Articles

Stimmies 2024 | Angler’s Choice Vote Open!

The Stimmies Fly Fishing Film Awards Angler’s Choice Vote is live today!  The Stimmies recognizes top fly-fishing filmmakers from around the globe and the top-10 finalists have been selected by our judge panel. Now it’s your turn to have a say in who wins!  Watch the films and make your vote for top  film of 2024!

LINK TO WATCH

Your vote will also qualify YOU for weekly draws for fly fishing swag.

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Grasshoppers and Gladwell | Derek Bird

I want to tell you about my favorite trout from this past summer, but I face a conundrum. I’m certain I remember the day in vivid detail, but more and more over the last few years psychologists and podcasters remind me that memories are unreliable. Are memories really unreliable? The most memorable podcast I’ve listened to on the unreliability of memory was a Malcom Gladwell podcast titled “Free Brian Williams”. And since then, I’ve had to tune out a number of experts discussing the unreliability of memories.

What should I do? Should I forge ahead with the retelling of my favorite fish memory from the summer or should I simply realize that my memories are similar to the meat versus filler ratio of a McDonald’s chicken nugget (45% percent meat, 55 percent “other ingredients” for the wondering mind). Did I even catch fish this past summer? I’m so confused. In spite of Gladwell, I’ll give it a try anyway.

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Fly Fusion Series Season Four is going live!

This month marks the first ever Freeview of the Fly Fusion Streaming platform!  For the next 30 days you can sign up and receive a full month of fishy films for free.  And, in addition to the hundreds of fly fishing centric stories, adventures, tutorials and biographies – you can now watch brand-spanking new episodes of the Fly Fusion Series!

Episode One: Familiar Flow can be found HERE.  (Simply click “get access now” add your info and watch the full episode free.)

 

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The ORVIS Special Edition Four Wheel Camper

For over a year, Orvis and Four Wheel Campers have been crafting the ultimate pop-up truck camper for full-sized trucks, designed specifically to elevate fly fishing adventures. This collaboration between two iconic brands, each a leader in their respective outdoor niches, brings an unparalleled offering to the fly-fishing and camping community. Renowned for their commitment to quality and durability, both companies have poured their expertise into this camper. The official partnership, which began in 2023 under the guidance of Orvis’ Product Design and Development Director Shawn Combs and Community Leader Davis James, alongside FWC’s President Dan Welty, represents the pinnacle of innovation and tradition.

Fly fishermen have long relied on Four Wheel Campers for their angling excursions, and this new product takes that experience to the next level. Key features include a lockable rod bunker for up to six fly rods and a mud locker with waterproof storage and drain for wet gear. The camper also boasts a vertically mounted exterior L-track system for flexible gear mounting, as well as upgraded cabinetry, countertops, fabrics, and appliances to ensure comfort in all seasons. Imagine heading out to your favorite fishing spot, knowing your gear is securely stored in the rod bunker, ready for action. The mud locker ensures that your wet gear won’t create a mess, keeping your camper clean and organized. The L track system provides the flexibility to mount your essential gear on the exterior, allowing you to customize your setup according to your needs.

Inside, you’ll find comfort and convenience. The upgraded cabinetry provides a sturdy and stylish workspace. Anglers can choose between a portable induction or propane stove, a new option for FWC. High-quality fabrics and appliances have been chosen to withstand the rigors of outdoor life, ensuring you remain comfortable no matter the season. The craftsmanship and attention to detail in this camper reflect the values of both Orvis and Four Wheel Campers. Each element has been thoughtfully designed to enhance outdoor adventures, making this camper not just a vehicle, but a reliable partner in fly-fishing journeys.

As you venture into the wild, you’ll appreciate the legacy of innovation and excellence that defines this collaboration. Both Orvis and Four Wheel Campers have a long history of producing products that stand the test of time, and this camper is no exception. It’s built to be enjoyed for decades, offering a durable and dependable base for countless fishing trips. The Orvis Special Edition Four Wheel Camper is more than just a product; it’s a testament to what can be achieved when two industry leaders combine their strengths. This camper is designed to meet the needs of serious anglers, providing a perfect blend of functionality, comfort, and durability. Whether you’re a seasoned fly fisherman or just starting out, this camper will elevate your outdoor experiences, allowing you to focus on what you love most—fly fishing and enjoying the great outdoors.

St. Croix Fly Announces TECHNICA Series of Premium Fly Rods

PARK FALLS, Wis. (May 30, 2024) – If you spend enough time chasing hatches on technical trout fisheries where 5X is maximum, 6X is the norm, and 7X lives in your pack because some days that’s the difference between looks and eats, you begin to realize the deck is stacked. Persnickety fish eating micro-morsels in the film have their inherent challenges, but add in complex currents, leader-defeating winds, and impossible hook sets at distance, and having the right tool for the job becomes mission critical.

“After talking with a bunch of dedicated trout guides about the challenges of dry fly fishing with clients, a common issue emerged,” says St. Croix Fly Brand Manager, Tom Larimer. “What we heard from the Deschutes to the Delaware, is that traditional deep-flexing dry-fly rods are fine for parking lots and calm days, but when the wind ramps up and you’re trying to get a long leader to turn over, they fall short. These conversations led to a unique action specifically tuned for technical trout fishing.”

INTRODUCING TECHNICA
The new TECHNICA Series answers the call of PhD-level trout fishing. Its responsive, moderate action paired with an advanced carbon fiber matrix and exclusive MITO® Graphene technology delivers exceptional line speed, endless loop stability, and absolute accuracy.

“The best way to describe TECHNICA’s action is balanced,” says Larimer. Simply put, a softer lower-end and mid-section stores energy and produces a smooth-loading, soulful in-hand feel while helping the caster make efficient mends and protect light tippets and small flies. Higher up on the second and tip sections, the taper maintains the perfect amount of stiffness for picking up long lengths of line when recasting, sniper hook sets on long, downstream dry fly feeds, and fast tip recovery for turning over long leaders in the wind.” But there’s a deeper layer to the story of TECHNICA’s action: Functionalized MITO Graphene.

“We learned a lot about the rod-performance attributes of MITO Graphene with the three-year development of EVOS, released last year,” Larimer says. “So, when we began the job of designing TECHNICA, we knew we could bend the rules of traditional moderate-action design.”

When viewed on a deflection board, TECHNICA appears to be a very soft rod. But MITO Graphene greatly impacts how the rod casts. “The addition of functionalized graphene to our established SCVI, SCIV, and SCII carbon fiber matrix increases rod recovery by 20%,” Larimer says. “The benefit is an incredibly stable loop with maximum line speed, while the overall result is a blank that possesses all the feel, finesse, and tippet protection of a moderate-flexing rod, with the speed and power of a medium-fast action.”

A TECHNICAL LIGHT-LINE PACKAGE
Outside of refined blank performance, TECHNICA incorporates numerous design aspects inspired by the environment and demands of technical trout fishing.PAINTED FOR PRESENTATION: Baetis Back Green matte paint reduces rod glare and ensures a stealthy approach to wary trout.LIGHT + DURABLE GUIDE TRAIN: Single-foot RECOIL guides paired with CERECOIL stripper guides are ultra-light and durable, which is ideal for sliding in and out of rod vaults or boat storage.INTUITIVE GRIP DESIGN: With accuracy being critical for success in the dry-fly game, the snub-nose grip promotes a forward-hand position, helping the angler cast with increased precision.

TECHNOLOGY MEETS SOUL: While TECHNICA may be the most technologically advanced dry-fly rod on the market, the rod’s aesthetics speak to the slow, methodical approach of chasing hatches on technical trout water. The chassis is packed with new-school tech, but we couldn’t resist giving TECHNICA some old-school appointments of class.

TECHNICA TECHNOLOGY SUITE

  • Advanced materials matrix consisting of ultra-high-modulus/high-strain SCVI carbon, high-modulus SCIV carbon, and premium-quality SCII carbon
  • Mito Graphene unlocks the power of hybrid polymer materials and delivers radical hoop strength, optimized loop stability, and absolute accuracy
  • Integrated Poly Curve (IPC) mandrel tooling provides improved energy transfer, increased strength, and mega-efficient rod recovery
  • Advanced Reinforcing Technology (ART) adds a magnitude of 10X strength with virtually no increase in blank diameter or weight
  • Fortified Resin System (FRS) boosts blank strength by 33% over standard resins and curing methods
  • Reinforced Slim Profile Ferrule (SPF) design adds herculean strength with minimal added weight

FEATURES

  • RECOIL single-foot guides
  • CERECOIL stripper guides
  • Hook keeper
  • Snub-nose flor-grade cork handle
  • Uplocking, machined-aluminum reel seat with tiger maple insert
  • Aluminum rod tube with rod sock
  • 15-year transferable warranty
  • Designed and precision crafted in Park Falls, WI

MODELS

  • TE590-4 / 5-weight, 9’0”, 4-piece, moderate action / MSRP: $975
  • TE586-4 / 5-weight, 8’6”, 4-piece, moderate action / MSRP: $975
  • TE489-4 / 4-weight, 8’9”, 4-piece, moderate action / MSRP: $975
  • TE480-4 / 4-weight, 8’0”, 4-piece, moderate action / MSRP: $975
  • TE389-4 / 3-weight, 8’9”, 4-piece, moderate action / MSRP: $975
  • TE379-4 / 3-weight, 7’9”, 4-piece, moderate action / MSRP: $975

New TECHNICA Series fly rods will be available to anglers at St. Croix Fly Pro Shops and online at stcroixfly.com beginning May 31.

ABOUT ST. CROIX FLY
At the core of our brand ethos lives a simple yet fierce conviction; we exist to create dynamic fishing tools that intuitively help you evolve as a caster and angler. Our focused philosophy continually questions conventional wisdom, inspires innovation, and drives our persistent pursuit of fly rod perfection. When you own a St. Croix, it’s more than just a rod; it’s a promise. It’s 75 years of hard-earned knowledge aimed at designing and building the Best Rods on Earth, so you can be at your best in your own persistent pursuit.

Drag Free Queen Jig

For many years I mostly just used a gold bead when tying my nymph patterns, in recent years many other colors of beads became available. I have become convinced that rainbow beads seem to attract trout better than most other bead colors. There are times when I can swear that trout are becoming used to seeing nymphs in gold, copper, black and rainbow is novel and unexpected. This may seem very unscientific, but on streams with high fishing pressure where trout are caught and released several times they might learn to key in on certain fly patterns or even colors of beads. This past September I had great success fishing this about two feet under a Fat Albert on two different rivers in Southern Alberta.

This exotic jig is actually quite simple to tie and you are wrapping the body with the peacock side of Uni-Mylar Peacock orange. Hareline produces two shades of rainbow dubbing- light and dark. I prefer the dark shade as it is more colourful than its light counter part. As for the the rib you can realistically choose any colour of wire as rainbow is composed of several different colors. I tend to use red most of time and occasionally copper. There is a lot of debate as to the size of the bead one might use when tying jig nymphs. I mostly fish this pattern in sizes 14 and 16 and use a 3.3 mm and 3.0 mm slotted bead respectively.

Hook: Ahrex 540  sz 12-16 60 degree jig hook

Thread: Uni-Thread 8/0 or 6/0 black

Bead: Rainbow slotted bead

Body: Uni-Mylar peacock/Orange- Peacock side

Thorax: Rainbow scud dubbing Dark Shade

Legs: Rainbow colored krystal flash

Rib: Red or copper fine wire

Tail: Rainbow colored Krystal flash

Phil’s Stillwater Flies

I have had the good fortune to pursue fish in both fresh and saltwater in various water types. If you asked me to limit my fishing to just one water type for the rest of my life, my answer would be easy. Lakes. I hope these bonus patterns from my Summer Stillwater Primer article in the Summer issue of Fly Fusion ignite the same passion and encourage you to try lakes.

Tequila Booby
Pearly Damsel
Peacock Woolly Bugger
Fly Craft Fullback Flashback
Chromie
Balanced Leech – Bruised

Fully Dressed Bonus Patterns

King Charles

Hook: Partridge 8/0 blind eye

Eye: Silk gut

Tag: round gold twist yellow silk

Tail: golden pheasant crest with indian crow on top

Butt: black ostrich

Body: black silk on one half of the body with embossed gold tinsel x-wrapped ribbed, butted with black ostrich, round diamond studded bead

Forward Body: purple, burgundy, and black seal, ribbed with round gold tinsel

Wing: buzzard guinea, black with white center underwing layered over with three peacock pheasant feathers

Cheeks: Bronze Impia feather under chartreuse neck feather

Veiling: golden pheasant

Head: black wool

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Editor’s Choice Time-Tested Review | Smhaen Material Guard

Flytyers are a clever and innovative group of people. We often make do with what we have in order to simplify or enhance our techniques. Occasionally, a new material or tool comes out to either fill a gap or improve on some work around. As part of my tying editorial, I plan on showcasing some of these innovations and share with you my thoughts on them. The first product in this series is from the good folks at Smhaen. This Danish company best known for their high-quality bobbin holders and scissors, has come out with a tool that will make you ditch your mini hair clips. The Smhaen Material Guard is a purpose made clip that holds material back and out of the way while working on the head of a fly. What makes this tool better than the mini hair clip work around is that it holds the hair equally tight no matter the size of the fly. The clip’s arms are completely round and remain round as it clamps down on the material, keeping an equal tension all the way around the fly. It is also incredibly easy to get on and off without disturbing the hair. Last but not least, the handle on the tool is offset from the clamp itself, allowing for a greater amount of room towards the front of the fly. I found this very useful on smaller flies such as a PMX or balance pine leech. This is a huge bonus feature over the hair clips that have a large wide grip right over the clamp. Overall, I really like the tool and it will have a permanent spot on my bench.

Reviewed by: Frank Brassard

April is Fly Shop Local Month!

Fly Fusion’s history is rooted in an idea born while sitting on a barstool in the back of Robert’s Fly Shop a couple of decades ago. Over the years we have found that a helpful tip about a local hatch, tweak on a casting technique, demo on the latest gear or hand-drawn map can change your day on the water. But, the conversations and connections made within the walls of a fly shop can ignite a passion for fly fishing that lasts a lifetime!
Join us this month in celebrating the fly shops that keep our lines wet and our dry flies on top of the water!
Here are a few ways you can participate AND qualify for chances to win weekly draws for gift cards to the Fly Shop of your choice…
1. SUBSCRIBE to win weekly draws for a gift card to your local fly shop. When you subscribe, renew or gift a subscription to Fly Fusion in the Month of April, we will enter you to WIN a gift card to your local fly shop! Draws will take place weekly each Sunday with a Grand Prize draw on April 30th! PLUS, we’ll send you a half dozen our our favourite Spring flies for FREE as an added thank you!
2. VOTE for your favourite shop to win Top Shop 2024. Nominate your favourite Fly Shop to win! Top Shop will receive some serious love from Fly Fusion magazine and your nomination will qualify you for extra entries into our weekly draws to win a gift card to your local shop!
3. FIND everything you need at these Top Shops!