Fly Fishing Gear Reviews

Our fly fishing gear reviews showcase the latest and greatest fly fishing gear as we put it to the test in the field. We try it out so you know if it works and how it stands up. If there is a product you would like our opinion on, feel free to Contact Us

Only 9 days until Christmas!

With only 9 days until Christmas, it is time to get your Christmas shopping in gear or on Christmas morning you might find yourself looking like Cindy Lou Who…


And lets face it, Donald Trump is the president elect of the United States and most analysts of the economy are predicting the next great depression, so don’t go spending all your money this holiday season! The good news for fly-fisherman is that there are many “stocking stuffer” gifts that will leave that lucky fly-fisherman in your life beaming from ear to ear with Christmas joy…

Simms Thirsty Trout Keychain. This one is pretty self-explanatory and at just $5.95 it is the gift that keeps on giving for that special fly-fisherman/borderline alcoholic in your life.

Simms Thirsty Trout Keychain $5.95
Simms Thirsty Trout Keychain $5.95

Palsa Pinch on Floats. Pinch on Floats are a great addition to any anglers strike indicator supply and a must have for soft and quiet water where bigger indicators might spook fish. Just $4 at most fishing shops.

Palsa Pinch on Floats.  $4.
Palsa Pinch on Floats. $4.

Loon Top Ride dry shake. Shakes and floats are always something we fly-fisherman seem to be running out of on the stream. Loon makes some of the best “goo” in the business and you can usually find a bottle for $5 to $8 bucks.

Loon Top Ride.  $6.
Loon Top Ride. $6.

Simms Wading Sock. Socks are always something for any serious fisherman and a good pair is a necessity. Simms makes the best wading apparel in the industry and their socks are no different at only $24.95. You could even get creative and use the socks as the actual stocking for your other gifts…

Simms Wading Sock $24.95
Simms Wading Sock $24.95

Orvis Wheatley Fly Box. If you have a bunch of money and it doesn’t really matter if the economy crashes, then one of the most timeless gifts in fishing is a Wheatley Fly Box. There isn’t a more beautiful way to organize and display flies than using a Wheatley box, the basic box usually retails for around $200.

Orvis Wheatley Fly Box
Orvis Wheatley Fly Box

RepYourWater Colorado Flag Hat. Christmas is a great time to get your special fly-fisherman a new lid. And what better way to represent Colorado and fly fishing than a Rep Your Water hat? $25.

RepYourWater Hat.  $25.
RepYourWater Hat. $25.

Abel Nippers. At $85-$165, Abel Nippers are guaranteed to cut any piece of monofilament. Plus, they look pretty dang cool!

Abel Nippers
Abel Nippers

Scientific Anglers Clip on Zinger. Zingers are a tool that any fly-fisherman cannot have too many of! And at around $11 these zingers from SA will not break the bank!

Scientific Anglers Zinger, $11.
Scientific Anglers Zinger, $11.

Simms Big Sky Wallet, nothing celebrates the Holiday Season like spending money on something to hold money, it is the American way. And at around $50, The Simms Big Sky Wallet is a classy looking piece of leather to hold all of your duckets…

Simms Big Sky Wallet, $50.
Simms Big Sky Wallet, $50.

Simms Replacement Laces. A great stocking stuffer idea, as there is nothing more frustrating than being on a fishing trip to find busted or torn laces on your wading boots. Only $4.95!

Simms Replacement Laces, $4.95
Simms Replacement Laces, $4.95

We hope our list of Christmas Stocking Stuffers will help you out in your shopping this Holiday Season!

Tight Lines & Happy Holidays,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Fenwick Aetos Fly Rod: Great Rod Low Price

This year I have been fortunate enough to work with several fly rods that I have not used in the past. The shining star of the bunch have been the Hardy Fly Rods which I cannot say enough about. Hardy Fly Rods are on the upper end of the price scale and while I would recommend them to any angler who spends time on the water, it can often be difficult to spend that much money for a stick that you do not use that often. This brings me to a fly rod that has put a lot of fish in the basket this summer, the Fenwick Aetos. This rod casts extremely well, has a good back bone and is relatively light weight. This is an excellent fly rod for anglers of all experience levels. If I had to describe it with one word it would be Workhorse. It can handle a heavy nymph rig, big streamer patterns as well as present dry flies with accuracy. I have been lucky to have some anglers in my boat who can fish extremely well and while they often bring their own gear I like to hand them the Fenwick Aetos and see their reaction. A lot of them say “FENWICK??” and I just smile and say “try it.” While it doesn’t have the Winston, Sage or Scott name on the but section it certainly performs as well as high dollar rods at a much lower price point.  Coming in at under $200.00 the only bummer about this rod is that you cannot find it at many fly shops. You can however find these rods at bigger box stores which might give them a cheaper appearance, but you cannot complain about the price or performance of the Fenwick Aetos. If you are a fly fishing guide and are looking for some great fly rods for clients or are an angler looking for an extra stick, I would look no further than the Fenwick Aetos.


Happy Holidays from Colorado Fly Fishing Reports!


Well said, Mr. Grinch. But, Christmas is also about new fly-fishing toys for you and your loved ones! Struggling to figure out what to get that special fisherman in your life that has everything? Or, are you trying to get a newcomer to the sport started out with the proper equipment? Don’t worry; Colorado Fly Fishing Reports has you covered

  1. Maine Guide Waxed-Canvas Fly Wallet
LL Bean's Fly Wallet will keep you looking classy on the stream, all the while organizing streamers in and easy to use way...
LL Bean’s Fly Wallet will keep you looking classy on the stream, all the while, organizing streamers in an easy to use fly wallet.

Fly-fishing is all about looking classy? So why not wish for a leather fly wallet from L.L. Bean. And at just $24.95 it makes for a great Christmas stocking stuffer!

2.  Orvis Encounter Deluxe Fly Fishing Package

Looking to get someone completely on the water? Look no further than this fully comprehensive kit from Orvis...
Looking to get someone completely on the water? Look no further than this fully comprehensive kit from Orvis…

Looking to get somebody “all in” to fly-fishing and looking to do it quick? Look no further than the Orvis Encounter Package, everything you need to go fly-fishing in Colorado, all at the marketable low price of $559

3.  TFO Mini Mag Fly Rod

The TFO Bug Launcher, simply and unique and effective stick to have in the quiver.
The TFO Bug Launcher, simply a unique and effective stick to have in the quiver.

For launching big flies or heavy lines and doing it with power & finesse, check out the TFO Mini Mag. Fly-fishing around heavy cover requires a rod with real backbone. This rod’s 8′ length and Bluewater Technology hybrid S-Glass and high-modulus carbon fiber blank construction reflect pro angler Nick Curcione’s design input, providing outstanding castability and strength for your fresh- and saltwater forays. Each 3-piece Mini Mag blank features a rich blue-granite finish enhanced with a double application of TFO’s proprietary TiCr coating for extended durability. Fitted with oversized titanium oxide stripping and snake guides, a channeled and cushioned up locking reel seat, and Flor grade full wells grip and fighting butt.

4.  Book a Trip with The Flyfisher Guide Service

If you think of it, bring a pair of sunglasses to tip this guide with! Everyone will thank you!
If you think of it, bring a pair of sunglasses to tip this guide with! Everyone will thank you!

The best fly fishing Denver, Colorado has to offer on private water an hour from downtown. Our private fly fishing club, destination fly fishing lodges, trophy trout resorts and ranch properties guarantees you a chance at a trout over 6 pounds!

5.  Stock a fly box with Colorado Fly Fishing Report’s very own, Superflies!

Blue Midge

Blue Midge
Blue Midge

If we could have only one fly in our winter tail water box it would be The Blue Midge in hook sizes 20-24. When fished on light 5x-7x tippets and in low light conditions the Blue Midge will out fish other Zebra Style Midges 10-1. A simply deadly Colorado Tail Water Pattern!

MC Prince Blue

The MC Prince, a simply deadly Colorado nymph!
The MC Prince, a simply deadly Colorado nymph!

 The MC Prince is a great “point” fly to have on your nymph rig during the summer months. It is a great bug to drop smaller midges and mayflies off.   “Blue” is a great nymph pattern color for fishing in the low light conditions often found during the Winter Months.  These are just a few of hundreds of “guide tied & tested” patterns.

Happy Holidays,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports


Back Up Your Boots!

Nothing can ruin a fishing trip quicker than misplaced or malfunctioning equipment. Plus, you might as well have an excuse to convince your better half that you need two of everything! But in all seriousness, wading boots can make or break your next fishing adventure. And while popular for ease of use and comfort the new BOA system boots are not necessarily the most durable piece of equipment in your truck. If your BOA system fails you are %^&* out of luck! A failed boot system could ruin your next western trout or steelhead trip.

The Orvis Encounter Wading Boot
The Orvis Encounter Wading Boot

Fortunately, Orvis has you covered with The Orvis Encounter Wading Boot in rubber and felt. For a pair of “back up boots” you simply will not find a better deal than these bad boys!

  • Welted construction
  • Reinforced toe box
  • Scratch rubber toe cap
  • Quick-drying synthetic upper
  • Padded collar for ankle support

 SIZING in sizes 5-14

An entry-level boot doesn’t mean compromise. Using Orvis’s vast expertise on building high-quality wading gear, they have developed the Encounter boot to meet the needs of any angler. The Encounter also accepts PosIGrip™ screw-in studs for added traction if needed.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Tacky Fly FishingTube

The Tacky Fishing Fishing Tube is something that I had no idea what to do with until I watched this video.  Cody DeGuelle handed me this small fly carrying device to try out and to be honest it sat in my truck for a few weeks before I opened it.

The Tacky Tube is designed to cary a couple dozen flies at a time and can be attached to a lanyard, vest or pack. The simple design allows you to secure flies easily while providing quick access. You can read all the specs on the Tacky Tube on their website but here are a few of the highlights I like about the Tacky Tube.

Simple- I am always trying to carry less when I am on the water (except when I am guiding, then I bring the kitchen sink). The Tacky Tube is great for carrying a couple dozen flies for a short dry fly session in the evening. Or maybe a quick streamer run down the river during your lunch break.

Air Flow – The circular design allows air to flow through the Tacky Tube keeping your flies dry. This is a cool concept which can help keep rust of your bugs.

Easy to Attach – You can quickly throw this tube in your pocket or attach it to a lanyard before you head to the water. The strong magnets keep the tube latched so you do not have to worry about it opening. It also has two magnets inside to tube to catch flies should you drop them.

This is an excellent design for anglers who like to minimize their fly box and keep things simple. Check out the Tacky Tube and other fly boxes next time your are in your local fly shop, they are coming out with quality products.

Tibor Reels – Class & Quality in the Same Package

Recently we had the opportunity to sample Tibor reels and needless to say, we were blown away by the engineering and craftsmanship found in these reels.

The Tibor series of reels were first introduced in 1995 and have established themselves as the benchmark for custom-crafted fly reels. After years of development and input from the likes of Lefty Kreh and Flip Pallot, Tibor has become a household name in the world of saltwater fly reels.

Tibor Fly Reels
With a range of reels designed to stop bonefish to tarpon, Tibor Reels are a household name in salt water fly fishing.

The spool’s large arbor design significantly enhances the rate of line retrieval, which is critical when you’re trying to control bursting fish like bonefish, bonito, or wahoo. Tibor Reels are also a mainstay for Spey enthusiasts, delivering the ultimate balance, overall capacity and drag performance for the double-handed rod.

As with all of Ted’s reels, the drag system is absolutely flawless and has withstood the test of the world’s most demanding game fish, including over 350 World Records so far. If you were to own only one fly reel, this is the one to have.


  • Large outer hub diameters offer quick retrieve, even when the backing is low.
  • Hard coated, aluminum Main Gear means minimal heat build-up and great strength. Both the Main Gear and Spool rotate flawlessly on three sealed precision, ceramic Ball Bearings
  • An impregnated Cork Drag Disc is the smoothest and strongest in the industry.
  • Open hubbed, perforated Spool and Drum allow the Reel to remain cool during scorching runs and outer holes act as a tippet keeper.
  • The Detended Drag Adjustment Knob is smooth and positive.
  • Triple outgoing line signals are easily removable for silent operation.
  • Lightweight to balance with modern fly rods and reduce casting fatigue.
  • Made from solid bar stock aluminum.
  • Our delrin handle offers positive gripping and quick release – The Gulfstream and Pacific come standard with our Gorilla Handle.
  • SpeedHandle Spooloption available.
  • Comes with an extra thick neoprene case for easy storage and transportation.
  • Finishes: Frost Silver, Frost Black, Satin Gold, Jet Black, Royal Blue, Crimson, Graphite Gray & Aqua.
  • Each reel is serialized for identification and protection. The serial # is located at the top of the frame by the reel stand.
  • Available in 4 sizes.
  • Made and assembled in the U.S.A.

For more information, reel sizes and specifications, check out:

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports



OnXMaps – Visualize Success

Are you bored glancing at your iPhone every 15 seconds, only to see your grandma’s new favorite selfie on Facebook? If so, you need to feed your digital addiction with a new habit and maybe even a productive one. Well, at least something to help fishing become a little more productive right?

Instead of learning new words from Donald Trump on Twitter, check out GPS mapping technology from OnXMaps. These maps are simply made for the avid outdoorsman, showing accurate public lands, private lands, and property boundaries with up to 24k topographical functionality. OnXMaps provide users with useful and accurate information to help find roads, water and game management units. Also, it is easy to distinguish between private and public lands.

OnXMaps is pioneering the future of GPS mapping for hunters and fisherman, don't be left behind...
OnXMaps is pioneering the future of GPS mapping for hunters and fisherman, don’t be left behind…

For the fisherman looking for that secret spot, OnXMaps is the answer, allowing you to find public land, easements and property boundaries that will help you gain the ultimate edge in stream access. Using a chip from OnXMaps you can upload the software straight to your handheld or truck GPS unit or you can use the mobile device to get the best in mapping software, right from your smart phone!

We can't give away our favorite spots... But, this sample shows you some of the detail from OnXMaps at the base of Clear Creek Canyon.
We can’t give away our favorite spots…
But, this sample shows you some of the detail from OnXMaps at the base of Clear Creek Canyon.

Check out OnXMaps today!

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Clackacraft EDDY – Review

I finally pulled the trigger on a Clackcraft Drift Boat, I have always had the urge to own one of these vessels and this summer I finally made it happen. I am unsure why it took me so long to do so but now it is sitting like a shining star in my crumbling concrete driveway. My wife wouldn’t allow me to have 2 boats so i had to let go of the blue bus before dropping the loot on a 2015 EDDY. It was difficult to let the NRS otter go but if you look at these items as tools (which they are) there are times when you need something a little different to complete a project. Since the Eagle River had dropped below floatable levels and I was spending nearly every day on the Upper Colorado it only seemed fitting that a new tool was purchased.

Clackacraft Eddy

I am happy with the purchase and have not had any buyers remorse(yet) but I am sure some will kick in next May when I want to float the Eagle and do not have the tool to do it. Hopefully I can convince my wife that 2 is better than one by that point and we’ll have a raft to run skinny water in.

I like to refer to Drift Boats as Cadillacs because when it comes to fly fishing out of a boat there really isn’t anything more comfortable. I chose a Clackacraft over other drift boats because I have always like their design and also because I have rowed them a ton. I was eyeballing a new RO boat as well but in the end Clacka won the battle. Some of the features that I love about my new boat are the following.

Roomy – There is more than enough room for 3 people in the raft as well as all their gear. You fully walk around the front seat allowing the angler up front to move freely if they need. Both the back and front areas have casting braces with cup holders with plenty of casting room.

Storage – Each seat has storage underneath. The rowers bench opens completely allowing plenty of room for throw bags, PFDs and dry bags. The EDDY has 6 rod holders so you can bring 6 fully rigged rods and secure them with out worry. The bow of the boat also has a small cubby for storing extra gear that we all tend to bring.


Maneuverability – The biggest difference that I have noticed when rowing a drift boat vs a raft is the ability to slow down. The tunnel hull and Gulf Stream Bottom on the Clackacraft’s reduce drag. I first noticed this when slowing the boat down to almost a complete stop in some heavy moving water for some clients to nymph the slower seam on the edges. I was amazed, I couldn’t have done that in my raft.

If you are in the market for a Drift Boat there are a few things I would highly suggest purchasing along with it. I do not like getting nickeled and dimed to death but here are some must haves. If there is one thing that you should definitely have it is a cover. The covers are extremely easy to use and keep road grime off of the boat. It also helps prevent nicks and dings from small rocks on the road. If you have evre driven down Trough Road in the rain you will certainly appreciate a good cover. The anchor holder is very nice to have. Sure it is easy to take off and throw in the back of the truck but that is also how a lot of anchors get lost. The diamond shaped anchor holder keeps the 30lb weight secure and eliminates the need of taking it off when you are finished your trip. Upgrade the oars. This does not have to be done right away but if you row a boat enough you understand the importance of having good sticks. It makes a huge difference on your shoulders and elbows.

The weather has been fantastic in the high country. Now is an excellent time to hop in a boat and hunt down hungry Brown Trout on the Colorado River. Hope to see you on the water.

Stay Dry with the all new Pro Bibs from Simms!

Traveling to the Florida Keys, fly-fishing for Redfish in New Orleans, or heading to Mexico after Permit, you name it; we have probably all made this classic mistake: You pack your bags, remember to bring all your favorite fly rods, reels, new fly lines and tie up boxes of your own custom fly patterns. You think to yourself, yay I’m headed to the Keys, it will be so warm, none of this Colorado weather! I’ll just pack these couple shirts, my new shorts and this Buff, can’t wait to soak up the sun in The Florida Keys! Then a week later, your guide starts the engine to your skiff and BOOM off you go, only one minor problem to deal with…

You are wearing your favorite flats fishing shirt, new shorts and as your guide cuts through the marsh, you are freezing your ASS off! Fortunately, Simms Fishing Products has all the gear you need to warm up. We recently tested a pair of their Pro Bibs, and these babies will keep you warm and dry no matter what conditions Mother Nature throws your way.

Simms fishing bibs
The all new Pro Dry Bibs from Simms

Simms’ new 25 percent lighter ProDry™ Bib delivers enhanced storability coupled with advanced GORE-TEX® Pro Shell waterproof, durable performance. Large top-load thigh pockets include plier sleeves, and a zippered chest storage pocket is a safe-haven for everything from smartphones and car keys to line spools and nippers. A lower leg hem-lifter adjusts pant length to prevent cuff/heel drag on boat decks. And full length, 2-way leg zippers ventilate, while delivering appreciated entry/exit convenience.

It doesn’t matter whether you are packing for your next trip, trying to stay dry at the kid’s soccer game or attempting to still feel your fingers and toes in the duck blind, Simms Bibs are worth it! So don’t be caught with your guide snickering behind you on your next fishing trip, pick up a pair of Simms Bibs today.

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

3-Tand Fly Reels

For the angler on a budget who is not willing to compromise or sacrifice quality on the water, be sure to check out 3-Tand Fly Reels. From light line reels to blue water big game set ups, 3-Tand has you covered. We tested the TF-70 Crossover fly reels for a six weight line while fishing in the California surf for Corbina. Fly-fishing the surf can put fly reels to the test like no other situation on the water. The crashing waves are sure to get some corrosive salt in your fly reel and while fishing the beach it is nearly impossible to avoid confrontations with sand! Not to mention that stopping a 5-pound Corbina in the waves will put even the best and smoothest drag systems to the test!

3-tans fly reel
3-Tand’s TF-70 will get the job done no matter what the situation calls for!

We are pleased to report that our TF-70 got the job done in even the toughest of conditions. The TF-70 brings a whole new definition to the term, “Crossover Reel”. Awarded the New Product showcase, “Best of Show” at ICAST 2014, this reel earned its hardware and proved it was designed to take on the salt, fresh, single-hand and two-handed sticks.  The TF-70 has the line capacity to handle 6-8 Weight lines.

fly fishing the surf
Fly fishing the surf will put your equipment to the test and 3-Tand fly reels are more than up to the task!

At 4.6oz this is one of the lightest 8-weight reels available at your local fly shop. Perfect for stalking picky Bonefish or Carp, stripping big streamers for Salmon, Steelhead, Trout, Pike and Bass or hitting the salt for Redfish or Baby Tarpon.  The TF-70 is machined from solid bar stock aluminum and a carries 3-Tand’s Nano CF Drag™. The TF-70 delivers 7lbs of stopping power and will smoothly stop runs from even the toughest fighting of fish. Check out the specs on this amazing fly reel:

Weights 6-8

Line Capacity
WF6F 200/20lb Dacron
WF7F 175/20lb Dacron
WF8F 150/20lb Dacron

Weight 4.6 oz.

Spool Size 3.75″ X 0.98″

Drag Technology Nano CF Drag™ Disc

MSRP $209.95

Extra Spool $124.95

If you are looking for a top quality fly reel that won’t break the piggy bank, head to your local fly shop today or visit for more information.

Tight lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports