Thursday, January 21, 2016

My Favorite Fly Rods from IFTD and ICAST 2015

Mornin' Folks,
  Here's the last installment of My Favorite products from ICAST 2015.  This time I cover the fly rods that were presented at the show.
  Enjoy the pictures and let me know if you have any questions!
  Tight lines!

 Thomas & Thomas

Thomas & Thomas makes rods with everything from Bamboo and Fiberglass to Graphite and Resin, by hand in Massachusetts.

The guys at Thomas & Thomas were kind enough to let me cast the new Aeros medium action rod on the casting pond.  The classic feel and styling of this rod exudes technical, small-stream dry fly fishing.  Available in 3-5 weight and 8', 8'-6" and 9' lengths, I know a few brook trout I would like to introduce this rod to!

From 2 weight to 12 weight in a variety of actions and materials, Thomas & Thomas has an heirloom quality rod to suit your needs.

Douglas Outdoors 

Douglas Outdoors was in attendance at the show with their line of rods.  Being an ultra light enthusiast, I was immediately interested in the new Upstream series of rods.

The Upstream rod was in the ICAST New Product Showcase.  Intended for upcountry and deep bush fishing, the Upstream was designed with close casting and line control in mind.  Available in 2-4 weight and 6'-6" to 8'-6" lengths the Upstream includes an aluminum rod tube and retails starting at $350.

Winston Rods 

The R.L. Winston folks always have gorgeous rods at the show.  The ones that caught my eye this year are their line of Bamboo fly rods.  Winston has been making bamboo rods since 1929.  Handcrafted in Montana, these rods are available from a 6' 3-weight up to a 9' 10-weight.  Grass rods are just a small segment of the full line of premium fly rods made by R.L. Winston.

 Eagle Claw / Wright & McGill

Wright & McGill were displaying their Generation II series of fly rods.  Available from 2-8 weight and 7'-0" to 11'-0", they're built with strength and sensitivity in mind.
  I think these are the first rubber gripped fly rods I've ever seen.  They almost have a tactical look and they feel very comfortable in hand.

 Echo Fly Rods

  Echo Fly Rods was at the show with a huge booth displaying their full line of fly rods.  When I say "full line" I don't mean just the line of rods they make, I mean that Echo makes a rod for every fly fishing style, situation and budget! 
  Echo had one of the largest UL fly rod selections at the show!  The Carbon line of rods is the most popular series in Echo's history and also one of the most budget friendly.

  L.L. Bean

  L.L. Bean didn't have any new rods at the show this year, but I do love the classic feel and styling of L.L. Bean's fly gear.  While not exactly ultralight at 4 and 5 weights, the little Pocket Water outfit (shown at top) really grabs my attention!

Hardy Fly Fishing

Sorry for the horrible photo, but this is the Hardy Zephrus 8' 3 weight that I got the opportunity to cast on the casting pond.  The fast action blank used in the Zephrus really helps to punch the light line out for a great cast.  It was certainly help ultralight fly rodders when casting on a breezy day!

St. Croix Rods

With 7 series of fly rods spanning from 2 weight to 12, St. Croix Rods will have a fly rod to suit your needs! 

  St. Croix's new Mojo Bass series rods won the Best Fly Fishing Rod in the 2015 ICAST New Product Showcase.  Finally a rod built specifically for throwing big, wind resistant bass flies and ripping a big bass out of the weeds or from under cover.  At 7'-11" and 7, 8, and 9 weight, this is the rod to have for the local bass pond!!


  G. Loomis

You gotta love the G. Loomis logo stamped on the reel seats of their fly rods!

Talk about a wide range of rods, this was only about a third of the freshwater side of the G. Loomis fly fishing booth!

This Pro4X LP rod was made with easily spooked, native trout in mind.  Designed, specifically, to cast light tippets with small dry flies, but with exceptional control.  Available in 2-5 weight and 6'-9" through 9'.

For a long, delicate cast the G. Loomis NRX Lite Presentation might be the way to go.  In 7'-6" 3 weight up to a 9' 5 weight, the matte black reel seat is paired with a matte black blank with blue wraps or Evergreen blank with green wraps to help you sneak up on wary trout.



"Like our founders, our customers believe that there are few things in their lives more essential than fishing. For them no other activity offers the same emotional and psychological satisfaction. They are students of their sport, constantly experimenting with new tools and technologies with which to refine their techniques. These are fishermen who measure success not just by the quantity of their catch, but by the quality as well."

Fenwick's Fenglass series runs from a 6'-6" 3 weight through an 8'-3" 8 weight.  The light weight, medium action rods are designed for smooth, accurate fly presentation.

Monday, November 09, 2015

First Cast #006 Thomas & Thomas Solar

Mornin' Folks,
  This morning on The Suburban Angler's First Cast is the Thomas & Thomas Solar 9' 8 weight fly rod. This episode is more review than preview because I fished this rod in the Florida salt over the summer and really fell in love with it. Easy to cast and it didn't wear me out like I thought a big saltwater rod would. The T&T Solar is beautifully crafted, right here in the US, and I had an absolute blast fishing with it. I hope you enjoy this edition of First Cast. Thanks so much for watching.
  Tight Lines,

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

First Cast #005 Brook Boxes

Afternoon Folks,
  I've got another First Cast video up for you!  Today's preview is over the Brook Fishing Equipment Brook Fly Boxes.  These are some nice, stout boxes that will hold a ton of flies and hold up to a ton of abuse!  Check out the video below or on the YouTube channel and let me know what you think.  I'll have a full written review posted on these boxes as soon as I finish filling them and get some fishing time in.
  Thanks for watching,
    Tight Lines,

First Cast #004 Taylor Type 1

Mornin' Folks,
  I've been having some difficulty getting this video to post here on, so it's actually been on YouTube for over a week now. This is First Cast #004 for the Taylor Fly Fishing Type 1 3-4 weight fly reel. Thanks for watching and, if you enjoy these videos, please like and subscribe.
  Thanks and Tight Lines!

Friday, October 23, 2015

Orvis Down The Hatch 2015 Event Report

The show poster from the
Chattahoochee River Keepers Instagram feed.
Mornin' Folks,
  Well, it was that time of year again.  Time for Tom Rosenbauer and Pete Kutzer to make the long journey south to Atlanta for the Orvis Down the Hatch Fly Fishing Film Festival.  You may remember from my article last year (which you can read here), that Tom Rosenbauer (Marketing Director for Orvis Rod and Tackle and voice of the Orvis Fly Fishing Guide Podcast) spent some time in the Orvis Atlanta store meeting folks, giving advice and then giving his Small Stream presentation.  This year was done a bit differently in that Tom did a meet and greet in the store, discussing all things fishing with his adoring fans, and he brought along Orvis' casting maestro, Pete Kutzer.  Tom is an incredibly nice guy, he greets everyone in the store with a hearty hand shake and a warm smile that makes you think he's known you for years.  This year was my first time meeting Pete and he gives Tom a run for his money in the warm welcome department.  I didn't stay terribly long with Tom and Pete, I wanted to make sure and give others a chance to meet them.  But we did talk about the small stream, Georgia native Brook Trout that I have come to love, and, of course, bluegill, as always.  Tom and Pete both have an open invitation to fish the north Georgia small streams, cold or warm, with me, anytime!
Me, Tom Rosenbauer and Pete Kutzer at Orvis Atlanta
  We left the Orvis Atlanta store and had to kill a few hours before the show started (which is harder than you might think in Atlanta!).  The Little Girl and I strolled around some of the shops at Atlantic Station and grabbed a pizza for lunch.  This year the Down the Hatch festival was held at a different venue, Center Stage Atlanta, which was right on the other side of I-85 from Atlantic Station, making it, in my opinion, much more convenient and easier to get to than last year's venue.  The theatre room at Center Stage accommodated a much larger crowd than the previous location as well.  
Pete Kutzer, Jason Ulreth and Tom Rosenbauer
Photo borrowed from
  After a one hour social with beer provided by Sweet Water Brewing and some heavy hors-d'oeuvres we were let into the main theatre to get the show started.  Tom and Pete opened the show with a few words and a quick story then introduced Chattahoochee River Keeper Jason Ulreth to speak about the Chattahoochee River that runs through Atlanta, how lucky we are to have one of a very few trout fisheries that runs through a major metro area and to explain that the proceeds from the show will go to fund two water testing sites on the river for the next year.  
  T-shirts, hats, koozies, and other items were thrown to a waiting crowd just before the lights were dimmed and the films started.  You really owe it to yourself to get to a fly fishing film festival if you ever get the chance.  The cinematography really is incredible.  The films always take place in incredibly beautiful locales, have stunning fish and action and, quite often, have a good bit of comedy that might be a little too insider if you're not a fisherman or, at least, married to one.
  During the shows intermission Tom and Pete called raffle numbers.  There was an impressive list of generous raffle prizes this year: half and full day guided trips for one or two, Costa and Smith Optics sunglasses, water purifiers, coolers, coats and, of course, the one that everybody wanted, the Orvis Helios 2 Sweet Water Brewery 9'-0" 5 weight fly rod, which I should have won, but didn't!  
  Every one was very happy with the evening, and the folks that won the raffles were ecstatic.  Many, many thanks go to the folks at Orvis, Orvis Atlanta, Orvis Alpharetta, Sweet Water Brewery, Center Stage Atlanta and all of the donors and sponsors for another awesome night of beer and fly fishing films.  I hope to see you all there again next year!
  Have a great day, Tight Lines and cold beer!!