Orvis Releases New Helios™

Orvis, the family-owned and operated outdoor retailer that pioneered the modern fly rod, announces its next generation of Helios rods. The new Helios is four times more accurate than its ground-breaking predecessor the Helios 3 (H3) and is 25 percent stronger and 10 percent lighter in hand. The result is an intuitive fly rod that is defining a new era in fly rod manufacturing. “Helios rods are what people think of when they think of Orvis innovation and leadership in fly fishing,” said Orvis President Simon Perkins. “We had something really special with the Helios 3, and we wanted to challenge ourselves with something better. Because the team in our Rod Shop is the best in the world, the result is revolutionary.”

Conceived and built by designers, engineers and rod builders in Manchester, Vermont, the new Helios is the most advanced fly rod in fishing and an unprecedented leap forward in the industry. The new rod displays dramatically increased hoop strength and a radical reduction in rod tip displacement when casting. The result is a rod that is able to deliver a cast that is measurably more accurate than the competition, tracking four times better than the industry-leading Helios 3. It is endorsed by Orvis’s vast network of professional guides and anglers many of whom part of the official testing process across seven countries.

“The new Helios is a reimagining of what’s possible in a fly rod and its ability to deliver the best experience for an angler. Four times more accurate than the industry-benchmark H3 is not hyperbole,” said Shawn Combs, director of fishing design and development. “We’ve built the tools to quantify what’s been measured historically in our industry through feel. This rod is where instinct and innovation meet. The result is the most accurate rod in the world. We know it when we cast it, and we see it in the data.” The Helios is available in two distinct series, Distance (D) and Finesse (F). The D-Series offers increased line speed, lifting power and stored energy and is available in a variety of sizes, from 4-weight for small stream trout to 14-weight for billfish in saltwater. The F-Series features increased sensitivity optimized for delicate presentations and tippet protection and is available in sizes ranging from 2 weight to 8 weight.

“It’s fun to think of Orvis as a start-up in the 1850s and how Charles F. Orvis wanted to give someone the tool that would introduce them to the natural world in a way that would change their life,” said Perkins. “That’s really what this new generation of Helios does. It makes any angler their best. And when you’re your best, you want to get out and live for more unforgettable moments on the water.” The Helios fly rod collection (MSRP $1098-$1198) is available online and at select independent fly shops and Orvis retail stores. To explore the Helios collection, please go to www.orvis.com/helios-fly-fishing-rods.

2023 Stimmies Awards

We are excited to officially welcome submissions to the 2023 Stimmies Awards!

Building off the current momentum of the International Fly Fishing Film Festival, the Stimmies Awards recognize top emerging and professional filmmakers and encourages creative fly-fishing films that celebrate our community.

Submit your project in one of two categories – short and feature-length film – via the our easy-to-use award submission platform –> HERE!  Entries will be accepted until May 31.

The top 10 films will be selected by an internal committee and then the top films will participate in a month long public vote, supported by a massive social and web campaign, reaching thousands of voting anglers around the world.  The winning film will take home bragging rights, $1,000, and will be considered for inclusion as an Official Selection of the 2024 International Fly Fishing Film Festival.

The Fly Fishing Show, Fly Fusion, Angling Trade and Fly Fishing Journeys announce “Consumer Choice Awards” Winners

Anglers who attended the Fly Fishing Shows across America have voted on their favorite products, and the results are in…

Fly-fishing aficionados of all ages and skill levels—from trout enthusiasts to purveyors of the saltwater flats—were given the unique opportunity to vote for their favorite products among those exhibited at the popular Fly Fishing Shows held across America this winter and spring.

Voters from 15 countries around the word cast over 17,000 votes for 183 different products in 41 categories ranging from rods and reels to waders, boots and polarized sunglasses.

The big winners included Ross Reels, which swept both the freshwater and saltwater reel categories with its “Evolution” model. Similarly, Scientific Anglers took top honors for freshwater and saltwater fly lines with the Amplitude Smooth MPX and Amplitude Smooth Grand Slam, respectively. Umpqua’s Thunder Grass hopper was the winning freshwater fly pattern, and its Danger Muffin Crab claimed top spot for saltwater fly. Fly-fishing upstart Skwala won the outerwear and wader categories, and Simms Fishing Products took top honors in nine other categories.

Here are all the winners for 2023:

Most Innovative: Simms G4 Pro Powerlock Boots

Sunglasses: Bajio Piedra.

Fly Rod (freshwater): Hardy Aydon

Fly Rod (saltwater): Thomas & Thomas Sextant

Fly Reel (freshwater): Ross Evolution FS

Fly Reel (saltwater): Ross Evolution FS

Men’s Waders: Skwala Carbon

Women’s Waders: Simms G3 Guide Stockingfoot Wader

Women’s Wading Boots: Miss Mayfly Moxie

Men’s Wading Boots: Simms G4 Pro Powerlock

Youth Product: Simms Kids Tributary Stockingfoot Wader

Accessories under $50: Simms Taco Wader Bag

Accessories $50-100: Norvise Automatic Fly Tying Bobbin

Accessories over $100: Fishpond Nomad Mid-Length Net

Artwork: Cody’s Fish Brown Trout License Plate Art

Boat (personal watercraft): Watermaster Kodiak Raft Package

Books and Maps: Joe Humphrey’s Trout Tactics (revised edition)

Chestpack/Vest: Simms Dry Creek Z Sling Pack

Eco-Friendly Product: Simms Fall Run Insulated Hoody

Entertainment/Education: “Trout and Feather” (YouTube)

Fly Box: Tacky Original River Mag Box

Fly Hooks: Tie! Jig Force Sizes #20 and #22 by Fulling Mill and Umpqua

Fly Line (freshwater): Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth MPX

Fly Line (saltwater): Scientific Anglers Amplitude Smooth Grand Slam

Fly Pattern (freshwater): Umpqua Thunder Grass Hopper

Fly Pattern (saltwater): Umpqua Danger Muffin Crab

Fly Rod (Two-Handed/Spey): Temple Fork Outfitters Pro III

Fly Rod (Freshwater): Hardy Aydon

Fly Rod (Saltwater): Thomas & Thomas Sextant

Fly-Tying Materials: Umpqua Jig Bombs

Fly-Tying Tools: Norvise Automatic Fly-Tying Bobbin

Fly Tying Vise: Renzetti Limited Edition Traveler

Freshwater Combo Kit: CD Fishing All Fly Ultimate Plus

Gift Items (under $100): Atollas Fly Caddy

Insurance (guide and outfitter): Cross Current Guide Liability Insurance

Leader/Tippet: Scientific Anglers

Luggage/Backpack: Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Backpack

Men’s General Apparel: Rep Your Water Merino Wool Blend Retro Camo Sun Hoody

Men’s Outerwear: Skwala Fusion 3/2 Puffy

Women’s Outerware: TWO WAY TIE: Simms G3 Guide Jacket / FISHE Steel My Heart Riffle Snap Fleece

Tenkara Rod: Tenkara Tanuki Pocket Ninja

Women’s General Apparel: Simms Solarflex Cooling Hoody

Skwala and Bushy Camo Announce Limited Collab

Skwala has challenged the boundaries of what’s possible in fly fishing apparel since their inception a year ago. Today’s announcement of a limited collab product with innovative camouflage lab Bushy Camo® signals their willingness to disrupt the fly fishing industry further than anyone imagined.

“People thought we were crazy to re-think traditional wader design,” said Kevin Sloan, Skwala’s CEO and Founder. “Wait till they see this [stuff]!” 

Bushy Camo, a plucky upstart in visual deception wearables, sees this joint venture as an opportunity to expand into a demographic and market share that their competitors have not yet tapped. According to Randy Holstein, Bushy Camo’s Chief Designer, “We don’t know much about fly fishing, but we make camouflage patterns that fool the world’s pre-eminent non-lethal snipers. I think we can trick a few fish.”

The two brands have been in development for 2 years on the first products in the collaboration with more promised later this year. The new Skwala Invisibility Suit™ is built for anglers who rely on stealthy pursuits of their favorite fish. Designed with the latest Barely-See® fabric technology from Bushy Camo, this new proprietary pattern renders trout and other species helpless, while also protecting anglers from the eyes of overzealous landowners. 

“This brand new collab project combines the very best of two worlds—amazing fabrics and design from Skwala and camo technology the world has never seen,” says Sloan. “In fact, no one has seen it, it’s so good at its job.”

The new wading suit debuts at $1,299 MSRP and is available online at SkwalaFishing.com and select Skwala retailers in North America

Bajio Announces Support of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust

Bajío, a leading independent sunglasses manufacturer, has announced its support of Bonefish & Tarpon Trust as a Silver Corporate Partner. Based in New Smyrna Beach, FL, Bajío is a brand motivated by a profound connection to the water and a drive to inspire positive change.

“We are so excited to be able to work with BTT!” said Bajío CEO Al Perkinson. “There are many challenges facing our flats today. Natural disasters, over development, water quality issues, ocean trash, climate change, over-fishing, and commercial irresponsibility all threaten the future of our flats. Finding solutions to mitigate the threats is not easy. These are complicated problems to untangle. However, if we build the case with solid, scientific data and rally together to amplify our voice, we can get the message heard and actions implemented. BTT has the data, the plan, and the ability to rally the troops. We are looking forward to enthusiastically adding our voice and our resources to the cause.”

Spanish for “the shallows,” Bajío strives to improve the quality of life for the world’s saltwater flats, the ecosystems they support, and the communities that depend on them. A carbon neutral company, Bajío manufactures its glasses with sustainability at the forefront, using plant-based materials in their frames and high-quality glass lenses built to filter out the bad and enhance the good.

From eco-friendly design and materials to recycled packaging, every business decision Bajío makes supports its mission to protect the world’s saltwater flats. Bajío is committed to creating and continuously improving its products to meet the highest performance standards while using the most sustainable resources and best practices available.

With over 100 years of collective eyewear experience, Bajío’s technical expertise runs deep. Every detail is designed for the demands of all-day use on the water. Using proprietary techniques, Bajío is able to improve lens clarity, reduce blur, glare and haze while enhancing color and protecting your eyes from harmful rays. Follow along at bajiosunglasses.com for the latest news and updates on Bajío’s quest to save the ocean, one flat at a time.

“We appreciate Bajio’s support of BTT,” said President and CEO Jim McDuffie. “Bajio not only produces acclaimed products that complement the sport and lifestyle our members enjoy but does so with an unwavering, values-driven commitment to the resource—and the planet.”

Spring 2023 Issue Out Now!

Check out the Spring Issue – headed to subscriber mailboxes today! Don’t miss and issue. Subscribe to read these great stories…

Don’t Mention It | Allen Crater

“My buddy was taking me to one of his top-secret fishing spots, a stretch he affectionately terms “The Murder Water.” I’ve never been entirely sure what that means but, coming from a cop, it doesn’t seem like a compliment.”

Can You Go Home Again? | Jim McLennan

Fifty years after forming his first fishing memories there, Jim McLennan wondered if his nostalgic recollections of Jasper National Park, in Alberta, would be tarnished by the changes which must have surely transpired there. In the summer of 2022, he returned to find out.

Read More

Mayfly Outdoors Announces Acquisition of Dyna-King Inc.

Mayfly Outdoors announced today it will acquire Dyna-King Inc., makers of the world’s finest hand-crafted fly-tying vises and tools. Dyna-King production will move to Montrose, CO, home of Ross Reels and Abel Reels. President of Mayfly Group, Jeff Wagner said, “This is a great day for our company as we continue to grow our family of brands. Dyna-King is perfectly suited to join the Ross and Abel brands as U.S. made, premium, legacy, fly-fishing products. We look forward to partnering with the Dyna-King retailers and customers that have known and trusted the brand for so many years. We will carry forward the legacy of innovation, quality and customer service that Dyna-King is known for.”

Karen Hall, current President of Dyna-King, said “It is a positive move for Dyna-King. My mom and dad are giving me the ‘atta-girl’ from Heaven. We are excited to see the family legacy continue with a company that is willing to care for it.” Mayfly will be transitioning the production and shipping of Dyna-King to their facility in Montrose over the next 6 months. dyna-king.com

Airflo and Terracycle Recycle Program


Partnership Offers Consumers an Easy Way to Recycle Otherwise Unrecyclable Fly Fishing and Fishing Lines and Spools

Montrose, CO and Trenton, NJ, 11/11/22 – Airflo, a leader in making fly lines, leaders and tippet is partnering with TerraCycle, an innovative recycling company specializing in hard-to-recycle materials to announce the upcoming Airflo Free Fly Line Recycling Program. Beginning in early 2023, Airflo will invite consumers to drop-off any brand of otherwise unrecyclable plastic based fly fishing and fishing lines and spools at any participating independent retailer for free recycling.  Read More

Fuerte | Pop Fizz Productions

“Fly fishing” and “the west coast of Colombia” don’t go hand-and-hand. There’s a jungle, 4 transportation shifts, and an unrelenting coast of jagged waves. Good thing the crew at PopFizz Productions wouldn’t have it any other way. Join the guys as they go deep into the wild and come out with a story worth telling.

Watch Fuerte on YouTube NOW!


Jeff Wagner Named President and CEO of Mayfly Outdoors

We couldn’t be more excited for our friend and casting editor, Jeff Wagner, on his recent appointment to the role of President and CEO of Mayfly Outdoors, parent company of Abel Reels, Ross Reels, and Airflo. Wagner, formerly of VF Corporation at brands Smartwool and Icebreaker, is a graduate of Colorado State University with an MBA and undergraduate degree. He brings extensive operational and executive leadership experience from past roles, previously serving as the general manager of R.L. Winston Rod Company and at Cabela’s where he served for over 14 years. Wagner is a regular contributor to the fly-fishing industry as a field editor for Fly Fusion and Flyfisher magazines. He is a Master Certified Fly Casting Instructor with Fly Fishers International, where he also served as Co-Chair of the Board.

“It is a privilege to be joining an outstanding team and working for such iconic brands as Ross, Abel and Airflo. This position combines years of experience and fly-fishing passion and I am looking forward to serving the business and fly-fishing community and helping each grow.” Wagner said.

“We are very happy to welcome Jeff, his wife Kat, and his two daughters to Montrose,” said company founder David Dragoo. “Jeff brings a new level of expertise and leadership to our business, and we believe he will do a great job.”

Wagner takes over as the company seeks to expand and acquire new businesses. The company, well known for its conservation efforts, began with 17 people in Montrose, and currently employs about 130 people across California, Colorado, and the United Kingdom.

About Mayfly Outdoors: Mayfly Outdoors is a Colorado-based outdoor products company founded and Certified B® Corporation. Mayfly subsidiaries operate under various brand names including Abel, Ross Reels, and Airflo. Combined, these businesses are the recipients of more industry “Awards in Excellence” for innovation, dependability and performance than any other fly-fishing tackle manufacturers in the world. More information can be found at mayflyoutdoors.com