Gear we love right now: May 2023

What's working on and off the water, right now
Photo: Farbank Enterprises.

Fly anglers are overloaded with gear choices—rods, reels, boots, waders, lines, packs, bags, boxes, vests, apparel and more. It seems harder and harder to know what's worth coveting and what's worth ignoring. Gear reviews are a great way to explore in-depth what might be right for you, but not every piece of gear is suited to a full-length review and, even if it were, there's simply too much of it to get to. With that in mind, we periodically showcase what's working for us right now, to hopefully offer more helpful feedback on gear that's worth a second look.

Simple nymphing: Part 2

Getting the drift
Photo: Todd Tanner

In Simple Nymphing: Part 1, I focused on several basic nymph fishing truths and then delved into the easiest and most effective way to set up a nymphing rig. To summarize those truths:

First, you need to present appropriate flies to a trout, or to likely looking water, at the right depth, and without drag or unnatural movement.

Then you need to detect the strike and set the hook before the fish expels your nymph.

That’s nymphing in a nutshell. We can make it far more complicated, of course, but there’s really no reason to add additional levels of complexity unless we’re looking for a challenge or we’re drawn to complexity for its own sake.

The Yucatan's best-kept secret?

Fly fishing Mexico's Chetumal Bay
Guide karma has its benefits (photo: Xflats).

It was a good idea. Or so we thought.

After a day spent chasing bones and tarpon on the flats of Chetumal Bay, instead of heading back to the lodge, Earl and I asked our guide, Alejandro, to drop us on the beach in Xcalak, a modest little Yucatan fishing village that fronts the Caribbean just north of the border with Belize.

It was somewhat of an usual request, but our plan to wander the friendly little community, find a cold cerveza and maybe a couple plates of tacos pescados to share was enough to entice

Feds to pour money into public lands projects—for now

In the short term, the government will make big investments in public lands infrastructure
Boardwalks overlooking Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park (photo: NPS/David Restivo cc2.0).

In August 2020, Congress did something remarkable. In the throes of a heated political campaign season and in the middle of a deadly viral pandemic that was literally killing Americans left and right, the nation’s legislative branch set aside its daily political rancor and passed the Great American Outdoors Act.