August 31, 2012

Friday Blog Love

I'll keep this short.

Check out The Functioning Fishaholics.


Matt wrote a really good post last night, especially if you're a fellow blogger.  I think we all struggle with this from time to time.  Please don't comment here, comment there.

Oh, and enjoy your Labor Day weekend...


August 30, 2012

Gear Review - Lightload Towels

I know, I know...you've seen reviews of Lightload Towels before...  Like HERE and HERE and probably other places too.  I get it.  I know why you're rolling your eyes.  But don't go to another site yet, this post gets better...I think...

Image stolen from Owl Jones Dot Com

So the concept is simple.  Its a little disc that you can easily toss in your pocket, your fishing bag, a backpack, wherever...and like you'd hear on an infomercial, "just add water," and magically the little disc expands and is either a full sized hand towel (12"x12") or larger towel (12"x24"), depending on which flavor's in your PEZ dispenser.  If you have kids, you may have seen t-shirts or washcloths with cartoon characters on them sold in a similar, although not as small, fashion.

Small, next to tiny Altoids tin for scale
Big

Anyway, last weekend I took one of the magic discs, tossed it in my tiny Vedavoo chest pack, and went fishing.  I really didn't need it for most of the day, until the cloud cover kinda burned off.  Okay, I'll just say it, it got pretty hot out of nowhere.  Solution, Lightload Towel.  Got it wet, rung it out, tucked one end under my cap, and had a built in air-conditioner.  Yeah, I looked like a dorky Iron Sheik, but it worked, so bite me.


After fishing, I used it to wipe down my rod and wipe off my hands before driving home.  So there, I proved its utility.  It's a towel, so there's really not much to say once you get past the magical fact that it grows from ultra-compact to full sized without the use of purple pills.

As far as other uses, I'm sure I'll find some over time.  I might give some of the samples to my friend Dave, who is one of those go hiking and backpack and camp in the middle of nowhere types.  I'm sure he'll find more ways to use it than me.  The header card packaging actually makes several suggestions for alternative uses.  Things like washcloth, mask, fire starter, static electricity insulator (huh?), diaper, wind/winter scarf, and first aid supplement.  Wait...what...did they say fire starter?  Oh, yes they did.  Let's try that out now...


If there's no video above, it means the YouTube police got me!

Okay, so they're flammable.  As such, they label it "The Only Towel That Is A Survival Tool."  I'm not sure if Bear Grylls would need one to start a fire, but it does go up in flames.

So to close, what do I think about this product?  Well they're cheap ($2.75 for a two pack of hand towels), and they do what they are supposed to do, so that's all aces in my book.  It's the kind of thing you buy, toss in your pack, forget about for a while, and then when you actually do need it for something, you're damn thankful it's there.  The only drawback...after it's wet...how do I get it to shrink back down into a disc again?

DISCLAIMER:
The Lightload Towels tested in this product review were provided to me at no cost, but have a retail price of $2.75 respectively. I currently hold no association with Lightload Towels or George Wheeler whatsoever, but I thank Owl Jones for sending him my way and his towels for being so flammable.  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time in doing so?


August 29, 2012

Wednesday Nibbles - The Non Tenkara Edition

Before I begin, I need to apologize for all of the tenkara posts lately.  For better or worse it's what I do probably 70% of the time I go fishing these days, so it also fuels a lot of the inspiration for the posts around here, no matter how silly a method of fishing it appears.  It's probably fitting that I fish with an obscure type of fishing rod, that way I have an excuse when I don't catch fish.

Anyway, with that out of the way, it's Wednesday, so let's do the Nibbles.

Just to temporarily remove the smell of tenkara from my hands, here's a pic of the CLS reel, the "Best Freshwater Reel" at the recent IFTD Show out in Reno.  It's a cassette reel from Hardy, who, well, I've always had a total gearcrush on.  It's also a back to back win for them after they won the same award in 2011 for their Ultralight DD reel.


I've always dug Hardy's design aesthetic, from classic to modern, even though my wallet protests a purchase.  I should really give in someday and just pay the $$$ and do it up right.  Heck, their North American HQ is only about an hour drive from my house, maybe I can just go beg at the doorstep.  Perhaps when they make a tenkara rod...just kidding...or am I?

You may have already hear this story, but in case you didn't, here you go.  Evidently some clown got run over by a car driven by teenage girls.  Why a clown?  Because the guy was evidently dressed up in a Ghillie suit and running around a road trying to create a false Bigfoot Sighting.  I know a person died in this little stunt, but that's just stupid.  Everybody knows you just need to hit a tree trunk with a stick and a real Bigfoot will appear...duh!  I was just relieved it wasn't Adam from This River Is Wild.


Actually, I had several people send this story to me via Twitter earlier in the week, heck, even one asking about MY safety.  My fondness for all things 'Squatch must not be much of a secret anymore, huh...?


Speaking of Twitter, do you have a Twitter account?  Have you harassed Jimmy Kimmel today?  You know, the comedian and late night talk show host...  If you answered yes to the first question and no to the second, please reconsider on behalf of everyone's favorite animated piece of fishing tackle.


Yeah, the latest tactic by Olive's creator Kirk Werner is evidently to stalk celebs on Twitter and send promotional messages to them based on their innocuous tweets regarding technology.  Actually, it's not as creepy as I just made it sound, it's actually kind of fun.

It's much easier just to read about it over at the Olive blog, so go there by clicking HERE, and then get to copy and pasting and harassing Jimmy Kimmel.  It only takes a few minutes...or an hour if you do it over and over and over again...

The wife & I have planned a mission for the weekend.  I have to take her to the fabric store...and a winery...and then I get this...


...well I get the burger.  Maybe two.  That's right, beef, pulled pork, and onion rings...with cheese and barbecue sauce.  We're driving almost an hour away from home to git 'r dun...because they don't have Carl's Jr. or Hardee's near us.  Yes, I'll do anything for science.

To close, time for some blog love.  I'll be totally honest, I haven't been reading a lot of blogs lately.  I click on a few of my longtime favorites and then maybe one or two that migrate toward the top of my blogroll after they publish a new post, but on the whole, I haven't been seeking out new reading material like I used to.


That said, I've somewhat recently added High On The Fly to my blogroll.  It's not a blog that writes terribly long posts, but to be honest, it's pretty much tuned to the length my current attention span.  A couple paragraphs, a picture or two, and done.  Check out Jeff's blog some love when you have a free minute and see what I mean.  I think you'll like it.

August 28, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday (Gear Review) - Esoteric Tackle 12' ESO-Tenkara Rod

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

I was contacted somewhat out of the blue a little while ago via email by Daniel from Esoteric Tackle...yes, there is another Daniel in tenkaradom...crazy right?...about giving an "unbiased review" of his rod against the competition.  Being that I've fished a few makes of tenkara rod and have at least some frame of reference I figured why not.  I mean who doesn't like gear sent to their house?  Heck, at minimum it would give me something to write about.


First off, a little about Esoteric Tackle.  I honestly don't know much about them other than they sell "esoteric"...which kinda means unusual....fishing products online and are based in the United Kingdom.  Upon inspection of the mailing tube, the address actually read that the rod shipped from the Isle of Man...which is probably one of the coolest places on Earth the rod could of shipped from, you know considering that's where that annual motorcycle accident race is held every year.


Anyway, back to the review...

ROD SPECS (From Their Website)
  • Made from high quality Japanese carbon fiber in China
  • High quality cork handle
  • Closed Length: 55.5cm  (22 inches)
  • Open Length: 360cm  (11.8 feet)
  • Handle Length: 22.5cm  (8.9 inches)
  • Weight:  88g  (3.1 ounces - my scale said 3.2 ounces)
  • Sections 9

FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Oooh...ruby red.  Yeah, the pictures might not show it all that well, but the rod is a very attractive, deep red.  Very pretty actually.  The branding is in a very bold gold font, easy to read.  This particular rod is a 360cm model rated 6:4.


The cork handle is pretty average grade, it's got filler, but no more or less than you'd expect.  Cosmetics don't mean much if the rod doesn't fish well, but I will say it sure does look good up on the rod rack.


The lillian (the little string at the end that you attach your line to) is connected to the tip section by what I guess is some heat seal wrap.  It's pretty much what you'd find on a Tenkara USA rod, although not the fancy swivel found on some high end Japanese rods.

There's a nice metal screw cap at the butt end with the Esoteric logo.  The cap has a rubber ring around and a rubber tip on top of the screw, to keep the cap attached securely and dampen the sound the rod segments make when collapsed - a nice touch.


WIGGLE TEST
I'm not sure why exactly but the first thing most people do when playing with a rod for the first time is give it a wiggle.  Being a 6:4 model (meaning the flex point is 60% up the rod), this rod isn't supposed to be stiff, but I was actually kind of surprised by how whippy it was when wiggly.  Not bad whippy, but there's a fair amount of flex in the bottom 1/3rd of the rod when fully extended.  Quite a bit more than any of the other tenkara rods I've fished from other brands.

OKAY, CUT THE CRAP, HOW DOES IT FISH?
So I took this rod out a few times to date and went after small to medium sized trout each time.  While others may fish for bass or who knows what other species with their tenkara rods, I typically do not.  A tenkara rod is an ultralight trout rod to me, so that's how the Eso-Tenkara rod was tested.

In terms of line, I tried casting both a level line and a furled line.  While this rod handled the level line fine, I thought it really excelled with the furled line.  Something about that whippy end really liked the additional weight of the furled line, especially when attempting a sidearm or roll cast.  Plus, to come clean, I suck at casting level lines.

By nature, tenkara rods cast pretty accurately almost automatically...this rod was no different and with a 10.5 foot furled line and about 3 feet of 5x tippet, I was hitting my target pretty much whenever I wanted.  I will say that I found a slower paced cast to be much more accurate than a fast cast, so perhaps you can call this a "slower" 6:4 rod.  It's definitely soft action.

I got into quite a few fish the times I took the rod out.  The rod was plenty sensitive and I had no problem feeling light strikes or the fly glancing off rocks through the current all the way down to the handle.  That said, when a fish was on, you knew it.  I didn't catch any more than 13 or 14 inches, but the Eso-Tenkara rod handled them all, both large and small well.  


Despite being generally whippy, the rod didn't provide an ultra deep bend, but it provided an entertaining period of play when landing the trout.  Definitely not a broomstick or cane pole and more than capable in pretty much every circumstance.



A FEW INTERESTING SIDE NOTES
The one thing I couldn't get over was how much this rod looked like my Series I Iwana from Tenkara USA. Now my Iwana rod is 11', not 12', but the cosmetic similarities were pretty striking.  Almost the same size/style cork grip, the same translucent blank (different color) exposing the carbon fiber beneath, similar metal screw caps, etc...  Heck, the "Electrical Warning" sticker was identical to that of my Tenkara USA Ito.  And I mean identical...

Tenkara USA Ito top / Eso-Tenkara bottom

...oh, and the rod tubes are the same too.  Even have the same caps.  You can switch them up and the threads match perfectly.

They're the same-ish...

Now let me make this very clear...I'm not saying Tenkara USA & Esoteric Tackle rods are the same spec for spec - not at all, but to ignore the cosmetic similarities would be negligent in doing a review.  Wouldn't be surprised if they are made in the same place though...I mean how many Chinese factories are making tenkara rods?

IN CLOSING
I guess you can pretty much figure out that I liked this rod.  There's really nothing blatantly negative I can say about it (even though I prefer my tenkara rods slightly lighter & shorter), it's overall a pretty solid performer at its pricepoint of squigglyline 95 or $149.89 US dollars.  


I could quickly see this becoming a pretty popular rod in the United Kingdom.  As for the United States...I'm not sure what "Isle of Man" Daniel's long term plans are for marketing the rod here, but at a similar pricepoint as Tenkara USA rods, there's really no reason not to give it a look.  Is it as crisp casting or refined as some of the Japanese rods I've fished?  No, but I don't think you'd regret your purchase at all as a mid-priced tenkara rod.  

DISCLAIMER:
The Esoteric Tackle ESO-Tenkara rod tested in this product review was provided to me at no cost, but with an option to buy it if I liked it. I currently hold no association with Esoteric Tackle or Daniel Hall whatsoever, but liked the rod enough to probably buy it as soon as I can find some pounds or shillings or sixpence or whatever currency they use over there.  I think I have some Canadian Monopoly money left over from my trip to Nova Scotia, maybe he'll take that...  As with all independent gear reviews at Troutrageous!, I try my best to keep my reviews honest and unbiased. If something is good, it deserves applause; if it sucks, I'll let you know that too. It ain't in my interest to steer you wrong, so why waste the time in doing so?


August 27, 2012

Skunked!

No real post out of me today.  I tried to go fishing yesterday, but felt the wrath of the skunk.  So no fish, no post.  I'm not going to give you that, "oh, it was just great to get out" crap.

Random picture of dude using trained birds to fish

I probably shouldn't have really tried, it was deceivingly warm and the water at Valley was really, really low. I was actually going to go to the Perkiomen Creek and pick on panfish and smallmouth, but for some reason I wanted trout.  It's a sickness.  Oh well...

So with that, I figured I'd set the table for the rest of the week.  I actually have a few posts planned for a change, here's what to look forward to:

Tomorrow:  Tenkara Tuesday - Gear Review of Esoteric Tackle 12' Tenkara Rod
Wednesday:  Wednesday Nibbles
Thursday:  Gear Review - Light Load Towels...and yes Beavis, there will be fire.
Friday:  Something TBD.  Not really top secret, just TBD.

Okay, so in the words of Fontinalis Rising, "Let's Get After It."


August 21, 2012

Tenkara Tuesday - What's In The Bag?

Welcome to Tenkara Tuesday.

I thought it might be interesting to write a little bit about what's inside my typical tenkara pack.  Okay, maybe it's not all that interesting, but after posting this picture (below) of my Vedavoo chest pack to various social media outlets on Sunday, I found myself getting quite a few questions about how much, and what, this little pack holds.


Well first off, while this is called a "chest pack," I'd more likely compare it to a lanyard than what you might typically think a chest pack is.  While it has a few compartments, I wouldn't say any are particularly deep, so you're not going to cram 3 fly boxes in this thing.  However for a quick fishing session or doing the tenkara thing, I've found this to be aces.

Here's what it holds, or at least what I put inside, to both answer the question, and give perspective of the bag's capacity.  Please note, all this stuff fits neatly inside while the pack maintains a slim profile.  


Contents (clockwise from 2 o'clock):
  • Point & Shoot Camera
  • Hemostat
  • Smartphone
  • Tenkara line spool
  • Car Keys
  • ID holder
  • Altoids Tin Fly Box
  • Fishing License
  • Attached to pack - 3 tippet spools, nippers, fly dryer

Yes, you could clip or pin even more things to the pack utilizing the extra nylon loops found all over the pack or by stuffing the pockets full, I just choose not to junk it up.

Who says you need a lot of gear to go fly fishing?

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Are you a Western tenkara angler? Do you have a story, pictures, video, fly recipe, or simply a fishing report from one of your recent tenkara adventures? If so, Troutrageous! wants to hear from you for a future Tenkara Tuesday post! Feel free to send and email HERE, or check out this previous post for more information.


August 20, 2012

An Esoteric Day Of Fishing

Sneaking out Saturday afternoon to get a few hours of fishing in was pretty much a "oh, what the heck" decision.  It was a nice day outside, but we all seemed to just be loafing around the house.  Well, not really loafing, my wife was sewing, I was tying flies, and Lilly was watching cartoons...which to a kid...is not loafing.

It had rained pretty hard the night before, so I had no idea what the surrounding creeks would look like.  I figured Valley would be a safe bet since it clears quicker than most, although I'm trying to wean myself off fishing there as much.  I was enthusiastic about fishing because I had a few new things I wanted to try out.  

The first new item was a 12' tenkara rod from Esoteric Tackle over in the UK.  It was sent over for me to demo & review, and while the latter will not be covered in this post, I will hint that I was pleasantly surprised by the rod's capabilities.


The second item was a new (to me) fly pattern I was kind of lusting over in recent days, Kiwi's Royal Sakasa Kebari.  He had actually recently posted on his blog a variant with a green band called the McGee Lime Kebari...and I had spent the morning tying up a variant of the variant, substituting out the green in favor of pink thread Lilly got me for X-Mas two years ago.  Rod & flies in hand, I hopped in the car and drove off.

The fish had already gotten to this one a few times...

Well...when I got to Valley, I was greeted with high flows and pretty much chocolate milk toned water.  Not totally "blown out," but very high and muddy.  I actually like fishing Valley when it's high and discolored...the fish don't seem to spook as easily and the other fishermen tend to stay home, so I was planning on having some fun over the next few hours.

With the cool temperatures, I was surprised at how few people were there walking their dogs or jogging along the stream.  It had rained the night before, but the paved trails were far from wet or muddy.  That said, once I was in the water, I was also surprised at how many of the folks that were out and about decided it was going to be a good idea to stop, look down the embankment, and try to strike up a conversation with me.  Usually, I may get the token "ya catching anything?" question once an outing...but on this day I had to get at least 5 or 6.  One older gentleman even noticed that I didn't have a reel on my rod.  "Is that some sort of new style of fly fishing?" he asked...

Fortunately, the fish were more than cooperative and allowed me to show off land a few for my surprisingly captive audience.  Maybe the rod had extra unicorn hair, maybe it was the dark, buggy body of the Pink Lilly Kebari fly in the muddy water, but whatever it was I caught a bunch.  Actually more than a bunch...it might have been my best day at Valley since April, if not all year.

This was actually caught on an Ishigaki Kebari

After about 3 hours of constant action yielding several more fish like the above, I collapsed my rod, spooled up my line, and headed home.  I could have stayed longer and fished until the bite completely stopped (or lost all my flies; you can see in the first rod pic I didn't bring many), but why bother?  I've always thought that when things are going that good, it's best to keep a good taste in your mouth and not to push your luck.  

Okay, I'll admit it, I left because it was dinner time, and when the belly says "go home," I listen.


August 19, 2012

Kickstarter - The Fishing Gods

Over here at Troutrageous! I've been maintaining a relationship with Kype Magazine for the better part of the last 3 years.  It's not unique, other bloggers also post the "free issues" on their sites, I just continue to do so because happen to enjoy the magazine and the people involved.

As such, I thought it would be worth mentioning a "Kickstarter" project that George Douglas (Kype's publisher) has currently running.  His goal - to publish a book called The Fishing Gods - which will ambitiously attempt to harness 500 years worth of fly fishing knowledge into a hardbound book, worthy of any fisherman's library.



Excerpt from press release:

THE FISHING GODS
Author and Publisher, George Douglas has just completed his latest fly fishing project ! Five hundred years of experience compiled in one amazing book---the stories, techniques, and flies of the top American & Canadian Fly Fishing Guides. We'd like to refer to them as the "Sweet Sixteen"...April Vokey, Loren Williams, Scott Howell, Lori-Ann Murphy, & Josh Nugent just to name a few. The foreword is written by Dec Hogan -- and all the step by step fly patterns were recreated and photographed by Dec Hogan and Marty Howard. This book is sure to be a classic in the fishing industry for years to come...Be a part of this project and pre-order your copy at:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/469002171/the-fishing-gods


August 18, 2012

My Canadian Vacation Recap...Somewhat Briefly...Because Who Really Wants To Look At Someone Else's Vacation Pictures....

How's that for a blog post title?  I thought it was fitting.

So yeah, the fam & I went on a little cruise up to Canada last week out of New York City.  BTW, I still really dislike NYC.  But that's a novel post for another time...

So we left the dock and went past the Statue of Liberty.  Goodbye America.


After a day and a half at sea, we were greeted by fog.  Like lots of fog.  I think I enjoyed our first port of call in Saint John, New Brunswick, at least what I could see of it.  That's a little bit of an exaggeration but it really was quite foggy.  

Saint John...I think...

We took a bus tour called the "Top Ten of Saint John" that drove us all around.  We saw the Reversing Falls, the New Brunswick Museum, the City Market, the Caves at Bay of Fundy in Saint Martins, and a bunch of other historical stuff in and around town.  It went far too quickly and I have to give a big tip of the cap to Ian Patrick our tour guide from Aquila Tours.  He gave an excellently entertaining tour...would highly recommend it to anyone who's into that sort of thing.  

Lilly and her flag
View of "Reversing Falls"
River flowed left to right in morning, but right to left when we returned in afternoon.
City Market
Caves at Bay of Fundy
Lilly getting her sneakers wet
Low tide = boat in mud.
High tide touches the bottom of the covered bridge, a pretty dramatic difference

That was pretty much my Saint John experience, as we had to be back on the cruise ship in the early afternoon.  Far too short.  So that night we sailed through the fog & rain and ended up in Halifax, Nova Scotia the next morning.

The weather was much nicer in Halifax...it was sunny, warm, and we had a little more time to do "stuff."  The Harborwalk area by the pier was really nice.  

Lilly & Samuel Cunard statue
Sailing ship in harbor
Lilly getting her sneakers wet

There was a farmer's market, shopping, beautiful views of sailing ships, you name it.  I would have liked to have had about an hour or two more of free time, but we had another tour scheduled after lunch which took us to Peggy's Cove.


Peggy's Cove was pretty interesting...you know with all the granite stones, boulders, whatever you want to call them, and the lighthouse.  Really quite pretty.  We had about an hour and a half there to walk around, take pictures, visit the local shops, but other than that...I'll be honest...the sightseeing tour of Halifax was a little bit boring.  I couldn't help notice people falling asleep on the bus...you know when I wasn't dozing off myself.  Ian Patrick was sorely missed.

K.C. & Lilly navigating the rocks
Fish art
The lighthouse...with some weather rolling in...
The family picture

After that, back on the boat...a day at sea...and back to the United States.

Overall, I really enjoyed our trip around the Canadian Maritimes.  Being a cruise, we only really got to spend a little more than an afternoon in each port of call, and I really think I'd like to get back sometime and give at least 2 or 3 days to each city.  Especially to Saint John.  Oh, and maybe even try a little fishing...and perhaps even eat some dulse.

As for the cruise itself?  The boat was big, the amenities were nice, but the on-boat part of the trip was just "okay."  There were some issues on the ship that I really don't want to talk about here.  Let's just say long lines, CDC warnings, excessive use of plastic gloves, a SAW contingent, and fountains of Purell.  Yeah, we'll just leave that one be.


August 10, 2012

On The Run To Canada

I'll be either on a boat or in Canada the next few days (oh, with a quick stop in NYC today).  As such, the blog will most likely be silent over the next week.


What am I doing you might ask?  Running from the law?  Fishing?  Going on a drunken bender?    Perhaps all...or perhaps none.  I'll let you know when I get back.

In the meantime, go visit my blogroll over on the right hand side of the page.  Lots of good reads there...


August 9, 2012

Troutrageous! Storms 2012 Outdoor Retailer Summer Market (Part 2)

Today, Chase Hundley is back with part two of his OR Show post.  (You can check out part one HERE).  He digs into some gear, thus I'm not going to delay the goodies with an extended intro.  So without further adieu, get to reading.  Enjoy...

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As promised, here's “part 2” of my Outdoor Retailer excursion with proof that I slobbered over gear and not the awkward contortionists at a New Balance party for the release of their new minimal running shoe (I’m still asking myself why I was invited to a party for running shoes).

Fine New Balance Lady

…I’ll just say I followed friends there – also there was free food.

Finally, here’s all the awesome gear I witnessed at the show.

1. Redington Link Rods
Redington Link Fly Fishing Rod

My favorite piece of new gear from the show would be the Link Rods from Redington. I’ve been on the search for an 8wt that I can use for big bass flies, saltwater, and a possible steelhead trip in the near future. I played around with the 8wt Link Rod at the casting competition during the Open Air Demo and fell in love with it. I was really surprised at how quickly I was casting (semi) accurately with a giant piece of wet yarn tied on (I say “semi” due to my noob-like casting skills). They also look awesome.

2. Montana Fly Company Boat Box
Montana Fly Company Boat Box

You can fit a ton of stuff in these. I’m anxious to see how many giant bass streamers I can cram in one. Also, they’re waterproof. I usually end up having to dry out my flies after a float/fish trip due to my streamer box not being waterproof. I’ll probably end up purchasing one of these soon, unless the gear Gods make one appear on my doorstep sometime.

3. Orvis Helios 2 Rods
Orvis Helios 2 Fly Fishing Rods

The Helios 2 will probably be awesome (I’d hope so with the price), I didn’t get to cast one, but I tried to get a feel for it with some floppy (movements?).
These are wayyyyy out of my (and most people I fish with) price range, but I’d really love to see if they perform as well as the price says they do.

4. Umpqua Packs
Umpqua Feather Merchants Fly Fishing Bags Packs

Umpqua showcased a ton of new stuff that I didn’t expect at the show. They’re coming out with a new line of flies and accessories aimed at selling in big box stores, but what I was most impressed with were the packs. They were some of the best looking and most practical fishing packs I’ve seen. There is also a waist pack, but my picture of it was terrible. Apparently they’ve teamed up with a popular hiking/mountaineering pack brand to make these guys. They’re also coming out in a green/grey color very similar to one from (a popular pack brand) that I carry everywhere.

5. Fishpond Packs
Fishpond Waterproof Fly Fishing Packs Bags

Waterproof packs seem to be pretty popular right now, with good reason – it seems I dunk mine every time I’m wet wading. Most of the ones I’ve seen so far weren’t very stylish at all (don’t really have to be), but these from Fishpond were some of the best looking ones I’ve seen. They also have a ton of styles coming out, including rolling luggage type bags.

6. Redington Ultra Packable Sonic-Pro waders
Redington Ultra Packable Ultra Sonic Pro Waders

I haven’t had a chance to try out the Sonic-Pro waders yet, but people I know seem to be in love with them. I’m pretty cheap and it’s hot as hell in Arkansas during the summer, so I normally take the “it’s too hot for waders approach” and end up using my neoprene duck hunting waders when I absolutely have to. There have been many times fishing for trout in our tailwaters that I’ve wished I had some light waders, though. I actually can’t wait to try a pair of these, they seem extremely light and they pack down into a small pack (the pack hanging on the mannequin) – something my neoprene waders will never do.

7. Orvis Silver Sonic Waders

What impressed me most about the Orvis Silver Sonic waders was the ability to transform into a wader pant. They seem to be decent waders and are constructed with sonic welding technology.

8. Orvis Gale Force Packs
Orvis Gale Force Waterproof Fly Fishing Bags Packs

Orvis jumped on the waterproof pack train as well and is coming out with some pretty slick waterproof packs. They seem like they’d be put to some good use when I slip off of a giant rock trying to stalk a smallie.

9. Redington Prospector Rods
Redington Prospector Fly Fishing Spey Rods

I’m extremely inexperienced in the spey/switch casting rod category, but these seemed to be some nice rods. What really impressed me is the fact that they are making them all the way down to a 4wt. I imagine that would be a fun rig to cast.

10. Buff Gloves
Buff Fly Fishing Gloves

I can’t remember the exact name of these gloves, but they’re Buff’s new fishing gloves. They had a few different styles and felt great. The stripping guards on the fingers were my favorite part.

There you go, my favorite fly fishing gear from OR. I’m anxiously waiting to see what IFTD has to show that I didn’t get to see. There are a few pieces of gear that might roll in for an actual product review in the near future, so get ready.

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Now did Chase deliver the goods for you guys or what!?!  Great recap Chase, and thanks for bringing your A-Game to these posts.

If you're interested in reading more of Chase's work, I suggest...rather demand you go visit his blog Feather & Scale.  I'm sure there will be more posts to come regarding the brands he met with at the show as well as his own exploits with rod & reel.  And while you're at it, check him out on Facebook & Twitter too.