Articles

How to Defile a Wilderness | Jim McLennan

Ours is considered a gentle sport for the most part, and that trait is part of its attraction. Recently, more people are finding solace and clarity—and much-needed gentleness—in the outdoors and the activities there, one of which is fly fishing.

 

And while it’s true that fishing, called the “contemplative man’s recreation” by Isaac Walton, can indeed be gentle and thought-provoking, sometimes our contemplation needs to be sharply focused.

 

An example is the recent controversy and struggle to prevent construction of a huge copper and gold mine in Alaska, called Pebble Mine. The effects of the mine on the environment and the Bristol Bay watershed would have been massive. For now the project has been canceled, thanks to participation in a long, arduous fight by a great number of people and groups who value the outdoors, including fly fishers.

 

A similar battle has been escalating in Alberta in recent months over the threat to the future health of land and water posed by proposed expansion of open-pit coal mining. The mountains and foothills are the headwaters and domain of Alberta’s best and best-known trout streams: The Oldman River, the Crowsnest River, the Livingstone River, the Highwood River, the Ram River, plus all their critical tributaries. These mountains and foothills are the Alberta wilderness. 

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Best Ties for Summer Flies | Simple Summer Nymphs

If you haven’t already picked up a copy of the Summer issue, now is the time to do it!  This “Fly Tying Triple-Header” covers off the Pro’s top recommendations for dries, terrestrials and nymphs to use this season.  The five patterns below are Jake Vanderweyden’s (@theflyfiend) picks, complete with recipes for you tying pleasure!

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New & Noteworthy | Yeti Trailhead Chair

Let’s be honest. Does anyone truly need a $300 camp chair? No. But, as always with Yeti, the Trailhead Camp Chair is another example of the company taking a simple product, over-engineering it to the max, and coming out with something that looks great, performs very well, and will stand the test of time. Falling squarely into the “just barely related enough to fly fishing accessories for us to include it on this list,” the Trailhead is the ultimate camp chair. After a long day of walking and wading, it’s good to know you’ll have a sturdy, comfortable chair waiting for you back by the campfire.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Trailhead is just how well-built it is. This thing is solid. Featuring a lightweight crossover frame that snaps into place with color-coded tensioners and the forgiving Flexgrid fabric, the Trailhead can support up to 500-lbs., yet remains comfortable while sitting for hours at a time. With an included cup holder, and extra-strong feet, there aren’t many things Yeti didn’t think of; speaking of which, the entire chair is UV-rated, meaning it won’t break down in the sun over time.

$299.99 | yeti.com 

Miami Vise | Lucas Utrera

Lucas Utrera is a fly tyer born in Córdoba, Argentina, currently residing in Miami, USA. He started fly tying in 1996 at the early age of 12. He dabbled in commercial tying for some year, but later dedicated most of his time to tying special flies for collectors and participating in competitions. He is currently a member of the AhrexGulff and Semperfli Pro Team.

Add these 6 patterns (with materials list) to your arsenal today!

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New & Noteworthy | Airflo Superflo

The new SuperFlo series from Airflo features three different tapers designed for all your trout-fishing needs: the Tactical Taper, the Universal Taper, and the Power Taper. Each is meant to solve a different problem. The Tactical Taper, available in 2- through 6-weights, features a delicate front taper and an extended rear taper, perfect for placing tiny dries on a dime from any distance. The Universal Taper is designed as a more do-it-all line for anglers who may nymph, throw dries, and toss streamers from the same rod on the same day. It’s available in 3- through 9-weights, which should cover a variety of situations. At the other end of the spectrum is the Power Taper, an aggressively weighted line meant to throw far, turn over larger flies, and counteract today’s fast-action rods. It’s available in 3- through 9-weights. Each of the SuperFlo lines is 90-feet long and features welded loops on both ends. No matter where you find yourself in trout country, Airflo has built a SuperFlo line for you.

$100 | airflousa.com

New & Noteworthy | Scientific Anglers Absolute Tippet Supreme

Fluorocarbon is an interesting material. For starters, it’s nearly invisible under water, it has a higher abrasion-resistance than monofilament, and also sinks faster than mono. While that doesn’t make it ideal for dry-fly fishing, many anglers use it on small dry flies. That being said, fluorocarbon is an absolute must for nymphing or throwing streamers, and especially in salt water. In recent years, the fluorocarbon game has been somewhat stagnant, with no real notable advancements. This year, that’s changed.

The team over at SA has developed a breakthrough fluorocarbon material, improving the break strength over its previous material by up to 33%. The innovation here begins with the material: it features a unique dual-layer construction, with a softer outer layer to help knots grip into themselves and a harder core that provides much of the tensile strength. While each 30-meter spool comes in at a hefty $29.95, if SA’s strength claims are true, it will be worth every penny the next time your knots hold on the fish of a lifetime. Absolute Tippet Supreme is geared mainly to big-game and saltwater anglers, and is available in 8-lbs. Through 20-lbs., with SA’s patented cutter spool and easy ID tippet band.

$29.95 | scientificanglers.com

The Health Collection: Gold Fever

We know that you’d rather be out fishing right now. So would we. While we may not be able to make that happen, hopefully this might help. The International Fly Fishing Film Festival (IF4) and Fly Fusion Films have opened up our video vaults to provide you with some excellent fly-fishing films to help get you through these trying times.

Keep your eyes peeled every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday for another film from the archive. Now for today’s featured film: “Gold Fever” by Burl Productions.

Gold Fever is when you get the taste of gold and you will stop at nothing to get more. Jobs, relationships, obligations are disregarded. The only thing you can think about is another nugget. In this case those nuggets are huge wild brown trout from the heart of the Mother Lode in the Sierra Foothills of California.

Reece’s Subsurface Sensations | Bob Reece

Progress often provides opportunity. In the world of fly tying, recent advances in materials have fuelled the creation of subsurface imitations that were previously not feasible. The three patterns in this article were created to raise the bar for durability and productivity.

New & Noteworthy | Orvis Bugout Backpack

Fly-fishing packs have taken a number of forms over the years, starting with vests, then transitioning to backpacks, chest packs, hip packs, and sling packs. We can say pretty confidently we haven’t seen a pack like this come along in a while. From a host of innovative features to standard Orvis-quality construction, the Bugout Backpack is a solution for those anglers looking for the next great pack to wear on the water.

Designed as an angling pack, but just as handy as a carry-on, the Bugout Backpack offers all the features an angler would need: a back-panel integrated net holder, an external water bottle or rod tube holder with an extended sock to keep rod tubes from going anywhere, and accessory docking stations on the shoulder straps. It also features an internal zippered drop pocket with a removable divider, a tricot-lined sunglasses or phone pocket on the top flap, as well as a padded front pocket that will fit a hydration bladder or a laptop (though ideally not both at the same time.) But perhaps the most innovative feature is the side-entry access. By simply swinging the backpack around like a sling pack, you gain access to the main compartment, which has been a gripe of ours about backpacks for a long time. For those that need additional storage, the Bugout Backpack is also compatible with the new Chest Pack and Chest/Hip Pack.

$189 | orvis.com

New & Noteworthy | Scott Centric

No matter which rod manufacturer you look at, you’ll find a wide range of models, line weights, and lengths available. But at the end of the day, the bread-and-butter models for most manufacturers are trout rods. Many technological advancements in fly-rod design have been made with trout in mind. From gently placing tiny midge patterns on tailwaters to throwing articulated streamers for big browns, trout rods have become specialized in a variety of ways.

The new Centric, from Scott Fly Rods in Montrose, Colorado, is a testament to the idea that a good trout rod can, and will, do it all. At the heart of the new Centric is its combination of new tapers and new resin system, which reduces the overall weight of the rod and provides anglers with unparalleled stability and recovery speed. This is the fastest, and most efficient, rod Scott has ever produced, and it’s quite apparent after just a few casts that this is a well thought-out rod, designed to do everything a trout angler could ever need. The Centric is available in lengths from 8-foot 6-inches up to 10-feet, and in 4- through 7-weights.

$895 | scottflyrod.com