Spring Arsenal | Jake Vanderweyden

After a long cold Canadian winter of dreaming of warmer days on the water, restocking fly arsenals, spooling up new lines and patching your favourite waders. Spring is always a season every angler looks forward to. The start of a new fly fishing year, exploring new waters, camping and hiking deep into the backwoods with friends. Having a wide range of fly patterns is essential for any early spring fly fishing adventure.

Read more to see materials list for 6 patterns Jake keeps in his Spring Aresnal!

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New & Noteworthy: RIO Elite Flats Pro

The last thing you want to worry about on a trip to a tropical destination is your fly line, so it pays to choose the right one before you go. When targeting bonefish, permit, or tarpon, your fly line needs to be durable, provide enough mass to turn over heavy flies in stiff winds, and allow you to make quick shots at moving fish.

The Rio Elite Flats Pro provides all of that—and more. Built on RIO’s low-stretch DirectCore, and featuring its new SlickCast coating, the Elite Flats Pro has all the bells and whistles a top-notch fly line should have. Its taper design is deadly for the flats; it features a variable length head (meaning it is different lengths for different line weights), a long rear taper (for carrying large amounts of line), and a long-enough front taper to ensure delicate deliveries when needed. These lines are built to do it all on the flats, and with welded loops and the Surefire triple-color line-marking system, you shouldn’t need anything else. The Elite Flats Pro is available in line weights 6- through 12 and is comes in full-floating (F), 6-foot intermediate StealthTip (F/I), 15-foot intermediate tip, and full intermediate (I) densities.

$129.99 | rioproducts.com

New & Noteworthy | Simms Guide Classic Stockingfoot Waders

Speaking of waders, Simms has brought a few new models to the market this year, including the Guide Classic Stockingfoot Waders. The Guide Classics are no-nonsense, do-it-all waders built for the day-in, day-out grind of guiding clients, yet priced for all anglers. Many American-made waders can cost upwards of $800, so having a durable, bulletproof option such as this at a lower price point certainly helps the wallet if you’re in the market for a new pair of waders.

Built in Bozeman, Montana, and featuring GORE-TEX waterproof, breathable fabrics, the Guide Classics feature a reach-through hand warmer on the chest, a flip-out secure zippered pocket, and anatomically engineered neoprene stocking feet with built-in gravel guards. The main wader material is a three-layer GORE-TEX laminate, with reinforced lower leg areas. This additional reinforcement on the legs will help you crawl over rocks, bash through the brush, and stay dry no matter the situation. While they may have been designed for the rigors of guiding, the Guide Classics will certainly keep you covered, even if you don’t have a guide license.

$449.95 | simmsfishing.com

Video Vault: The Hidden | InTents Media

Iceland is, at once, both starkly beautiful and amazingly inviting, with rugged landscapes as far as the eyes can see. Rivers, waterfalls, and lakes abound across the countryside, providing habitat for some of the strongest brown trout in existence.

The Hidden, the latest addition of the Video Vault from InTents Media, explores the land of fire and ice, providing an awe-inspiring look at one of the world’s most interesting places to fish.

Four friends travel to Iceland in search of giant, wild and native brown trout and arctic char. Phil Tuttle, Cortney Boice, Spencer Higa, and Derek Olthuis team up with Kristjan and Gunnar of Fish Partner as they travel around Iceland in an adventure-based fishing film. Winner of the 2017 International Fly Fishing Film Festival’s Film of the Year. Edited and Produced by Phil Tuttle. Filmed by InTents Media (formerly Western Waters Media).

New & Noteworthy: Ross Colorado

Over the past few years, Ross has reinvented itself with a steady stream of excellent remakes of old favorites featuring innovative new technology. The Colorado is the latest and greatest from the team in Montrose, Colorado, and is a complete redesign of its forerunner, the Colorado LT. For fans of creative design and minimalism, there might not be a better reel on the market. Its lines are unique and thoughtful, with each machined-out section lowering the total weight of the reel while providing a truly beautiful aesthetic. The machined silhouette of the San Juan Mountains is an extremely nice touch.

This extremely lightweight (just 3.5 oz. in size 4/5) click-and-pawl reel provides plenty of strength, as well as that time-honored unidirectional clicking of the drag. Where the Colorado separates itself from other lightweight click-and-pawl reels is in the details. It features a large arbor for fast retrieval, and its semi-caged frame fits together as snugly as possible, feeling sturdy in the hand. Its bushing is made from a material called Vesconite, a self-lubricating polymer that brings a very smooth feel to the drag system. While the Colorado will likely have many fans that fish 2- and 3-weights in small streams, it has the beef to tangle with bigger fish in larger waters as well.

$335 | rossreels.com

Hike-in Fly Fishing at its Peak

One of the many reasons I’m drawn to fly fishing is that success has to be earned: developing a consistently tight loop, smooth swing, or drag-free drift doesn’t happen overnight. This higher-than-normal barrier to entry is also why I am drawn to hike-in fishing. Living in BC’s lower mainland, you’re likely to experience some variation of combat fishing in virtually any fishery that’s accessible by vehicle and within an hour of Vancouver. For those without jetboats or helicopters, hiking into remote bodies of water is only a sturdy pair of hiking boots and a pack away, and can be an incredibly rewarding fishing experience.

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New & Noteworthy | Umpqua ZS2 Wader Tote

Of all the gear fly anglers accumulate, perhaps none take the beating that waders do. From scrambling up and down rocky banks to bushwhacking in dense cover, our waders absolutely take a pounding. Unfortunately, the wear-and-tear doesn’t end once you take them off. We’re as guilty as any of simply taking our waders off, tossing them in the back of the truck, and forgetting about them until the next trip. Thankfully, Umpqua has come out with a pretty cool wader storage and transport solution, the ZS2 Wader Tote, to help keep your waders lasting longer.

Featuring two mesh panels on the lid for drying, an integrated water bottle holder, and—our favorite feature—a full-sized 22”x16” fold-out padded standing station, the ZS2 provides ample storage as well as a comfortable place to rest your feet as you get in and out of your waders. We’ve seen other wader bags feature space for standing, but the padded station on the ZS2 takes things up a notch, and, when clipped to the body of the pack, even doubles as a place to stow rod tubes or nets. With 2,800 cubic inches of storage, along with three internal pockets, you’ll be able to carry your waders—and much more—with confidence.

$99.99 | umpqua.com

Martian Invasion | Peter Stitcher

Peter Stitcher | Ascent Fly Fishing | ascentflyfishing.com

Trout need to see your flies if they are going to eat them.  This can be a challenge with traditional fly patterns when the sun starts to sink but the bite remains hot and trout look to continue to feed throughout the night.  The Martian series of flies were hatched to help the angler hack the science of trout vision and land more and bigger fish all throughout the night.  As the sun recedes into the west each evening, so do the cone receptors within the eyes of trout that are responsible for interpreting light as different colors.  The result is that your favorite red, green, and blue fly patterns all fade to black and blend into the dark backdrop of the river.  Trout feeding at night, therefore, key into the intensity of light and contrast created by mixing light and dark colored materials in our patterns. Designed by Aquatic Biologist and Ascent Fly Fishing owner Peter Stitcher, the Martian series of flies were created to exploit the night vision of trout and inevitably draw them through the river to eat our flies.  Like a UFO parked over a Kentucky trailer park, the glow in the dark materials used in these patterns will beam unsuspecting trout out of the river and into your landing net.  So, the next time you head to your favorite fishing hole at night, put in your earbuds, turn up Thomas Dolby’s “She Blinded Me With Science” and embrace the Martian invasion!

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Orvis Details Inclusivity Efforts and Conservation Wins in 2020 Impact Statement

We are so pleased to share, on this, Earth Day 2021, the great work being done by Orvis.  This Vermont-based, family-owned outdoor retailer proves their ongoing commitment to protecting wild places, increasing equity and inclusion in fly fishing and improving canine well-being within their 2020 Impact Report.

In 2020, Orvis supported 48 non-profit organizations, raised and donated $570,000 through its 5% for Nature program and Matching Grant Fund, and taught thousands of people to fly fish for free through its virtualFly Fishing 101 program.

We encourage you to read the full report HERE.

What’s New in the Tying Game?

If you’re like me, you spend an unhealthy amount of time looking at fly fishing gear. Though you may not need that new seal disc drag fly reel or the matching blue backing, you still look, nonetheless. Those of us who tie tend to fall into the same routine, clicking that “What’s New” category in fly tying, to see the latest and greatest in the fly tying world. We do this knowing we probably won’t deviate far from the pheasant tails, hares ears, caddis, and simulators that overflow our boxes. Yet, these days, it seems like there are new products to be excited about; and unlike rods, reels, waders, and boots, fly tying materials often don’t break the bank.

In the Spring issue, I reviewed some newly released fly tying products to see if they live up to the hype.  Following are a few patterns I tied up in the process.

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