Alpine Leisure Co.

Lauren Sussi owner and founder of Alpine Leisure Co. sent us out one sharp looking reel cover. Made in the U.S.A and made from locally sourced materials this thing is built to last. Measuring around 5″x 5″ closed this has a small enough footprint where you can wear it on your belt or lash it on a bag and not really know it’s there due to it’s super lightweight feel.

The APEX Reel Pouch is a highly functional pouch made from a waterproof 1.6 oz SilPoly fabric. Complete with a 1 inch D-Ring and belts-loops on the backside of the pouch to allow you to use it as a rod holder while you’re out on the water. The 2-inch velcro enclosure gives you the option to adjust to a larger or smaller reel and rod handle. Two Sizes available: Small and Large.  Made in the USA by Veteran Hands!

FEATURES:

  • Protects Reel and Rod Handle

  • Doubles as an “On the Hip” Rod Holder

  • 1.6 oz SilPoly Material

  • Water-Resistant

  • 1 Inch D-Ring

  • 2 3/4″ Beltloops

  • 2″ X 2″ Velcro Enclosure

  • Two Sizes:

    • Small (up to 4″ Diameter x 2″ Wide)

    • Large (up to 6″ Diameter x 2″ Wide)

Here is a little bio about Lauren in his own words.

“I started my company in 2016 sort of by accident. I bought a grand trunk hammock online and didn’t like the feel of it so I made my own out of some 1.9 ounce ripstop nylon fabric that I had laying around. I showed a couple of good buddies my hammock I had made and they both wanted one. I slowly started selling them to my friends and it quickly replaced the custom men’s jeans that I had been making to support myself for years. Additionally, I’ve been a full time student at the Art Institute of Raleigh Durham the whole time I’ve been operating my business, and now have finally finished up school and will have more time to focus on developing new products and marketing and other aspects of the business.
   As far as fishing goes, I started on the fly when I was 8 and fished only dries until I was 24. Growing up in central Idaho, I was spoiled by different species of trout and clean high mountain rivers, streams, and lakes. Now that I live in North Carolina, I do most of my fishing either in the western part of the state, around Boone and the Pisgah National Forest, and on the coast for salt water species. I intend to expand more into the fly fishing world and find a way to bring hammocking and fly fishing together, in a way that makes sense and that hasn’t been done before.”

Alpine Leisure Company’s goal is to offer lightweight, long-lasting products that are manufactured in the USA, from locally sourced materials, that will benefit the community as well as positively impact the environment.

Thanks again Lauren.

https://www.alpineleisureco.com/

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Smokey Blue Supply Co. Fly Wallet

The, on the go, fly wallet offered by Smokey Blues is made out of hand waxed canvas, genuine leather and sheeps wool. It holds all of your fly fishing essentials, from all the flys you need to different tapered leaders. It also comes equipped with a pocket on the outside of the wallet to hold any extra tools or maps. Only being 8 inches long and 4 inches wide this wallet can fit right in your pocket or just be tossed into a backpack. We offer it in 5 different colors, black and camo, tan and black, cream and green, navy blue and silver and maroon and black.

Here is a little bio about Andrew Cook, The owner and maker of Smokey Blue Supply Co. in his own words.

I’ve been fishing all my life, and I started sewing about 4 years ago professionally but always have been into making my own product for fun. I started making fly bags this past year for myself as a hobby and they really took off at my companies craft fair and through people I’ve met fishing on the river. My wife Kathryn has been pushing me every day for quite some time to start the company I’ve always wanted to start. Which brings me to Smokey Blues Supply Company, the name originated from really our two favorite dogs that have passed on, that would follow us wherever we went, especially Blue, he would go fishing and surfing with me anywhere. We do a lot of traveling and are currently based out of Reno, Nevada in a tiny home but feeling the itch to move again to the pacific north west. I love to fish the Truckee River here in Reno but my favorite place would be Northern California on the Mad River and surrounding areas. I’ve tried all types of fishing, but small river fishing for trout is what I really like. We like to keep our designs simple, functional but most of all great quality, we do offer repairs to any item that we make for a small fee keeping our product in your fishing family for generations. Follow us on Instagram at smokeybluessupplyco to stay up to date with new releases and free giveaways. 

Check out this piece of gear and Andrews other masterful pieces at:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/smokeybluessupplyco?ref=search_shop_redirect

Matt Monahan of The Mighty Blue Gill

In the mid 1800’s Japanese fishermen began rubbing rice paper on inked fish to prove the size of their catch. Function evolved into form and an art form was born. Today Gyotaku is celebrated globally, and Matt Monahan is proud to represent various fish of the southeastern U.S. He prints his own fish as well as those of others by commission. It’s like taxidermy where you can still eat your catch!

Here is a little bio about Matt and his art career and fishing.

“I grew up in Naples, Florida and have fished my whole life. As a kid we would fish everything from rock quarries for bass and gators to deep sea fishing in the gulf.
I went to college in Chattanooga, TN and got married and stuck around. The fishing is a bit different here, but I’ve grown to love the trout as well as all the bass and panfish. My current aspiration is to break the Tennessee state record for the yellow perch.
I recently won the TN master angler I patch for catching five different trophy fish. Master 2 is at 10.
On the art side of things, that has an interesting story. I’m a teacher and used to teach Asian history. I visited and studied briefly in Japan and I nearly moved my family there years ago out of love for Japanese culture.
I taught a fishing class in my high school and the art teacher told me that since I loved Japanese culture we ought to make gyotaku of our fish. We tried it and I fell in love and haven’t looked back.
I’m now on the board of the Nature Printing Society and my art has developed into a side-hustle of a small business.
Trout are my favorite to print in light of the colors and complexity. (They are much more delicate than most fish, with fine scales and incredible colors–it was years before I could successfully print them.)
I suppose the dream is for this to some day make enough income to do full time, but until then I’ll enjoy a hobby that is also profitable and gets me fishing creating! “
Matt sent us a pretty snazzy Snap back hat with one of his designs embroidered on it which you can check out along with all his work at:

Camas Creek Soap Co.

We got a little care package in the mail recently from Amy Grows at Camas Creek Soap Co. These soaps are pretty amazing. I’ve been using them after coming back from a day on the water and this time of year my hands are so dry and cracked but these soaps are pretty therapeutic. Also I love the different motives she has. I chose the fish version for obvious reasons. Look at that Brookie on there. Great designs, great soaps and overall a great little company. Below is a little bit about the company in Amy’s own words.

“Welcome to Camas Creek Soap Company! I started making soap as a way to provide a quality, simple product for family and friends who live and play in the beautiful outdoors of Idaho. With the harsh winters our skin tends to dry very quickly. Camas Creek Soap has become a local favorite for those looking for a gentle cleanser, a perfect gift or alternative for sensitive skin.

All of my soap is made is handcrafted in small batches, from a rich blend of olive, palm and coconut oils. Some bars contain an exotic butter to add different qualities to the batch.

These vegetable oils and butters are gentle on the skin and great for soap making. Unlike commercial soap, handcrafted soap produces a high glycerin content from the soap making process. The milling process of commercial soap extracts the glycerin. What you get is a hard, long lasting bar that instead of moisturizing your skin, strips it of the protective oils, leaving it dry . With handcrafted soap, the glycerin will help moisturize the skin and protect it from drying out.

I use herbs from my garden, teas, and other botanicals to add texture to each bar. Essential oils are added for scenting as well as fragrance oils for those who are looking for a particular scent. I use natural colorants for some bars, others are left natural without added pigment. After the soap has been poured into the molds and have set overnight, they are hand cut at our studio in Sagle Idaho.

Camas Creek handcrafted soaps are long lasting and provide a luscious creamy lather that will leave your skin feeling clean and soft without drying.

Check out Amy’s shop on Etsy. She’s got tons of different soaps! I suggest the 3 pack sampler! Thanks Amy!

https://etsy.me/2UBNE2P

Wading Water Co.

Wading Water Co. is a great little company based out of Central Coast California.

Katherine Chenoweth is a fly-fisherman and owner of the company. She started Wading Water back in 2015 to provide handmade headwear and accessories to the avid outdoorsman.

She has also partnered up and donates 10% of proceeds with Caltrout Inc., a nonprofit organization that helps protect and keep waterways in California healthy and fishable. These are the same waters that Katherine enjoys fishing and visiting as often as she can.

You should do yourself a favor and check out the link below. She has a lot of different designs and some really cool stuff. The hat she sent me is super warm! Perfect for winter fishing.

Thanks again Katherine!

wadingwaterco.etsy.com

Instagram @wadingwater

Tim Gault

One of the highlights of this past summer was to get to talk to Tim Gault. An avid fly fisherman, artist and conservationist. Here is a little bit about Tim and what he does in his own words. Definately worth the read.

Pictured here is one of my favorite pieces and one of many that Tim has made.

“I’m a professional designer, creative director and fine artist living in Portland, Oregon. When I’m not in my studio, I’m often found roaming art galleries and museums, enjoying live music or sports, fishing, or doing things with my family. I’ve been creating art my entire life and painting specifically with watercolors for over 20 years.

My Passion for Nature:

My fish paintings are meant to be reminders of just how beautiful and exciting these simple creatures can be. We’ve probably all been around a stream or lake and caught a glimpse of a fish jumping or flashing by underwater. Maybe you’ve watched a trout swimming behind a rock, it’s tail waving back and forth at just the right speed to hold its position as it awaits its next meal to drift into view. If you have, I think you’ll agree it’s a pretty cool moment when you get to experience this elusive and fleeting view of a hidden world.

This is the feeling I really want to express in my paintings. I want you to feel as if you’ve just caught that momentary glimpse of a sleek and beautiful creature partially obscured and distorted by the flow and glistening of the water in which it moves and lives. The patterns of refracted light scattering through the water surface and dancing across the fish add even more beauty, which is a theme I’ve grown more and more interested in portraying in my work.

More importantly, I worry about the health of our waterways, along with the rest of the environment on our priceless and beautiful planet. Fish habitat and numbers have been dwindling for decades, often due to little thought for the impact of our social and economic decisions on the wildlife we know is there, but aren’t confronted with on a personal level. I want to draw attention to how special and important our fisheries are by taking them from the hidden pools and eddies out there in the wild, and placing them smack dab on the walls, clothing and products we encounter daily. I hope my fish paintings can have a positive impact, no matter how small, on the struggle we humans have to live in harmony with nature.

My Technique:

When painting, my goal is to always maintain control of every stroke, drip, wash, glaze, shape, line, color, value and texture I’m using. However, one of the truly beautiful aspects of watercolor is its tendency to give accidental and unexpected results, especially when painting with what’s known as wet-in-wet technique. Just as it sounds, wet-in-wet simply means painting with wet paint on wet paper. The reason unexpected things can happen when doing this is because the paper doesn’t stay completely wet for very long. So if I brush clear water on the paper, then brush wet paint, then more clear water followed by more paint, certain areas have started to dry and interesting things happen when wet areas run into half dry areas. The results are very hard to control and don’t always work out for the best, but they can often add the interesting and beautiful effects that make a painting unique and exciting!

This technique is exactly how my paintings typically start out. After several hours of work, I let the painting dry, then I do a new layer over top being careful not to cover over the most exciting or interesting areas of the first layer. This second layer is typically done in a combination of wet-in-wet and wet-on-dry paper as I more distinctly define the shapes of the subject I’m painting. I continue to work layer after layer in this way, letting each one dry after spending several hours.

How many layers do I use? It just depends upon how many it takes before I feel I’ve achieved my personal interpretation of the subject. Also, I feel strongly that a painting is only as good as its weakest area, so it’s important to be thorough. Sometimes this means doing more work on a painting I thought I’d finished a month ago, because seeing it with fresh eyes I notice something not to my liking. It happens all the time. It’s tricky though, because overworked watercolors loose their freshness and that’s not good. Part of being a good artist is knowing when a piece is finished, which is much harder than it probably sounds!”

I really want to thank Tim for sending out some samples of his work. His technique and eye for colors and design is second to none.

Check out Tim on his website or any of the links below. Tim also has an Etsy shop where he sells his art and right now he is running a special free shipping deal now through the holidays.

https://etsy.me/2SGqlmC

www.timgault.com

instagram.com/timgaultfinearts

facebook.com/timgaultfinearts

Omega Gear Knives

Our friends over at Omega Gear Knives have sent us an amazing little knife. I’m calling this a trout and birder knife but their site says “Handmade EDC, survival, bushcraft and Hunting Knife. The knife is designed for fishing, hunting and birding.

Made from 1095 Steel With a cutting edge length of 3.5″ and a 4.0″ handle making the knife 7.5″ in total length. A full tang fixed blade 4.0mm thick, and a razor sharp edge, this knife can make quick work of filleting and skinning trout and other fish as well as field dressing game birds.

With 60 HRC hardness, this small versatile and tank-like knife is built to last. The mirror finish on this knife is intense. It was hard to take the photos because of the glare coming off of that finish. The full tang handle has plenty of jimping on the flat side but none on the spine which I would of liked to see. The knife comes standard with a high quality hand stitched leather sheathe and leather lanyard, although I will be putting a paracord lanyard on mine, just my preference.

I will be further field testing this knife in the next couple weeks and will have a follow up review with photos from the field.

Follow the link below to check out this knife and a lot of others all hand made by Matt Longley.

https://www.etsy.com/shop/OmegaGear

Strong Like Bull Magnets

SLB2

Introducing Strong Like Bull Magnets.

Now you may think, what is this doing on a fly fishing blog ? Well I like to experiment and see how I can use different things in the fly fishing world. I tie my own flies when I can and when I do they usually are falling and flying all over my work desk. This is where the SLB magnets come in.

SLB1

These little magnets can hold my hooks in reserve and my finished flies while I am tying. I have them all over my work station and on some of my filing cabinets. Here is a little snippet from their page explaining all the technical info.

While the plain neodymium cube magnets are strong, they have 3 big problems:

  1. They are slick making them hard to grasp… so they are hard to remove.
  2. Being purely magnets, they attract from all directions, and are a bit tricky when they get close to each other as they want to ‘snap together’. 
  3. They are somewhat brittle and often chip and crack when they snap to the surface or to each other.

Strong Like Bull Magnets are purpose-built, over the top magnet assemblies…. 

The design starts with a substantial Neodymium Iron Boron disc magnet… These ‘rare earth’ magnets are the strongest type of magnets around… and we use the N52 grade, the highest strength grade available. Next the magnet is coupled to an engineered steel ‘cup’ which acts to direct the magnetic flux in a way which further increases the magnetic pull strength. The cup also ‘shields’ the magnetic force of all of the surfaces except the mounting surface, making them much safer to handle than an unshielded magnet. The magnet/cup assembly screws to a custom CNC machined aluminum housing part which is anodized for durability and color

Lastly, a rubber ring is added to further enhance the grip. 

SLB3

A Strong Like Bull magnet has a rated direct contact pull strength of over 20 lbs!

They also make tons of other cool magnetic items. Including this amazing machined bottle opener which comes in handy after a long day of fishing and I am just winding down with a cold one. There is a magnet built-in to the top of the opener so you can magnetically hang it when not in use and also doubles as a bottle cap catch.

SLB5

Go check them out at https://www.slbmagnets.com you wont be sorry!

Zen Tenkara Suzume Rod

Zen6

If you fish small streams or tight places, the Suzume will quickly become your favorite, go-to rod. Suzume or “Sparrow”, is a small, lightweight, aggressive and highly adaptable bird found all over North America and most of the world…that’s the Suzume. The Suzume is a triple zoom and can be fished at 3 lengths: 7.7’, 9.3’ and 10.8’ giving you extreme accessibility in a variety of situations. It has a medium-fast action, 6:4 flex and a slender, double taper, high quality, 11” cork handle for extreme comfort and a custom fit. The handle not only allows you to find your own “sweet spot” but it also ensures the rod is balanced and not front heavy. Suzume is extremely accurate, strong, yet very delicate for the most precise and beautiful presentations imaginable. Includes spare tip, rod sock and hard travel tube. Pair with the Performance Tip for a faster action (sold separately).

  • Rod Length Collapsed w/ Cap: 20.75”
  • Rod Length Extended: 10’.8”, 9’.3”, 7’.7” Tri-Zoom
  • Handle Length: 11″
  • Case Length: 23”
  • Rod Weight w/o Cap: 2.3oz
  • Rod Weight w Cap: 2.4oz
  • Total Weight (Rod, Sock and Case): 8.1oz
  • Flex: 6:4

This is one versatile rod. I have fished this rod all Spring & Summer this year with killer results. The fact that this rod can be extended to three different lengths makes this one of my go to rods when blue lining it up in the Pennsylvania mountains. I can fish all types of terrain, popping it down to the smallest length when needed in super small tight streams and then fully extending it to the full 10’8″ length when the stream opens up and I need a little more length for reaching that hard to get spot. Plus I have one more length I can go to if needed. Below are some shots I got of some local Wild Brook Trout caught on the Suzume rod in PA.

 

The Suzume is an amazing rod designed by a pretty amazing woman, Karen Miller. Karen is the owner of Zen Tenkara and oversees all operations of the business including rod design, manufacturing and sales. She is also one hell of a fisherman. Traveling the world to spread the word of Tenkara and fishing in some of the most beautiful places around.

Go to her site at https://www.zentenkara.com/shop-tenkara/suzume-rod-wsock-and-hard-rod-tube/

 

 

Quinn Gear

QuinnGear4Based out of sunny California, Quinn gear is designed for the modern outdoor adventurer. These hand made fly fishing wallets and bags are made to last and stand the test of time. I’ve been running one for the last 2 years or so and it holds up like a tank. Super light weight, and made from Dyneema X Gridstop/X-Pac and double snap closures that really do hold this wallet closed tight. Each one of these wallets is hand made to order, so you know you are getting something unique. Both fabrics have a grid of white Dyneema threads for exceptional tear strength, as well as a diagonal woven ripstop. The fabric has a waterproof polyurethane coating on the inside, which will help keep things dry. The Dyneema Gridstop fabric is available in three color options: Green, Black and Blue. X-Pac fabric is available in Slate gray and brown. You can mix and match the outer and inner fabric colors as well.

QuinnGear1The wallet is 7.5″ in length fully opened  and 4.25″ wide. It can hold between 30-40 flies and with the double snap closure, your flies will stay inside.

QuinnGear5Here is a little blurb pulled from Quinn Gears Etsy page.

“I use only the strongest and lightest materials to produce accessories that will endure tough outdoor adventures.

Being a designer by profession, I was tired of settling for bland and traditional looking fly fishing bags and pouches. I preferred clean, minimal and modern design, so naturally I wanted to have my work reflect that same aesthetic.

The first step was to get a sewing machine and create some prototypes of bags specifically for fly fishing. After gaining valuable experience in producing these items, I decided that I wanted to try making some backpacking gear, which is another passion of mine. My first large project was a zippered hammock. It turned out wonderfully. I decided to make a few for my friends, and eventually made an ultralight backpack which I still continue to use.

When I began to receive positive feedback from other enthusiasts, I knew that I was onto something.

When it came time for an Etsy name for my company, I instantly knew what I wanted it to be. We aptly named it Quinn, after our new baby’s arrival.”

QuinnGear3Do yourself a favor and pick up one of these little gems. He also has some different bag options as well. Click the link below to check out Quinn Gear’s etsy page and support a small buisness. Cheers!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/QuinnGear?ref=l2-shop-header-avatar#about