The weather is warming, the bugs are hatching and it’s time to air out those clammy waders that have been in the basement. It’s fishing season and it’s time to go stand in some water and wave around a stick with a bug tied to the end of it. The start of the season is also the right time to reassess your rod and tackle, so here’s the latest.
Glass Is Back:
There’s a current trend in fly fishing rods that would make your grandfather proud. It’s been a few years in the making, but fiberglass fly rods are making a legitimate comeback and they’re breathing some fresh air into the sport of fly fishing that has risked taking itself too seriously for the last decade. Graphite, resin, boron – high performance composites have been king in fly fishing of late, with rod and tackle companies obsessing over more power, tighter loops, longer casts and faster line speeds. There couldn’t be a better time then, for custom rod builders and manufacturers to embrace the slower action and pure casting enjoyment of fiberglass rods. There are new offerings from Orvis (Made In Vermont) ECHO (budget conscious) and Swift (DIY from New Zealand). Cameron Mortenson’s blog The Fiberglass Manifesto is the at the center of the movement and if you want to see how beautiful these custom glass rods can get, Swedish builder Christian Hörgren is making rods that are beyond description.
It’s inspiring to see an American tackle company right the ship after losing its way and this is exactly what Colorado’s Ross Reels has done. After being bought and sold by various holding companies over the last few years, they finally found a home with the Mayfly Group (owner of Abel Reels) who have helped them streamline their website, go back to their old iconic logo and start re-introducing the reels that made them loved and appreciated by anglers in the first place. They’re starting with the legendary Gunnison and it looks like a homerun. On top of all this, they remain committed to incredible customer relations, servicing and rebuilding reels and drag systems in their Montrose, Colorado shop free of charge in most cases.
Your Crazy Uncle Started Making Fly Boxes:
My favorite recent discovery in fly boxes is Cliff Outdoors, based in Casper, Wyoming. Their boxes are big, ugly, awesome and most of all, brilliantly functional. Their goal is, “…To design and manufacture the highest quality, most practical fly fishing accessories without bending you over…” and this is certainly what they have achieved. They use the best materials and have devised simple solutions for age-old annoying fly storage issues. If, however, you’re looking for something a little more classic, Finn Utility in Richmond, Vermont makes a rugged and handsome streamer wallet that would be ideal to pack full of striper patterns for a trip up to New England in July or summer steelhead ammo for Northwest Rivers.
New gear or old, it just really doesn’t matter. Get the hell out there. – AJ