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

Umpqua Tippet Review

About three months ago, Angling University began a new partnership with Umpqua, thus providing terminal tackle for students. Now, when you fish with Angling University, you will have the opportunity to try out some awesome tackle, including Umpqua Tippet.

As President of the school and professional guide of almost 20 years, I have tried my fair share of tippet materials. Nylon, hard mono, fluorocarbon, non-stretch, stretch, you name it. I’ve also tried all of the popular brands: Rio, Scientific Angler, Trout Hunter, Seaguar, Cortland, Frog Hair, Orvis, you get the idea. And though these brands all have their strengths, Umpqua Superfluoro tippet has really grown on me.

The major reasons we choose to work with our sponsor companies is because of the quality products they make. Umpqua’s tippet (both nylon and fluorocarbon) is no exception. I first started fishing with their Nylon (monofilament) for my dry fly fishing years ago, but for some reason I was stuck in my ways when it came to fluorocarbon. I have since completely converted to Umpqua’s Superfluoro and couldn’t be happier.

Umpqua Tippet Review:

Strength, abrasion resistance (durability), flexibility, good packaging (spools and labeling), and a small diameter are what I look for in a fluorocarbon tippet. Umpqua’s Superfluoro provides all of these qualities.

The tippet is noticeably smaller than what I was accustomed to. At first, I thought I had mixed up my spools because the 3x felt more like 4x. As crazy as it sounds, I think this smaller diameter helps flies get down to depth at a faster rate. Additionally, the tippet is surprisingly durable. I’ve guided multiple trophy hunting trips lately and haven’t had to replace tippet nearly as often. Perhaps the biggest surprise to me was the flexibility of the Superfluoro tippet. This translates to a more lifelike movement and presentation, both for streamers and nymphs alike.

All in all, Umpqua’s lineup of tippet is a strong contender for top product in it’s class. If you haven’t tried the Superfluoro, I strongly recommend it. You will find Umpqua’s Superfluoro to be a well rounded product that provides all you might want in a fluorocarbon tippet material.

Read more about Umpqua’s terminal tackle visit their website:  Learn about fly fishing or to book a class or lesson, visit our website


Tight Lines,

Ethan Emery

Outdoor Survival: How Prepared Are You?

Being prepared for the outdoors should not be taken lightly and as a guide you should be well prepared for any trip. Personally I thought that if I had a first aid kit, some extra clothes and some provisions I was ready for anything that might happen on a day trip to the river. Recently I got registered to guide fly fishing trips in remote areas in another state. This proved to be one of the most difficult tests I ever had to pass for guiding. But it made me realize that a lot can go wrong in the wilderness and that maybe I wasn’t as prepared as I thought I was. Here are a few preparation tips to consider if you are a guide or if you are getting guided.


Symptoms: Learn the symptoms/signs of health conditions such as; Shock, Hypothermia, Diabetes, Heat Stroke/ Dehydration, Cold Water Immersion. It is important to know how to handle a situation if one of your clients experiences these symptoms. It is also important to ask if your client(s) has any type of health condition during your trip briefing.

CPR/First Aid: Every guide needs to be certified in CPR & First Aid. Knowing how to preform these basic life saving techniques can make the difference between someone living or dying.

Supplies: First Aid Kits, Water, Food & Clothing are all good basics to have with you during a trip. One of the more important items to carry are waterproof matches. These will help you create a fire quickly should you need to heat up a client who has mild hypothermia symptoms. Whistles are another item that should be carried/provided to clients. This will allow you and clients to make loud noise should you become separated in the the woods or on the river.

Trip Briefing: This is one of the most important steps when taking anyone on a guided trips. Ask questions about health, physical condition, allergies and limitations. This will allow you to make a good decision on where to bring you clients based on their requirements. It will also allow you to prepare more extensively for a client with health conditions.

Take the time this winter to educate yourself on how to be prepared for a catastrophic event in the outdoors. You will be surprised on the amount of information online that can better prepare you for an unfortunate event.

International Sportsman’s Expo comes to Denver January 12-15

Looking for something to do this weekend? Join The International Sportsman’s Expo to celebrate for the 40th year in Colorado. More than 525 exhibiting companies offering gear…expertise and travel adventures. 125+ free seminars. Expert-led clinics. Archery, casting and a new elk-calling contest. And check out the giant Youth Activity Center, hosted by Colorado Parks and Wildlife.


Location: Colorado Convention Center
 700 14th Street
 Denver, CO 80202


Thu 12 11am – 8pm
Fri 13 11am – 8pm
Sat 14 10am – 8pm
Sun 15 10am – 5pm


Adult Admission – $17.00
 Youth under 16 – Free!

 No Pets
 No Weapons, Firearms or Ammunition


Parking & Shuttles: $5 per car at Park Ave. & Wazee (near Coors Field). Limited wheelchair and scooter rental available at UPS Business Center

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports Invites You to The Fly Fishing Show!

Well, we hope you have enjoyed your Holidays and are settled back into “The Grind.” Winter is in full swing in Colorado, with temperatures at a high of only 10 degrees today! The weekend is fast approaching and with the colder temps it might be a good weekend to leave the river to the trout, ducks & geese and instead head downtown to The Fly Fishing Show!


The show is a great place to get deals on the latest and greatest fly fishing gear, enter a raffle to win a trip to your dream fly fishing destination or just grab a cold beer and hang out and talk fishing. Here is the info you need this weekend:

Show Hours Friday 10am-6pm, Saturday 9am – 5:30pm, Sunday 9am – 4:30 pm

Admission is cash only at the gate and a one-day pass is only $15. Back again this year is the International Fly Fishing Film Festival, one night only Friday January 6th at 6:30 PM, $15 ticket.

If you can't be on the river this weekend, why not join us for swapping lies & stories at The Fly Fishing Show?

If you can’t be on the river this weekend, why not join us for swapping lies & stories at The Fly Fishing Show?

The show is a great place to learn from authors, outfitters, fly-fishing guides and fly tiers. Weather you are looking for fly tying materials, books, DVDs, rods, reels, waders or apparel, you simply don’t want to miss The Fly Fishing Show!

Check it out at:

Tight Lines,

Colorado Fly Fishing Reports

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.

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