Category Archives: reviews

Gearing up For Montana

Over my last few years working here at Backwater we always have a stream of anglers itching to go out to Montana and chase after its beautiful fish. but there is always the same question from all of these anglers: “what do I even bring out there?” But don’t worry we are here to help you on your way to an amazing trip. To begin with, you will be needing a sturdy rod with a nice backbone to handle those larger fish and cast larger flies. The rod for the job is the Scott Centric

Scott Centric

The Centric is the perfect Montana rod. It’s strong enough to combat stronger winds and still delivers the perfect presentation. It’s also stiff enough to cast larger streamers but has a lighter tip which allows you to feel the bottom while tight line nymphing.

I you are looking for a spring creek rod for more delicate presentations then we suggest the Scott G Series

Scott G Series

The G Series is the perfect rod for making that delicate cast at a rising fish or that stealthy mend for the perfect drift. The G series is truly a fly fishermen’s dream. With its delicate capabilities it is still able to hold large fish and fish larger flies if needed but excels in lighter flies and tighter spaces.

Next, you’ll be needing flies. We suggest looking at a hatch chart for the Area you will be fishing but if you don’t have time to or can’t find one, we have many great fly options here in the shop. Montana is known for its larger bugs, and even more so for its fish loving to eat these big bugs on the surface. Here at the shop, we have what you need.

As far as waders and boots go, it is a necessity that you have a quality pair to wade the rough waters and hike the rugged terrain. To compete with these conditions that Montana has we recommend the Patagonia Foot Tractors or the Patagonia River Salts.

Patagonia River Salt Wading Boots

Patagonia Foot Tractor Boots – Sticky Rubber (Made by Danner)

The price on these boots will be rising this Fall by $100+. If you are looking for that new pair of boots that that has an amazing warranty and will last a long. We highly suggest the River Salt or the Foot Tractor for any of your wading needs.

 

New Scott Centric Fly Rods in the Shop

Recently we received three new Scott Centrics this week at Backwater Angler: The 9 foot 4 weight, 9 foot 5 weight, and 10 foot 4 wight, all 4 piece rods. Each rod provides advantages in different situations and are Scott’s top of the line rods.

The 10 foot 4 weight is the most specialized of the three rods. The extra length makes it ideal to use for nymphing, both tight-line and indicator nymphing. The tip section provides enough sensitivity to use for tight-line nymphing, however still has the back-bone to lift heavy nymph  rigs and cast them upstream. The biggest advantage of the extra length is the ability to mend over currents to provide yourself with the best drift. Although this rod may be ideal for nymphing, it does cast a dry fly very well. The extra length requires a slower cast to unroll longer casts.

Both the 9 foot 4 and 5 weight rods are going to be the best all-around rod you can find.  Both rods will be efficient in streamer, dryfly, and nymph fishing. The 4 weight is going to handle the bigger streamers and nymph rigs slightly worse than a 5 weight, however the extra sensitivity will help you maneuver your flies in smaller water. Both are strong enough to stand up against the bigger water and fish. Whether you need a 4 or a 5 weight rod truly comes down to what water you fish the most, but either option will provide an excellent fishing experience on the water.

If you are interested in getting one of these rods please stop by the shop or order online and we’ll get it shipped out as soon as possible.

Scott Centric

Ross Animas Fly Reel Review

A fully-redesigned frame and spool are highlights of the new Animas. The spool shows off the cutting-edge manufacturing techniques Ross Reels has developed, delivering a design that is incredibly strong and visually stunning. The Animas also re-joins the family by incorporating an ultra-light canvas phenolic handle which gets tackier when wet. along with the new drag system that includes composite discs that are more reliable and a smaller drag nob.  A new trouble-free spool release yields zero-maintenance performance, allowing the Animas to be ready for any fresh or saltwater excursion.

Ross Animas

 

Echo Shadow X Review

Over the past couple of weeks that I have been back from Montana, it seems that many people have been heading out there themselves. I couldn’t be more excited for them to experience the amazing landscape and big fish water. A longer rod is the keystone to Euro Nymphing.  Echo designed The Shadow X specifically for Nymphing. 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. Though I have only have been using my Euro Nymphing rod for close to a year now I have been more than happy with the results. I’ve also found it ideal for using indicator rigs, as the longer length of these rods functions to turn over the heavy nymph rigs easily with a roll cast. As stated earlier the ultra-sensitive tip on the rod allows for the ability to tell there the bottom is and when a fish takes your fly. I am currently using the 10′ 6″ 3wt Shadow X. While it is slightly more flimsy than the 10′ Shadow X it was still able to turn some larger fish in the strong sweeping currents of the Madison and Gallatin Rivers.

Echo Shadow X

High ‘N Dry Fishing Products

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

High N Dry Gel Floatant

High N Dry Powdered Floatant and Desiccant

High N Dry Powdered Floatant with Applicator Brush

Airflo Fly Lines In-Stock

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.

Airflo SuperFlo Universal Taper

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.

Airflo SuperFlo Tactical Taper

Patagonia foot Tractor Wading Boot Review

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.

Patagonia Foot Tractor Boots – Sticky Rubber (Made by Danner)

Echo Euro Nymphing Rods

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.

Echo Shadow X

Patagonia Provisions Smoked Salmon and Mussels Review

“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!

Patagonia Provisions Smoked Mussels

The salmon portions are perfect for either the trail or at home where you can enhance them with a nice salad or pasta dish.

Patagonia Provisions Black Pepper Wild Pink Salmon

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.

 

Filson Ridgeway Fleece Vest with Backwater Angler Logo

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.”

Filson Ridgeway Fleece Vest With Backwater Angler Logo