A few months ago, a number of Sage Z-Axis fly rods, as well as Simms G4 waders, mysteriously appeared on the sales racks at 16 Costco locations throughout the country. And, true to form, the super-big-box retailer had drastically slashed prices, knocking hundreds of dollars off the MSRP.
But, alas, it was a short-lived phenomenon. When those companies heard about their products being sold through Costco (apparently, they were sourced to Costco by different agents and accounts), both Simms and Sage snuffed out sales by actually repurchasing their own products, at retail price.
- By: Bob White
- Photography by: Bob White
I enjoy mike savlen’s paintings for the same reasons I like the man: The artist and his work are bold, honest and colorful.
Savlen grew up near the water, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and began to fish with his father at the age of two. Since then, he says, water and fish have fascinated him. His interest in painting began at about the same time, when he found a can of house paint in the trash and decided to re-paint the family car. “I guess,” Savlen says with a grin, “that my parents didn’t quite understand my artistic vision!”
- By: David Hughes
Sylvester Nemes passed away at home, in Bozeman, Montana on February 3, 2011. Best known for his classic 1975 book The Soft-Hackled Fly, he also wrote seven other fly-fishing titles.
He was born on April 2, 1922 in Erie, Pennsylvania. He grew up in the Cleveland, Ohio area, and fished Pennsylvania trout streams. His fly-tying mentor was his barber. When he spotted several simple partridge-hackled dressings in bamboo rod-maker Paul Young’s fly shop, he was forever hooked.
- By: David Klausmeyer
- Photography by: Tim Savard
There are a lot of good fly tiers in the world, but there are very few great ones.
A good tier makes flies that catch fish, but a great tier is an ambassador for the craft. He is a patient teacher and is eager to help novices learn how to tie flies. He willingly shares hard-earned knowledge and expertise with more advanced tiers so they can learn the finer points and create better patterns. A good tier develops new flies that are named for him; a great tier shows a beginner how to make a simple Hare’s Ear Nymph in one sitting so he can enjoy the thrill of catching a fish with a fly that he made.
- By: Rick Ruoff
- Photography by: Val Atkinson
I am sitting on Buchanan Bank waiting for Billy Pate, who died in April (sources disagreed on whether he was 80 or 81). About 75 yards to the east is a white cross sticking out of the water, the final resting spot for some of the most famous tarpon guides in the history of the sport: Jimmie Albright, Cecil Keith, Jack Brothers—all were Florida Keys legends. This place is called “the Pocket,” a dip in the bank that tarpon are forced into by falling tides, giving a lucky fly fisherman the perfect angle to cast at those grand fish. It is the most hallowed spot in tarpon angling. Billy spent hundreds of days at the Pocket and, although not a guide, will soon be the most famous angler resting here. The memorial procession of family, friends, fellow anglers and guides is on the way. I can see dozens of boats on the horizon, all heading here.
- By: Jim Dean
Fly fishermen were shocked and saddened when eastern Idaho’s fabled A-Bar closed in 2008 [see “Last Call,” March 2010 Fly Rod & Reel] but the good news is this: The A-Bar, legendary among parched trout fishermen, road-weary travelers and rambunctious locals, was purchased by TroutHunter, its next-door neighbor, and is being refurbished with plans to reopen this summer.
“Our goal is to fix the roof, do some painting and repairs and reopen on July 4, 2011, or as soon after that as possible,” says Rich Paini, one of the A-Bar’s new co-owners. Other partners include Paini’s wife, Millie, Jon Stiehl, Allen Ball and renowned fly tier René Harrop.
- By: Bob White
I am drawn to fish, and I look at each one as a precious jewel, so it’s not surprising that I admire Ellen McCaleb’s sculptures. Her carved wooden fish are elegant, subtle, and wondrously beautiful in their execution. They are as lovely as the fish that inspire her… and they seem alive, as if she’s magically breathed life into wood.
- By: Kirk Deeter
Used to be that a fly-rod company built the rod and sold it to a fly-shop guy. The fly-shop guy then wrapped some casting tips around that product, and sold it to you (with a markup, of course).
- By: Fly Rod and Reel
Along about late June, we began receiving fishing reports that the Yellowstone region was bursting with great fly-fishing. Here’s an update: Dick Greene of Bud Lilly’s Trout Shop in West Yellowstone says: “We had high-water issues early in the season, but the water cleared fast. The salmonfly hatch was a good as I’ve ever seen it…the bugs exploded…
- By: Bob White
Sarah Briston paints classic salmon flies that were inspired or created by some of the best-known fly tiers in the world. And since I collect flies like some people collect baseball cards, it’s not surprising that folks like me are smitten by her colorful, highly rendered and wondrously beautiful artwork.