lines took the high points of the Sharkskin technology and combined them with the easy feel of traditional, smooth fly lines, resulting in a textured line that performs like the Sharkskin, but feels smoother to the touch.
Then something struck us: Let’s take the best parts of the Sharkskin, combine it with the Mastery Textured series, and see what happens.
The result? Meet the SharkWave, the world’s first Triple-Textured and Triple-Colored fly line. Featuring Sharkskin texture on the tip section, Mastery Textured divots for the belly and running line, a smooth Tactile Reference Point at the AFTMA 30-foot mark, SA•ID line identification, AST dry slick technology, Improved Dry Tip technology, and Streamlined Loops, the SharkWave is unlike any fly line we’ve ever produced.
It’s fishing. Friction-free.
The Scientific Anglers Sharkwave will be available in March. For more details check out the line by clicking HERE
This is a rod line that the staff here at Fishwest is really excited about. We cannot wait to check these out. For those who have not fished with a fiberglass rod I must say they are quite the treat. These rods are a far cry from modern fast action fly rods. With rods from #2 through #5 you are bound to find a rod that will suit just about any situation. Tie on your favorite dry fly and hit the water. You can check those out HERE.
A question was asked of me today of which I thought I knew the answer, but upon further introspection, I suspect that perhaps I need to reset my footing. A friend asked me today why exactly it was that I fly fish and why it was that I do not keep the very thing that I spend so much time and effort to get in my net? I gave him what I suspect would be considered an answer gleaned from the liturgy of the angler, an answer that contained all the right keywords to at least insinuate that I knew what I was doing. I am writing a book about it for goodness sake, so my answer came forth without any forethought. Not because of any rehearsal, but because I have conversed enough, I have read enough, and perhaps on some levels I have written enough so that I have all the right words. But a wise man once said to me, “If your words and your actions do not match, no one will believe a word you say”.
I used all the key phrases that would get the approving nod from my contemporaries. Words like, challenge, nature, peace, wild places, clean water, skill, beauty, conservation. All of these, or at least some of these will appear in literally every published volume on the sport, which would justify, in effect, that what I was saying was correct. But just because you say the right things, you are not granted membership into those who “get it”. Many are the folk who have all the accouterments of the sport-the right gear, the right look, the proper technique yet they seem somewhat empty. I suppose it is the empty ones who do not last very long in the sport. As a matter of fact, I have a couple of friends who dove into the deep end, bought all the gear, but when there was nothing left to buy, they found that it wasn’t the sport they were interested in at all.
So what makes me a true angler? If I were to remove the nice gear and replace it with the worst possible equipment-would I still hold the passion? If I were to be dropped into a situation where the only place I had to cast a fly were to bluegill in an algae laden farm pond-would I still hold the passion? If I had never stepped out as a writer of fly fishing- would I still hold the passion. If all the key words and catch phrases were removed from my rather limited vocabulary- would I still hold the passion?
In all honesty, after much introspection, the answer would be yes. You see, as far as a great…or even good fly fisherman…I am at a loss. More times than not my cast is not pretty and if I am in the water for more than three hours it is a certainty that I will manage to create a mess of my leader that would be in league with the Rubik’s Cube in difficulty to repair. I am often quite clumsy as I wade, and the biggest fear I have in life is drowning. My flies are not pristine, and my selection looks more mutant than even an attractor pattern might imply. As a fly fisherman, I am just about as undone as you will find.
Therefore, without an abundance of skill and a limited perspective, I am faced with a burning question imposed upon me innocently enough by a curious companion. Why exactly do I fly fish? And to answer in as simple a way as I know how, the answer comes to me without having to dig very deep at all.
I cannot even try to imagine myself NOT being one.
This sport is as much a part of me as my next breath, much as a runner with his or her next stride. The great race horse Secretariat was said to have a heart larger than is common for a horse. Larger heart meant an incredible blood flow and an expanded capacity to do that which it was born to do. I can see myself in no less of a term.
If you fish with me, it is a near certainty that you will outfish me. I know this to be so because of the number of times it has actually occurred. For me the epic day is nothing more than blind luck. I can read the water well thanks in great part to Tom Rosenbauer. I can understand the methodology of fly selection, casting, and most other things that encompass a day in the water. But all the information in the world will not make you a great angler. There comes a time when skill must take over…and in that department I am most lacking.
Yet I continue to frail about, stumble, make messes, and admire those of whom I spend time on the water. I get so frustrated at times with myself that I curse under my breath at the bad luck or bad technique, yet the very next opportunity I have to fish, I will be there playing the role of jester in my own court again. Not because I am a glutton for punishment and self degradation. It is because I am a fly fisherman, and I cannot help but do that which I have found to be a very large part of me. Tangles and all.
With the New Year comes New Year’s resolutions and here at Fishwest we have been thinking about how that relates to fly fishing. The staff here at the shop has compiled our respective fly fishing resolutions and would like to share them with you.
“One of the great things about the sport of fly fishing is that there’s always something new to learn.
But with that being said, there is so much to learn that anglers may find it necessary to solely focus on only one or two things over the course of a year in order to full perfect his or her skills and knowledge in that specific area of the sport. For 2014, I have decided to focus every magazine article that I read, every internet video that I watch, and much of my time on the water to the art of spey casting with a two handed fly rod and the world of steelhead.”
Scott “Scoot” – Web Team Manager / Shop Staff
“I just want to keep it simple and have my fishing year focus around friends, camping, and spending time with my dog. I think it will be a good year and hopefully I will get to be a part of the other goals on this list”
“My goals are simple for this year. I would like to buy some kind of boat. Do more pike fishing and finally I would like to learn to use a Spey rod and do some steelheading.”
Scott N – Web Team / Shop Staff
“Last year was a very good fishing year for me. Every time I went I was met with great success. The biggest problem was that I didn’t get out as often as I should have. In all I don’t think I was on the water even 20 times for the whole year. This must change, and so my resolution for the year is to get out a minimum of twice a month every month, once the days are longer(and warmer) increase to 4X with after work jaunts to the local spring creeks. Finally I am also resolved to fish on at least three new waters this year and expand my species list to include carp, pike, ect”
“This year I resolve to help bring respect to the grossly underrated and underappreciated whitefish. From their blistering runs to their willingness to readily eat a sow bug, these majestic native fish
have it all. I resolve to not only fish for them and fish for them hard, but tell anyone willing to listen about why these craft river dwellers are the bees knees.”
Richard L – Web Team / Shop Staff –
(A recent Maryland Transplant who just discovered how awesome Utah is) “Looking forward to 2014 I’ve only got a few goals, catch larger trout on dries, explore more of Utah and the west’s watersheds, and land new species on the fly, specifically pike, stripers, and carp.
Last but not least I would like to share my thoughts and “goals” for the upcoming year. I would like to spend more time fishing with friends and having a good time no matter what water I find myself on that day. Hopefully I also can be a part of all of these other resolutions as well. All I know is that the ole Subaru is going to be spending a lot of time on the road this upcoming year in search of new water and new adventures with old and new friends alike.
On an unrelated note I just wanted to express my gratitude to all of you who take time to read our blog here at Fishwest as well as those of you who read my articles as well. As long as you guys & girls keep reading we will keep writing and sharing our experiences. But on that note we would always love to hear your stories as well. So from all of us here at Fishwest I would like to wish you a happy 2014! Tight Lines!
Web Team / Shop Staff