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Sage's all new, high-end ONE Elite Fly Rod.
In the lead up to this years IFTD (International Fly Tackle Dealers show) in Reno, Nevada, Sage has announced several new rod series. These new rods and reels are in addition to other new products recently announced by Sage, including it's new slow-action CIRCA fly rods. These new rod series, the Sage ONE Elite, Response and Approach will join Sage's existing rod lineup in the coming months.

Sage ONE Elite Fly Rod
Sage's all new, high-end ONE Elite Fly Rod.

At $1295, the Sage ONE Elite is Sage's new top-of-the-line rod. Built on the same technology as the well-loved Sage ONE series, the Sage ONE Elite adds in premium components and materials all over the place. The Elite features high-end extras such as a titanium reel seat, titanium stripper guides with ceramic inserts and a titanium winding check. The hand-made handle is crafted from flor grade cork fashioned into a half-well, snub-nosed grip. The Sage ONE Elite is currently only offered in 9 foot 5 weight. Availability expected in September.

For the less financially extravagant angler, Sage is introducing two new affordable rod series in the Response and Approach.

The wild brook trout that sometimes graces the Hatch Magazine header is from one of Pennslyvania's wild mountain streams.
It's safe to say that most of us who fly fish consider ourselves to be outdoorsmen. That said, most of us have become accustomed to a level of convenience in our fishing excursions. The typical fly fisherman loads up his car with gear, drives to and parks by the river he intends to fish and, after a relatively short walk, is knee deep in said river. The experience is one we've all developed a love for, but is also one that we can't truly call our own. Even in the west, a more "legitimate" version of the outdoors those of us from the lesser East yearn to have out our backdoor, popular rivers see considerable pressure and the river experience is a shared one. Now, that's not to say that the shared fly fishing experience isn't a valuable one. It, without question, is. It's just to say that the shared, more easily accessed version of a trout stream differs significantly from its backcountry counterpart.

Why Fish the Backcountry

Fly fishing in the backcountry offers the fly fisherman an opportunity to see and fish water that the vast majority of fishermen will never experience. In fact, compared to the streams and rivers most of us typically fish, the backcountry offers an opportunity to see and experience a natural environment that very few people will ever experience. The solitude and rawness of nature as it strays from the roads and highways that interrupt it is decidedly different than the more conveniently accessed version of nature most of us are accustomed to. And it's well worth the walk.

If the image of solitude and the idea of seeing a version of nature more removed from human influence isn't enough to lure you into the backcountry, then surely the idea of better fishing must be. On waters with healthy, self-sustaining trout populations, the quality of the fishing typically increases as the distance from roads and parking lots increases. Fish that live in a more remote wilderness are more naive to the wiles of the trout fisherman and, as a result, feed more aggressively and much less selectively. If you're into matching the hatch with size 28 dry flies, perhaps the backcountry isn't for you.

The Allen Fly Fishing Myth Rod Series
Allen Fly Fishing is discontinuing and thus clearing out a few limited models of their Xa and Myth rods series. Both rods are heavily discounted, with the Myth series slashed to just $139. The Myth is Allen's premier line of rods, which Allen says is "built around precision, responsiveness, and lightness in the hand. It loads up for powerful distance casts, and quickly recovers for maximum power. When brought in for close quarters, it tames itself for delicate, precise work with maximum sensitivity."

The Allen Fly Fishing Myth Rod Series
The Allen Fly Fishing Myth Rod Series

As mentioned, only certain sizes of each rod series are being discontinued and are available at closeout prices. This is limited to rod lengths less than 9' in weights 3 to 5.

Stock is limited and once they're gone, they're gone. So, if you're in the market for a short trout rod or have been considering the Myth or Xa series of rods, now's the time to grab one at a deep discount.

Brook Trout experience stress at lower temperatures than other species.
With vast swaths of the country currently in the grips of what seems to be an interminable heat wave, countless cool flowing freestone trout streams have turned into something altogether different. Even freestone streams with strong cold water influences and spring creeks that normally remain temperature stable throughout the year have seen soaring temps with fish abandoning their normal feeding and holding lies in search of cold refuges. Most of us who fish know that when trout streams get too warm, the fishing goes downhill fast. Fish are either nowhere to be found or aren't actively feeding.

For streams that straddle the borderline between the temperatures at which trout thrive and those at which they suffer, it's possible to find fish that are actively feeding, but for which you shouldn't be fishing unless you intend to keep said fish. The trouble for many fisherman can be determining where to draw the line. When it comes to trout, how hot is too hot?

The upper limits of the temperature range within which trout will feed, grow and remain unstressed by thermal conditions varies by species, however not all that significantly. These upper limits -- which may be as high as 80 degrees depending on the species -- can be misleading. These limits characterize thermal conditions under which trout that are otherwise unstressed will die should those conditions persist for a certain period of time (typically 24-48 hours). These limits can be misleading because they don't provide much information about how high water temperatures that haven't reached this lethal range can affect a fish that is about to be further stressed by being hooked and played by a fisherman.

RIO Gold Fly Line featuring MaxCast and MaxFloat technologies.
RIO, one of the foremost names in fly lines, announced today two new fly line technologies that RIO is immediately introducing into three of its existing product lines. Termed MaxFloat and MaxCast, these two new technologies are the sort of developments that sound like potential game changers, provided they live up to RIO's billing. Given RIO's reputation, there's no reason to think they won't live up to the benchmarks that RIO is setting, but a bit of skepticism is natural when a product boasts the kind of performance enhancements that MaxFloat and MaxCast are touting.

RIO Gold Fly Line with MaxCast and MaxFloat
RIO Gold Fly Line featuring MaxCast and MaxFloat technologies.

MaxFloat is a new tip technology allows RIO lines to float more than twice as high as existing lines without the MaxFloat technology. That's no small improvement. If that wasn't impressive enough, MaxFloat does this without any increase in the diameter of the line, a crucial aspect of castability. RIO tells us these significantly higher floating lines will allow for "reduced drag, longer drifts and quieter pickups". Sounds good.

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