TAD INGLES, Denver Office Manager "
As winter finally starts to lose its grip along the Front Range and daytime temperatures begin to warm up, there is a hidden fishing season upon us here in the Centennial State. Dubbed The Fifth Season here at Trouts Fly Fishing, there is no better way to combat the inevitable cabin fever that sets in around this time of year than with some early springtime fishing.
The Fifth Season holds a lot of weight here in Colorado. During this period, anglers get a glimpse at the abundant bug life found in our favorite freestone and tailwater river systems, a sign that warmer, longer days are right around the corner. Often during the Fifth Season, you might find fish holding a bit higher in the water column than they have previously. With that general change in holding patterns, their curiosity to eat is more significant. That is where you, as an angler, come into play.
Even though your days during this time of year may start with a down puffy and mittens, with the sun holding higher in the sky, you may find yourself shedding those extra layers and ending the day in a lightweight button-up shirt. May I suggest the Brackett LS?
Since the Fifth season is upon us, we decided to open it up with a few pieces of fly fishing gear that will allow you to maximize your time on the water.
For the anglers looking to glean the most value out of their fly rods, the NRX + is one of the best options around. Noted as one of the BEST “bang for your buck” fly rods in production, the NRX+ comes equipped with components that would make even the most selective anglers happy. Purpose-built to withstand edgy weather conditions an angler may find during the fifth season, the NRX+ maximizes versatility and adapts to many fly fishing scenarios.
When casting at ~ 30', an angler may find that the rod feels a bit stiff and, like many other fast action rods of its caliber, this is pretty common. However, as the angler makes longer casts, this fly rod starts to shine. At distances of 40'-50,' the NRX+ is highly accurate. At this distance, anglers will notice the fly rod's power and the line speed that rivals the more expensive rods on the market. When paired with a high-quality fly line, like the Scientific Anglers MPX, the NRX+ loads exceptionally well, allowing the angler to make consistent loops with much less effort.
Beyond 50', this rod still performs exceptionally well, holding its responsiveness and maintaining its accuracy. The NRX+ is a workhorse and deserves a spot in every angler's quiver, especially during The Fifth Season.
Whether throwing dry flies to risers or throwing streamers from the back of the boat, the NRX+ will outperform fly rods far and above its price range.
Nautilus fly reels are among the hottest fly reels on the market, and for a good reason. Nautilus Fly Reels has a long and storied history in the saltwater fly fishing world. Born out of sunny South Florida, the same consistency found in their saltwater fly reels comes to fruition in their smaller freshwater fly reel series, specifically the XM. This fly reel is perfect for any trout rod in the 4-5WT category.
Featuring a large but not oversized drag knob for effortless drag adjustment, the XM features a beautiful open-frame reel designed to be lightweight, strong, and pick-up line efficiently. Equipped with Nautilus's popular SCF-X drag system, the X series, including the XM, are virtually corrosion resistant and feature a thermoplastic disc drag system that performs well no matter the conditions.
The highly ventilated arch design, coupled with the dual palming rim, increases spool strength by 35 %. The sides of the frame leave the spool exposed, and the back spool rim has a generous 1/8" secondary palming edge for added fish control. This heavy-duty secondary palming rim has the strength to withstand everyday wear and tear.
When precipitation is in the forecast, make sure you have the Simms Challenger Jacket on hand. Built with a 2-layer waterproof breathable Toray nylon blend that protects against any storm mother nature has to offer, the Simms Challenger Jacket is ideally at home when springtime sunshine turns into a cloudy stormy mess. Anglers can make sure their phone stays warm and dry with the micro brushed tricot liner on the inside chest pocket. The jacket also features Simms' "Kill switch" attachment at the bottom hem in case you go for a spill.
If you are planning to head out during the Fifth Season, expect precipitation to be in the forecast and, when it occurs, make sure you have a Challenger Jacket with you. And, if you are heading out with a buddy, make sure he has one too. You won't regret it.
As I mentioned previously, The Fifth Season is not all sunshine and rainbows; there will inevitably be snow days and rain in the forecast. And, when those events occur, you will be happy if you have a pair of the Simms Exstream Foldover Mitts handy. Designed by Simms to be the most weatherproof, highest-grade insulated fishing mitt on the market, Simms made sure anglers won't ever have to worry about cold fingers ever again. They are equipped with an innovative overmitt storage system while also featuring a waterproof, durable GORE-TEX® 2L shell fabric with 100g Primaloft® Gold insulation and GORE-TEX Infinium™ stretch fleece on the palm. In short, these bad boys will keep your hands and fingers warm all day long.
The Rock Creek ZS2 from Umpqua feather merchants is a perfect blend of form and function, making it an ideal companion for an angler on the water this spring. The inside storage space is enough to fit a single fly box, a couple of leader packets, and a few spools of tippet. And, if the weather calls for it, a bottle of Shimazaki Dry Shake. For the angler looking to maximize their time on the water, the Rock Creek ZS2 was designed for the angler who knows what they need when they hit the water.
Featuring a 4 point harness system, the Rock Creek ZS2 gives complete angler control over the fit of the chest pack. Along with a MOLLE system, anglers can customize their chest pack to suit their day-to-day needs. In terms of functionality, Umpqua worked with various individuals to make sure the chest pack does not catch or bind onto your fly line or other pieces of gear.
The simple truth is that the ZS2 Rock Creek is a comfortable chest pack that stays out of the way all day long.
Based out of Salt Lake City, Rising is a perfect example of the high-quality craftsmanship and manufacturing the United States is capable of. Especially when it comes to fly fishing gear, their Stubby Lunker fishing net is a must-have for those looking to venture out during the fifth season and beyond. This net combines the Rising Lunker net shortened up with a 10" handle. If you are an angler who needs a durable net with versatility in terms of length, color combos, AND a net that won't snag up on a tree, the Rising Stubby Lunker is the best tool for the job. A net designed to net those massive fish you'll find during the spring and built to last a lifetime, it's hard to go wrong with the Rising Stubby Lunker.
BEERS. Or seltzers are kind of a must-have during this time of year. As the weather warms up, there isn't much that can replace a liquid turkey sandwich (that's a Budwiser for you young folk out there). Whether it is a Budwiser, La Croix, or Seltzer, make sure it stays cold and make sure it is at the ready with the fishpond River Rat 2.0 attachable koozie.
Over the course of the week, we will be providing more insight into the Fifth Season. If you are interested in learning more about the Fifth Season, feel free to swing by the shop so we can get you dialed in for the days and weeks ahead. This is truly an amazing time to fish here in Colorado, and we here at Trouts want to make sure that your time on the water is time well spent.