Review: Orvis Helios 3D Blackout 9' 5" 5-weight fly rod

Our verdict on one of the new, specialized rods that further refine the H3 series
Photo: Dave Fason

The new H3D Blackout rods, the latest evolution of the Orvis Helios 3 family of fly rods, are purpose-built tools designed to address three specific, common fishing needs that Orvis and its team of field testers identified.

Orvis introduces new Helios 3 'Blackout' fly rods

Three new purpose-built H3 models with all-new aesthetics are now available
Photo: Dave Fason

Today, Orvis introduced three new additions to its vaunted Helios 3 lineup, which the Manchester, Vermont company has been teasing for the last month or so. The three new rod offerings are the culmination of a multi-year collaborative effort between Orvis' rod design team and some of the fly fishing world's most passionate and best guides. As is becoming an increasing industry trend, each of the new models is purpose-built rather than aiming to be do-it-all tools.

G. Loomis, Greys, Plano take 'Best of Show' honors at ICAST 2021

This year's attendee favorites from the ICAST show in Orlando
The G. Loomis NRX+ T2S fly rod (photo: G. Loomis).

Since the two trade shows that represent both the conventional and fly fishing sides of the fishing industry parted ways a couple of years ago, ending their longtime joint exhibition, the largest showing of the year's newest fly fishing year no longer occurs each July in the steamy clime of central Florida. Instead, the bulk of the fly fishing industry will gather this October in Salt Lake City to show off its new wares.

A fishing guide's new normal

Ever-warming water is changing more than just the fishing
Photo: Spencer Durrant

My phone’s weather app told me it was still 92 degrees outside.

At 8pm.

In June.

In Salt Lake City.

I leaned back on my couch, mulling over my options. A few hours prior, I’d finished my hardest-ever day of guiding. The fish wouldn’t move for anything, and my clients—brand-new to fly fishing—had a tough time fighting the wind.

The clients caught a few fish, eventually, but that tough day was a symptom of a much larger problem.

Montana enacts dramatic fishing closures due to dwindling streamflows, excessive heat

Many of Montana's most iconic rivers are now closed or restricted to anglers
Photo: Pat Clayton

The Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife and Parks (FWP) announced yesterday a dramatic slate of fishing closures and restrictions which impacts some of the state's most iconic and sought out trout water, such as the Yellowstone, Madison, Beaverhead, Gallatin, and Missouri rivers. The closures come in response to dangerous and worsening river conditions, the result of historically low stream flows and high water temperatures, which threaten the survival of the state's trout and other fish species.