New fly fishing gear: April 2024

What's new on the water this month
korkers chrome lite boot | wade-lite collection
The new Korkers Chrome Lite boot (photo: Korkers).

Spring has sprung. Even considering that mother nature decided to dump big, early spring snowfalls on both the mountain west and northern New England, redbuds and dogwoods will soon be near their peak in Appalachia and, even here in the Rockies, the sun is taking a bite out of the winter snowpack. Across the fly fishing industry, gear and equipment manufacturers are celebrating the new season with some new offerings, including new inflatable crafts designed for anglers, boots and shoes and even some throwback shades. Without further adieu, here’s what’s new this month.

Korkers Wade-Lite wading boots

We’ve seen a modest “revolution” of sorts among wading-boot manufacturers — companies are investing in lightweight tech in order to provide anglers with durable wading footwear that is also as light as possible. Korkers is officially on the board with its new Wade-Lite wading boot collection that includes its new Stealth Sneaker and Chrome Lite boot (pictured at top).

Both new models are is built on top of the company’s new proprietary Kling-On Rock outsoles. The soles include embedded nylon anchor plates that hold Korkers’ new XTRA-BITE carbide screw-in cleats. The Stealth Sneaker weighs just 2.2 pounds and the Chrome Lite boot weighs 2.6 pounds and features a BOA locking system, which is super handy for easy-on, easy-off use.

Unlike the Korkers boots most anglers have been accustomed to for ages now, these two new, ultralight models do not feature Korkers interchangeable soles. Both the Chrome Lite and Stealth Sneaker are fixed sole boots. You can read more about the new Korkers Wade-Lite collection here. Retail: Stealth Sneaker: $149.99, Chrome Lite boot: $179.99.



nrs slipstream 129 - 2024
The new NRS Slipstream 129 (photo: NRS).

NRS Approach and Slipstream fishing rafts

With the launch of its new Approach fishing rafts and the “enhancement” of its Slipstream fishing series, NRS is upping its game among the fly-fishing crowd.

The new Approach series is meant to provide anglers with lighter-weight options for fishing rafts that feature smaller tubes and a drop-stitch insert floor. Built to navigate skinny waters, the new Approach rafts deflate easily and can be transported in the bed of a pickup or, fully inflated, on a roof rack. The idea, NRS says, is to give anglers “the freedom to take off on an adventure whenever they want, to wherever they want.” The Approach boats include bi-directional rod holders and a quick-release anchor system. The boats come in two sizes: the Approach 100 and the Approach 120.

NRS’s Slipstream Fishing Series got an upgrade for 2024, and anglers who have used these boats in the past will notice things like improved low-water drafting and a drop-stitch floor that’s a full 2 inches taller and is now insertable. The frame features molded thigh locks for safety, integrated rod holders and a quick-release anchor system. The Slipstream comes in three sizes: Slipstream 106, Slipstream 129 and Slipstream 142. Retail: Approach from $3,795, Slipstream from $4,495.



Flip Pallot and Oliver White sporting Costa's renewed Grand Catalina frames
Flip Pallot and Oliver White sporting Costa's renewed Grand Catalina frames (photo: Costa Sungalsses).

Costa Grand Catalina frames

Generally speaking, we rarely mention new sunglasses frames — for us, it’s all about the lenses and the tech that goes into today’s shades. But this month, we’re making an exception for a throwback frame that might conjure up memories from those old Saturday morning fishing shows that we all watched religiously back in the day. Costa’s new Grand Catalina frames are totally retro — a nod to the saltwater greats like Flip Pallot and Jose Wejebe, who helped inspire many a saltwater fly caster. The frames feature removable side shields and some new and noticeable features, like sweat-management channels and vented nose pads, all with the intent of staying cool while looking cool, Chico Fernandez-style. Retail: $209 to $284.


northfork packs umpqua
Photo: Umpqua.

Umpqua Northfork Pack Collection

It’s hard to believe, but Umpqua’s Northfork packs are now in their fifth generation. Time flies, doesn’t it? The idea behind this latest iteration is simplicity, or as Umpqua Marketing Director Russ Miller says, the new Northfork packs are “a no-nonsense fishing bags designed for anglers by anglers.” But, what does that really mean? Well, the collection consists of a chest pack, a waist pack and a sling pack, each with varying features, but all designed with the minimalist in mind.

Each pack features the company’s VersiLoop accessory attachments that allows easy access to needed gear, like nippers or hemos. Inside storage for each pack is spacious for safe storage for everything from your phone to spare leaders and tippets and several fly boxes, depending on which bag you choose. For comfort, each pack’s straps are ergonomically designed for wearing them around on the creek all day. And, the company claims, each pack is designed to be as bomb-proof as possible. Past Northfork iterations still hold up nicely — no reason to suspect the line will be any less tough. Retail: From $89.99.


uncharted supply triage kit
Photo: Uncharted Supply.

Uncharted Supply Triage Kit

Sometimes, life happens, right? A good first-aid kit should be a staple in any car or camper, and for anglers venturing into the backcountry, a light-weight option is important. Uncharted Supply might have just what us wandering anglers need — its new Triage Kit weighs just over 5 ounces and includes band-aids, blister cushions, aspirin, storm matches, a handful of zip ties, safety pins, a length of duct tape and an emergency blanket. It all comes in a slick 8-inch by 4-inch package — perfect for any backpack, sling kit or fishing vest. Retail: $49.