Trouts Journal

GEAR GUIDE || Ten Picks for Float Fishing

Ivan Orsic / Aug 7, 2020

It's hard to beat floating down a big river, fishing big terrestrials to the bank, drinking a couple of choice beverages, and spending some quality time with friends. Whether it's hoppers or streamers, there's still plenty of good float fishing to be had through August and into Fall and we're here for it.

With that in mind, we've put together a collection of gear that will help you get ready to float your favorite big western river.

Umpqua ZS2 Boat Bag - Large

You boating? You need a boat bag. From every fly in existence to terminal tackle to valuables to hemos to anything else you can fit in it's cavernous interior. The Umpqua ZS2 Boat Bag. Keep your valuables dry and organized in this perfect balance of external functionality and internal protection.

A guide favorite, this beast will cover the needs of any boat angler. Highly structured lid includes ZS2 Fly Patch, Hypalon hemostat station and molle patch for accessory attachment for ideal on-water work station. YKK weather-proof zipper and internal elevated rim keeps your contents dry in the worst of squalls & splash. Perfect, snag-free design and size for moving in and out of boat deck storage.

Scott Sector Fly Rod

The Scott Sector is designed for the demanding conditions of the saltwater flats, but that doesn't mean it doesn't thrive out of a boat throwing big flies at big trout. Might we suggest the six-weight? It'll throw streamers and hoppers with ease. It'll cut through wind and deliver the payload on a dime. Lightweight with ample backbone, the Sector is it.

RIO Grand ELITE Fly Line

RIO took their classic fly line tapers and made them better with the ELITE series. The ELITE fly lines are made with SlickCast technology. That means longer casts, more efficient casting strokes and easier mending. Additionally, the SlickCast coatings are incredibly tough, durable and long-lasting. RIOs tests show that lines with a SlickCast coating last 140% longer in an abrasion test than everything else we tested.

The all-new series of ELITE fly lines from RIO are not only finished with SlickCast, but RIO has also improved on their innovative low-stretch ConnectCore technology with ConnectCorePlus. This means the all-new ELITE series featured the added benefit of having incredible levels of sensitivity when casting and fishing, and providing enhanced detection of takes, faster hook sets, and far greater control when playing a fish.

The RIO Grand is made to deliver big bugs, foam or otherwise to the bank on the modern-day fast action fly rods.

Fishpond Thunderhead Rod And Reel Case - 2 Piece Rods

Whether you're looking to safely stow your fly rods on your raft or you want to carry your fly rods to river low key, the Fishpond Thunderhead Rod & Reel case is a unique and fantastic option for your next trip to the water. The Fishpond Thunderhead Rod & Reel Case features crushproof rod tube inserts and a molded end cap to make sure your most valuable pieces of gear stay protected. It's available in two sizes: 2-piece rods and 4-piece rods.

Umpqua Perform X Leader & Tippet

Our good friends at Umpqua launched their new Nylon and Fluorocarbon leader & tippet and we're big fans. The Nylon tippet is called Perform X and it's perfect for throwing big terrestrials at the bank. Perform X delivers the Holy Grail in tippet performance – brute strength and resiliency.

The three-layer construction gives Perform X leader and tippet unique properties. Our core offers the right blend of strength and suppleness to allow a perfectly dead drifted fly to entice the wariest trout, while a secret blend results in the strength to bring the fish to net. Perform X features a Hydrophobic coating keeps the nylon from absorbing water throughout the day which historically results in weaker knots and overall tinsel strength. The third layer is a continuous coating that creates smooth, consistent, and reliable material. All of our X rated tippet includes a custom Umpqua ProBand to keep tippet at the ready, right where you left it.

Nautilus NVG 6/7

Some might argue that the drag and performance of the Nautilus NVG is overkill for a trout stream. To that, we'd argue that sure...yeah...maybe it is. But, counterpoint, maybe it's just right.

The NV series feature a larger version of the CCF drag system compared to their Nautilus CCF siblings, and stainless steel components have largely been replaced by ceramics and titanium. The only aspect in which the reel is exceeded in performance is by its slender looks and subtle beauty. Machined entirely out of aircraft-grade Aluminum, no details have been omitted: from its low profile drag knob and counterweight to the 100 and 200 yard backing markers on the inside of the spool. These reels will impress you.

Fishpond Largemouth PIOPOD (Pack it Out) Microtrash Container

Whether you're trying to keep your boat clean or your rig free of garbage, the Largemouth PIOPOD is an excellent addition to your kit. They're great for storing trashed tippet and flies and keeping microtrash out of your favorite fisheries.

High N Dry Powdered Floatant and Desiccant

Eventually your files will become waterlogged, or slimed by a great fish. The High N Dry Powder is terrific for those fly-fishers that prefer a shake and dry floatant, but can also be used to revive that drowned fly and then refloated with their Gel or Liquid Floatants.

Staff Picked Flies

With thousands of hours of experience on the water around the Rocky Mountains, let us pick out flies for your next trip to your favorite fishery. Let us pick out our favorite foam bugs for you.

Fishpond Lowcountry Hat

The Lowcountry Hat offers distinctly western accents while preserving a timeless coastal style. Designed for all-day protection, the flat brim and a low, pinched crown of this hat will stand up to the rigors of years under the sun. The Lowcountry is right at home poling a skiff around an endless coastal marsh or enjoying a laid back afternoon on the river.

Simms Solarflex Hoody - Print

We're in the dog days of summer and you need protection from the suns harmful rays more than ever. August is the time to cover yourself with Simms' SolarFlex® Hoodie. The quick-drying comfort and UPF 50 sun protection of lightweight COR3™ fabric let you keep chasing that elusive two-footer through the dog days of summer. The durable and flexible sleeve construction supports a range of movement, letting you cast from any angle. The hoodie features a flat-seam finish that creates a plush, next-to-skin feel.

Yeti Hopper Flip 18 Soft Cooler

Remember those choice beverages we mentioned. Well, those need to stay cold and so do your cold cuts. The bigger build suits your larger hauls and longer expeditions. Set out with your lunch while you work for your dinner, and have a couple cold ones to kick back with after. Hopper Flip 18 is durable, leakproof and versatile with the HitchPoint™ Grid for tools and accessories. And like all YETI coolers, it’s equipped with superior insulation to keep the cold for days.

Scientific Anglers Tippet Rings

Save your leader and add a tippet ring. Tippet rings create a strong connection between your leader and tippet, that don’t require you to cut back your leader every time you need to add additional tippet.

Umpqua LT Payload Boat Box

Leaf through your big river bugs like your favorite book with the Umpqua LT Payload Boat Box. This high capacity box will easily hold the largest streamers and bass bugs down to any standard dries and nymphs with a "high" side and a "standard" side to offer appropriate headroom for any fly fishing adventure. See-through lids allow for easy fly ID and magnetic lid and swing leaf (replaceable) closures offer easy access.

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