Premium Cooler Throwdown

  • By: Zach Matthews
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Click image for slideshow.

Muck it up, Gear Hounds

  • By: Fly Rod and Reel
  • Photography by: Fly Rod and Reel

19 Killer products that came across our bows this year

photograph by adam tavender

Lose the Ego. Grab a Staff

  • By: Jim Bean
Wading Staff

There are plenty of fly fishers who plunge boldly into swift and treacherous rivers without the aid of a wading staff. Indeed, there is a widespread sentiment that only a weenie or an overly cautious old fart uses one. I may fit both categories. It’s true that I have less to lose at this age, but I am also more loath than ever to lose it.

Investment Options

  • By: Ted Leeson
Cabela's Packrat Fly Vest

Time has a way of muddling cause and effect. It’s difficult to know if the fly-fishing vest evolved because anglers needed something to hold all their gear, or if fly anglers carry so much stuff simply because someone invented a place to put it. Either way, it was love at first sight, and the vest now stands as the iconic representation of fly-fishing even among non-anglers. Although chest packs and fanny packs have emerged as alternatives, they seem most popular for less gear-intensive forms of angling—steelheading or the flats, for instance—where such packs are enormously useful. But for day-in/day-out trout fishing, far fewer anglers seem to have made the change. For them, a vest remains the most congenial approach.

2012 Kudo Awards

  • By: Darrel Martin
  • , Buzz Bryson
  • , Greg Thomas
  • and Zach Matthews
2012 Kudo Awards

In my opinion, the late Jack Charlton’s legacy is that he designed and built the two best fly reels ever made. Ever. We could debate that over a single malt, and I acknowledge there are exceptional fly reels other than the Mako—and its predecessor, the namesake Charlton reels—but I don’t know anyone who thinks he can trade up from a Charlton.

Don't Let the Snow Blow You Away

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5 Tips for Staying Warm on the Water During Winter

There’s nothing worse than knowing that fish are rising to Baetis or midges, or whatever else might hatch during winter, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Why? Because you’re freezing your gluts right off, not to mention that your fingers don’t work, your feet feel like wood planks, and you can’t even speak because your lips are nearly frozen shut. So you sit in the truck, watch those fish, and wonder how that dude who’s out there railing them can stand the cold.

New Sales Methods, New Markets

  • By: Kirk Deeter
Angling Trade fade

We’re hearing a lot about the new products fly companies will unveil in 2012 (and rest assured, FR&R and Angling Trade will detail the hot newcomers before they even hit the racks of your favorite fly shop). Here are a few hints: Patagonia is coming out with a wading boot that uses mountaineering technology to dramatically improve traction. Sage shelved its Z-Axis in favor of a rod line called “One”; by early accounts, it is indeed something special. Orvis, Hardy and others are introducing new products across wide price ranges that should have consumers chomping at the bit to try (and buy). Overall, I expect 2012 to be a solid new product year—one of the best in a decade.

Korkers Fisherman's Mocs

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These 'aint your mamma's fluffy pinks
Maybe this isn't the best time of year to review what is, basically, a slipper. But, we've been getting close to frost each night in Missoula and the elk are bugeling, not that I would know personally, as I've been roped to this desk like a steer. Each day, as that knot ties around my ankles I look down and see Korkers Fisherman's Moc's attached to my feet. Why? Because these things are about as comfortable a shoe/slipper/sandal as I've ever worn

IFTD Day Three Wrapup

International Fly Tackle Dealer 2011

IFTD 2012 drew to a close with less of a bang than in previous years (when organizers wisely held the big casting contest to the end, thus holding a lot of the dealers as well). Many vendors reported that the show was down or just okay, while others stated that they'd been very busy and felt the show was a success. Unsurprisingly, those reports correlated pretty directly with the booths with the most big new product releases.

Thomas & Thomas Unveils New "TNT"

Thomas & Thomas Displays

Thomas & Thomas has undergone a renaissance of late under new owner Mark Richens, who has given the company the business wherewithal it needed to clear a huge backlog of already- designed rods. First and foremost is a new premium saltwater series, the TNT.

Dynamite red with tons of backbone, these are fast-action lifting and fighting sticks which clearly were designed with tarpon anglers in mind. T&T also has a new fast-action trout line, which Richens was careful to explain will be offered as an option (T&T is not leaving its traditional medium action niche behind). The NS5 series (NS is for "no sanctuary," explains Richens, because "these are definitely distance casting rods)" is a gorgeous update to the classic T&T heritage.