Busting the myth

Are light rods are only for small fish?
Photo: Chris Hunt

My favorite fly rod is a 7-foot stretch of 2-weight fiberglass. It’s slow and noodly. Delicate, even.

And when I show people the rod — maybe we’re gearing up on the tailgate, and they see it tucked away in my rod vault — their first reaction is often something like this: “You like those little brookies, huh?”

Well, yes. I do. But that’s not why this piece of glass is my favorite. It’s the rod that serves me best in the places I love to fish most, and it allows me to fish using my favorite method.

RIO intros SlickCast, the 'most significant technology the fly line world has ever seen'

The longtime fly line maker has built what it proudly calls the slickest, most durable, longest lasting lines ever
Casting a new RIO SlickCast fly line (photo: RIO).

When you write about gear long enough, you learn to take with a grain of salt the "excitement" that comes with each new product release. Being exuberant, elated, or otherwise stoked about a new piece of gear is, after all, a marketer's job. And so, despite the regular churn of truly innovative products and technological advancements that the fly fishing industry produces, you develop a habit of reading past the ad speak and relying on your own impressions.

Review: Sage ESN fly reel

Sage's industry-first Euro-nymphing specific reel hits the mark
The Sage ESN fly reel (photo: Chad Shmukler).

High-sticking, Euro-nymphing, contact nymphing, tight-line nymphing, Czech nymphing, in-line nymphing, mono-rig nymphing, polish nymphing, and so on. It is possible that there has never been so many different ways to describe what is, generally, a single method of fishing. For our purposes here, less settle on Euro-nymphing which, much like flat brimmed hats and leather bracelets, has taken the fly-fishing community by storm over the past few years.

The West's far-swimming char

Will bull trout one day be the last of the natives?
Photo: Chris Hunt

Summer in the tall country of west-central Idaho is hot. Folks in the little river town of Riggins regularly watch the mercury climb into triple-digit territory, and more often than not, August skies are clear, but tinged with acrid smoke from surrounding wildfires. Some days, the sun looks like a distant orb — it’s easy to make out its edges thanks to all the haze its light must work through in order to reach the earth.

Review: Orvis PRO Approach wet wading shoe

Orvis' agile, warm-weather wet wading shoe is a no-compromise marvel
Photo: Johnny Carrol Sain

Three off-the-top-of-my-head advantages to living in Arkansas: Chocolate gravy over biscuits is a breakfast option. You can absolutely wear your cut-offs to the fanciest restaurant in town. Wet-wading season runs April through October.

You may have never even heard of such a thing as chocolate gravy, but it’s real, and it is spectacular. Admittedly it’s a broad stroke, but if you’re not in the cut-offs crowd, well, we probably won’t have much in common. And around these parts, waders are for duck hunting.