Fly Fishing apps

If you purchased gifts this past holiday season on a mobile device, you weren’t alone. According to IBM, purchases on Cyber Monday from smartphones doubled that of the previous year. But if you tried to buy the latest fly fishing gear for your wife (or yourself) on an app from one of the top fly fishing brands, you had few options.

I found only two mobile apps from well-known fly fishing brands – the Rio Products’ Fly Line Selector and Orvis. Needless to say, there is room for other brands to take the leap into mobile, but in the meantime let’s take a look at the bold duo.

Rio Fly Line Selector App (Free)

Rio Fly Line Selector AppThe ever-expanding selection of fly line options overwhelms me. While I’d love to own them all, the Rio Products Line Selector app makes it easier to find the one you need.

Launched last summer, Rio’s app helps you narrow line choices based on rod type and fishing situations. After entering your fly rod’s make and model, the water type you’ll fish, line density, and fishing application such as dry fly presentation or indicator, the app suggests lines and tippets.

If you own older rods like I do, the Fly Line Selector only lists the latest rods from around the industry. For instance, my old Sage 490-4 RPL+ didn’t make the cut. In this case, you’ll need to become familiar with the new rods and focus more on the situation and select a similar modern rod.

Although you can’t make purchases through the app or Rio web site, the app suggests local stores that sell Rio products. That aside, I’m impressed with the quality of Rio Fly Selector app. It’s slick, useful, educational and free for both iOS and Android.

Orvis Fly Fishing app ($3.99)

It’s not surprising that industry’s most mainstream brand, Orvis, was the first to launch an app back in 2011.

Made by Green Mountain Digital, the Orvis app has a purer instructional focus than the Rio app. Orvis offers several how-to sections covering fly fishing’s basics, like casting, knot tying, and flies. For me, the fishing reports from Orvis-affiliated guides and shops are the clear killer feature. I’m a sucker for reading fishing reports from places I’d rather be like West Yellowstone, Cape Cod or Belize.

Read the latest fishing reports from Orvis guides.

Read the latest fishing reports from Orvis guides.

Although the app costs four bucks, you’ll make some money because Orvis sends you a $10 gift card after the purchase. It’s also available on iOS and Android.

I’m sure the fly fishing industry is following the latest mobile trends, and it’s just a matter of time before a Simms or Sage join the mobile movement this year. At least I’m hoping they will.

If you have other favorite apps where you buy fly fishing gear, leave a comment below.


Sage and Simms big winners at IFTD Awards

There’s nothing like new gear to motivate me to go fishing and last week the fly fishing industry rolled out its latest at the International Fly Tackle Dealer show (IFTD) in Orlando. At the show, powerhouse brands Sage and Simms walked away with several Best of Show Awards and provided us all the  incentive needed to visit our local fly shop.

Simms won seven awards, the most of any company, and became consecutive winners in the waders, outerwear and footwear categories. Sage’s Salt rod won both the overall Best of Show award and best saltwater rod, while Nautilus grabbed both fresh and saltwater reel awards.

Best of Show winner - the Sage Salt Rod

Best of Show winner – the Sage Salt Rod

Here’s a list of the Simms, Sage and Nautilus awards and a video featuring Simms’ new G4 Pro Jacket.

  • Best of Show: Sage Salt 890-4
  • Rods: Sage Salt 890-4 (saltwater) and ACCEL 590-4 (freshwater)
  • Reels: Nautilus CCFX2 Silver King Silver (freshwater) and Silver King Black (saltwater)
  • Saltwater Men’s and Women’s Waders: Simms Freestone Z (Men’s, $399.95) and Freestone (Women’s, $249.95). The Freestone Z hits the market March
  • Wading Boots: Simms Rivertek 2 Boa ($179.95) an update to the Rivertek Boa will be available in both the Simms StreamTread wading platform and felt.
  • Men’s and Women’s Outerwear: Simms G4 Pro (Men’s, $549.95) and Guide (Women’s $299.95) – The new G4 Pro, on sale now, is 15% lighter and resists abrasions better. Check out the video below for the G4 Pro.


IFTD Winner 2015

Gear Receipt: the Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack

My wife found my latest fly fishing gear receipt – $87.55 for a Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack I purchased from Creekside Angling. I explained that I needed it for our upcoming ‘family’ trip to Whitefish, but she wanted none of it.

In the Northwest, we expect rain any day between September and June, and my old nylon Fishpond waist pack has tended to waterlog these days. I’ve also debated its bulk and thought a smaller, more waterproof pack for short wading stints might make more sense. Given my dilemma, I headed to the fly shop for a research trip.

Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack

Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack

Chest Pack options

The crowded chest pack category offers a range of choices, but I focused on packs with welded seam construction that advertise added protection from the elements. Based on the stock on hand, that narrowed it down to the Fishpond Westwater, the Sage Technical Chest Pack, and the Simms Dry Creek pack.

While any one of them would have been solid choices based on brand alone, I did have some minor issues with the Sage (No! Not the Dodger blue color!) and Simms (is this too bulky?). In the end I choose the Fishpond for its versatility and fish-neutral colors.


The Westwater Chest Pack’s main compartment is just large enough to hold both a medium-sized fly box and, critical to my needs, a small camera. A nylon pocket sewn to the pack’s inside front can stow tippet or leaders, and a plastic zippered pouch offers storage for smaller valuables, like a phone or wallet. That’s it for the interior.

Fishpond promotes the welded zippers as water-resistant, not waterproof, and I can see why. A small gap at the zipper’s end may allow water to seep in with a good dunking, so I don’t recommend taking a swim with your new digital camera inside.

pack open lo

Small, simple

Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap


The Westwater Chest Pack is the right size for my needs, and has the added water resistance and durability. It’s also backed by Fishpond’s lifetime guarantee. I think I made the right call, but I’m planning to give it a proper field test in Montana to make sure.

Thanks for listening and here’s to greater vigilance with your gear receipts in the future.