Page 1

the buzz on the fly-fishing biz ®

INSIDE THE

SPRING 2016 ISSUE

Fly Fishing as a Cure for the “Stupissance” The Best Fly Lines | Women in Fly Fishing | Filming Rules Reputation Management | Public Lands Fight... And More April 2016 AnglingTrade.com


FISH THE

TRUTH NEW LEADER AND TIPPET THE STRONGEST STRAIGHT TENSILE AND WET KNOT STRENGTHS IN THE INDUSTRY. PERIOD.

UP TO 35% STRONGER | 100% MORE HONEST* *REMEMBER X SIZES? SO DO WE. OUR NEW LEADER AND TIPPET MATERIALS FEATURE ACCURATE BREAKING STRENGTHS AND TRUE-TO-SPEC X SIZES, MEANING OUR 5X REALLY IS 5X.

scientificanglers.com | #fishthetruth


the buzz on the flyfishing biz

CONTENTS

®

Features

Departments

Editor

20 M A I N TA I N I N G Y O U R B U S I N E S S R E P U TAT I O N

6 EDITOR’S COLUMN

Managing Editor

Fly fishing through the “Stupissance” movement.

Tim Romano tim@anglingtrade.com

By Kirk Deeter

Art Director

What you need to know to ensure that people have an immediate, favorable impression of you and your business when they find you online. By D. Roger Maves

8 CURRENTS The latest news from the fly-fishing industry.

24 A W O M A N ’ S P L A C E

Kirk Deeter kirk@anglingtrade.com

Tara Brouwer tara@shovelcreative.com shovelcreative.com

Editor-at-Large Geoff Mueller

28 O U T S I D E T H E B O X : PUBLIC LANDS

Copy Editors Mabon Childs, Sarah Deeter

Contributing Editors Tom Bie Ben Romans Steven B. Schweitzer Greg Vincent

Women anglers are carving out their own niches in this sport, whether the old boy network is bright enough to realize that or not. By Geoff Mueller

32 F LY L I N E S H O O T O U T

What we learned from the Oregon stand-off. By Walt Gasson

30 O P I N I O N Fly anglers should speak for themselves on Magnuson-Stevens. By Charles Witek

38 B A C K C A S T

Photos unless noted by Tim Romano Angling Trade is published four times a year by Angling Trade, LLC. Author and photographic submissions should be sent electronically to editor@anglingtrade.com. Angling Trade is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and/ or photo submissions. We ask that contributors send formal queries in advance of submissions. For editorial guidelines and calendar, please contact the editor via E-mail. Printed in the U.S.A. Advertising Contact: Tim Romano Telephone: 303-495-3967

If we paid half the attention that shooters pay to bullets for guns, or hunters devote to arrows for bows, when it comes to considering fly lines for fly rods... we could make a lot more money. We took many lines to Chile to learn their differences.

Blood Sport

By Kirk Deeter

By Geoff Mueller

Fax: 303-495-2454 tim@anglingtrade.com

Street Address: 3055 24th Street Boulder, CO 80304 AnglingTrade.com

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Mail Address: PO Box 17487 Boulder, CO 80308

3


Behold

The all new, uncompromising saltwater rods from Scott.

2015 IFTD NEW PRODUCT WINNERS Overall Best of Show – Meridian by Scott and Best Fly Rod (Saltwater) – Meridian by Scott

S c o t t F l y R o d C o m p a n y | 2 3 5 5 A i r P a r k Wa y, M o n t r o s e , C o l o r a d o 8 1 4 0 1 | 9 7 0 - 2 4 9 - 3 1 8 0 | s c o t t f l y r o d . c o m


If you want to stay in the loop with the latest information related to the business of fly fishing as it happens, be sure that your information is up to date in the Angling Trade database. It’s free. No hassles. Just information. We simply want to be sure we have accurate info on who you are, where you are, and what you do in this industry. Please help us so we can continue to help you. Thank you.

Visit anglingtrade.com/subscribe/

* If a current subscriber please be sure to check the “I’m a current subscriber” box.

“MOJO MUD“ is now

JP’S BROWN* NYMPHING MUD

The same reuseable tungsten putty with a different name - still environmentally friendly, easy to use, and the choice of the pros.

15353 E. Hinsdale Circle, Unit F Centennial, Colorado 80112 www.anglersaccessories.com

303-690-0477

*Also available in gray


E D I TO R ’ S C O L U M N

FLY FISHING THROUGH THE “STUPISSANCE”

what we see in politics in this country,

when all they do is show up, have

from both sides of the aisle, to be

everyone else do the thinking and

distasteful. Now it’s all about hand

grunt work, take a photo with their

size, and walls, and divisive thinking…

trophy fish, and leave, never to return

inside the box, rather than outside…

again, never putting anything into the

what’s owed to me, rather than what I

sport or the waters. And I have a real

can do for others.

problem with anyone in this industry

And I think that’s actually reflective of a lot in American culture right now. Which is sad. In many ways, I think the most innovative, powerful nation the world has ever known is leading a “Stupissance” movement I spent most of August in Italy on

that runs directly counter to

vacation with my family. That had

Renaissance thinking.

absolutely nothing to do with fishing, and everything to do with relatives, food, wine, opera and Renaissance art. In Florence, I saw the David, and the Duomo, and spent time in other cathedrals and art galleries absorbing more about Lorenzo il Magnifico and the Renaissance movement than I ever had. It was a life-changing experience; the masterpieces hanging in the Uffizi Gallery revealed the essence of the Renaissance. Centuries ago, people were suddenly encouraged to think for themselves… to ask questions… to appreciate the beautiful things around them… to live in the moment and respect one another, rather than being sold a promise that by

Let’s let computers and apps do our thinking for us. I mean, heck, you don’t really need to know north from south, or even how to read a road map anymore when your cell phone will do the dirty work for you. Why read at all, when you can just watch the video? And why bother with actually having to talk to another human being when you can just send a text message or an email? As I start to apply those feelings

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

“Veni, vidi, vici” is a fundamentally wrong mindset for fly fishing, and it is slowly killing this sport. Fly fishing is, after all, a Renaissance sport at its core, and so should it forever be. My favorite guides are teachers. Not fish scoopers. My favorite books aren’t instruction manuals, they’re works that inspire anglers to think for themselves. My favorite brands are those that connect most essentially and most effectively with the ideal of sending anglers off on their own paths of discovery… young or old, rich or poor… experienced or simply thirsty for knowledge. So let’s, for goodness sake, embrace the wonderful nature of fly fishing for

to fly fishing, I’m sorry, but I realize

what it really is—a launching point

that I really do not love the poorly

from which we can send people of

educated. At least not on the river. I

all colors, and faiths, and financial

empathize. I’m willing to help. And

means—down a path of reward that

I certainly don’t resent the newbie

connects people with nature, and

who doesn’t know diddly, but at least

the outdoors, and the beautiful art of

walking the straight-and-narrow

shows some modicum of interest and

casting a fly on a four-count rhythm

road of conformity, they wouldn’t be

a willingness to learn.

toward a wild creature that may (or

condemned to Hell after they died.

6

who makes that their business model.

may not) eventually eat that fly. I do, however, resent the poorly

When I returned stateside, I flipped

educated (who may well be a

Fly fishing should be an escape from

on CNN to behold a Donald Trump

corporate billionaire) who feel entitled

the Stupissance, not a part of it.

political rally in Mobile, Alabama,

to reap the same rewards—instant

which shocked me back to reality.

gratification—that many of us have

Kirk Deeter

Suffice it to say that I find a lot of

spent lifetimes chasing. Especially

Editor


FINATIC

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Š Stephan Dombaj, Fly Fishing Nation

7


CURRENTS

Happenings

Angling Trade will be there, and we

AT note: We have been covering the business of fly fishing as the editors of the industry trade magazine for 10 years now, and we can safely say that we have never reported this story…

attendees as well. We expect this to

The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show is Sold Out! The International Fly Tackle Dealer Show—the largest international gathering of fly-fishing manufacturers, retailers, sales reps, media and fly-fishing organizations in the world—is officially sold out for 2016. The show, slated to take place in Orlando, Florida, July 12-15, 2016, is reputed as “the place” to meet with the industry—the people, products, innovations, emerging trends and the leading brand presentations of the 2016/2017 fly-fishing season.

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

TM

8

More than 232 booths have seen sold, confirming 2016 will be the largest IFTD show to date. “This is the first time in the history of IFTD that the show has sold out the first week of March,” AFFTA president Ben Bulis stated. “This is the direct result of providing our exhibitors with a level of customer service and delivering a product they feel is a ‘can’t miss event.’ I applaud the industry, our members, and the current and past board members for their dedication and commitment to our industry trade association and IFTD. It takes a year to plan IFTD and one of the many changes we made this year—bringing the two casting ponds to the center of the show—has proven to be a great decision for our exhibitors, and one show attendees will enjoy as well. IFTD is our industry trade show, I look forward to seeing everyone in Orlando.”

hope to see a larger group of retailer be a strong new product year. Trouts Fly Fishing Opens Frisco, Colorado, Store

Congratulations to Trouts owner Tucker Ladd (also AFFTA chairman) who recently announced that starting in April 2016, Trouts Fly Fishing will have a new location on Main Street Frisco, right in the heart of Summit County, Colorado. “It has always been my intention to take the Trouts Fly Fishing experience outside of the Denver Front Range, and with its hometown

We just received word that the Utah Supreme Court has granted Victory Ranch and the State of Utah’s motions to stay Judge Pullan’s November Ruling. In short, this means 2,700 miles of rivers and streams are once again closed to public use, effective immediately. Although we are disappointed in the court’s order, it is of the utmost importance that we follow it. Respect private property and obey all “No Trespassing” signs. Our actions must continue to be above board. We’ll repeat this very important point: DO NOT TRESPASS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY WITHOUT PERMISSION. We also should note that there tends to be a presumption in favor of preserving

continued on next page...

feel and close proximity to world-class fly fishing, Frisco was a perfect fit for our inaugural foray into multiple locations,” wrote Ladd. In addition to a second retail location, Trouts will now offer clients a wider choice of waters for guide trips including the Blue River, Colorado River, Williams Fork River, Arkansas River, Eagle River, Roaring Fork River and Frying Pan River. Contact: Trouts Frisco, 309 B Main Street, Frisco, CO 80443; phone: (970) 668-2583; toll-free (888) 453-9171; email frisco@troutsflyfishing.com. Stream Access: Some Bummer News from Utah

Kris Olson shared this from the “shitty-butnot-entirely-surprising” desk… straight from Utah Stream Access Coalition:

MFG

CO.


Retailers: Pattern your 2017 here.

TM

Moving fish forward. Orlando, Florida • July 12-15, 2016 • www.affta.org For exhibit space information please contact: Ben Bulis • 406-522-1556 • ben@affta.org


CURRENTS

the status quo during the appeal period in cases like this, so while we are disappointed that this happened, we are not necessarily surprised. We got through five years of restricted access to our rivers, and we can get through however many more it takes before the Utah Supreme Court rules on this issue. We remain confident in our legal arguments before the court, and we will continue to pursue all means possible to restore and preserve access to Utah’s public rivers and streams. Finally, if you are unsettled by this news, and believe in your rights to use the public’s resource, make a donation or come to one of our many fundraising events this spring. Stand strong. Obey the law. This, too, shall pass. Filming On Public Lands: What in the Heck is Going On?

It was one thing when John Ford set up to film a western in the Monument Valley. That was a production. But nowadays, would-be filmmakers travel light, and yet they are accountable to some of the same rules. AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

From anglingtrade.com…

10

F3T Drops Montana Wild Filmmakers Written by Geoff Mueller If you commit a crime—and hope to get away with it—best not film those

Know the rules before you film exploits and share them with the public. Case in point, Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks (FWP) and the United States Forest Service (USFS) recently released results from a two-year investigation targeting Montana Wild, the Missoula-based fly-fishing film company that did just that. Montana Wild produces hunting and fishing videos on its website and is owned and operated by brothers Zach and Travis Boughton. Their films are also known entities in the fly-fishing community. They’ve been featured in the Simms Shoot Out, on The Drake Magazine’s Flyfishing Video Awards, and as part of the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) lineup in recent years. But it was video footage from a 2013 trip to Montana’s Bob Marshall wilderness that has recently become Montana Wild’s pièce de résistance—for all the wrong reasons. The saga started when the Boughton brothers and associate Anthony Von Ruden violated federal law by venturing onto USFS lands to shoot a commercial film on bull trout fishing without proper permits. And they

violated state law, 38 citations total, by illegally targeting bull trout in South Fork Flathead River tributaries on the same trip. Perhaps worse, sifting through more than 2,200 videos obtained by search warrant produced evidence of Montana Wild “…messing with the fish for 15, even 20 minutes,” said FWP criminal investigator Brian Sommers. “There were some they’d release, that would just go right to the bottom and lay there.” Montana Wild has since been slapped with close to $6,000 in fines. The Boughtons pleaded guilty to 11 federal citations involving illegal commercial filming in and near the Bob Marshall Wilderness. They, and Von Ruden, also pleaded guilty to 38 state violations for intentionally fishing for bull trout in closed waters, failing to immediately release bull trout, and failing to report a bull trout on the required FWP catch card. In addition, this series of failures led to a film trailer on bull trout fishing in “the Bob” that was quickly dropped from the Fly Fishing Film Tour (F3T) website after “…we learned that

continued on next page...


CURRENTS

Montana Wild hadn’t procured a permit to film in the wilderness,” says F3T spokesperson Ryan Thompson. (Read the full story at anglingtrade.com...) The Outdoor Writers Association of America Further Weighs In…

On February 26, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that contained provisions addressing permits and fees for filming and photography on federal public lands.

Mark Freeman, OWAA’s most recent past president, provided this update. With the U.S. House of Representatives passing its so-called Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement Act (SHARE), there are now competing bills respectively in the House and U.S. Senate addressing commercial filming fees on public lands. Only one of those bills acknowledges journalists’ First Amendment protections and will not force Outdoor Writers Association of America members to seek permits and pay $200 annual fees to gather news and information on and about public lands. We hope that discussions about how best to meld the two bills into one final version for consideration in

It’s A Natural Revolution!

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Natural materials are all the rage right now! Cork is the ideal component for all types of fishing accessories – flexible, tough, buoyant and very lightweight. Check out our new line of accessories made of this incredibly versatile material!

12

15353 E. Hinsdale Circle, Unit F, Centennial, CO 80112 ph 303-690-0477 • fx 303-690-0472 anglersaccessories@msn.com • www.anglersaccessories.com

both chambers resembles the Senate version that specifically exempts journalists from permitting and fees while conducting constitutionally protected work on federal lands. Last fall, the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources nearly unanimously supported the amended Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act that sets out the permit structure and fees for commercial filming on public lands. Committee staff on Oct. 1 invited OWAA’s immediate past president Mark Freeman and OWAA executive director Tom Sadler to answer questions about the bill’s language. The ensuing amendment specifically exempts the “newsgathering” process from permits and fees for commercial filming on public lands. It also defines “at a minimum the gathering, recording, and filming news and information related to news in any medium.” That language is in sync with the Constitution’s provision that Congress shall pass no laws infringing the freedom of the press. Four months earlier, we responded to a request and sent a letter to the House of Representatives in reference to the draft bill H.R. 2406, the socalled SHARE Act of 2015. In the draft bill, Sec. 1301 required annual $200 fees for any commercial film crews of five people or less on public lands, with no exemption for journalists’ constitutional protections. We shared our same concerns as we did with the Senate staffers, yet the SHARE Act was passed in the House with Sec. 1301 without the exemption for journalists as outlined in the Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act. Clearly, both bills are looking for better oversight when Hollywood

continued on next page...


CURRENTS

and Madison Avenue come to public lands to film movies and produce advertisements. The Senate’s Bipartisan Sportsmen’s Act ensures that OWAA members and all other working journalists are not improperly swept up and infringed by this endeavor. The SHARE Act does not. In the end, we trust the more concise language with the exemptions for journalists’ constitutionally protected activities in the Senate version will end up chosen as the wiser and proper choice over the House version. Mark Freeman Immediate Past President, OWAA DNA Evidence Shows that Salmon

Hatcheries Cause Genetic Changes A new study on steelhead trout in Oregon offers genetic evidence that wild and hatchery fish are different at the DNA level, and that they can become different with surprising speed. The research, published in Nature Communications, found that after one generation of hatchery culture, the offspring of wild fish and firstgeneration hatchery fish differed in the activity of more than 700 genes. A single generation of adaptation to the hatchery resulted in observable changes at the DNA level that were passed on to offspring, scientists reported.

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

This research was conducted at Oregon

14

State University in collaboration with the Oregon Department of Fisheries and Wildlife. Scientists say the findings essentially close the case on whether or not wild and hatchery fish can be genetically different.

A new study on steelhead trout in Oregon shows wild and hatchery fish are different at the DNA level. Differences in survival and reproductive success between hatchery and wild fish have long offered evidence of rapid adaptation to the hatchery environment. This new DNA evidence directly measured the activity of all genes in the offspring of hatchery and wild fish. It conclusively demonstrates that the genetic differences between hatchery and wild fish are large in scale and fully heritable.

“We observed that a large number of genes were involved in pathways related to wound healing, immunity, and metabolism, and this is consistent with the idea that the earliest stages of domestication may involve adapting to highly crowded conditions,” said Mark Christie, lead author of the study.

“A fish hatchery is a very artificial environment that causes strong natural selection pressures,” said Michael Blouin, a professor of integrative biology in the OSU College of Science. “A concrete box with 50,000 other fish all crowded together and fed pellet food is clearly a lot different than an open stream.”

The genetic changes are substantial and rapid, the study found. It’s literally a process of evolution at work, but in this case it does not take multiple generations or long periods of time.

It’s not clear exactly what traits are being selected for, but the study was able to identify some genetic changes that may explain how the fish are responding to the novel environment in the hatchery.

Aside from crowding, which is common in the hatchery, injuries also happen more often and disease can be more prevalent.

“We expected hatcheries to have a genetic impact,” Blouin said. “However, the large amount of change we observed at the DNA level was really amazing. This was a surprising result.” With the question put to rest of whether hatchery fish are different, Blouin said, it may now be possible to determine exactly how they are


Custom Maps

This work was performed using steelhead trout from the Hood River in Oregon. It was supported by the Bonneville Power Administration and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Yo Co $4

DVD: $49.95

a5 disc

Your shop’s logo here Headwaters to Candle Creek

Maps for your water with branded Fishing Maps branded your with logo, contact information & customized! your logo & customized. Call Today!

DVD: $24.99

Salmon River

F e a t u r i n g t h e v e r y • 50% b e smargin! t books, dvds, • Hatch Chart calendars & gifts that fly-fishing has to offer.

www.anglersbo

Product News Rep Your Water Intros 2016 Lines

Pro Sale sho

• $9.95 msrp ANGLER’S BOOK SUPPLY 800.260.3869 Hardcover: $29.95

different, and work to address that problem. When the genetic changes that occur in a hatchery environment are better understood, it could be possible to change the way fish are raised in order to produce hatchery fish that are more like wild fish. This research is a first step in that direction.

SRP:

Metolius River

Run Timing •o Flies More k& s u

pply.co

Proven Seller In Fly Shops!

ANGLER’S BOOK SUPPLY 800.260.3869

Featuring the very best books, dvds, calendars & gifts that fly-fishing has to offer.

Kilpatrick Access to Corn Creek

www.anglersbooksupply.com most anglers nuts—getting flies hung in trees. On the other, it might cut Rep Your Water has made a huge splash in recent years by tapping into the desires of anglers to visibly connect with the places they love to fish. The company has a full new line of options for 2016, including new cap sizes, foam front caps, and camo options. See repyourwater.com for more details.

into your fly sales a bit if people aren’t

Check Out “Catch-a-Lure”

through Spiderwire and 12-pound

Here’s a product you’ll have to be your own judge with. On the one hand, it’s an interesting little gizmo that solves a problem that drives

sells for $24.50, and is worth checking

literally paying for their mistakes. We think it’s a good product, especially because it can help eliminate the junk hanging in trees around rivers. It’s a small, simple tool that clips to the end of a rod. A magnet grabs the fly, and a cutter cuts it free. The online demo shows it cutting monofilament. It’s made in the USA, out at www.catchalure.com.

continued on next page...


CURRENTS

Reviews… As promised, Angling Trade is slowly, steadily compiling some straight-shot product reviews. See pages 32-39 of this issue for our latest on fly lines. Also see anglingtrade.com for more online. Here are some examples: Thomas & Thomas Spire Fly Rod ($785) I just returned from a trip to Patagonia, where casting and fishing challenges range from open water/heavy wind to tiny clear spring creeks. I didn’t have the luxury (or the weight allowance) to bring 10 different rods to match all the conditions, so I did the next best thing: I brought three different 5-weights, and 10 different fly lines, which in effect, was like bringing 30 different rods.

I’m starting to feel that one important measure of a fly rod is how well you can work it with a variety of lines that feature a variety of tapers, in a variety of conditions. In other words, you can make any pig dance if you find the right line for it (and your casting stroke). But start playing around with

different lines in different conditions, throwing big hoppers and then streamers, and then tiny dry flies… and that is when the cream rises. I’ve been a fan of the Scott Radian and Sage One for that reason (among others), and I have found that the newest T&T offering–the Spire–is worthy of joining the club. I like the rod a lot for a few reasons, most of all its versatility. I tested the 9-foot 5-weight, as well as an 8-foot, 9-inch 5-weight and I liked the 9-footer just a tad better. I do think the 8-9 has apparent value for more of a Michigan-type setting, and were I fishing 90 percent of the time of the Pere Marquette, rather than western rivers, I might lean that way. But in the context of versatility and throwing some larger bugs like hoppers, I like the 9-footer. I read that the Yellowstone Angler 5-weight Shootout dinged the Spire

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

for “swing weight” (I covered that in a

16

recent Field & Stream column). I think those guys did a great job, but that’s a variable that can be tweaked with reel and line balance. I found good balance on the Spire with a Hatch Outdoors 3-plus and a RIO InTouch

continued on next page...


EVERYTHINGOUTDOOR

OPEN AIR DEMO AUGUST 2, 2016 SUMMER MARKET AUGUST 3-6, 2016

SALT PALACE CONVENTION CENTER, SALT LAKE CITY, UT

REGISTER TODAY OUTDOORRETAILER.COM

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Save the Date!

17


CURRENTS

GOLD fly line. But I also liked it with a Scientific Anglers Ultimate Trout, MPX, the Airflo Super-Dri Bandit. I felt most comfortable casting the rod in the 15-40-foot range. It’s not an ultra-boomer, but neither am I. I thought it was responsive and easy to load in short as well. In terms of accuracy I thought it was solid (when I was solid). It didn’t cover up my mistakes. It’s an honest rod. But to be honest with you, the number-one selling proposition is probably the most obvious. At least it’s what my wife cares about most. Spire is probably the prettiest fly rod on the market right now. With all respect to my friends who wear green, the cork and the components on Spire are

quite slick, and the rich blue finish is top of the game.

Umpqua Tongass 650 Waterproof Waist Pack ($169.99)

Which, I know, makes absolutely no difference in the performance of the rod. But this is a story for dealers. And dealers care about things like curb appeal, or at least sales rack appeal. I’m telling you, this one is a looker, and it will get noticed. And when it goes to the practice pond, it won’t disappoint.

In December, I spent a week (an often rainy, always humid week) chasing bonefish, giant trevally, triggerfish, and other species, on the vast flats of Christmas Island (Kiritimati) in the central Pacific Ocean. It was my first trip there.

Maybe the larger issue is whether or not T&T is truly back in the game, and a viable player for some high-end rod market share. I think that’s the case, and I think Spire is worth a look if you’re thinking about filling in a few pegs on your fly rack with a new brand, if you aren’t carrying T&T already. -K. Deeter

What I quickly learned about CXI (airport abbreviation) is that this place is all about variety. One minute, you might be casting at cruising bones with an 8-weight, and suddenly, a GT swims into view, and you’re reaching for a 12-weight… which leads me to the number one attribute of the Tongass 650… It has a specially designed pocket with a strap, where you can tuck the reel of


a spare rod and march along (and one walks for miles on CXI, as is often the case in other classic flats destinations). It’s pure genius, because the rod you carry rests horizontal to the water surface, so it won’t drag, and it won’t interfere with the casts you’re making with the rod you are using. See the fish. Make the switch. Boom, you’re in business. Seamless transition. (Before, when I wanted to bring a spare rod for barracudas, etc., I’d just stuff it down the back of my shirt, but that didn’t help with the backcast issue.) The second thing I learned about CXI is that you often wade deep, sometimes chest deep. Sometimes you swim. So waterproof protection in a pack is a necessity. The Tongass 650 has a deep, waterproof compartment that seals like a dry bag, by rolling it down from the top. Some might like a waterproof zipper instead, but I didn’t mind the roll top, and appreciate that the fancy, patented waterproof zippers come with a licensing price that adds to the cost of packs. This system is fine, and I kept an iPhone, papers, money, etc., in it, and those things never got wet. I must add, however, that the pack comes with an outer pocket that looks waterproof (because the exterior is the same material) but it isn’t. It isn’t billed as anything more than “weatherproof,” but some in our

Fine Rod Components and Cases Providing innovative solutions to the fishing rod industry since 1968

*Engraving options avalible

* Natural and Black Pearl finishes also available in Micro sizes

TM

A REPUTATION YOU CAN BUILD ON

group made the mistake of sticking their phones in that pocket, and they soaked them. I don’t know if Umpqua should fine print “Not Dry” and “Dry” on the two compartments to spell that out, but it’s an easy mistake to make.

But I’d love to see a slightly smaller version for the flats. Maybe Umpqua can drop the “ss” at the end of the name and reduce a reflective amount of the the overall capacity—keeping the rod carrier, and dry bag, and zipper exterior pocket (labeled in a way that everyone knows that part is not 100 percent waterproof)—and come up with a “Tonga” version for the flats. I’d buy both, and fish with them often.

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Because CXI offers such diversity, you want to carry multiple fly boxes. With 11 liters capacity, this pack was plenty large enough to carry flies, pliers, spare water, camera, and a rain jacket. Okay, I’ll nitpick a bit here and say that maybe it is about 20 percent oversized for my typical flats fishing needs. Even rolled tight, it’s a bit saggy, though not cumbersome or clumsy. That’s a purely subjective issue, and some people will think it’s just right, while the minimalist might say it’s a tad large.

I appreciate the name “Tongass” and have also fished in that Alaskan rainforest where you do want to carry spare gear, extra clothing layers, and so forth. I wouldn’t touch a thing on this pack for that application, or as a pack for walk wading most rivers. It’s a great drift boat pack that you can leave in the boat, or strap on and walk with. If I had needed to stuff one more shirt, or jacket, or a lunch in this pack as I waded CXI, it would have been the perfect size.

19


FEATURE

IS YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION HURTING OR HELPING YOUR BUSINESS? Written by D. Roger Maves

Today, more than ever, the reputation of your business, products and services has become a deciding factor on whether or not people will do business with you. This applies to you if you are a local business or a manufacturer selling your products around the world. I’m sure you’ve used reviews and testimonials to decide which new AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

restaurant you’re going to try for dinner

20

tonight or have compared ratings of the refrigerators that are on the market this month before you buy. People make decisions like this every day on the showroom floor, in their car or in the comfort of their home.

Google calls this the “Zero Moment of Truth.” ZMOT is that instant in time when a consumer decides to purchase one product or service over another. There has never been a time like this where reviews and comparative information are so readily available, especially now that we can access it from our mobile phones almost everywhere. Decisions about whether to purchase a product or service are made many times before we even get to a store or talk to a salesperson. These decisions are based upon what is called social proof. As human beings we like to follow the herd or school as fly fishers might think.

According to Wikipedia, “Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon where people assume the actions of others in an attempt to reflect correct behavior for a given situation.” When we see that others have favorably rated a product or service then we consider that as a high indicator that the product or service would be a good investment for us as well. Data from Nielsen’s Global Online Consumer Survey reveals that 90% of online consumers trust recommendations from people they know, with 70% trusting the opinions posted online by unknown users.

continued on next page...


p: Tim Romano

Once upon a hell of a time. Our 50 years of innovation has helped us perfect what really matters — amplifying the thrill of human experience. Our ChromaPop™ lenses are the most advanced polarized lenses in the world, shown here in the Dockside. See true color and razor sharp definition, wherever the river takes you.

The experience is everything.™


FEATURE ARE YOU EXPOSED?

PRODUCT SEARCH

specific to the local area they are in.

Whether you know it or not your

Consumers will also search by your product’s name many times adding “reviews” after the name. In fact, this is one of the suggested keyword terms that Google will recommend. So what do you see when you type in your product’s name? Are there reviews? Are they positive reviews? If you find that the reviews are overwhelmingly negative, you may have a design or quality problem and need to go back to the drawing board.

Following is an example of a search in Google for “fly tying materials boulder co”. What you see is what’s called the maps listings. Google knows when you are trying to find a local business and displays the maps listings to help you out. Google’s algorithm looks for the businesses that are closest to where the searcher is or where they have specified and also selects businesses that are the most relevant and popular.

To give consumers a positive view of your product create a comparison chart on your website of your product against your competitors. You can show the differences and make yours stand out. Many times these types of pages will get ranking highly in the search engines and give your products more exposure.

As you can see the star ratings again become a huge factor in differentiating one business from another. If you were the searcher in this example which business would you most likely call or visit first?

reputation is readily available to anyone willing to do a quick search using one of the search engines like Google, Bing or Yahoo. Consumers may execute searches in three different ways: 1. Brand 2. Product 3. Keyword BRAND SEARCH A brand search can be as simple as typing in a company name. What the consumer will see is your website listing at the top, the Google My Business page on the right (if you’re using Google) and then your business listing in other directories like Facebook, Manta, Yelp, Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, Yellow Pages, CitySearch and others. Several of these including Google, Yelp, Facebook and Yellow Pages display star ratings that visually stand out and grab the eye of the consumer. So what happens when you search for your company name? Do you see any ratings? Do you see four and five star ratings or possibly three stars or less? This could be a ZMOT moment for your business. AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

If no ratings are displayed or the

22

ratings are three stars or less the

KEYWORD SEARCH

consumer’s confidence could wane.

A keyword search is the most

If this is the case, you need to get to

common search when trying to find

work getting positive reviews on the

products or services and many times

major directories so you look great

the searcher will attach a geographic

when someone checks up on you.

modifier to make the search more

When you search keyword phrases that you want to show up for in your local market do you show up? If you show up what does your star rating look like compared to your competitors? These ratings come from reviews left on your Google My Business page so if you need more or better reviews that’s where you need to send your customers to leave reviews. If your business isn’t showing up in the maps search results, then you have another problem which needs to be addressed and that’s local search optimization.


FEATURE WHY YOU NEED TO BE CONCERNED Your company, products and services

HOW DO YOU PROTECT YOURSELF? Don’t leave your reputation to chance. Protect yourself by being proactive.

are out on the Internet for all to see. It used to be that if a customer was dissatisfied they might tell a few friends and that would be it—it would end there. Now when someone decides to share their negative experience literally the whole world will know about it and there’s nothing much you can do to control it. As Benjamin Franklin said: “It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Another way to look at this is that you are only one negative review away from a bad reputation. There is a cost to having a bad online reputation but many businesses aren’t aware of it. First ask yourself, “What is the lifetime value of your customer?” To arrive at this figure, take the amount of your average sale, multiply it by the average number of sales-per-year and then multiply that by the number of years your customers do business with you. For most businesses this can be a significant amount of money. Now consider this. If a prospective customer is browsing the web and decides not to do business with you based up your bad reputation or because you have no reputation what did that cost your business? Remember the lifetime value of your customer? lost revenue. Now multiply that by the number of searches done for a specific search term that you would hope to get business from and you can see how this can really add up.

2. Be proactive and train your staff on the importance of maintaining and building a five-star reputation. 3. Focus on providing the basics of great customer service, such as reliability, friendliness and great value. 4. Return phone calls, answer emails and respond to negative reviews quickly. An irate customer can be turned into an ally if you act responsibly and don’t lay blame. 5. Build a positive online reputation. Claim your online directory listings, proactively ask for reviews, make it easy to write a review and filter out negative reviews. 6. Monitor your online reputation using automated tools such as Google alerts, review.

2. Convert them to an image and post them to Pinterest, Instagram and other photosharing sites. 3. Post them on your website or blog and don’t just put them all on one page. Sprinkle them throughout the site. 4. Include them in press releases. 5. Create videos out of a written review or testimonial and post them to YouTube. 6. Capture your customers on video and post them to YouTube. 7. Use them in your sales and marketing material. 8. Use them in communications to prospects and customers. Your reputation is the most important asset your business has. It doesn’t appear on your financial statement but it has a powerful effect on your bottom line. Don’t take it for granted. Do all that you can to build a 5-star reputation that represents your business. You won’t regret it.

MARKET YOUR REPUTATION As you can see it can take a lot of work to build and maintain a 5-star reputation. Don’t let all your hard work go to waste. Use your positive reviews and testimonials to market your business. Here are a few ideas on how you can effectively use reviews and testimonials to market your business:

D. Roger Maves is the president and CEO of The Knowledge Group, Inc., a digital marketing agency that helps small businesses increase their revenues and grow their business using digital marketing solutions. He’s also the host and producer of Ask About Fly Fishing Internet Radio.

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

That’s what it potentially cost you in

1. Make sure your products and services are the best they can be. There’s no room for inferior craftsmanship or lousy customer service.

1. Post them to social media sites like Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

23


FEATURE

A WOMAN’S PLACE

How female anglers are shaping fly-fishing’s future

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Written by Geoff Mueller

24

Once upon a time a male-dominated industry sat around a table itching its stereotypical beard, while considering ways to sell stuff to a consumer base that generally resembled itself. Then one day a woman walked into the fly shop and blew their minds. Instead of shopping for her husband, she purchased a half-dozen size-18 cripples and went fishing. Befuddled men of the aisles and tills delivered this news to the calloused man-hands of the hills

and, many moons later, the pink fly rod was rolled into production. Although we’re short of gender equality in the fly-fishing sphere, there is an evolution underway that now goes beyond ol’ pinky. More women are fishing and, according to last year’s stats, they now comprise about 30 percent of total fly-fishing participants. These anglers are wives, daughters, girlfriends, and friends. They’re guides, shop workers, and business owners.

They’re wicked casters, heavy-hitting brand ambassadors, and first timers still learning their knots. And perhaps most importantly, they are enthusiasts who gravitate to this sport for the challenge and fun of it. So what’s the problem? It’s partly that we’re having this conversation in the first place, says guide, conservationist, and fly-fishing business operator Mia Sheppard. On the phone, from her home in Maupin, Oregon, Sheppard


FEATURE explains she’d rather talk steelhead than the current state of women in fly fishing. And she finds the industry’s recent obsession with women both amusing and annoying. “I don’t think there’s necessarily a problem,” she says. “Our industry is male-dominated and it’s been that way for a long time. Are men suddenly feeling guilty for leaving us out? That’s my question.” It’s a good question. Men have been wrestling with guilt for as long as they’ve been fueling the flowers-forher market by neglecting birthdays and anniversaries. But there’s more to it than that. An optimist might say women are attracting attention—which has translated into everything from a TU F3T Women in Fly Fishing Film Grant to more and better products for her—because it’s their due. The pragmatist, on the other hand, would say some of that hype is driven by dollars. For those who study participation pie charts, the crust is getting crustier and women in the filling are bright beacons of purchasing power. Someone, somewhere, could get rich. Maybe.

For Sheppard, who grew up with commercial fishing in her blood, and who started casting a fly rod in 1996 on the Deschutes River, those concerns aren’t necessary hers. Sure, she runs a guiding business with her husband, Marty. And yes she’s a champion Spey caster, river advocate, and brand ambassador for companies like Simms. But when it comes to being a woman fly fisher, it’s not about what the industry is or isn’t doing. It’s more about what the act of fishing can provide. Just being on a river, she says, “…gives me that peace and serenity that grounds me when I need it most.” That said, the industry’s portrayal of that experience often misses the mark. “When I’m standing in a river, swinging a fly rod, and waiting for that grab—it’s that whole experience that I get stoked on,” Sheppard adds. “I don’t see the media portraying that at all. It’s always just women holding fish.” From magazines and a million blogs to a quick scroll through Instagram accounts of popular brands, the young women holding fish theme is pervasive

in its attempt to be persuasive. And on social media, in particular, it’s a topic that has generated buzz—both positive and negative. In one camp, some argue that social-media sensations are unjustly infiltrating pro-staff ranks, especially cute ones with suspect skills. On the flipside, these fly fishers with mega online followings, others contend, give the sport visibility. And that kind of advertising can be a catalyst for recruitment. Kara Armano, who manages Sage, RIO, and Redington brands under the Farbank umbrella via her PR role at Backbone Media, in Carbondale, Colorado, says the phenomenon is more uplifting than it is obnoxious. “There’s this perception that to be posting pics of yourself fly fishing means you have to be this hardcore badass angler,” Armano says. “I think that’s setting the bar too high, especially for new [women] anglers trying to get into the sport. There are women who are inspirational in their imagery despite the fact they aren’t the best anglers on the planet—I don’t think there’s any harm in that.”

continued on next page...

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

At Simms Fishing Products, in Bozeman, Montana, marketing veteran Rich Hohne says fostering female participation is important to the brand. For that reason, Simms continues to grow its women’s collection, which now includes waders, high-end jacket options, footwear, assorted tees, hats, pants, and shorts. Its product cultivation is something that’s carefully measured in terms of financial viability. Hohne says the momentum in the women’s market is exciting and real; it’s just not astronomical. “Women can be that spark to get the whole household involved in something [like fly fishing] and they have great influence in the social world, encouraging friends to get out and go fishing, too.” But overall,

he concedes, the industry could do a better job nurturing inclusivity.

25


FEATURE fishing habit to full-time addiction, and began writing about her experiences for another Midwest E-publication called A Tight Loop. What she really wanted to do, however, was write for a women’s fly-fishing magazine, and she was surprised to learn that there was no such thing. “Being a go-getter, I decided to start my own,” Ripple says. “I figured that if I wanted it, there had to be other women looking for the same thing.”

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Inspiration can be tapped from numerous sources. For some women, it could come from seeing a peer post a gripand-grin of her first bluegill. Or it might come from spending the day on the water with a true professional. Guides have long played key ambassadorship roles by promoting proper fish handling, conservation imperatives, and the brands they sport in their boats. And the female guide ranks are brimming with rolemodel potential.

26

Alyssa Halls, of Owl Creek Flies in Thermoplis, Wyoming, is a 25-yearold who cut her teeth on Olympic Peninsula steelhead before trading Washington’s rain for Wyoming’s shingle-stripping winds. And she spends more time on the river than editing her Instagram persona for a landslide of likes because, like Sheppard, she’s in it for intrinsic connections more than fame. “Fly fishing helps women of all ages connect with the natural world and themselves in ways few other sports can,” Halls says, “so I definitely support women venturing into the water and giving it a shot, if for no other reason than to be humbled by something that sounded so simple.”

As for how the industry portrays women, Halls says it’s important for brands and the media to seek out and expose the “more polished gems” of the fly-fishing community “…women who are skilled, knowledgeable, and experienced rather than simply eager and enthusiastic. These real women won’t always be easy to find, but they’ll always be worthy of our attention.” Someone making headway in the promotional department is Jen Ripple, who started her E-publication Dun Magazine two years ago. Dun’s current issue is a 300-page behemoth loaded with travelogues, conservation pieces, humor, poetry, angler profiles, and photos. It’s a similar mix to what you’d find in standard fly-fishing magazines, but with a distinctly female cast of characters. “It’s a great effort in moving forward,” Sheppard says of Ripple’s publication, currently on its 12th issue. “And the message to the industry is, ‘You know what, women want to see something different.’” Ripple learned to fly fish while attending the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. After graduating she moved to Chicago, morphed from fly-

Her hunch proved to be right. And Ripple is now sitting on “so much material” that she’s taking her e-mag to six issues annually. On those pages, readers—62 percent female; 38 percent male, according to Ripple— find an unpretentious portal into the sport. “The intimidation factor, whether men mean it to be there or not, still exists,” Ripple says. “What I want women to know is that they have a foundation here that dates back to the 1400s. It’s important they know they belong. Belonging, perhaps, is the answer. The idea of women in fly fishing isn’t something a male-dominated industry necessarily needs to decipher and define. Instead it’s a phenomenon that women anglers continue to chart and champion on their own. Women are more prevalent now because they decided to be more prevalent. Not because the men from the Land of Men rolled a pink fly rod and rallied their “women folk” around it. Women belong. They belong in fly shops, in fly-fishing films, in feature articles and advertising, crafting their own articles and products, and in a river and on a saltwater flat. And we know this why? Likely because a woman told us so. “The more that women are seen and heard, the better it is for us all,” Ripple says.


AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

27

FEATURE


O U T S I D E T H E B OX : P U B L I C L A N D S

WHAT WE JUST LEARNED IN OREGON WRITTEN BY WALT GASSON Congress, calling for the states to “take back their lands.” The states never had these lands. They ceded them away as a condition of statehood. More importantly, the states don’t have the resources to manage them and they have poor track records of managing the lands they now have. The states will simply be the middle man, the broker for the sale of these lands to the highest bidders.

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

The siege is over in Burns, Oregon. The Bundys and their thugs are in the wind or in the hoosegow. In time, things will get back to normal at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge and the people of Burns will get back to their lives without a media circus. But some issues remain—issues that affect all of us who care about fish and fishing.

28

Let’s begin by getting a few things straight. First, the Bundys and their ilk never represented anyone but themselves. They certainly never represented ranchers in the interior West. My observation, based on 61 years of experience, suggests that westerners in general (and ranchers specifically) tend to resist representation. And rest assured, if you could ever get these notoriously independent folks to agree on anything, it would not be to appoint a whack job like Ammon Bundy as their spokesman. Second, the last thing we need now out here in flyover country is some sort of running gun battle (metaphorically

speaking) over whether there should be livestock on public lands. The hardcore greenies would like to rekindle that fight because it will bring them membership and money. That’s a sucker’s game, and we should treat it with as much disdain as we reserve for the scofflaw Bundys. The real work that’s being done on the ground for fish and wildlife habitat out there is being done by hunters and anglers and ranchers and businesses working together on projects that benefit us all. Working together gets stuff done. Finally, let’s not forget what the real problem is. The problem is not a few pistoleros with tinfoil hats and conspiracy theories. The problem is a well-orchestrated and well-funded effort to transfer public lands—our lands—to the private sector. It starts with the federal budget. They need to make these federal agencies look incompetent, so they starve them for budget. At the same time, they provide generic legislation to both state legislatures and the U.S.

If that scenario doesn’t bother you, it should. It should feel like taking something from each one of us without compensation because that’s exactly what it is. But don’t take my word for it. Snoop around a bit on the Internet. Check out groups like the American Lands Council and the American Legislative Exchange Council. Read the sample legislation. Follow the money. What you’ll find is a multi-level, nationwide effort to liquidate our public lands. If that strikes you as a bad idea, then do something about it. Talk to your delegation in Washington. Talk to your state legislators. Talk to your county commissioners. Tell them you want your family and your customers to have a place to hunt and fish and camp. Tell them to keep their hands off our public lands. For goodness sake, your business flatout depends on people being able to use the stuff you sell them on public lands (and more specifically rivers). If the fly-fishing industry can’t get behind this effort to keep the lands we all own now, then we haven’t done our jobs. Which may not matter, because we could ultimately not have them at all.


ARE COLBY AND BRIAN TROW

TU BUSINESS MEMBERS.

ARE YOU? ART WEBB OF BCF

A TU ENDORSED BUSINESS: WWW.TU.ORG/TUE BECOME A TU BECOME ENDORSED BUSINESS: WWW.TU.ORG/TUE

Colby and Brian Trow Mossy Creek Fly Fishing Harrisonburg, VA

Become a TU Business Member: www.tu.org/business


OPINION

SPEAK UP FOR YOURSELF WRITTEN BY CHARLES A. WITEK, III Nearly two years ago, the Theodore Roosevelt Conservation Partnership issued a report entitled “A Vision for Managing America’s Saltwater Recreational Fisheries.”

for saltwater recreational fishing. Recreational anglers are more focused on abundance and size, structure of the fisheries, and opportunities to get out on the water.” That is probably true.

It is a slickly produced document, filled with photographs that show ordinary people having a good time catching saltwater fish, interspersed with other photos of anglers helping to protect and enhance the marine environment.

Then the report makes several recommendations, which, it says, “primarily focus on the reauthorization of the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act,” which governs all fishing in the federal waters of the United States. But

It is also a hypocritical document, filled with internal inconsistencies, cynically drafted to convince both policymakers and ordinary citizens that the organizations which “contributed” to the report, almost all of which are members of the deceptively-named Center for Coastal Conservation, have anglers’ interests in mind when they strive to weaken federal fisheries law and oppose conservation efforts.

sound much like those made by New England’s groundfish trawlers who, for the past two decades or so, have fought against hard poundage quotas and rebuilding deadlines. Thanks to the trawlers’ stubbornness, Georges Bank cod have declined to just 1% of target abundance, while fishing mortality continues at 10 times the sustainable level. Our recreational fisheries deserve a better management model than that. The report uses the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission’s striped bass management efforts as an example of what federal fisheries management should look like, claiming that the fish are managed “successfully” without hard recreational quotas. But it never admits that, in the ten years between 2004 and 2013, overfishing occurred on six different occasions. It also ignores the fact that striped bass abundance has fallen so low that the stock may have become overfished in 2015.

"Fly-rodders are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. The technique we use makes it harder to catch large fish, and we are the first to see the effects of a decline."

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

The word “conservation” actually appears 16 times in the report’s first four pages, and its very first sentence proudly states that “anglers have played a leading role in helping to rebuild marine fish stocks and prevent overfishing.”

30

It claims that “federal fisheries managers set catch limits for recreational and commercial fishing at or near maximum sustainable yield. While this may be an ideal management strategy for commercial fishing, where harvesting the maximum biomass is desired, it is not an effective management tool

those recommendations, if adopted by Congress, would do nothing to increase the abundance or improve the age and size structure of saltwater fish stocks. Instead, they would allow recreational fisheries to be managed “based on long-term harvest rates, not strictly on poundage-based quotas,” while abandoning Magnuson-Stevens’ 10year rebuilding deadline in favor of setting “lower harvest rates that would allow fish stocks to recover gradually while diminishing socioeconomic impacts,” regardless of how long such recovery would take. Such recommendations, drafted by members of the angling community,

Our recreational fisheries deserve a better management model than that, as well. Yet organizations comprising the Center for Coastal Conservation, including the American Sportfishing Association, Coastal Conservation Association and National Marine Manufacturers Association, are trying very hard to convince policymakers that the entire recreational community supports the report and its recommendations.


In November, Mike Nussman, the American Sportfishing Association’s president, published a comment in The Hill, an influential Washington, D.C., newspaper. He claimed that “the recreational fishing community rallied behind” the TRCP report.

out of his Long Island, New York home,

Fly fishermen, as well as everyone connected with the fly fishing industry, need to speak out, and let their elected officials know that is not true.

recommendations in the TRCP report,

Because fly fishermen, more than anyone else, depend upon an abundance of readily accessible fish for their success. Capt. John McMurray, who operates One More Cast Charters

probably puts it best. “Fly-rodders are the proverbial canaries in the coal mine. The technique we use makes it harder to catch large fish, and we are the first to see the effects of a decline.” If Congress adopts the and weakens the conservation and rebuilding provisions of MagnusonStevens, fish abundance may decline. If that happens, a lot of “canaries”

Thus, it is time for the fly fishing industry to speak up for itself, and let Congress know that they not only support a strong Magnuson-Stevens, that will effectively rebuild and conserve salt water fish stocks, but that they need such a law to keep their businesses healthy. For if they fail to speak up, others are willing to speak up on their behalf, and they might not like what others say.

will not survive. And if salt water fly fishermen abandon their sport, the businesses that serve them will not survive, either.

Angling Trade welcomes all opinions in its pages. To counter, contact us by emailing editor@anglingtrade.com.

THE ALL NEW OSG STRIKER Light, easy to set up, and packs down small so you have better access to new rivers and wild places. It’s a two person, 102 lb. raft that negates the need for a trailer.

Featuring a self bailing floor, inflatable lean bar, and minimal frame design.


FEATURE

FLY LINE SHOOTOUT AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

Written by Kirk Deeter

32

Go web surfing for information on ammunition for hunting rifles, and you’ll be amazed just how much dialogue you can find, for example, on 165-grain bullets versus 180-grain options for hunting elk with a 30.06. Bowhunters very carefully deliberate over the lengths and weights of the arrows they shoot.

So why is it that many anglers don’t

and disadvantages of certain fly lines.

obsess more over the lines they

But the average angler/consumer is

choose for a fly rod?

far less preoccupied with the “ammo”

There are, of course, many options available, and most fly shops carry

they choose than their counterparts on the hunting side are.

more SKUs than they know what to

I’m one of those who wasted years

do with. That’s not to say that there

and a lot of money by making fly line

aren’t plenty of fly shop staffers who

selection an afterthought. Granted,

are keenly in tune with the advantages

that might be a good thing for those


FEATURE who want to sell me a new $800 rod to improve my casting efficiency rather than an $90 line. (Or a new driver to help my golf game rather than a different sleeve of balls.) But I’ve learned that fly lines are the key ingredients, and I think there’s sales opportunity there for retailers who know how to tap into all of that.

with manufacturers. So if you’re

friendly than traditional PVC coatings,

looking for certain brand names and

and as such, the line is also able to

don’t see them, that’s why. I focused

perform consistently in all temperatures

on WF-5-F lines for all-around trout

(no stiffening in cold, or wilting in heat).

fishing (though we did fish sink tips

It’s a low-memory line that must be

also, and I might review those later).

stretched before you fish it, but once

I fished mainly dry flies (from size

you do, it has a very honest, capable

#6 foam beetles to size #20 mayfly

taper (belly is 25 feet, front taper

patterns) and occasionally streamers.

is 5 feet, and tip is a foot). It wasn’t

I did not go all the way to Chile to

the most delicate for in-tight dry fly

With that in mind, I recently took 12 different WF-5-F fly lines on a trip to Cinco Rios Lodge in Coyhaique, Chile, to test them over 10 days in the wide variety of fishing conditions to be found there—everything from technical spring creeks to wind-swept lakes and brawling rivers.

dunk nymphs, but I do recognize the

presentations, but it is one of the most

performance advantages of certain

versatile I tested. A good roll casting

specialty nymphing lines.

line. Picks up clean, and floats higher,

I brought three rods—a Scott Radian, a Sage ONE, and a Thomas & Thomas Spire, all 9-foot 5-weights. Over the course of the trip, I learned that bringing three rods and 12 different lines was almost like bringing 36 different rods (under normal circumstances that would be overkill, but the thought is a good one for someone who is concerned about luggage weight on a long trip… maybe bring a few rods and a few reels/lines, rather than several rods and a line or two). I also decided that a really great rod could be judged for its efficiency and effectiveness with many different lines. (You can make any old rod dance a bit with a good fly line, and you can degrade the performance of a great rod with a crappy line, but a superior rod brings out the best in various lines, and vice versa.)

secretive about their designs and

manufacturers’ scientific promo

on average than others. Also seemed to better resist abrasion than other lines.

speak, though I do list websites if you are interested in that stuff. Fly line manufacturers are notoriously production capabilities, and having never seen the secret room inside a fly line company where the Oompa Loompas do their thing (and not expecting to ever do so) I decided to

Scientific Anglers Sharkwave

simply focus mostly on general fishing

Ultimate Trout; $99.95;

impressions, straight from the water.

scientificanglers.com. You either like

Here are those basic impressions, followed by a chart of situations, with the fly lines I think best match those situations.

Sharkskin texture (that micro-bumpy, sometimes noisy) coating that SA says makes the lines cast better, float better, and all around perform better, or not. Personally, I’m about half-way split on that. Which is why I actually like Sharkwave, because the running line part features the smooth Mastery texture. That doesn’t make much difference when you are casting in close. But the taper does. This is really good at turning over large bugs and cutting through wind,

Monic Impact (Eco Blue); $89.99;

but it also mends clean and shoots

monic.com. Made in Boulder, Colorado,

if you’re tossing streamers in a lake.

the Monic Impact stands on two key

An exceptional all-arounder, probably

differentiators—it is coated with a

with the best average performance

polyester blend, which is more eco-

from 10 to 55 feet.

continued on next page...

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

A couple other quick points: I focused on the line manufacturers who actually design and produce lines, and not brands that have OEM agreements

Lastly, I’m not going into the

33


FEATURE a decent caster would consistently rank near the top in all situations.

materials are the selling point. If your casting stroke matches with this taper, it’s going to be hard for you to find a better all-around line that’s going to last many days on the water.

Scientific Anglers Mastery VPT; $84.95. VPT stands for versatile

presentation taper. I buy that. But this is definitely a dry-fly specialty line. And more specifically, a size #12 and smaller dry-fly specialty line. The Sharkskin texture is in the tip, which is where it belongs, but you aren’t making noise when you’re winding up for the cast. This one is money at 2030 feet. Really liked the light landings, and very much appreciated the roll cast abilility.

Scientific Anglers Ultra; $49.95. I thought this would be an apples and oranges comparison, because this is a much lower pricepoint. But this line actually held its own. It’s a perfectly fine do-all line, especially for a beginner, proving that you really don’t need to spend a hundred bucks to get in the game. It has a braided monofilament core, and it doesn’t do all that well if you let it bake in the sun. I suspect the Achilles heel here is long-term durability, but it did just fine and caught a few fish. It wasn’t my goto line, but I wasn’t itching to switch away from it.

Airflo Super Dri Bandit; $79.99. I didn’t believe all that crap about fly line voodoo and colors mattering… until I went to New Zealand last year. Now I believe it, especially in clear water, and flat water. This line was developed for the Kiwis, and it has camo band coloring for what that’s worth to you. The cast ability is reflective of the Super Dri Elite (meaning really good all around), with a special lean toward those more technical presentations. If you’re fishing in those situations, might as well go all in and fish NZ-style.

Scientific Anglers Wavelength MPX; $84.95. This is the line chosen for the

Yellowstone Angler 5-weight shootout, with good reason. It’s basically the GPX, which served as SA’s breadand-butter line for years, on steroids. It’s weighted a half line heavy (like

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

RIO Gold), and more of the weight is

34

AirFlo Super Dri Elite $79.99; airflofishing.com. I liked this line. Of

concentrated in the front section than

all the lines, this was the one I was

its predecessor. It has a smooth, quieter

best able to really take out and walk

surface throughout, and handles a wide

the dog (make longer casts) when I

range of fly sizes just fine. A versatility

wanted to. I definitely felt the coating

line. Probably not the top option for

in terms of less friction when it came

one single, very specific application

to shooting. It’s also very repellant

(e.g. tiny dries on a spring creek, or

of grit and slime. This is a pretty

streamers in a pond) but it’s a line that

straightforward, no-frills taper. The

RIO InTouch Gold $89.95; rioproducts. com. This has become a “gold” standard for a lot of casters, because it works well on so many rods, and not just Sage rods. It’s weighted a half size heavy, which allows more intermediate anglers to feel the load a little better, and turn over some larger bugs. If I’m going for super tricky, dry fly presentations on really tricky, technical

continued on next page...


2

YOUR SEARCH ENDS HERE T H E M O ST D E C O R AT E D R O D I N H I STO RY

Lighter. Stronger. Made in the USA.

O RV I S . C O M / H E L I O S - 2 - F LY- R O D S


FEATURE water, I’m probably going to opt for a double taper line anyway. But RIO Gold is really hard to beat. I like the Perception version also, as that is super low-stretch and good for pickup-set down casts without a lot of false casting.

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

RIO InTouch Single Hand Spey $84.95. This will surprise you, but this is my favorite line that RIO makes. The name will trick you into thinking it’s all about roll casting and such, but this is an extremely smooth and accurate line for forming overhead loops. I’ll tell you exactly what this line is… a perfect hopper fishing from a drift boat line, where you’re consistently banging 40-50 footers at the bank. Strip it in to the color change (like you do when you spey cast)… that’s the load point. Pick it up and fire. Anyone with a drift boat or raft should have at least one of these lines rigged and ready for terrestrial season. It’s also a great option for streamers. The most underrated fly line on the market today.

36

RIO InTouch Outbound Short; $89.95. This was the wind line. It’s also a big bug line. When you want to switch to an articulated leech, and toss

that into a 20-m.p.h. headwind, this is a line to have on. There’s a lot of wind in Patagonia, and I wouldn’t go on a trip there without at least one of these in tow. That said, I’m not sure it’s the most practical for me, for situations I fish in in the Rockies. It’s a heavy line, with a very aggressive taper that has most of the weight way up front. But for a beginner, that matters.

SITUATIONS: A little bit of everything… maybe fish the main stem from a boat for a few hours, then hike up a feeder creek. You don’t know what you’ll throw for sure. You want to be ready for anything. • Scientific Anglers Sharkwave Ultimate Trout • Monic Impact Banging the banks from a raft or a drift boat all day… preferably with dry flies, but you might switch to a streamer and you don’t want to use a sinking tip.

Cortland Finesse Trout II; $74.95; cortlandline.com. This is definitely a tiny bug line. Great on spring creeks, close in presentations, easy to form a packed loop inside of 25 feet. But it just becomes the proverbial knife in the gunfight when you lengthen things out and try to cast something larger than a size #12 dry. If you are going to fish a lot of brook trout water with little humpies and such, go for it.

Cortland 444 Classic; $59.95. Like peanut butter and jelly, Cortland lines have been staples for many anglers in many places for years. The 444 is the flagship. This feels heavier to me, and didn’t quite float with the same grace that some of the others I tested did. I also found the casting performance to be a little bit “meh.” But I suspect that’s because I was using all fast action rods, and Cortland lines have traditionally (for me anyway) matched up a little better with the more moderate rod actions. It’s still a good value at that price.

• RIO InTouch Single Hand Spey • RIO InTouch Gold • SA’s “Anadro” lines are a good alternative here as well; I only tested a 6-weight Gusty wind, open spaces (like a lake), for throwing big dry flies, maybe a streamer if you want to switch. • RIO InTouch Outbound Short • Airflo Super Dri Elite Super-technical, spring creek conditions. Spooky trout, and you have to cast at them from at least 20 feet away. • Airflo Super Dri Bandit • Scientific Anglers Mastery VPT WHAT I LEFT STRUNG UP… I switched these lines off and on four reels throughout the trip. But when it was all over, what lines did I put back on those reels to have ready for home? • Monic Impact (for all temps, all around) • RIO InTouch Single Hand Spey (for my boat rod) • Scientific Anglers Sharkwave Ultimate Trout (all around) • Airflo Super Dri Bandit (spring creek rod)


FEATURE IMPERIAL FLY RODS

Handcrafted in Park Falls, Wisconsin, the Imperial series features performance and value unequaled in any other U.S.A.-built rod. ®

IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO SIMULTANEOUSLY KEEP YOUR NOSE TO THE GRINDSTONE AND CAST.

Some people live to work. Others work to live. But you, through luck or by design, remain focused on toiling in the halls of commerce only enough to maintain a formidable supply of flies. Or at least this is your plan some day. While they check email, you check hatch tables. While they hold a death grip on the throttle of their career, you have your hand wrapped around the cork grip of a St. Croix fly rod – casting. WWW.STCROIXRODS.COM

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

continued on next page...

37


B AC K C A S T

with adults outside the classroom

not going to impress anyone; and, B)

environment. He was our neighbor

It’s a tripping hazard. But I do think

when I was growing up—a sometimes

about the fish that are caught and let

lawyer who, thanks to bad sinuses

go. And when I reflect on them, after

and disability checks, had successfully

a particularly good day of fishing, it’s

acquired a lot of fishing time. At

easy for the mind to wander into some

his home or on the street, he was

kind of provider fantasy. One that

generally reserved—a wave or a

goes something like this: Those three

hello delivered with a smile. But on

fish I let go today would have totally

the Dorothy Grace, anchored in the

fed my family for weeks. And even

bottleneck of islands and fjords that

though I ordered a supreme pizza on

comprise British Columbia’s Desolation

the way home, I appreciate the fact

Sound… he was different.

that my brain even goes there.

With a salmon on the line that nice

So in order to fuel that flickering

man went caveman. And once that

pilot light of primal instinct, I’m

fish was pulled over the gunwale and

bonking at least one fish this season.

dropped into the boat, he properly

And please note, this pledge is not

brained it, dumped its guts, scraped

something I take lightly. The fish I

its scales, and in the process taught

harvest will be carefully considered.

“You did not kill the fish only to keep

me a vital lesson. Fish and fishing

It’ll likely be a hatchery steelhead in

alive and to sell for food, he thought.

brought this man to life, I deduced.

a coastal river where wild fish need

You killed for pride and because you

And in the death of those salmon, his

are a fisherman. You loved him when

a leg up, or a pan-sized rainbow,

human side was revealed.

cutty, or brown that won’t be

BLOOD SPORT Hunting for a primal experience Written by Geoff Mueller

he was alive and you loved him after. If you love him, it is not a sin to kill him. Or is it more?”

missed because it doesn’t live on an For contemporary fly fishers the desire to kill has been replaced by the understanding that in order to keep

—Ernest Hemingway, The-Old-Man-

Whether it’s a stray steelie or a

fisheries viable we must put back most

and-the-Sea

legally harvested trout from an

of what we catch. But that doesn’t

abundant stock, the fish I choose

mean the urge to dispatch a trout in

to catch and keep will be special

It was a bloodbath on the normally

order to smother it in butter or placate

nonetheless. One that’ll be shared

polished-white deck of the Dorothy

some instinctual need doesn’t linger.

with friends and family in the

Grace. Minutes earlier a crazed man

And considering that fishing was born

backyard or around a campfire. And

had run circles around the 28-foot

a blood sport, it’s curious to think that

it’ll be one, I hope, that’ll be burned

cabin cruiser, howling and frothing,

the fundamental point of fishing is

into the mind’s eye of another

leaping and laughing, as a bright coho

now rarely part of its progressions. At

eleven-year-old—the kid who lives

did its best to drain his reel. Chaos,

least when it comes to fly fishing.

under this roof. May he remember

AnglingTrade.com | April 2016

then silence. Silence and blood and a

38

endangered or threatened list.

fish sitting motionless in a cooler. From

the trips from his childhood, and the On most trout waters, a catch and

excitement they sparked when the

release ethos prevails. (Even on ones

adults on the river or in the boat—

with 20,000 fish per mile.) And I, like

for a brief moment, at least—broke

many of you, don’t feel compelled to

free from their everyday selves and

Mr. V was an enigma to an 11-year-old

wade around with a stringer of fatties

returned to something raw, powerful,

who didn’t have a lot of experience

attached to my ankle because: A) I’m

and increasingly elusive.

that violent moment on, I never saw him the same way.


h a nd cr a f t ed t o pe rf ec t i o n

est

19 6 9

T H E R O D YO U W I L L E V E N T UA L LY OW N Our craftsmen’s hands may not win any beauty contests but the rods they produce sure as hell should. Beautifully handcrafted, we strive for perfection and uncompromising performance in every rod we make.

www.thomasandthomas.com HANDMADE IN AMERICA

Profile for Angling Trade LLC

Issue # 34 Spring 2016  

Issue # 34 Spring 2016

Issue # 34 Spring 2016  

Issue # 34 Spring 2016

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded