Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Wader

It's not the easiest thing in the world to wear another brand of waders in Simms country. You have to be willing to take a bit of grief, so it better be worth it. This, I learned while wearing the Redington Sonic-Pro Ultra Packable Wader this past year.

Photo: Ben Pierce Photography
These waders weigh about 1.5 pounds and roll up to about the size of half of a loaf of bread. They are easy to pack for camping or stuff in the backpack for a hike (most boots are still not as convenient, however), and would be great space savers for airborne fishing trips. They are quite comfortable due to their light, pliable material, and don't look particularly dweeby like some brands (although Liz tells me they're almost as flattering as another popular brand).

They use the Orvis sonic-seam technology which seems to work well, and are made of a four-layer breathable nylon apparently called High Density Mini Oxford Fabric.

Focus on the waders, not the fish...
Aside from their packability, they make a great shoulder-season option when it's a touch cold for wet-wading, but a touch warm for five-layer Gore-Tex. They include a detachable front pocket that is extremely convenient in certain situations, like when float fishing. You can take the pocket out of the equation when you're bobbing downriver, and put it back on when you need to hike over to the run opposite the island.
One draw-back, however, is the warranty. It's the limited one-year...plus that fly-fishing industry "service fee". It's only $30 with Redington, but it still gets to me a little. That said, all companies have this, so there's no disadvantage with these waders.

Ideal for hiking, too. 
Ultimately, these waders are fully recommendable. They're more affordable than other brands ($289.95), and they sprung exactly zero major leaks over a season of use (pinholes notwithstanding - they are inevitable and don't really leak, anyway). They're comfortable, packable, look fine, and most of all, functional. They might not be my go-to wader for January, but they might be for the rest of the year.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Like gypsies

Fly anglers move, if just for a weekend at a time. Water gets stale, and the pots need stirring. Doesn't matter if the fishing was bananas yesterday, we abandon it to let it remain fruitful. Said Sir Paul in Uncle Albert Admiral Halsey: "Live a little, be a gypsy, get around; Get your feet up off the ground, live a little get around..." I agree.
Low light and low fish tallies.
One aspect of this rambling that seems rarely employed is knocking on the doors of riparian-land owners, especially by grouches like me who rarely exude friendliness (or so I'm told...grumble...). Females and octogenarians are more likely than young or mid-aged males to be trusted to trespass. And frankly, and while rare, you risk a negative encounter that might preclude you from jumping on that river legally and hiking to the desired spot, due to distrustful and watchful bourgeois or plutocratic landowners (guess who was on thesaurus.com this morning?).
We did such a thing this weekend, though it wasn't completely random. We accessed a pastoral small-water canyon that was a treat to fish, in spite of the slow fishing.

Fishy green, but weedy and shallow. 
Us: Knock, knock. Them: Who's there?
Us: Polite and stewardly anglers. Them: Make yourselves at home...
In my limited experience, most door-answerers are trusting, if only because the angler took the time to be respectful initially. Maybe we'll try more often in the future, especially if Liz is willing to bat her eyelashes ;)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The people we meet

"I've been thinking lately 'bout the people I meet..." - Fish and Whistle, John Prine

People to whom fly-fishing has introduced me, or with whom fishing has strengthened our bond.

Whether or not visitors fish, we share time on the water. Really, what better way to experience a slice of Montana or to share a memory than to convene at the waterside, the same places our ancestors first settled? As visitor season winds down, we have a chance to reflect on the relationships.

Blogger friends who I'd never met, fellow writers, Wilderness Adventures Press' authors, guides helping research articles, fishy friends of friends, brothers-in-laws of college friends, traveling photographers, friends and family... Cheers to you all. I hope to see you again streamside.

Jed from Sula Mountain Fly Fishing showing us how to fish skwalas.
Liz's brother Eric, privy to a once-in-a-lifetime
brown-drake hatch his first time fly fishing.
Ok, this was in Wyoming... but connecting with fish and
 friends along the upper Green was a treat.
Brady getting into some root-snag rainbows a day after
Yellowstone's Black Canyon.
Russ fishing dries (and why wouldn't he?)
while comparing industry notes.
Lindsey making use of a dropper while out-fishing the "fishers". 
Casting ants on the Missouri, "impressing" Liz's father.
Charlie, on a previous trip. Didn't get to fish with him this time,
but it was good to catch up.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Don't believe the kype

You lie, and no one's buyin' it. That's not true - some people are. But I'm calling your "30-incher" about 19. Unless you have been diagnosed with bozoenae digititus (common name: clown fingers), that fish isn't as big as you'd like us to believe.
What. It's true. 
But that's okay because ultimately, dishonesty as much a part of fishing as foul hooking and hero shots. Otherwise upstanding people lie like whitefish under a foam line. And that dishonesty can maintain fishing friendships well beyond truthfulness. Be it an agreed-upon "rounding up" of inches, misleading directions to the honey-hole for the uninitiated, or outright lies about where you've been, fishing lies can show your angling integrity.

Fib wisely.