New fly fishing gear: November 2023

What's new on the water this month
Photo: Cheeky Reels.

Like it or not, the holidays are upon us, and fly fishing gear peddlers are all about seasonal sales. This month, equipment manufacturers are launching a host of new items, from a new rod-and-reel combo kit to a waterproof wading backpack from an unlikely source.

All the “bah, humbug!” aside, it really is a good time to find solid buys for the fly fisher in your life. Take a look at all the new stuff for November — there’s bound to be something the fly angler in your life might like to find under the tree in just seven short weeks.

Here comes the sun

Do we want it or not?
Photo: Mike Sepelak

There’s a thin, icy glaze on the Ankona’s front casting platform and there’s no way I’m stepping up there, especially after the long skate I took down the boat ramp when we launched the damn thing. Landing on one’s ass at the bottom of a frozen dock is one thing. Landing on one’s ass at the bottom of a sixty-foot deep, forty-degree lake in the dark is quite another.

I’m perfectly comfortable casting from here in the pit, thank you very much, although “comfortable” is a relative term considering the fact that I can’t feel my toes.

Review: Trekkage LT Adventure 80L Checked Roller Bag

Orvis' newest line of luggage can swallow gear and withstand serious abuse
Photo: Orvis Fly Fishing.

I travel a lot, and I almost always travel with a significant amount of fly-fishing gear. From rods and reels and boxes of flies to waders, boots and rain gear, I can max out my 50-pound weight limit for a checked bag after just five minutes of packing.

But that’s never my goal when I prepare for a trip — particularly a long trip where fishing is virtually the sole purpose of the adventure. Rather, I aim to pack as efficiently as possible. And, to be honest, I’ve gotten pretty good at it.

Still crazy after all these years

The psychotic angler
One That Got Away on the Kangia River in Greenland (photo: Earl Harper).

It takes two short questions to expose just how viscerally brain-bending fishing can be.

The first is ‘Why do we go fishing?’ This isn’t subtle and needs just 3 words for an answer. Maybe there’s someone out there who’ll say they don’t go fishing to catch fish, but I’ve never met them. There’s no shortage of secondary reasons such as good company and beautiful locations, but they’re all predicated on the idea that we go fishing to catch fish.  The clue is in the name. This answer, as I will demonstrate, is wrong.

Falling into the late season

More tips for success during autumn low water conditions
Photo: George Daniel.

Autumn is one of the most beautiful times to be on the water, especially when fall foliage is at its peak. However, this time of year also creates some of the most challenging fishing conditions of the year, including low water. While there is no shortage of recommendations on how to tackle autumn conditions, here are a few of my favorite tips for dealing with low flows and other challenges common during the fall days on the water.