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Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles: My Favorite Hooks for my Favorite Flies

I grew up in a family of fly tiers. My grandfather tied commercially for 27 years, my father tied for personal use for the better part of a decade, and once they both stopped tying I got lucky and inherited all their materials. Like any tier, I have my own spin on common patterns, favorite way to tie in a parachute post, and of course, my “secret flies.” What’s interesting, though, is that I’ve found myself becoming pickier with the hooks I use for my flies. Where ...

Fly Tying

Fly Tying Tutorial: Rabbit Strip Baitfish

Material List Hook: 5263 or desired streamer hook Thread: 3/0 or 240 Denier Veevus Body:MediumChenille Eyes: Large Pseudo Eyes Tail and over-body: 1/8" Rabbit Strip Under-body:Hareline Ice Dub or Senyo Fusion Dub Head: Deer or elk body hair Step 1: Apply thread to shank of hook creating a nice baselayer.

Step 2: Once baselayer has been built, work thread to right behind eye of the hook. Flip or rotate hook to tie in brass eyes ...


Bass Habits in the Winter Season

Being from the great state of Texas, bass are everywhere, making them my main species to fish for. Texas is pretty warm year-round, with the lowest temperature all winter usually reaching about 30º Fahrenheit. While lots of waters are frozen in other states, Texas waters stay flowing throughout the entire winter, making fishing a year-round sport! During the colder season, lots of people decide to fish for trout or fish the saltwater because they don’t think that bass bite when it ...


Guatemala Part 1 : Sails Pitch To A First Timer

Part 1 of 2: A look at what goes through the mind of an offshore newbie during the dog days of August... I have pulled on a few tarpon and bonefish but I am a complete neophyte to the realm of fly fishing for sailfish. So please don't take this text as gospel. It is merely my interpretation of a single trip. Nevertheless, I hope it gives prospective sailfish anglers a real glimpse into what it might be like. I also hope it inspires a few people to try catching a sailfish on a fly. ...


Getting the Most from Winter Fly Fishing

Winter is my favorite time of year to fly fish. Spring is incredible – cutthroat runs are a beauty to watch – and the big terrestrial hatches of summer mean I can fish the same size 4 Chernobyl ant patterns for about a month straight. Fall is big brown and brook trout time – and splake, tiger muskie, and tiger trout, if you know where to look. Then winter hits and everything seems to die. It’s not, though. The fish are still there. They’re just in a different...

Gear Reviews

Rising Tools: Utah Made Qualtiy - Part 1 - The Ultralight Plier

Like many things in fly fishing, selecting the proper tools can be an intimidating task. However, it doesn’t have to be. First of all any angler must be able to evaluate what type of fishing they will be doing. Chances are that as a trout angler you won't ever find yourself in a situation where you need extremely heavy-duty pliers. Instead, chances are you will want to opt for something with much more precision and that is a more finely tuned instrument. Over the past couple of ...


Cutthroat Chronicles: Whether to Worry about the Weather

As I write this I’m looking out my office window at a light dusting of snowflakes, mesmerized - and distracted - by how lazily they carousel to the ground. The flakes are just part of the umpteenth snow storm this winter - a winter of almost more snow than I remember. My whole life’s been in Utah. I grew up on the side of a mountain in a rural part of the state. This was a place where orchards, ranches, and farms were the way of life, a far cry from the Silicon Slopes of north...


Casting Tips - Dealing with Wind

Do you have trouble casting in the wind or are you heading down to the salt this year? Practicing your cast and adapting to changing weather are a few of the largest factors to make your next trip more of a success. Check out this video from Deneki Outdoors and Tim Rajeff to get some pointers for casting in the wind.


Fishing with Fabel: Favorite Trout of 2016, and Goals for 2017

I have to admit 2016 was a great year for me and trout on the fly. I wasted no time catching my first trout on New Years of 2016, a little Bonneville Cutthroat through a gap in a lake covered with ice. I caught nearly every trout species Utah has to offer and fished the majority of every day the year had to offer. I want to mention a few catches that stood out to me and always will. These trout were by no means the largest of the year but their location, difficulty, colors, or memory made an ...

Industry News

Save The Date: The 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour

The 2017 Fly Fishing Film Tour It's that time of year once again. The F3t is making it's annual pilgrimage to the Salt Lake Valley. For one night only, the crew will be screening this years submissions. Discount Tickets (no additional fees) are available locally in advance at Fishwest Fly Shop for $15 Dollars. Come join us and our friends from the Utah Stream Access Coalition for this great annual evening. If you are on the fence about coming down to the festivites, check out the ...

Fly Tying

Fly Tying Tutorial: Spawning Gotcha

The parts list Hook: Tiemco 811S size 2 - 8 Thread: 3/0 - 6/0 in desired color Eyes: Medium Bead Chain Body & Tail: Pearl Diamond Braid Spawn Sack: Orange Marabou Wing: Tan Craft Fur Bonefish! Fishwest is hosting a trip to the Andros South Lodge to hopefully become close friends with plenty of bonefish! With that in mind here is a step by step fly tying tutorial on the "Spawning Gotcha" First lay down a base layer of thread, then a...

Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles: Gear Review - Sage X 590

A good buddy of mine, who’s a guide on the Green River in Utah, makes fun of me for being such a “gear nut.” Apparently, even a professional guide thinks having 14 fly rods is about 8 too many. That’s just the number of rods I currently own. I’ve fished and owned nearly 30 rods over the past few years. From the Scott Radian (I fished it for all of 4 hours) to the Winston AIR, Sage MOD, and a ton of Redington sticks, rods tend to blur together after a while. I...

Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles: A Year In - The Korkers Devil's Canyon Wading Boots

Ever since I started fly fishing, I’ve used Korkers boots. At first it was due to their lower-priced boots still being fabulous but as time went on I realized just how solid Korkers boots are. My favorite pair so far has been the Devil’s Canyon, a model I wrote a review of in Hatch Magazine a little over a year ago. At the time of the review, I’d had the boots for a few weeks. That’s one of the biggest problems with boot reviews these days - writers rarely have the...


Adaptability and Preparation - Key To Any Fly Fishing Trip

Every year I try and plan a multiday trip where I am off by myself fishing without any phones, email, kids, or other distractions. Some years I hike and fish, while others I take a road trip and try a bunch of new spots. This year in May I decided to do a road trip with my new fishing kayak to fly-fish for northern pike at a few prairie reservoirs. I took time off of work months in advance, and tied up flies and leaders in eager anticipation. When the time came to hit the road, it was snowing...


Cutthroat Chronicles: The 10 Commandments of a Good Fly Box

I was out fishing over Labor Day weekend (something I usually avoid doing, due to crowds, but this year it was unfortunately my only free time to fish) when I noticed something. Of the 7 fly boxes I carry in my vest (Tacky Boxes, which you can buy here) I find myself consistently reaching for two boxes. One has my small dries, sizes 18-32, and the other contains sizes 4-16. So why am I lugging around 500+ flies when I’m only fishing the same few patterns in various sizes?



Fly Fishing Across The Globe: An Interview With Hanna Huhtala

I've often wondered how the art of fly fishing translates across the globe into foreign waters. I've always been intrigued by the possible similarities and differences it takes hold of through cultural variances. That curiosity lead me to reach out to one of the most passionate female anglers I have been exposed to through social media, Hanna Huhtala. Aside from the impeccable photography that captures Hanna's fly fishing diary, her passion and love for the outdoors is nothing sho...


Fishing with Fabel: Winter Brookies

It's a really great and awful time of year for us fly fisherman. Frozen eyelets are happening and it's getting a little bit harder to tie those knots with our bare hands. It means some really good and bad things for fly fishing. First, the bad. Most of my favorite places to fish are high country alpine lakes above 11,000 ft in elevation that are well under a couple feet of snow and ice right now. It forces me to fish lower and work more on creek and river systems that have a flow and ...

Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles : My Favorite Winter Streamer Patterns

I’ve fly fished for a long time. I think I started at the tender age of six or seven, but I don’t remember the first time I threw a fly rod. What I do remember, though, is my grandfather telling me that if a fish wasn’t caught on a dry fly, it didn’t count. He’d then proceed to sit me next to his tying desk at home and watch as he cranked out elk hair caddis after elk hair caddis. He tied commercially for 27 years and unless a customer specifically asked for a ph...


Sight Fishing In The Snow

Most stories about sight fishing take place somewhere like Florida or the Bahamas, where the sun is shining and it’s warm outside. This story took place in Manitoba’s Parkland region, a world class destination for stillwater trout. Don’t take my word for it, however, since Manitoba is my home province. Type “Manitoba Parkland fly fishing” into Google and see what comes up! Besides those in the story, there are many spectacular lakes nestled in and around rolling ...

Gear Reviews

Cutthroat Chronicles: Gear Review - Winston Energy Fly Line

Fly lines are often overlooked by anglers when setting up a new outfit. The reel and rod are obviously important, but good fly line makes a rod perform that much better. For example: I’d never use a true-to-weight line on a Sage MOD or Bolt. Both of those rods are stiff enough to warrant a heavier line, like the MPX series from Scientific Anglers. So when fishing a medium-fast action rod it makes sense to use a line closer to the AFFTA standards for line and rod weight.