Win a New Reel!

Sage 4200 ReelAs promised, we’ll be giving away a reel as the grand prize of our short fly fishing video contest! In particular, we’ll be handing out a sweet new Sage 4200 series reel to the contest winner. That’s a $300 reel, folks! We don’t mess around! It’s a fully machined large-arbor reel, light but strong, with a fully sealed drag. Here’s what Sage has to say:

“Sage’s 4200 series reel offering brings a sophisticated, high-performance drag system. The one-revolution drag knob offers quick and precise drag settings and provides the kind of power and smoothness you’d expect from a large traditional drag system, only without the bulk or weight.”

In other words, it’s a sweet deal of a grand prize. The contest winner will have the choice of reel size – 3/4 Weight, 5/6 Weight, or 7/8 Weight. That’s a reel for just about any type of fly fishing you’re in to.

What do you need to do to have a shot at winning the reel? Put together a short (5 minutes max) fly fishing video. Then email us for instructions on how to submit your entry. It’s as simple as that! Amateurs only, please. Your entry must be received by midnight on December 31st. Stay tuned for more information about the viewing/judging party that we’ll be holding on January 15th (entrants need not be present to win, but if you’re in the area…). Let the editing begin!

What I’ve Learned My First Month in Montana

It’s November, which means I have just spent my first full month living in Montana.  I’m now officially a resident, well sorta.  I’m resident enough to have a Montana drivers license, but not resident enough to purchase inexpensive hunting and fishing licenses.  That will take another 5 months.  But at least I can begin saving enough money to get my Toyota FJ registered.  Most of Montana has no sales tax, so one of the ways to generate funds is by charging unusually high rates to register your car (at least compared to Pennsylvania).  That’s one of the things I’ve learned in my first month of quasi-residency.  Here’s a few more:


1. 50-60 mile per hour wind in Livingston is just a little “breezy.”  Locals say that doesn’t really get windy here until you can fly your trucker hat like a kite.

2.  Jalapeno corn dogs are very delicious and can be purchased with over-sized beers at Town Pump convenience stores.

3. Whitefish really like small nymphs.  Which is OK because I sorta like whitefish…just don’t tell anyone.

4. Whitetail deer are dumber than mule deer.  Why is it that most of the critters that have attempted to commit suicide by running in front of my car while I’m on my way to work are whitetails?  The mulies tend to stand back and just watch their reckless, half-witted cousins act foolishly. Sounds like my last family reunion.

5. The Absaroka Mountain range is pronounced Ab-soar-key. Not Ab-sa-ro-ka. So I need to quit saying it that way.

6. Calamity Jane lived in Livingston, but no one I know knows where she lived in Livingston.

7. Dan Gigone, the owner of Sweetwater Fly Shop, used to have a pretty sweet chin beard.

8. Yellowstone River fishing guides drink just as much beer as Delaware River fishing guides.

9. It doesn’t really matter if you forget to take a photograph of today’s sunrise or sunset–tomorrow’s will be just as spectacular.

10. Unlike tigers, grizzly bears hate pepper but love cinnamon.

11.  Marya Spoja, Sweetwater Fly Shop’s manager, used to play the trumpet.  Now she just catches big trout.

12. PBR is now owned by the Russians.  Could this lead to world peace?

13.  There are rabbits here so large that they look like albino kangaroos.  They do not believe that Trix is for kids.

14. Montana brown trout eat the same streamers that Pennsylvania brown trout eat.

15. It’s illegal to eat sunflower seeds in Yellowstone National Park.  It’s also illegal to ride a bison, though they really seem like they want you to try.


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!

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