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: Chico Fernandez
- and Louis Cahill
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.
- 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).
- By: Buzz Bryson
- Photography by: Aaron Goodis
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.
- By: David Hughes
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.
- By: John Gierach
- Illustrations by: Bob White
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.