Wednesday, November 25, 2015

10 For Fall

Without a doubt, fall is my favorite season for being outdoors.  This season means camping trips and fly fishing for trout in the mountains.  And of course there are chores that came with fall with moving leaves off the yard but it also mean bonfires in the backyard with family and friends on cold nights.

Fall is by far the best season for these and so many more reasons.

Here's the mix of gear suggestions to be properly outfitted for fall...

In a time where the majority of fly reels are with more drag than you would ever need, there is something reassuring about the song and simplicity of a click and pawl fly reel.  One of my favorites is the Classic, along with the bigger brothers in the Switch and Spey.

There are many ways that the Classic can be ordered and the first decision is ported spool or non-ported spool.  My opinion?  Non-ported every day of the week.  The porting design on these fly reels totally takes the soul out of them and they lose a lot of their looks.  Follow that decision by finish, handle, foot, and drag knob and you truly can customize a Classic to your own perfection.  On last reminder.  Don't port.

Oh yeah, the Abel Reels website says 3/4/5 weight but they are suggesting two hander fly lines.  The Classic is perfect with six or seven weight fly lines.

I splurged on myself for the Classic in this photo and ordered it with the new Smallmouth finish and standard black on everything else.  This one is going to be a lot of fun on my favorite smalljaw fly rods. 

Ryan McDonald of Finn Utility has an interesting take on fly fishing gear and in the Essex Side Bag, he has used long wearing waxed twill, waxed canvas, English bridle leather, and brass hardware to create a gear bag that will carry the essentials for a day on the water and more importantly will be a cherished piece that can be passed within a family from angler to angler.

The Essex Side Bag is just one of many Finn Utility offerings that have classic simplicity matched with aesthetics that will look today and decades from now.  Each piece will wear wonderfully with many stories to tell.  

I am really picky when it comes to wading boots and only look for boots that will not only be long lasting but that they be comfortable, have excellent ankle support, and have built in protection around the foot and toe box.  There is nothing more that I hate when wading than pinching toes or ankles between large rocks.  I want my feet to be protected. 

The latest offering from Korkers has all of that along with their Omni-Trax Interchangeable Sole System which gives you options of the sole you need no matter what the conditions.

I am in a pair of boots all week (and quite a few weekends too) with and when I'm off duty, I am either in flip flops or some sort of approach shoe.  I decided to mix things up this fall and purchased a pair of Oboz Missoula shoes since I liked the looks and feel of these lightweight casual do-all shoes.

Skate styling matched with leather with a supportive insole makes the Missoula and I am currently putting a lot of miles on mine in NYC this week.

Impressive as well are the Oboz company ethics with their donation of shoes to Project Sole, planting a tree for every pair purchased, and their headquarters building in Missoula, Montana is run off wind power.

When Shawn Combs gave me a call last year and to discuss what they should do with the Superfine Glass line up it was agreed that a six weight was in order.  Prototypes were rolled and cast.  I lost one of the prototypes (along with my CFO III) in Pyramid Lake to the "Water Babies" and now have one of the early factory builds in my hands now.

The 8'6" Superfine Glass six weight is really good and think of it as the big brother to the eight foot five weight that is capable in it's own right.  Think smallmouth, carp, light salt, and big trout water with flies of all sizes.  It can handle it all.

The six weight (along with the new longer 7'6" three weight) are not listed on the Orvis website yet but these fly rods are showing up in Orvis shops everywhere.

There is a reason that you're seeing more and more Rising Fish nets splashed across social media with guides and anglers using them.  In short, they kick ass.  These anodized aluminum nets, available in Brookie or Lunker sizes, are solidly built with deep rubber netting and grippy handles when wet or dry and they are available in a mix of colors and handle lengths.

Something that Dylan Rothwell of Rising Fish offers with almost all of his products is the ability to personalize.  This Brookie Net has the Retro Fly engraved on the handle and #glassisnotdead on the hoop.  Dylan wanted to make sure he made it mine and he can do the same for you.

There is a lot of technology that goes into your polarized fishing glasses and Smith Optics really has something special with their ChromaPop polarized lenses.  Simply put, I can see things with ChromaPop through the water that I can't and haven't seen with any other polarized glasses that I've ever worn.

The Guide's Choice is a new frame for 2016 and best fit for medium-large face shape and salso features a integrated (but removable) sunglass leash.  These glasses are comfortable for all day wear and available in four frame colors and five different ChromaPop lens colors.

I have had a long standing complaint with multi-tools with that they are typically not that user's friendly or even useful given all the different blades and tools incorporated in them.  Enter the SOG Switch Pliers which have completely changed my opinion on what these type of tools can be.

The Switch Plier is a new offering from SOG and includes twelve tools incorporated in this handy multi-tool.  The real genius to the Switch Plier is the push button which instantly brings the spring loaded pliers to action.  These pliers (along with the many tools) are very capable, comfortable in hand, and this multi-tool is in my go bag.  These pliers have already come in handy more than once.

My day starts with a coffee and I am always in the search for ways to keep it hot all the way to work to enjoy at my desk while going over emails, reports, and mapping out the day.  The Stanley Classic One Hand Vacuum Mug matches old school looks and double walled function with the ease of a push button when taking a drink.  The mug is leak proof and perfect for tossing into the work bag with no worries of a spill.  Available in three sizes (12 ounce, 16 ounce, and 20 ounce) and four color choices.

The Adventure SS Shot Glass Set is tucked into my boat bag for an impromptu moment ofcelebration of a good fish caught with four two ounce shot glasses stacked in the steel carrying case.   File this under a great gift idea for a friend (or yourself) and don't forget to include a favorite bottle of spirits to go with it.    

I've been watching Will and Kelly Watters from their launch of Western Rise earlier this year and have been impressed with their thought forward ideas and designs.  The two pieces that have impressed me from the start were the Bitter Creek Anorak and Granite Camp Pant and you might remember these mentioned earlier this year in the IFTD - Baker's Dozen Of Cool post.

We've had a very wet fall (along with historical 1000 year flooding) and I've put a lot of time in with the Bitter Creek Anorak.  I was first drawn to this jacket for the looks but the fabrics and design really have made this one of my favorite outerwear pieces.  One beef that I have with fly fishing specific jackets is that they don't look right anywhere but on the water.  The Bitter Creek Anorak breaks that mold with classic aesthetics, fully waterproof fabrics and taped seams, and perfect for every day and everywhere use.  The Bitter Creek Anorak is cut with a standard fit and adding a layer or two underneath shouldn't be a problem.

The Granite Camp Pant (and shorts) are made of a hydrophoblic fabric with four way stretch and are your wear all pant for summer wet wading, long trail hikes, and kicked back around the fire.  There are a long list of details built into these pants and wearing them will quickly make them a favorite.  The fit on these is more tailored so order a size up if you're worried on how they will fit.

PLEASE NOTE - Western Rise has a great holiday sale going on now with 15-30% off most items on the website.  Use code "TFM" at checkout and they'll toss in a Riverside Ranch Hat in with your purchase.

Well, that's my "10 For Fall".  What's your essentials for the season?

DISCLAIMER - Items for this post were either purchased at full retail price, on an industry discount, or provided free of charge to demo and review by the respective company.  It should be known that any product that is reviewed on this website is one that I have used and would recommend for others to use as well. 


Bill said...

1. Aquaseal, fall seems to be when every seam starts to leak
2. Black/white and olive/orange marabou Skagit-minnow style flies
3. 9' 10wt Fenwick with rear handle extension
4. Ghetto homemade "switch" line around 350grns
5. lucky sweater
6. two packs of smokes
7. maxima chameleon tippet spools
8. a handful of larger than trout sized soft hackles (in case the water is clear)
9. studded soles for my korkers
10. Plenty of gas money

Editor said...

The Western Rise granite pants have been just okay in my book. The first pair I had, a seam entirely split apart while spey casting on a lake. The second pair has received some strange wear around the bottoms. I'm not short, and the legs seem way, way too long. The crotch gets a bit, well, tight at times. And do not even think about wearing these when it is cold: wind and cold cuts right through. I love them for being water shedding and having a cool look and feel, but for $100, I would like to see them be better.

As for my essentials:
1. CCG and a UV light (for everything from line splicing fun to fly tying madness).
2. New Shimmer Dub and EP Chromatic brushes for tying.
3. OPST's trout shanks, for smaller, cutthroat chasing patterns.
4. Echo Glass 7 wt switch.
5. OPST Commando head, 325 grain.
6. New Rio InTouch coolness.
7. Jeremy Koreski's "This is Nowhere" book (killer...just get it)
8. Subscription to "Swing the Fly," the best publication about spey casting greatness.
9. Dead & Company show from Nashville (November 2015).
10. Some nice pumpkin infused microbrew.

Those are my 10.