Fly Fishing, Pre-Internet

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Remember the fledgling days of the internet? Everything was AOL, chat rooms, and dial up. Slow, slow dial up.

In the  past few years, have you considered how techno-deficient life was  in 1997? You weren’t going to be buying anything online, that is for sure. Watching movies? There were no VHS slots in computers… even really fancy Gateways. Between the speed of the internet and the meager dot-com offerings available, you’d be better off getting your news and weather from AM radio.

Surprisingly enough, fly fishing wasn’t on the bleeding edge of the world wide web’s progress. There were message boards and listings on eBay, but the information just wasn’t there. If you wanted to know stream conditions you had to call a fly shop. If you wanted to buy a fishing license you had to go to a Wal-Mart. If you wanted general information about the streams in a particular region you had to go the library and check out a book.

Or, if you were like me, you owned the “Trout Fishing Sourcebook.”

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Fly Tyer Creates Insane Bat Fly

Fly Tyer Creates Insane Bat Fly thumbnail
Jason Lund is a Swedish fly tyer, known as @onceandaway on Instagram. Recently, he sat down with a friend of Flylords, Hugo Harlin, to do some art tying and that’s when this crazy bat fly creation was born, after a 3-4 hour tying session. We got in touch with James to ask him a few questions about his spooky fly and how he tied it.

Flylords: How did you create those incredible wings?

James: Basically it’s a technique called origami wing that I learned from Hugo Harlin a while back. It’s a really good way of getting nice-looking wings I think. I’ve mostly used it in caddis patterns and it’s also surprisingly durable for fishing flies. For this Bat fly, I wanted to see how much you could shape the wing and since the batwing has a unique look I thought that it would be the ultimate challenge. I use a pair of tweezers and bend the hackle stem (on a half-stripped coq de Leon feather) in the places where the shape chances and then I run the wing through a nozzle (used for silicone tubes). That way the fibers align quite well and if there are some of them that end up wrong you can correct them with a dubbing needle while the feather ends are still in the nozzle. I’ve made a short tutorial (Youtube link in my Instagram profile) on how to do this technique on caddis wings and it’s exactly the same thing with this only the batwing has more ”bending points”.
I think there is still room for improvement and bolder shapes because the feather seems to adjust really well no matter how you want it. The potential of the technique is huge I believe!

Flylords: Was this fly freehand or did you have a design in mind when you started?

James: Well, it’s kind of freehand because I hadn’t seen anything like it so there was no fly I was trying to copy but I had done a lot of ”head tying” (trying out different techniques in my head) so the pattern was sort of clear. This is actually the second one I tried because I wasn’t satisfied with the proportions of the first one. It became a bit too fat basically.
Photos and fly by James Lund, check him out on Instagram: @onceandaway, and on his Youtube channel for more amazing fly tying content!

Continue reading “Fly Tyer Creates Insane Bat Fly”

9 Best Reusable Bottles for Anglers (2019 Unranked)

9 Best Reusable Bottles for Anglers (2019 Unranked) thumbnail

With the #kickplastic movement in full effect, anglers and other outdoor enthusiasts are paving the way for everyone to stop supporting single-use plastic water bottles. In an effort to do so, the amount of purchasable reusable outdoor bottles has skyrocketed. With this increase in market quantity, finding the perfect water bottle that suits you has grown into more of a chore than ever. Luckily, we at Flylords gathered our top picks for which water bottles we feel meet the needs of anglers and explorers in any endeavor they pursue. Here are our top picks for which water bottles will stand the test of the elements (and look good doing so).

For this list, we based our decisions on 3 factors; durability, practicality, and price. While there may be some other contenders in the genre, we focused mainly on traits that would make this water bottle specifically useful to anglers on the water, as opposed to everyday usage. That being said, factors such as temperature control, ease of drinking, and material used were a large factor in determining what products DID and DID NOT make our list.

1. Kleen Kanteen

Classic Double Wall Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle 

Image courtesy of Amazon.com

Starting off the list is a strong top spot competitor. The Kanteen is noted for its “stronger than most” metal shell and is a refreshingly solid water bottle. On long hot days on the skiff, this bottle can keep ice in and heat out. However, due to its tall slender frame, it’s more likely to topple over and spill, so keep that in mind if wind rolls in. Overall, this water bottle is a worthy investment, especially when considering the price.

Durability: 8.5/10, Practicality: 8/10, Price: 8.5/10 ($25.00)

 

 

2. Camelbak Chute Mag

Insulated Stainless Steel

camelbak chute mag

Image courtesy of Amazon.comNext on our list, we have the Camelbak Chute Mag water bottle. This bottle is designed with convenience in mind. With its magnetized handle, the cap can be stored right on the side of the bottle, and you never have to worry about losing it (you could even keep a few flies on there). Now, while not standing quite as strong as competing Yeti and Kleen Kanteen bottles, this vacuum insulated, stainless steel build is sure to keep ice cold and coffee hot all day on the water.

Durability: 8.5/10, Practicality: 9/10, Price: 8.5/10 ($25.98) 

   

 

 

3. Simple Modern Summit

Wide Mouth Vacuum Insulated 18/8 Stainless Steel Powder Coated

simple modern water bottle
Image courtesy of Amazon

This water bottle is one of the lesser accredited brands but has been shining bright with its durable, as well as attestable water bottles. With its vacuum-sealed design, it will keep your drinks at the perfect temperature all day. Not to mention, If appearance is going to a be a deciding factor in which water bottle you’ll take on your next adventure, these bottles come in an array of designs and colors in order to perfectly match your preference. Coming in at one of the lowest prices for our list of insulated bottles, the Simple Modern Summit packs some of the best bang for your buck in the market.

Durability: 7.5/10, Practicality: 8.5/10, Price: 9/10 (21.99)

buy here at Amazon

 

 

4. Epic Nalgene OG

Wide Mouth 32 oz  Water Filtration Bottle 

Nalgene OG
Image Courtesy of Amazon

A new spin on an old classic. The Epic Nalgene OG is all of what you love about Nalgene, a bottle brand that has stood the test of time, with some added twists. The built-in water filtration device removes 99.99% of Tap Water Contaminants, so no matter where you are, you can fill up and get moving. While this product is one of the least durable bottles on the list, it can still take a hit. Now, if keeping your ice-cold drinks ice cold is a priority, you may want to look into the insulated bottles offered by Yeti, Hydroflask, etc. However, if your focus is on filtration, and you don’t mind spending a few extra bucks, this bottle is the ticket. 

Durability: 5.5/10, Practicality: 9/10, Price: 6/10 ($34.95)

Click here to order on Amazon

 

 

 

5. Hydroflask

Stainless Steel & Vacuum Insulated – Wide Mouth

hydroflask
Image courtesy of Amazon

Being one of the most popular reusable water bottles on the market, there is a reason Hydroflask has made a name for itself. This bottle, with its stainless steel, vacuum insulated construction it’s one of the best in the game when it comes to temperature retention. With its sleek and streamlined design, it can fit in backpacks, fly bag pockets, bottle sleeves, or wherever else you keep your gear. Now, when it comes to taking a hit, the Hydroflask is of the less durable steel bottles mentioned, so if your traveling into uncharted territory, consider keeping a backup bottle in your pack. Also, because of its popularity and gorgeous design, this bottle will also run a bit higher than other’s that have been mentioned on this list.

Durability: 8/10, Practicality: 8/10, Price: 7/10 ($29.95)

Click here to order on Amazon

 

 

6. Platypus SoftBottle

1-liter soft bottle with Closure Cap

Platypus soft bottle
Image courtesy of Amazon

Unlike any other bottle on this list, the Platypus SoftBottle serves a purpose of its own. For those who like to pack light, these 1-liter bottles can be folded up and stored anywhere. They can also be used as a bladder for an attachable drinking tube and kept out of the way for hydration on the go. While this bottle doesn’t have the durability, and temperature control technology of many of the other bottles, it is an excellent way to utilize space and stay unencumbered. Not to mention, each 1-liter bottle is just under 15 dollars, so you can pack a few and swap them out when empty.

Durability: 4/10, Practicality: 8/10, Price: 9/10 ($14.59) 

Click here to order on Amazon

 

 

7. S’well

17oz Vacuum Insulated Stainless Steel Water Bottle

swell water bottle
Image courtesy of S’well.com

Also available in larger sizes like the 25oz, the S’well is a sleek, modern solution to the single-use plastic issue. Sitting at about the size of a traditional water bottle, the S’well is built to fit just about anywhere to be easily accessible, and out of the way. Built with a triple-walled construction, this bottle holds its own against some of the best-insulated bottles in the game. It is also surprisingly durable considering its seemingly delicate frame. This bottle may not be the first choice for many outdoor adventurers, but if you’re looking for a low profile reusable bottle to bring on the stream, don’t count S’well out.

Durability: 7/10, Practicality: 8/10, Price: 7.5/10 (26.25)

Click here to order on Amazon

 

 

8. Brita Premium

20 Ounce Stainless Steel Filtering Water Bottle -BPA Free 

 

Brita filtering bottle
Image courtesy of Amazon

When it comes to getting a filtering water bottle, why not go with the brand that revolutionized the game. This water bottle allows you to filter water anywhere, to make sure you stay hydrated and clear-headed no matter how long your out in the sun. Featuring a stainless steel frame, built on carrying loop, push-button lid, and built-in drinking straw this bottle may as well have come off of Batman’s utility belt. The only downside to this water bottle is its noticeable fragility (in comparrisons with our other steel bottles). However, with a little bit of care, this will be one of the most versatile bottles who will have ever owned.

Durability: 6.5/10, Practicality: 9.5/10, Price: 6/10 ($35.00)

Click here to order on Amazon

 

 

9. Yeti Rambler

18oz vacuum insulated Bottle

yeti rambler
Image courtesy of Amazon

Over the last couple of years, Yeti has made a splash in the outdoor industry, specifically in the Temperature Retention game. Sitting as one of our favorite water bottles, the Yeti Rambler is the workhorse of stainless steel canteens. Built with an 18/8 stainless steel body, a leak-proof triple haul cap, and a finish of Duracoat coloring to ensure no cracks or fading, this bottle is engineered to take a beating. If you’re looking for a water bottle that can stand up to any test you put it through and don’t mind spending a few extra dollars, make the investment and get yourself a rambler.

Durability: 9.5/10, Practicality: 8.5/10, Price 7/10 ($30.00) 

In closing, there are so many different water bottles on the market right now that do so many things. Depending on your style of adventure, as well as personal preferences, picking the right one is about what makes you happy. Now toss some stickers on your bottle, and get out there and go make some memories.

Click here to order on Amazon

 

 

 

Article written by Flylords Team member Wills Donaldson 

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Northwoods Musky on the Fly

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Joey Oesterle, Robert Hawkins, and Aaron Przybylski went to the Northwoods of Wisconsin to fish a Musky on the fly tournament. A couple of dudes drinking beer, a lucky pair of Nike Air Monarchs, 700gr full sinks, and addiction to musky… perfect for a weekend full of shenanigans. No fun was had….

Locked and loaded, no drift boat today power all the way.
The backseat rod organization for 99% of all musky anglers.
Morning beers on the way to the zone
Decisions, decisions, decisions.
The musky being musky face
Maybe this one will work?
On the board!
Taste the rainbow.
A gentle reminder to debarb your hooks.
Ouch!
Let’s go Day 2!
The best fish from Day 2…a beauty!
Until next time.
The secret to every Musky Angler’s get up, Nike prostaff!

Photo essay by Joey Oesterle, check him out on Instagram at @joey.oesterle. Other anglers include Robert Hawkins owner of Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop in St.Paul, MN @mnflyshop, and Aaron Przbylski, @stcroixpeezworth.

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The 7 Fly Fishing Books Every Angler Should Read

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Fly fishing, a small subset of the fishing world as a whole, claims an unnaturally large percentage of fishing books. Just Google “fishing books,” and you’ll see that nearly every result on the first page is related to fly fishing.

Maybe it’s because of the finesse of the technique, which lends itself to a creative outlet. Maybe it’s that trout and trout habitat are beautiful enough to inspire authors. Whatever the reason, there’s no shortage of good fly fishing literature out there, and that bodes well for anglers. 

Every fly fisherman should spend some time diving into books on the subject, both for practical and intangible reasons. Some books impart serious knowledge, from tactics and techniques to places to go. Others entertain, and some simply bring to light minute aspects of the sport that ring true for fishermen.

The selection of books ranges from classics that still stand the test of time, to new releases that often explain modern tactics used by extremely successful anglers. Whatever your style of fly fishing literature, there’s definitely a book out there that fits the bill.

 

A River Runs Through It

The River Why

The Feather Thief

The Longest Silence

Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die

Where the Trout Are All as Long as Your Leg

Fly Fishing the 41st

 

1. A River Runs Through It – Norman Maclean

This book isn’t number one on the list by accident. The fact that it’s almost cliche at this point isn’t an accident either. The reason it’s on nearly every list out there is that it’s an absolute must-read for any fly fisherman. In early 20th-century Montana, Maclean and his brother balance family, life, religion, and fly fishing, and maintain their relationship despite very different life paths. If you read this book once, there’s a high chance you’ll pick it up again.

Image courtesy of Amazon

 

2. The River Why – David James Duncan

One of the few true fly fishing novels out there, The River Why is sure to hit home for anyone who has ever wanted to drop everything, buy a cabin, and fish every single day. This book follows Gus Orviston, who pursues his passion for fly fishing and learns a lot about fishing, himself, and love along the way.

The cover of "The River Why"
Image courtesy of Amazon

 

3. The Feather Thief – Kirk Wallace Johnson 

Though not directly related to fly fishing (the actual act of fishing is only referenced a handful of times), The Feather Thief is perhaps one of the hardest books to put down on the list. In 2009, a young fly tier named Edwin Rist broke into the British Natural History Museum and made off with hundreds of rare bird skins. These skins, some valued at thousands of dollars apiece, were like gold in the small, passionate group of traditional salmon fly tiers Edwin associated with. Some skins were returned to the museum unharmed, but many made their way into the secretive world of salmon flies and were never recovered. This book covers the history of the skins, the heist itself, and the aftermath. 

The cover of "The Feather Thief"
Image courtesy of Amazon

 

4. The Longest Silence – Tom McGuane

Tom McGuane is widely known as one of the best fly fishing writers out there, and many consider him a favorite writer of any genre. The Longest Silence is a collection of essays that range from trout to permit and everything in between. In addition to being a great angler, McGuane is a great storyteller and finds just the right way to convey what he means. Although McGuane has written multiple books related to fishing, this one is probably the purest fly fishing book he has.

 

The cover of "The Longest Silence"
Image courtesy of Amazon

 

5. Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die – Chris Santella

While most of the books on this list are at least somewhat reflective, this one is a practical read. Like the title implies, the book covers 50 places to fly fish around the world, with a couple pages dedicated to the techniques, access, and other pertinent information for each location. The real plus to this book is that despite being informational, it’s not a bore to get through. A lot of practical fishing books can be a little mind-numbing, but with vivid descriptions and amazing pictures, this one will keep you hooked.

The cover of "Fifty Places to Fly Fish Before You Die"
Image courtesy of Amazon

 

 

6. Where the Trout Are All as Long as Your Leg – John Gierach

No fly fishing book list would be complete without at least one book by John Gierach. The hard part isn’t finding a book of his to include, but rather narrowing it down to just one or two. Having written over 20 fly fishing books, Gierach makes it hard to choose. Where the Trout Are All as Long as Your Leg is a good one, as it will resonate with something every angler is familiar with: favorite fishing spots. From appreciating a hidden gem that holds monsters, to finding solitude on a small creek, this book hits it all.

The cover of "Where the Trout are All as Long as Your Leg"
Image courtesy of Amazon

 

7. Fly Fishing the 41st – James Prosek

The concept behind this book is exciting in itself. Prosek decided to fly fish his way around the world along the latitude of his home, which is at the 41st parallel. The trip takes him through Spain, France, Mongolia, and more, and each place is unique. One of the refreshing things about Fly Fishing the 41st is that it highlights all the non-angling aspects of fishing that matter to fishermen. Interesting places, unique species, and relationships formed along the way are some of the best parts of fly fishing, and Prosek does a great job of bringing these to the forefront.

The cover of "Fly Fishing the 41st"
Image courtesy of Amazon

This article was developed by Flylords’ content team member, Katie Burgert.

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Faces of Fly Fishing: Joe Humphreys

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In anticipation of the worldwide release of the inspiring documentary, “Live The Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys” Flylords had the honor of spending a few days with Joe, exploring the story of this legendary angler, philanthropist, and teacher. During this time, we were allowed an inside look into the life of an angler who has helped develop the sport of fly fishing and dedicated his life to establishing the values the fly fishing community holds dear today. 

In order to see his full story as soon as it is released to Blue-Ray, and digital download, make sure to check out Live the Stream’s website, or click HERE to pre-order your copy of Joe’s once in a lifetime story.

Flylords: Who is Joe Humphreys?

Joe: I am a 90 year old man that has lived a, I guess, most unusual life. I’d like to think that through all of the adventures I’ve had, I’ve had a chance to give a message to so many people towards the preservation of our environment. My goal is, this is what we have to do, we have to save it. So, I think maybe the good Lord has put me in this situation where, working through him, I’ve done some good.

Flylords: How did you first get into Fly Fishing?

Joe: When I was six years old my father took me fishing. He was a novice, we both were naturally, but it was a sport that I ended up loving and it’s an activity that has brought so much happiness, and so much wealth; Not financial wealth, but spiritual wealth, and ever since it’s given me a life of adventure.

joe and friends

Flylords: For somebody who has never picked up a fly rod before, can you give them a reason to start?

Joe: Fly fishing is such a beautiful sport, and such an art form. It’s something that anybody can do. There are so many aspects of it so that it’s a beautiful game, but it’s an exciting challenge.  For somebody to take a fly line, attach a fly to the leader from the line, make the cast, and catch a trout? What a wonderful thing.

joe and a trout

Flylords: as a Hall of Fame wrestler and past wrestling coach for Penn State University, how could you compare wrestling to fly fishing?

Joe: Wrestling and fly fishing? They’re both physical sports. Secondly, the technique is so important. When you’re wrestling you have to set up your takedowns, you’ve got to move your opponent. On the bottom, you’ve got to be explosive. There’s technique and smarts involved, fly fishing is the same thing. You have techniques, you have to adjust when you’re fishing dry flies. You have to have great fly control so that the fly will float perfectly, drag-free. When you’re nymphing you have to make that tough cast at a distance so you can have line control and get the nymph to the bottom. You really have to respect techniques in both aspects of both games.

penn state

Flylords: let’s talk about your movie, “Live the Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys”. How did this whole project begin?

Joe: Lucas (Director/ Cinematographer) came into my life when I was teaching at Penn State University. He had been putting together a video project called Penn State Fly Fishing, and asked me if I would help him. I said, “Well, certainly.” So, I did help him, and he did extremely well. I think he got an A in the course. Then, maybe 15 years later, he came to me at Lancaster when I was doing a fly fishing show and said, “Would you like to be the subject of Nomadic Studio’s first film on fly fishing?”, and I said, “Yes, I think it would be wonderful.” So as we started to work together as we’re doing now; interviews by the hour; it was stressful at times, but it was exciting.

Joe and his crew

Flylords: Over the last few years you let Lucas (Director/Cinematographer), Meigan (Director/ Writer), and Alex (Producer) into your life. What was it like working with them for so long, and what was it like letting these people into your life to tell your story?

Joe: It was, here again, a wonderful adventure. There was a lot of bonding and a lot of excitement; a lot of great days on the stream, success, failures; but with their expertise and their knowledge of this game… I was in awe. When it all came forth it was a thing of beauty. I was not only in awe of these two (Lucas and Meigan), I just fell in love with them. We’re family, and I’ll never be without them.

Joe and Nomadic

Flylords: That’s amazing, what do you think about the film, and why do you think somebody should go watch it?

Joe: I think the film has a lot to give. There’s a message of protecting our environment and what we have to do. One of my favorite subjects, and one thing that I’ve been working so hard on for many years is the restoration of Thompson Run. We made so much progress that has been highlighted throughout the film. There is also the fishing aspect. Have I helped people in this film? Have they watched what I do? Have I give them instruction as a mentor, and are they learning techniques and methods? And are they enjoying the thrill of catching fish? I like to hope so.

joes vest

Flylords: What do you think was your favorite part of the film?

Joe: So, there are so many aspects to this film. Meigan and Lucas, the producers, have done a wonderful job. I have so many favorite scenes in the film but I don’t want to give too much away. You’ll have to see it for yourself.

joe fishing

Flylords: Is it true you invented the “bow and arrow cast?”

Joe: A lot of people say, “Well, yeah. The bow and arrow cast. Oh, I’ve done that.” Well, I’m 90. The gentleman that just said, “Oh, I do that.” He wasn’t born yet, nor was his mother.

Flylords: Can you tell us a little more about this signature cast and how it came to be?

Joe: The bow and arrow cast came to me as a child. I was walking and pursuing brook trout out in the mountains when I was a very tender age. All through my early experience, there was nobody to show me or tell me what to do. We had in this area very few fly fishermen. Necessity is the mother of invention, so there were times when I was on a trout stream that I would make a little flip cast, get the line in the water, and then kick out a line into the currents to place the fly where it had to go. But then, when the water started to drop and there was clarity, those fish fled if I moved the rod around. So, then I learned to get a hold of the line, bend the rod, and basically create a bow and arrow cast.

bow and arrow cast

Flylords: I know night fishing is a really big love of yours. What makes you love it so much? 

Joe: There’s a sense of excitement at night. It’s like the ambience of the night itself. The sounds of the crickets, the frogs, the noise. It inspires me. To look at the heavens above with all the stars and the moon. I also like it pitch dark because that’s when the big fish really feed. Big trout have excellent vision, but at night it’s not as acute as daytime. So, when I’m working them, I have big wet flies. The pusher types. I commonly use the George Harvey night, and my own stonefly night flies. I will cast on top on occasion. Sometimes I’ll go on top just to hear the explosion of a big take. But, I have always felt that the big fish would rather just trap their food underwater and make it easier for themselves.

night fishing

Flylords: You were night fishing when you caught your state record brown trout. Could you tell us a little bit about that story? 

Joe: I caught the state record brown trout in 1974. I was fishing this patch of stream, and I heard a mighty explosion. I thought maybe a deer had jumped into the stream. But then, it went quiet, and I knew that it was a fish. That started my quest. Then, after working this stretch for a few years now in pursuit of this fish, I landed a 26″ trout in that area. I was on a high, and the next night I got a call from my friend Al. He said, “Hump, I’m sick of watching television. Go fishing tonight. I just want to tag along.”

After a few hours in light rain, I had caught a few good-sized fish. It was 1 am and Al wanted to go home. I said, “Just give me one more shot.” I made the cast, back under the brush to the far side. I swang two heavy night flies, then the rod stopped. I felt the take. I set the hooks and it was like somebody turned over a washtub. It just was a huge explosion. The fish ran down to a fallen tree. I had a heavy leader and I stopped the run, then worked the trout back to me.

I didn’t have a net, but a net wouldn’t have got that fish in. So, I finally got the fish in front of me. I threw the rod down, jumped in the water, got both arms under him, and threw him up on the bank. Al and I were on our knees looking at that fish and he says, “I’ve never seen a fish this big in my life.” And I said, “Neither have I.” And he says, “Is this a record?” And I said, “It is to me.”

It was 4am and I called up the warden. He said, “Why are you getting me out of bed? Are you in trouble?” I replied “no” and told him I had a fish for him to see. When he saw the fish he looked at me and said, “You’ve got the new record, 34 inches”.

joe record trout
Image courtesy of Live the Stream

Flylords: At 90 years young, what’s your secret to your longevity?

Joe: Always have something exciting to look forward to. All the time. Every day, I have something exciting to look forward to the next day.

joe and car

“Live the Stream: The Story of Joe Humphreys” is now available for pre-order for digital download on iTunes and BLue-ray. Watch out for the worldwide release on November 5th!

Don’t miss the inspiring life story of Pennsylvania’s fly fishing legend, Joe Humphreys: a man who was born to fly fish, lives to teach, and strives to pass on a respect for our local waters. A visually stunning film, anyone with a pulse can appreciate Joe’s contagious spirit and, at 86-years-young, trout streams are his fountains of youth.  This is an emotion-packed adventure and Joe will catch your heart in this powerful tale of tenacity, life and love. 

Flylords would like to thank Joe and his family, as well as Nomadic studios for allowing us this time in Joe’s life.

Another special thank you to Black Mountain Cinema, in aiding in capturing these adventures.

Article written by Flylords Team member Wills Donaldson

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Product Spotlight: Yeti River Green Collection

Product Spotlight: Yeti River Green Collection thumbnail

Sponsored by REI and Yeti

As Yeti continues to dominate the drinkware and cooler market, it’s hard to keep up with new products and new colorways, but this latest drop definitely caught our eye. Introducing the River Green Collection!

We had a shoot planned with Captain Abbie Schuster up in Marthas Vineyard to target some Fall Albacore running off Edgartown Mass, so our friends from REI sent up some new products in Yeti’s River Green Collection.

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Although Yeti says the collection is “INSPIRED BY GLACIER-FED RAVINES IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, RICH WITH EMERALD UNDERTONES” we thought it fit pretty well in the northeast as well…

untitled (101 of 311).jpgOn the shoot, we were testing out the new Hopper M 30, Yeti’s 12 OZ rambler with hotshot cap, and Yeti’s new day trip lunch bag. Here’s what we thought:

Let’s start with the Rambler 12 OZ Bottle with Hotshot Cap:

I am going to be quite honest when saying this is the first time I’ve reviewed a drinking mug, but dam, this thing is the real deal!

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Coming in at 12 OZ this rambler is the perfect size for a cup of Joe, and since we were on a boat for most of the trip having a 100% leakproof Hotshot Cap was crucial. The selling point for us here was also the River green colorway. If you are in the market for a new mug or are looking for a good gift idea, this is definitely a great option. Coming in at 29.99 with the Hot Shot cap included you aren’t killing the bank (Especially for a Yeti product). Click Here to Shop. 

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Yeti’s Daytrip Lunch Bag:

It took me a little while to understand where this would come in handy. $79.99 for a lunch bag? What’s wrong with a paper bag??

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That’s when it hit me, all those years of having soggy lunches floating around the cooler. The Day-trip Lunch Bag eliminates soggy lunch, as Yeti says “Pack a lunch you’ll actually look forward to”. It’s the little touches on this bag that make you realize Yeti didn’t leave out any details. Like the magnet closure, and the way the front of the bag hinges down effortlessly. The cherry on top of the cake? The bag is lined with hours of insulation, heck you could throw a few beers in there if you wanted to and this could become a small portable cooler! Click here to shop!

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The Hopper M30

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Every year Yeti finds new ways to improve their products, and the update to it’s previous Hopper was a big one. They somehow found a way to eliminate Zippers completely on this model. Using their new HydroShield™ Technology – a strip of ultra-strong magnets – this soft cooler closes on its own. The first few times you use it you kind of need to ask yourself (What kind of wizardry is this???)….

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I’ve read some other reviews about the cooler being hard to open, and needing three hands, and although at times it’s hard to open with one hand, I still think this is a big improvement from Yeti’s last model and worth the upgrade. Not to mention the cooler looks badass, and comes in River Green!

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We spent 3 days in Marthas Vineyard loading this thing in and out of boats and cars opening it up for drinks and food, and we loved it, Abbie loved it. Coming in at $299.99 this cooler is definitely an investment, but it’s also backed by Yeti’s 5-year warranty, and would be a killer addition to your drinkware arsenal! Did we mention it came in River Green? Click here to shop. 

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We had a killer time testing out these products in Marthas Vineyard! And we are excited to see what Yeti comes up with next!

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Shoutout to Abbie for the day on the water, and to REI and Yeti for supporting this #sponsored review.

G. Loomis intros the NRX+

After almost a decade, Loomis has introduced the successor to the wildly popular NRX series
by Chad Shmukler

The G. Loomis NRX, first announced in 2010, is one of the most heralded fly rods of all time. That first year, G. Loomis sold more NRX rods than any prior rod debut. The NRX was Loomis’ successor to the also wildly popular GLX, leaving it with big shoes to fill. But fill them it did, and for almost a decade, while some other rod makers churned out one new flagship fly rod after another, the NRX remained among—if not squarely atop—the pantheon of high-performance fly rods.

If the NRX faded from the conversation these last couple of years, it was likely due only to Loomis’ own 2016 introduction of the oddly-named, price barrier-shattering Asquith which, perhaps unsurprisingly, also turned out to be one of the finest fishing tools on the market.

When the Asquith hit the market, some six years after the NRX’s introduction, and was positioned to lead Loomis’ fly rod lineup, many speculated that Asquith was the successor to the brand’s longtime flagship offering. But the folks in Woodland, Washington were clear from the start: the partially Shimano-built, co-branded Asquith was its own unique project. When and what would replace the NRX was to be determined.

With the introduction of the new NRX+ (or NRX “Plus”), G. Loomis has finally answered the question of what will succeed its longtime standard-setter. Preserving the namesake of its almost decade-long best-seller, the new NRX+, according to Loomis, “reimagines” the proprietary compound taper design found in the NRX. Originally employed to reduce swing weight and failure rates, Loomis says that, this time around, it has applied a similar process to yield improvements in loading efficiency and rod feedback. The result, the rod maker says, is something akin to an NRX that’s lighter, more powerful, features faster recovery and, perhaps most importantly, offers a noticeably bigger “sweet spot” at all casting distances.

The “NRX+ provides the power, line speed, and loop stability expected from modern fast-action rods, without compromising ‘feel’ and finesse in the short game,” says G. Loomis.

The NRX+ Freshwater models (above) borrows from the bold, slate grey and cyan blue styling or the original NRX, while the NRX+ LP models (below) offers a more traditional fly rod aesthetic.

As marketers do with every new fly rod introduction, the folks at G. Loomis have come up with a bunch of fancy names for the brand’s advancements in graphite, resins and blank construction. Much as with the modification and continuation of the NRX namesake, Loomis has continued the namesake of its tech. The NRX’s Mega Modulus graphite has been replaced with Mega Modulus+, which Loomis reports is 15% lighter than the graphite matrix in the original NRX. The GL7 resin in the NRX is now replaced with GL8 resin in the NRX+, which reportedly offers the same strength and impact resistance as the GL7 while requiring less material, which in turn reduces overall weight.

This is a good time to point out that tapers, graphite matrixes, resins and so on, if you’re not already clear, are what make fly rods what they are. Whether a rod is fast, slow, flexes mostly in the tip, bends deep into the butt, recovers quickly or slowly, offers great “feel” and feedback or is a dead-weight broomstick … all of these things are, at least in a very significant way, determined by those core building blocks of a fly rod. They’re also bits of technology and spec that almost everyone in the world of fly rods pretends to understand but, in truth, almost always doesn’t.

The good news is that most anglers need not understand tapers and graphite matrixes and resins. If marketing mumbo-jumbo on rod tech—rather than first-hand casting experience, word of mouth and trustworthy recommendations, for instance—is how you’re making your buying decisions, you’re doing something wrong. Rod makers, on the other hand, most certainly need to understand these core technologies. And the good news, for NRX faithfuls and NRX+ hopefuls, is that longtime G. Loomis rod designer Steve Rajeff and the other folks at Loomis felt that the advancements they had developed in these arenas finally represented an opportunity to build a better rod than the NRX they had been confidently churning out of their Woodland, WA factory (and winning awards with) for almost a decade—perhaps as long as any rod maker has ever kept a rod model positioned atop their lineup.

Like the original NRX, the NRX+ lineup is split into 4 distinct categories—the NRX+, NRX+ LP (Light Presentation), NRX+ S (Saltwater) and NRX+ Switch/Spey—comprised of 26 individual rod models. Pricing ranges from $795 to $975. Available October 2019.

For more information on the entire NRX+ lineup, visit G. Loomis.

Can You Get Away From Everything

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Many people head into nature, be it for fly fishing or some other pursuit, to get away from everything. Everything, of course, is relative. You’re not getting away from the woods. You’re not getting away from fishing. And you’re certainly not getting away from yourself.

And no one is wrong for using that turn of phrase. Everything is normalcy. Everything is the suburbs. Everything is Monday to Friday and commuting and email notifications and go go go. All that is the everything you’re getting away from.

Getting away is good. We were made to rest. We were made to rest daily through sleep. We were also made to take an extended rest on a weekly basis. Whether your worldview is built upon divine revelation or materialism, scripture and science agree that your mind and body need rest. Rest isn’t just laying down with our eyes closed. Rest means stopping our normal, routine, everything and doing something different and rejuvenating.

You could say that when you get away from everything you’re purposefully getting into something.

Continue reading “Can You Get Away From Everything”