After several years of manufacturers focusing heavily on fast action fly rods, the past year or so has seen more fly rods with more classic action receiving increased attention from rod makers. Several manufacturers have introduced new slow and medium action rod series and the fiberglass renaissance keeps gaining momentum. With the introduction of its new Heritage series, Allen Fly Fishing adds new rod series to the pool of options available to anglers that buck the fast and ultra-fast trends of recent years.
According to Allen, the new Heritage series the result of two years of development aimed at producing a fly rod that features classic action and feel but also "takes advantage of modern refinements. The mid flex action has been fine tuned to suit the modern angler. Cast small dries and nymphs with delicate presentation, protect your selective trout tippets when the riser you were stalking turns out to be the pool boss, and discover its reserve power when more demanding casting situations arise."
RIO has focused on no area more intently recently than the spey arena. Multiple times in recent months, RIO has released new line offerings for Skagit lovers. With its latest released, the Scandi Shooting Head and the Scandi VersiTip lines, Scandi casters have something new to explore as well.
According to RIO, the Scandi Shooting Head lines are all new lines which "an easy casting Scandinavian style shooting head designed for effortless distance and great presentations". The lines are also conjoining and replacing the lines currently offered under RIO's Steelhead Scandi and AFS Shooting Head names. The heads are available in a multitude of weights from 210 grains to 640 grains and in lengths between 27 feet and 40 feet to cover all fly rod options and angling situations. The RIO Scandi is salmon colored and features a bright orange rear section. The lines are available immediately for $54.95.
Winter is not yet done with us. While I can begin to imagine a time when the streams are ice free my mind still wanders back to last year's angling instead of forward. My last trip of 2013 was to Yellowstone National Park. September is a time of transformation in the park. Summer is over and winter has not yet begun but it feels more like a mix of the two seasons that anything that could rightly be called fall.
The mountain air is crisp even at midday. By evening, you've got a jacket on and temperatures plummet to damn cold as measured overnight in a sleeping bag. The park's wildlife senses something is afoot. Bull Elk bugle, cows swarm in harems and the bison have shifted from one place to another. At eight thousand feet, the Yellowstone plateau sheds summer quickly.
A native Yellowstone cutthroat trout (photo: Chad Shmukler).
Below water, life moves on as well. Brook trout on the upper raches of the Gibbon have deep orange, pre-spawn bellies and the browns have begun to run up out of reservoirs to carve out redds in natal streams. While the local native fish, cutthroat, are spring spawners, they're not absent from the tides of the season. The young of year, reared in the rivers, are now running out of the many tributaries and down into Yellowstone Lake to winter over.
Each year, The Fly Fishing Shows offer excellent opportunities to visit with rod, reel and other gear manufacturers, fly tyers, lodge owners and more. On the gear front, the shows offer not only an opportunity to explore the newest offerings from the industry’s biggest names, but some of fly fishing’s precocious smaller manufacturers as well.
Over the course of two days at this year’s show in Somerset, NJ, we had the privilege of visiting with gear makers both big and small and hearing about as well as getting hands on with the products they were passionate about. And while there were a great number of exciting products on display at the show, there were a few standouts.