The new High N Dry products have been spectacular. The new brush applicator has worked perfectly to get each an every part of the fly. The super fine powder coats the brush and fly well, absorbing the water after catching a few fish or keeping the fly dry to begin with.
The High N Dry gel floatant has been the new go-to for the shop. Paired with the powdered floatant, you can guarantee a moisture free fly for quite a while. When the water is low, your first cast is more important than ever, so a properly floating fly can make or break whether the fish rises or not.
Below is a chart provided by High N Dry showing their findings on the water absorption of different products. You can see they are among the best on the market.
Airflo’s newest run of fly lines have been effective for everyone at the shop. Our two favorites, the Universal taper and the Tactical taper, are great options for anyone going out trout fishing. With the peak of summer passing, now is the time to replace a beaten up line from the past season.
The Universal taper is the go-to for most fisherman. The Universal taper provides enough delicacy to fish small dry flies but has a thick enough head to turn over some bigger indicators rigs or hopper-droppers. The Universal will suit most rods very well, and should be the line you can take out fishing wherever.
The Tactical taper is the most delicate of the lines Airflo offers. The best uses for this line is certainly with a standard or small dry fly. The very gradual taper will be perfect for low water conditions and fishing slower pools where fish often spook easily. This line best suits slower action rods, but will still load a moderate to fast action rod well.
The Patagonia foot tractor wading boot is one of the best winter and cool water wadding boots on the market. It has a heavy bottom with a very grippy rubber sole. This allows you to keep traction in the slipperiest conditions. I have personally been using the foot tractors for about four months now and have been very happy with them. They keep your foot nice and warm even in freezing water. They provide amazing ankle support and don’t allow your foot to move and shift in the boot. I have found this most helpful when standing on slanted and slick rocks and other river obstacles. This is an amazing and very durable boot.
A longer rod is the keystone to Euro Nymphing. Echo designed The Shadow X specifically for Nymphing. I acquired my Shadow X 1003-4 (10 ft, 3 weight 4 piece) early in the fall and have thoroughly enjoyed fishing with it since. At 10, 10 and a half, and 11 feet in length you can Tight-line or Euro-nymph without having to wade deep into the pools. The very sensitive tip section is ideal for staying in touch with your flies and , feeling a fish take and protecting light tippet, but have enough backbone to turn fish out of strong currents. I’ve also found it ideal for using indicator rigs, as the longer length of these rods functions to turn over the heavy setups easily with a roll cast.
“Philadelphia wraps” (Smoked Patagonia salmon, cream cheese, avocado, and lettuce)
Over the past year I’ve enjoyed a number of meals from Patagonia’s gourmet line of camp foods. I particularly like their smoked products such as the salmon and smoked mussels. Each product can be “dressed up” or simply eaten as is.
The smoked mussels are a rich and savory snack perfect for throwing in your pack for a day of fishing. I like to make chopsticks from tree branches and eat them right from the tin!
No matter how you prepare your Patagonia Provisions, they add quality variety to an otherwise bland outdoor food market. Plus each product is sustainably harvested, keeping in line with Patagonia’s dedication to environmentalism.
The Filson Ridgeway Fleece Vest with the Backwater Angler Logo is a great option for a cold winter day. We currently have Dark Navy and Bark in stock. The vest shines when layered on the cooler days but works well on its own during slightly warmer days. The rubber zipper handles make for easy zipping and offer aid to numb fingers on a cold day. The Ridgeway Fleece vest has three pockets located above the hips and on the left chest. As Filson says, “Our Ridgeway Fleece Vest is made of a lightweight, quick-drying Polartec fleece that’s both warm and breathable for comfort in mild to cool weather.”
Chota Hybrid boots (HY-800’s) in action on the Wind River, WY
As winter 2021 drags on I can’t help but daydream of the approaching summer. When wet wading season finally rolls around I know I’ll be relying heavily on the Chota Hybrid High Top wading boot. I had the pleasure of wearing these boots on a trip to Wyoming last summer and found them invaluable. These boots are lightweight, fast draining, and fast drying. They pair perfectly with a simple neoprene wading sock for a full day of summer hiking and fishing. They also come in at a great price point of $129.99 making them a versatile value item!
After a week of favorable flows in the 70s, the river has dropped back down to its typical summer flow of ~30 cfs. We recommend wading as little as possible and fishing long leaders with 6-7x tippet as the trout are quite skittish. Stop by the shop for some Trout Hunter 6.5x tippet, which is absolutely perfect for fishing low water when you just don’t want to commit to using super delicate 7x.
Fishing a dry dropper is a good way to catch fish in the early mornings. I recommend cutting off the dropper around 11am when the water begins to warm up. Terrestrials have been successful recently, but it doesn’t hurt to downsize your ants and beetles. Crickets can be heard chirping along the river banks this time of year. So don’t be afraid to play around with a small, dark colored hopper or Chernobyl ant.
Tricos have not been particularly prevalent on the river this summer, but there are plenty of midges and the fish are almost always feeding on them. A small trico pattern in the #20-22 range will oftentimes work for the trout sipping midges in slow water.
The weather has taken a pleasant fall-like turn recently. So enjoy your time on the water and if all else fails swing a wet fly!
Like many fly anglers, I was sucked into the hobby by visions of casting dry flies to rising trout surrounded by the sweeping hills and vast skies of the American west. However, not long after breaking into the hobby, I found myself being drawn to the excitement of flats fishing in the Florida Keys and the idea of taking a trip out west became distant.
Finally, five years after casting my first fly rod, I made the journey to Salt Lake City and then north to Wyoming. The first full day of fishing was one of the most memorable I’ve had. My fishing buddy and I explored the massive Wind River Range, following miles and miles of dirt roads. I could have stayed there forever catching those eager cutthroat trout, but eventually we came to an impasse that our rental car just wasn’t up for.
On our second day we put the Wind River in the rear view and headed to Yellowstone. I found the rivers in the park to be incredibly diverse. The lower Gardiner River is fast flowing and full of pocket water where gullible brown trout will almost always rise to a well drifted hopper. The Lamar is a truly epic river with big mayflies, big cutthroat, and big scenery. The final day of our trip was reserved for fishing the infamous Slough Creek. The hiking, the landscape, the weather, and the fishing on slough can all be described as intense. On the slow meandering bends of Slough Creek the cutthroat act more like carp than trout. Before casting to the undercut on the opposite bank, it pays to carefully watch the shallow gravel bar on the inside of the bend for cruising trout who may be in less than a foot of water. These cruising fish are very eager to rise to a well presented terrestrial, albeit the slowest and most cautious rises I’ve ever seen. To sum it up; those aforementioned visions of casting dry flies surrounded by vast landscapes came to fruition on Slough Creek.
Anybody who has fished out west knows that covering ground is key. That being said, the gear that allows you to hike further and fish longer will far outshine things like your rod and reel setup. On this trip I was fortunate enough to use the new Chota Hybrid High-Top Rubber Soled Boot. These boots are a great value for the price and resemble a lightweight hiking boot more than a wading boot. Chota purposefully built these boots with a removable insole. So they can fit comfortably with regular socks, neoprene wading socks, or the booties on your waders. However, my favorite quality of these boots is undoubtedly their light weight and how easy they are to slip on and take off whether wet or dry!
Another item I found to be invaluable on my trip was my Patagonia Stormfront Sling pack. Yellowstone is known for its hot and dry summer days, but I can assure you that thunderstorms can pop up in an instant. This pack was not only comfortable, but great for keeping my stuff dry when I couldn’t avoid a rain squall. It’s important to keep in mind that this pack is basically one big compartment. So organizing your gear inside takes a little consideration, but I find the Patagonia Black Hole Cubes to be the perfect for compartmentalizing. The not so obvious benefit of the Stormfront Sling is the fact that it’s not only water tight, but also fairly air tight. This means that the delicious smelling sandwich I stashed in my pack is pretty unlikely to lure in that big grizzly we spotted from camp the night before.
Heading out west yourself? Feel free to stop in the new shop at 16829 York Rd and we’ll outfit you with plenty of Chubby Chernobyls (basically the only fly you’ll need west of the rockies)!
Scientific Anglers have long been known for outstanding fly lines. This year they have released their premium line of “Absolute” leader and tippet. Here at the shop, we’ve received the full line of leaders and tippet from 7x-20lb and have been very impressed with the quality and performance. Both the Absolute Flourocarbon and Nylon are supple, strong and boast a 30% increase in wet knot strength. SA has done a great job of increasing breaking strength without increasing diameter. The Absolute Streamer leaders are 4 ft and great for use with a sinking line or a floating line on those days fishing in higher water.
To top it off they are packed in biodegradable pouches, continuing a trend of environmentally friendly fly fishing innovation. The new tippet spools feature a line cutter and a tight band that should mean less chance of unknowingly walking down the trail dragging 20 ft of tippet which we’ve all done once -at least I have!