Steve & Pete’s Favorite Things 2015

Steve & Pete’s Favorite Things 2015

March 27, 2015 9:47 am Published by 6 Comments

Steve and Pete’s Favorite Things 2015 – A look at all the must have fly fishing products for 2015.

Each year Oprah Winfrey and her team go through the daunting task of sorting through and testing the most innovative and trend setting products in the marketplace. What they end up with is a must have list of Oprah’s favorite products that will help to enrich people’s lives on a daily basis.

This year we are unveiling our first ever Steve and Pete’s Favorite Things for 2015.  This is a compilation of fly-fishing gear that as obsessed fly fisherman and guides that we can’t live without and that we feel will be beneficial to all of you as anglers also. After all our time on the water is limited. While we can’t give you more time on the water, what we can give you is a list of the must have fly fishing gear to help you make the most of each experience.

We hope you enjoy this debut edition and maybe you will pick up a few of these items for yourself as you plan your fly fishing journey’s for 2015. If only each of us had the money of Oprah we would have everything on the list!

Steve Galletta is the Co-Owner/Outfitter of the Bighorn Angler Fly Shop & Lodge in Fort Smith, Montana. “ Like high fashion and shoes for women, I love gear. And best of all I like putting new products to the test with my clients and discovering our favorites. Each year a few products emerge throughout the industry and become a staple in my boat.”

Pete Shanafelt is the Co-Owner of the Bighorn Angler Fly Shop & Lodge in Fort Smith, Montana. “Compared to 10 years ago, there are a ton of great products in the fly fishing industry. The tough part is sorting through all of them and deciding what to buy, but these are all products that I have had positive experiences with and believe are amongst the best out there today.” 

bighorn angler fly shop

 

15Favorite All Around Five Weight – Since being introduced in 2014 the Accel has quickly become my go to all around trout rod, replacing my Hardy Zenith. The Accel series get’s its technology foundation from the now retired Z-Axis line of fly rods, which I loved. Why I prefer this rod series to others is that the rods are fast, but not too fast for my casting style and the type of fishing I like to do. I or no one else really has any need to cast or for that matter fish at 60 or 70 feet. This rod allows me to perform aerial mends and a wide range of casts effortlessly from 20 – 50 feet. What I look for in an all around five weight is a rod that allows me to fish all different kinds of dry flies from hoppers to midges and allows me to nymph fish if needed. This rod does all those things plus I have even thrown streamers when needed on medium sized rivers. To top it off Sage offers the most comfortable cork grips on the market.

Runner up – Scott Radian – offers all the feel and versatility of Accel, but I can’t stand the grip

Best Bang For your Buck – Orvis Recon($425) and Echo Boost($229)

Favorite All Around Five Weight – I have long been a fan of small rod companies in the western US. For me, Sage has always led the way in cutting edge design, that is until the Scott Radian hit the market. My beef with fast action 5 weight rods was that they were way to fast to fish small dries, since most of our fishing is done in the 10’-45’ range. The Radian has fixed that issue, and being dubbed as ‘fast with feel,’ it is everything it claims. This rod will do it all for me. Big hoppers to Trico spinners.

Runner Up – Sage Accel – This is a close one, but I like how the Radian is a bit more tip sensitive.

Best bang for your buck – Orvis Recon and Echo Boost.

Sage_one_handle_b__69511.1410174421.250.250Favorite Nymph Rod – For the Bighorn and any other river I fish in Montana with an indicator nymph rig I always prefer to use a 9’ 6” fly rod. The extra six inches is a huge benefit for controlling your line, mending, line management and feeding line into your drift without fatiguing your arm like a 10’ rod would. When I get into longer length rods I like a real fast action rod that can handle a fly line with a heavy taper and can turnover split shot, an indicator and two flies. For that the best rod is the 9’ 6”6 Weight Sage One. Another excellent choice is the Hardy Zenith 9’ 6” 6 weight.

Bang for your Buck – TFO BVK($299) or Sage Response($395)

Favorite Nymph Rod – I am a big advocate of long rods. When properly fished and lined properly, they offer many advantages of line control that a 9’ doesn’t. I am very partial to 10’ rods for nymphing especially in the lighter line weights since they are light enough in hand to fish all day. The best one I have found happens to be the 10’ 4 weight Orvis Helios 2. It is by far the lightest 10’ rod I have fished. Although a tip flex model, it has a nice progressive flex that loads up any combination of lead, indicator and flies.

Bang for your Buck: TFO BVK 10’ 4 weight

H2SALT_320Favorite Streamer Rod – The Hardy Proaxis one piece 8 weight is bar none my favorite streamer rod, however it’s not that practical for the everyday angler. My all around favorite streamer rod that also seconds as a pretty good nymph rod is the Orvis Helios 2 9’ 6 weight saltwater model. It is one of the best rods I think Orvis has ever built – it is has an amazing smooth action, casts like a rocket, is incredibly light in hand and accommodates a variety of sinking lines with ease.

Bang For Your Buck – TFO BVK($259) or Orvis Recon($450) 

Favorite Streamer Rod – I have yet to see a rod series that has a lighter in hand feel than the Helios 2 series from Orvis. The 9’ 6 weight tip flex Saltwater H2 is the best light streamer rod I have ever fished. This rod launches line when paired up with a 150 or 200 grain sinking line and is super light, making this easy to throw all day long.

Bang for your Buck – Orvis Recon

13Favorite Dry Fly rod – I have become so comfortable with my TL Johnson SL 9’ 4 weight that it is hard to look to anything else when I am dry fly fishing. If I had to select one on the market today it would be the Sage Accel 8’ 6” 4 weight or the Hardy Zenith of the same dimensions. 8’ 6” 4 weights are my go to length and weight for match the hatch fishing on the Bighorn.

Best Bang for your Buck – Beulah Platinum($395) or TFO Finesse Series($189.99)

Favorite Dry Fly Rod – I own more 4 weight rods than should be allowed and they have always been my favorite fishing tools. Of course, most of the fishing I use them for is small dry fly fishing, although sometimes chucking small stones and hoppers is fun as well. In this category I will have to say the Orvis Helios midflex 9′ four weight is my go to dry fly rod. The mid flex action of this rod is flawless and makes this model the ultimate accuracy tool for my dry fly fishing. I enjoyed hopper fishing with this rod last season many days. Very, very close is the Sage Accel 904-4. This is a sweet, light, easy to fish rod as well.

Best Bang for your Buck – Beulah Platinum 8’8” 4 weight 

11Favorite Premium Trout Reel – First and foremost to be a premium trout reel it has to be designed and produced in the USA. Our favorite like many others is the Hatch Finatic. Stylish good looks, super smooth and a drag in a trout reel that could stop a hard charging bonefish.

Favorite Premium Trout Reel – This is a no brainer – The Hatch Finatic. Other than being the most highly functional reel made, they balance incredibly well on the longer trout rods that I like to fish. Plus, they have the best pro staff in fly fishing.

Runner Up – Lamson Litespeed – Perfect if you want an ultralight american made reel.

T-90_beauty_newFavorite All Around Trout Reel – 3-Tand TF Series covers every basis I would need for my trout fishing. They have models to accommodate lines 2 – 8. The most popular model we sell is the TF-50 which sells for $199.95 and accommodates a 5 or 6 weight line. I jump up a size to the TF-70 for my longer length nymph rods and streamer rods and jump down a size to the TF-40 for my dry fly rods. These reels are amazingly light, strong and have very reliable and smooth drag systems. Best of all for the price they offer the best value of any fly fishing product on the market.

Best Bang for your Buck – Lamson Remix($159) or Lamson Liquid($99)

Favorite All Around Trout Reel – This was a tough one, so I have to end it in a tie. The 3-Tand TF 50 is my new favorite reel, but overall I have been partial to the Lamson Litespeed. They both share so many great qualities: fully sealed drags, super light weight and seem to never fail. You can’t go wrong with either of these reels.

Best Bang for your Buck – Lamson Remix ($159)

8Favorite Fly Lines – Your rod is only as good as the line you put on it! Each rod fishes best with a particular grain weight and taper depending on how you use it. Below are my favorite lines in general to meet the needs of each tactic.
All Around Line-
Rio In Touch Gold Fly Line

Best Nymph Taper – Airflo Kelly Galloup Nymph Taper

Best Dry Fly Taper – Rio Trout LT($74.95)

Best Bang for your buck – Airflo Velocity($35)

Favorite Fly Lines – Take the time to find the best line for your rod and how you fish. These are the best lines I have found to meet my fishing needs.
All Around Line – Airflo Elite

Best Nymph Taper – Airflo Galloup taper

Best Dry Fly Taper – Rio Trout LT

Best Bang for your buck – Don’t buy cheap lines!

1Favorite WaderSimms G3 Waders have been my go to wader since they came out and have been hard to beat for their durability for as long as they have been around. They seem to only get better with each update they make

Best Bang For your Buck – Orvis Silver Sonic Waders($279) or Orvis Clearwater waders($159)

Favorite Wader – This one is easy – The Simms G3 because of its excellent fit and durability. No other company makes a wader that offers so many sizes. And they are made in MT!

Best Bang For Your Buck Orvis Silver Sonic Waders – Excellent features for the $$$

Favorite Wading Boots – Simms Rivertek BOA Boots – I have been wearing these boots since their inception and haven’t looked back. They are extremely easy to get in and out of and provide remarkably good support for having a ratcheting lace system. This is my go to boot for when I am floating the river and getting in and out throughout the day. If I was going to be doing more wade fishing and walking long distances this would not be my go to boot I would prefer the Freestone Boots instead.

Best Bang for your Buck – Simms Freestone Boots($139)

Favorite Wading Boots – Since the BOA craze hit the wading boot market, I decided I had better give them a shot, and glad I did. The new Simms Rivertek BOA 2 boots are my pick. They are a bit sleeker than the first generation and overall are just flat out comfortable.

Best Bang For Your Buck – Simms Freestone Boots

58656-powertaper-ldr-096xFavorite Leaders – Umpqua Power Taper Leaders – there is no other leader on the market that provides as good of turnover as these and can be applied to the most wide array of fishing situations. Of Course, the Rio Trout Leaders work very well for most situations also.

Favorite LeadersTrouthunter dominates my brand pick for tippet and leader. The leaders are a bit more expensive, but Rene Harrop sure knows how to design a dry fly leader. The 12’ Finesse leaders are awesome for most all dry fly fishing on the Bighorn. For a standard weighted set up, or big flies, the Rio Powerflex leaders are hard to beat.

trouthuntertippet-400x300Favorite Tippet – It is amazing how much time and research anglers will put into buying a rod and reel when your tippet is probably the most important part of the equation. Trouthunter Fluorocarbon Tippet is simply the best material I have found for both nymph and dry fly fishing. It has amazing knot strength and because of its co-polymer makeup it has the best knot strength out there. Its price tag sometimes confuses anglers being that it retails for $22.95, but what most don’t realize is that you get almost twice as much material. At 45 cents per meter, its price per meter is the same as Rio Fluoroflex plus.

Favorite Tippet – If you haven’t fished the Trouthunter Flouro yet, you are seriously missing out. This is the strongest tippet I have fished. I will purposely leave wind knots in it, as I know it will not fail due to the advanced copolymer design.   The half sizes are really useful as well. Call me old school, when fishing dry flies I still prefer mono over fluoro. I prefer the Rio Powerflex or Suppleflex (5X and 6X).

xxxxxxxFavorite Pack – For 2015 Umpqua has unveiled a new line of Waterproof Roll Top Packs that cover everything from waist packs, to sling packs and backpacks in a variety of sizes. They offer anglers a great value and a huge selection to meet any fisherman’s demands.

Favorite PackSimms Dry Creek Z hip pack. The best thing about this pack? – It’s completely submersible. This pack may not have all the pockets and features some of the larger ones do but its simplicity makes this pack fit my style.

morada-ls-teal_s15Favorite Fishing Shirt – Simms Morada LS Fishing Shirt $59.95 Why do I love this shirt? Because it is the most comfortable shirt I have ever worn and has a DWR finish that repels stains from your floatants and everything we come in counter with on the river. Plus it’s not $100 like many other fishing shirts these days.

Favorite Fishing Shirt – I buy a lot of shirts each year. There are a lot of choices out there these days and it seems like everyone has jumped on the fishing shirt bandwagon. My favorite one, and most purchased, has been the latest edition Columbia Silver Ridge LS shirt. They keep me cool, are relatively cheap and come in the best plaid Columbia has to offer.

hyalite-ocean-blue1-e1404409857237Favorite Jacket – Simms Hyalite Jacket – This waterproof rain jacket offers anglers an excellent bang for your buck in a rain coat that is packable, lightweight and will keep you dry in a Montana rain storm.

Favorite Jacket – I learned my lesson a few years back by not spending the extra $ on the Gore-Tex name. My biggest complaint was the bulkiness of wading jackets that have been available on the market. When I first saw the Slick Jacket from Simms, I knew it was a winner. This jacket features the Gore Pro shell, but is very similar to the lightweight techy ski jackets that are on the market today. 

6c40f85813e2e7eab45038f0f7c3f7d8Favorite Clothing Accessory – Hoo-rag the latest multifunctional facemask/bandana that does everything from protecting you from the sun and wind to keeping you warm in the winter. Best of all they are cheaper than Buff’s($15.95) and have their own line of cool designs. Best of all we have two custom Bighorn Angler designs you can only find here.

Favorite Clothing AccessorySimms Wool Scotch cap is my new favorite cap and I’m big into hats. It’s extremely warm and comfortable. I didn’t list a Sun facemask here, because I have a beard and a sun hat, but the Hoo-rags are a great product that I wear in colder weather to protect my face from the wind.

t256_9bfb4e846a3019c87a7e6f38fa746803Favorite Fishing Tool – Tie Fast Knot Tyer – I have yet to find something that trumps this tool for me in overall functionality. It has long lasting nipper – been using mine since 2006, has an easy to use nail knot tool and a hook sharpener.

Favorite Fishing Tool – First off, I have too many pairs of forceps and constantly buy every new model that comes out every year. The scissor/forcep combos are pretty much the only tools I EVER use. The MFC Hot Grip Scissor/forceps have stood up to my abuse for the past season. I got through the entire year on 1 pair and the scissors remained sharp and aligned. Also, they are very comfortable for people with fat fingers. 

14Favorite Floatant – Shimizaki Dry Shake Liquids came out in 2014 and has been my go to floatant since. The name is sort of peculiar, but once you use this product it will all make sense. You dip your fly in, then blow or cast the floatant off your fly and what you are left with is a dry residue just like your standard dry shake. This stuff produces exceptional results on the water as a waterproofing agent.

Favorite Floatant – Don’t spill this on your clothes because this will be the only problem you will have with Shimizaki Dry Shake Liquid. I have never seen a floatant that keeps a bug floating for so long. It works really well on CDC too! 

imagesFavorite Drift Boat – I made the switch to the Adipose Flow Skiff last year and don’t think I will ever look back. The boat is amazingly stable, drafts ridiculously high in the water and has the best interior layout of any boat. As my fellow guide buddy put it…”You don’t need an Adipose until you’ve owned one and once you do you will never go back to a standard drift boat again.”

Favorite Drift Boat – I have owned something like 10 boats in the past 15 years. Yes, I have a problem, but, I have finally settled on the Adipose Flow. My clients love the open space and it is super stable, making my day on the water a lot easier. These boats are built to last. 

Our Words to fish by for 2015 – “Church of the dry fly and semi-clean living”

Best Way to Spend $500 on a Fly Rod Outfit for Trout

Sage Approach 9’ 5wt………………………………………$295

Lamson Remix Reel………………………………………..$159.95

Airflo Velocity………………………………………………..$34.95

Backing……………………………………………………………Free

Rigging…………………………………………………………….Free

Trout Leader…………………………………………………….Free

                                                            ————————

                                                                   $489.90 Total Free Shipping/No Sales Tax

 

Best Way to Spend $1,000 on a Fly Rod Outfit for Trout

Sage Accel 9′ Five Weight……………………………………….$595

3-Tand TF-50…………………………………………………………$199.95

Rio In Touch Gold Fly Line……………………………………..$89.95

Backing…………………………………………………………………Free

Rigging………………………………………………………………….Free

Trout Leader………………………………………………………….Free

                                                                                                     ———————

                                                                                             $884.90 Total Free Shipping/No Sales Tax

Ultimate Fly Rod Outfit if you Want to Spend Like Oprah

Sage One 9′ Five Weight…………………………………………………….$795

Hatch 4+………………………………………………………………………….$450

Rio In-Touch Grand Fly Line……………………………………………..$89.95

Backing…………………………………………………………………………….FREE

Rigging…………………………………………………………………………….FREE

Trout Leader……………………………………………………………………..FREE

————————

                                                                                                 $1334.95 Total Free Shipping/No Sales Tax

online fly shop

Categorised in: ,

This post was written by Bighornangler

6 Comments

  • Vince Galletta says:

    Enjoyed reading your favorites
    Great job
    Oprah will be proud

  • George says:

    Great post, really enjoy reading your stuff. How is the 9’6″ 6wt Sage Accel?

    • George says:

      Great post, really enjoy reading your stuff. How is the 9’6″ 6wt Sage Accel?

      • Bighornangler says:

        It is a little softer than the one 9’6″ 6wt. With that softer tip it roll casts very well and is sensitive at detecting strikes. The One is a little lighter in hand.

  • Chuck Schmit says:

    I just built an Accel 9’6″ 6weight and used it on the Missouri last week, throwing nymphs. Loved it!! Only drawback was with the extra length, it was a little more difficult to net those 18″ Missouri rainbows, a drawback I will gladly experience all day long

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for this write up. I am about to step up from a beginner rod to something better in the 5-6wt category. Great information on here. I mostly fly fish lakes though. Not a river guy yet.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *