Articles With the Tag . . . Recommended

Wet Wading Gear and a System for Fly Fishers

Did you know that breathable waders only effectively breath when they’re underwater? Fun fact, right? The permeable membranes can only pass water vapor while submersed. Not such a big deal when you aren’t producing much water vapor (evaporating sweat), but it’s a messy, clammy situation when the mercury climbs and the water drops. Amiright?

What to do, then? Wet wade. Good wet wading has nothing to do with a pair of old sneakers and cargo shorts. Don’t do that. Instead, here are the elements of a good wet wading system . . .

Polarized Sunglasses for Fly Fishers — Why, When and What Kind

Polarized lenses are essential gear for fly fishers. Not some of the time — all the time. Because seeing just a fraction more of the riverbed is a huge advantage. And recognizing the color change of depth makes a big difference when fishing underneath. Even if the lenses help just a bit more, the overall result is a more complete picture of the water ahead . . .

100 Day Gear Review: Simms G3 Guide Vest

When a big part of your life is fishing, how you carry fishing gear is a big deal. The Simms G3 Guide Vest starts with a classic design and modernizes it in all the best ways.

With a stacked layout, molded pockets, bulletproof materials, dual front closure, a unique collar and massive rear storage, the G3 is built for fly fishers.

The G3 is the versatile angler’s perfect, efficient carry-and-access system . . .

Pack or Vest? Why I’m a Vest Guy

As river anglers, everything we need now and we might need later accompanies us when we leave the truck. Our gear must transport with ease or we won’t bring it. And it must store with convenience, or we won’t use it. The vest solves these two directives better than any other system . . .

100 Day Gear Review: Orvis Pro Waders

100 Day Gear Review: Orvis Pro Waders

Fly fishing gear breaks down. All waders leak, and it’s just a matter of how long until the inevitable takes over. Wading boots fall apart, and soles wear out. Fishing packs fail at the zippers. The stitching at the seams of all this stuff takes a lot of abuse, so how...

Fly Fishing Gear: What to Spend On and What to Skimp On

Fly Fishing Gear: What to Spend On and What to Skimp On

Last week I wrote a piece about selecting a fly reel, because while choosing a basic line holder may seem like one of the easiest decisions to make in fly fishing, things get complicated when your needs are specific. Most things in life are that way. The simple, quick...

How to pick a fly reel — And why I choose the Sage TROUT

How to pick a fly reel — And why I choose the Sage TROUT

Let’s be honest. A trout angler does not need a world class drag on a fly reel. And the avid fly fisher quickly realizes that even the largest trout in the river may be subdued with good fish fighting tactics — rod leverage, side pressure and smart angles. When...

Gear Review: Simms Bulkley Wading Jacket

Gear Review: Simms Bulkley Wading Jacket

A great hood, smart cuffs and pockets in the right places. That’s what makes a good wading jacket. Let’s assume that any fishing coat worth considering is first waterproof. Now add in breathability. The price tag goes up, but so does the comfort level and the amount...

What about the wading staff? Thoughts on choosing and carrying a wading stick

What about the wading staff? Thoughts on choosing and carrying a wading stick

I always thought wading staffs were for the retired crew, something to lean on as you wait for the spinner fall — a third leg, when the left one has knee issues and the right one has had its hip replaced. However, one of the hardest-fishing guys I knew at the time was a guide on the Yough. Twenty-something, athletic and a strong wader, he carried a ski pole tethered to the bottom of his fishing pack, and he waded whitewater like a Grizzly bear.

So the day before our pre-dawn, westward departure to the Yough, I cut a wooden broom handle down to about four feet, zip tied a long-and-strong shoelace to the top and looped it to a carabiner on my wading belt.

I learned two things on that trip — a third leg makes you a faster wader and more efficient angler. And a broomstick makes a lousy wading staff . . .

read more
Let’s Rethink the Wading Belt

Let’s Rethink the Wading Belt

Seems to me, the last piece of gear many anglers think of is the wading belt. Often seen as an add-on, an accessory, or even unnecessary, some guys will tell you to tie a rope around your waist and be done with it. The wading belt provided with your new pair of waders perpetuates this notion. Every fresh box of breathables I’ve opened has a thin, flimsy belt thrown in as an afterthought. It’s good for helping you not drown as you go ass-over-tee-cups into the river, but not much else.

So I propose a rethinking of the wading belt. I treat mine as a utility belt — a place to carry heavier things. It’s an integrated part of my system for having everything I need right and ready at any moment, while keeping the weight and resulting fatigue of that gear to a minimum.

My belt system is designed for the wading angler who covers a lot of water, who walks away from the parking lot and hikes in a bit, who spends long hours pushing through heavy river currents and returns at dark. Of course, I don’t have the hours to fish like that all the time, but even on short trips, this wading belt system serves me well . . .

read more
Fly Shop Fluorocarbon too expensive? Try Some Finesse

Fly Shop Fluorocarbon too expensive? Try Some Finesse

The trouble with cheaper lines is threefold. Their breaking strength is inferior to the fly shop brands, they’re usually a bit stiffer, and the manufactured diameters only go down to about 4X — usually.

Then a couple of years ago I bought Seaguar Finesse. It was hard to track down when it first came out, because here was a line sold in smaller quantities, with a higher than expected price tag (for the gear guys). But to fly anglers, the 150 yard spool for about $20 was a steal. Easy decision. I bought it immediately, based on Seaguar’s own description and the specs.

Since then, Seaguar Finesse has become my go to fluoro tippet material from 2X to 5X, and a few of my Troutbitten friends do the same. It’s thinner, but stronger per diameter, and is indeed more flexible as described. (It has some finesse.) It’s as almost as good as some fly shop brands and better than many others. And because the type of tippet we use is not what catches trout, I don’t overspend on tippet . . .

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

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

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 . . .

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

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

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 . . .

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

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

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.

read more

Pin It on Pinterest