Announcing Our 2nd Annual Short Video Contest!

Movie ProjectorDid you get some great fly fishing footage on the Go Pro this summer? Package it up into a short (5 minutes max) video and enter it in the contest. Fish porn? Humor? Scenic? We’ll accept all genres. Telling a good story will be weighted more heavily than production slickness. Extra props for including the Sweetwater Fly Shop logo somewhere in your video. All entries will be posted on the Sweaty Waders blog for the world to see. The Grand Prize? Well, we gave away a fly rod last year, so why not a reel this year? Let the editing begin! All entries must be received by midnight on December 31st, 2014. Amateurs only, please (if you got $50 for filming your cousin’s wedding, you’re still eligible). For details on how to submit your entry, just send us an email. Be creative and have fun!

For some inspiration, check out last year’s entries.

Rod Review: Echo 3

Echo 3Just finished casting the Echo 3 and I’ve gotta say: for 350 bucks it’s pretty impressive. As far as looks go, this is by far Echo’s most attractive rod. The wood reel seat looks like something you would see on an eight hundred dollar Winston or Sage rod and the ceramic guides are a nice, subtle touch. Echo describes the action of the 3 as “fast-ish” which is pretty spot on. It’s somewhere between medium-fast and fast, making it a great general purpose rod. My only real issue with the rod is that it’s a little bit heavier than I like. It may be a little tiresome to cast all day, as opposed to something a little lighter like the Sage Accel. Overall the Echo 3 is a very attractive rod that will cast just about any fly with ease and at a surprisingly low price, too. If a heavy rod doesn’t bother you, try out a 5 weight for a walk wading rod.

Download Our (Free) Mobile App!

App3Want to be able to check the Yellowstone River fishing report on the road? That’s just the beginning, when it comes to our new mobile app. Here at Sweetwater Fly Shop, we’ve been working hard over the last couple of months to make the app a useful tool for planning your trip to the Yellowstone River, whether you fish it weekly or it’s your first time. It’s got weather forecasts, GPS points for fishing accesses on the Yellowstone, Boulder, and Stillwater Rivers, as well as for places to eat and stay in the Livingston area, a hatch chart, links to river flow gauges, and much more. It’s now live for both Android devices and the iPhone. Click here to download the app for Android. Click here to download the app for the iPhone. Oh, yeah. It’s free! Please let us know what you think, particularly suggestions we might incorporate in future updates. And send us your fish photos (from the Your Pictures tab in the app) and we might just add them to the gallery.AppStoreGoogle

Code Red – The Vapen’s new look (and feel)

Vapen RedRedington’s Vapen fly rod has undergone facelift (grip-lift? hmm) surgery. Introducing PowerGrip, a collaboration with Winn Grips. That’s right, baby, a golf grip on a fly rod. The Vapen Red is an alternative option to Redington’s higher end fast action rod, the Vapen. With the Vapen (or Vapen Red) you can choose to present a Chubby Chernobyl with the elegance of a ballroom dancer or huck a Butt Monkey, if you’re into that sort of thing. In other words, it’s a solid rod for a variety of uses. But that’s not what we’re talking about. We are here to discuss the grip, which I think is actually pretty sweet. The idea behind the soft polymer grip is to create something more comfortable for the angler to hold and cast all day. If you have ever experienced wrist fatigue from casting a fly rod, try the Vapen Red out. Think Tempur-Pedic. If the old way is just not doin’ it for ya, the Vapen Red will likely change that. This is definitely an item where personal preference comes into play; some like it, some love it, others aren’t fans, I think its pretty cool. You may not cast as far as Bubba Watson can drive, but you will feel as good as John Daly doing it.

Gear Review: Sharkwave GPX Fly Line

SharkwaveAll new for 2014, Scientific Anglers have come out with the worlds first triple-textured fly line.  What does this mean you may ask?  Well, the folks at SA made the front taper of the Sharkwave using the Sharkskin technology.  Sharkskin floats higher, and shoots through the guides better than conventional fly lines due to the scale pattern on the line.  Less surface area equals less resistance on the guides, and on the water.  Sharkskin was a great fly line, however there were some complaints from line burn on peoples fingers, and the noise it made on the guides, but only using it for the front taper has taken care of these issues.  The second section of this line is known as the “tactile reference point”, which is made of conventional fly line, and is a different color than the front taper of the line.  This section allows for easy mends as well as giving a visual as to where the line will want to be stripped into to pick up casts well.  The Third section, or the running line is made of the Mastery Series Textured line.  The dimpled surface of the textured line, again allows for less drag on the guides.

The GPX taper, is designed to be a half-size heavy for today’s fast action rods.  The line is designed to be fished in cold to temperate water temperatures.  SA also makes the Sharkwave in the Ultimate Trout taper, as well as a Saltwater taper, which you will definitely want for warm water conditions.  The seemingly best two features of the line are that it remains virtually memory free, which is amazing!  Also, it stays very clean.  After a couple of months of being stomped around on the floor of a sandy drift boat, the line still looks great.

A few other technologies that they have put into the line include Micro-balloons, ( proprietary microscopic glass bubbles are added to the coatings of all Scientific Anglers floating fly lines to optimize line floatation by effectively trapping air inside the core and to provide precise control over the density of each line). Dry Tip technology, which keeps the line floating higher with less surface drag.  Extra Strength Streamlined loops, for easier line to leader, and line to backing connections. Also the Advanced Shooting Technology, which is continual line slickness allowing the line to shoot farther as it moves virtually friction-free through the guides.

The GPX taper comes in WF3-WF9 and in two colors, Bright, and Stealth. The new Sharkwaves are set at an MSRP of $99.95, and is absolutely worth every penny.  Call or come by Sweetwater Fly Shop to check them out!

Rods of a Different Color – Part 1 – The Redington Butter Stick

Butter StickIt’s retro, but with a modern taper design. It’s yellow, like a fiberglass rod should be. It’s super soft, but with a bit of extra backbone in the butt section, in case you tie into a toad. It’ll make that foot-long small creek trout feel like a lunker. It’s not the right rod for everyone or everything. Don’t try to fight the Livingston area’s spring gusts with this little guy. And it’s not going to throw a big streamer or a heavy double-nymph rig. But if you’re doing some summer dry fly fishing on Mill or Hyalite Creeks, or even hitting the BWO or PMD hatches on one of the Paradise Valley spring creeks, this might be the rod for the day. Most of all, it’s fun to cast! Slow down your casting stroke, way down, and enjoy the silky smooth ride. With a double-taper or Rio Trout LT line, your fly will land like a feather. Get ready for the most relaxed day of fishing you’ve had in a long time. And it comes in at less than $250! Really, who can’t afford to add one to his or her quiver? We’ve got the 7’0″ 3-weight here at Sweetwater Fly Shop. Come in and give it a try on our back lawn. Then buy it and start planning your trip to the West Fork of the Boulder!

We (Finally) Have a Winner!

It took us longer than we anticipated to get everyone together to judge our inaugural Sweaty Waders/Sweetwater Fly Shop short video contest. It was an extremely tough decision. We received 5 great entries. All of our entrants should be very proud of their work. In the end, though, the judges were unanimous. The video that most effectively captured the spirit of the competition was Kevin Inui’s “2013: A Year on The Water.” Congratulations, Kevin, you’ve won a brand new Winston Passport fly rod! We’ll be contacting you soon. And for everyone else, start filming for 2014’s contest, which promises to be even bigger and better!

The winning video!:


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