I try to be as observant as I can while on the water. Turning rocks to observe potential buffet items, peering around the dog-legs of the river for other anglers, even reminding myself to look up every now and then to catch glimpse of a soaring eagle or to perhaps be captivated by overhanging cliffs and pine-laden tree lines.
Despite my frequent reminding, I know I am missing things. The black bear tracks tell another story, and I don’t really want to know how many trophy fish I’ve probably waded past who were hiding on the edge of a seam. With so much going on around me – the fishing, the beauty of the land, the presence of other life – there inevitably will be details that go unnoticed.
A very similar phenomenon occurs in the fly shop. You enter, only to have every sense overloaded and tugged upon. Not only are there thousands of flies to choose from, but there seems to be an equal number of options as it pertains to rods, lines, tools, tying materials, even clothing and sunglasses. With a myriad of options, there’s bound to be product that goes unnoticed.
I’d like to shed some light on a few of those products you may be unfamiliar with. This is only a small sampling. I know there are more, and encourage you to explore the shop carefully next time you stop in – reminding yourself to turn that rock, and to look up every now and then…
1. RIO GOLD FLY LINE in ORANGE and LUMALUX
Rio Gold is one of our top selling fly lines, and for good reason. It is a high performing general and all-around fly line. A little nymphing here, a little dry fly action there, maybe chuck a smaller wooly bugger – sure, Gold can handle it. However, in addition to the standard moss/gold and melon/dun color schemes, Gold is also available in two other very peculiar flavors.
Rio Gold Lumalux is unique in that the line can be charged with a bright light, and the line will then glow in the dark. This line is an invaluable tool for night time fishing if you’re hunting big browns after hours, or trying your luck during a hex hatch.
Rio Gold in Orange is a super hi-vis line for those seeking a line to stand out and pop. If your eye sight is diminished, or you’re one who is working on their casting and want to see your loops better, give the Orange a try. The hi-vis color may also give you an edge by allowing you to see your line better while it’s floating on the water surface. You’ll be able to mend and correct for drag better, ultimately making your line behave and drift the way you want it to.
2. ORVIS POSIGRIP THREADER FLY BOX
The Orvis PosiGrip Threader Fly Box is a simple, inexpensive, and very handy fly box to have. I am a big fan of any product that fits that bill – simple and functional!
Open the box and you’ll notice each side is slit-foam lined. However, along the inside spine of this box is where the magic resides. The spine is a resting place for small threaders (included) that are an invaluable tool for threading your flies onto your tippet. You can use the threaders streamside as you make your fly selections on the spot, or you can pre-rig the threaders with flies the night before.
Here at the shop, we stock the small and medium sizes. The small box will hold approximately 182 flies and includes three threaders. Upgrade if you desire to the medium box which will hold approximately 240 flies and includes four threaders. A large size is available for special order – it will hold approximately 312 flies and includes four threaders.
3. FISHPOND PIOPOD MICROTRASH CONTAINER
Pack it in, pack it out – and help pack out other refuse left behind by those not in touch with Mother Nature. The Fishpond Piopod Microtrash Container is so simple it’s silly. It features a unique elastomeric lid which will happily accept your tippet trimmings, lifeless leaders, cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and any other trash destined for anywhere but the stream bed.
This handy keeper of trash will easily affix to your person one of two ways. It can be clipped onto any fabric loop or belt with the molded-in clip – or, attach it with a D-ring or lanyard via the attachment point built into the lid.
4. QUICK-CAST LT TRANSPORT SYSTEM
If you’re one to wear your waders while driving to the river, this product may be for you if the higher priced rod storage systems are out of your reach. The Quick Cast LT Portable Rigged-Rod Carrier allows you to pre-rig your fly rod, flies and all, and stow it safely broken down for easy transport.
The feather-light system is simple to use, and will have you fishing in less than a minute. To stow, simply break down your rigged rod into its separate sections and slide the tips into the individual pockets. You’ll then secure the fly line with small velcro tabs to keep things managed and tangle free.
The rig will accommodate most multi-piece rods, including spinning, casting, and fly rods. Also included is a protective carrying sleeve that will shield your rod blank from scuffs and dings.
5. SPUDZ CLEANER
High on the list of important and properly functioning equipment is your eyewear – specifically your polarized sunglasses. To help them do their job, which is to help you spot fish and submerged boulders, you need to keep them clean and debris free. Water droplets, smudge marks and fingerprints all but hinder the performance of our eyewear, and it can be a pain to deal with.
The Spudz Microfiber Cleaner takes all the hassle out of keeping your shades in tip-top shape. This small microfiber cloth is safe and scratch-free to keep your sunglass investment clean and crisp. The cloth tucks into a small neoprene pouch when not in use to help protect and prolong the life of the cloth. Simply clip the pouch anywhere handy and within reach for on-stream use whenever necessary. Bonus points – they’re made in the USA and they are also machine washable.
Orvis 101 Introduction to Fly Fishing
Early season stillwater Fundamentals-Classroom