Recently, the Covey staff gathered for an evening with Josh Graffam, from Umpqua Feather Merchants. Josh spent the first part of his presentation sharing about the history of the company, which is very rich indeed! Many legends of our industry have played a part in the formation of this angling icon.
Although they are known mostly for their flies – and well they should be – they are also manufacturers of packs and bags, leader and tippet, tying materials, and more. But let’s start by discussing their flies. You should know that their flies are well-known for good reason: quality. We discussed where and how their flies are made and I was impressed! We saw pictures of individual flies up close and personal from Umpqua and nameless competitors and you can see how small differences can make a big difference in how a fly fishes! (See these examples.) They are very selective in their materials and their tyers are exceptional in their technique and consistency, fly after fly.
We also took some time going through their newest line of packs and there are some features you should know about. The new line is called ZeroSweep and is designed to keep all surfaces smooth and clean without places for your line to get hung up on. “The end result [of the design] is more quality time on the water and less time untangling line caught on buckles, nippers, hemostat, retractors, fly patches and all of the other crazy stuff fly-fishermen tend to dangle off of their packs.” Some of the features that I like include blind hemostat sheaths that tuck them away effortlessly and prevent snagging, the nipper and accessory ports that keep nippers from dangling off the side but maintain easy access, and extra roomy overlapping pockets. In addition, these packs can be used interchangeably with little effort due to the custom Zero Sweep™ buckles.
Come into the shop and check out the packs – try them on and compare their features to find the system that will help make 2016 an awesome year on the water! Several of our staff use these themselves and they can assist you to find what will work best for you.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Orvis 201 Streamside