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Gear Reviews

Honest reviews of fly fishing gear that’s been fished hard and pushed to its limits.


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Gear Reviews

A Fly Fisher’s Gift Guide — The C&F Chest Patch

on
December 16, 2018
It's Christmastime. A season where people who love a fly fisher wonder what the heck they could possible buy that might produce a genuine smile on Christmas morning. To the non-angler, all the stuff out there in the garage, in the boxes and tubes, all of the tools, pieces and parts in the dens, bedrooms, studios or man caves is an exhausting mystery.

But I have the solution. There’s one gift that I recommend for any trout angler. I’ve suggested it often, and it never fails. The C&F Chest Patch . . .

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Gear Reviews Stories Tips/Tactics

A Fly Fisher’s Gift Guide — Troutbitten’s Favorite Books

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December 12, 2018
I still get excited about a new fishing book. And I trust that will never change. After all these years, I still look forward to shedding the dust cover, stressing the binding and digging in. Whether it’s tactics or stories doesn’t matter. If it’s a book about a life on the water, I’ll give it a look.

My uncle taught me to fish, to read water and find trout, to explore — to get away — and to enjoy fishing for more than just catching a trout. We fished bait. Mostly fathead minnows. And what I absorbed in those young years were the largest building blocks for any angler. I learned to love the river and feel at home there. And without that, the books that I later picked up would have felt like a foreign thing, like fiction, a tall tale, or like some branch of mysterious and inaccessible science.

Years later, my early tutelage into fly fishing came not through a personal mentor, but through two key books. (I’ll list them below.) And it was the enlightenment of those works that served as the gateway into so much of what has shaped my life to this day.

The words in a good book — the shared ideas — can change lives. And I’ve always wanted to be part of that, to pass on what I too have discovered, both technically and in experiential form . . .

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Fly Casting Gear Reviews Tips/Tactics Winter Fishing

Fly Fishing in the Winter — Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes

on
November 21, 2018
Yesterday afternoon topped off at thirty-eight degrees. That’s warm for a winter fisherman. I had five hours until dark, and I knew the temp would drop a bit at the end. There wasn’t much wind, no sun, and I had a long walk upstream to start my day. I thought about all those factors when I lifted the hatch of my SUV. Staring at the big bag of winter gear that goes everywhere with me, I knew exactly what to wear.

What follows here is my own system for staying comfortable (enough) while fishing the winter months. Soft, snowy days in the silent forest, with the solitary song of flowing water passing through are my favorite. I prefer January over July. I welcome the first crisp days of fall and the wool gloves that come with me.

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Gear Reviews Tips/Tactics Winter Fishing

Fly Fishing in the Winter — Your Hands

on
November 11, 2018
I fish with some very tough, die hard trout fishermen. But cold wind and colder water gets the best of everyone who isn’t prepared. And when we get temps down into the low twenties and teens, that’s when the guy who stubbornly wants to wear a ball cap and no gloves simply doesn’t make it.

The toughest thing facing a winter angler is not picky trout. It’s the weather.

There’s a good solution to every winter situation we encounter. And all of those solutions require your hands to operate.

Good winter fishing starts and ends with warm fingers . . .

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Gear Reviews

Gear Review — Grip Studs are the Real Deal

on
September 9, 2018
Grip Studs are single point carbide tipped studs with an auger style bit. The result is sticky traction, incredible durability and studs that don't fall out. Simply put, they're the best studs I've ever used.

Here's more . . .

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Gear Reviews Tips/Tactics

Of Nets and Holsters — The Smith Creek Net Holster

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April 27, 2016

Things fall apart. That’s why I don’t do many gear reviews. Usually sooner than later, everything I fish with breaks, separates, leaks, delaminates or…

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