Last week, Josh Graffam from Umpqua Feather Merchants stopped by Trouts Fly Fishing in his shiny new GMC Sierra to show us the BRAND NEW Zero Sweep Pack, Bag and Vest product line for this Fall. Just when you thought Umpqua had settled into the packs and bags category, they now have an all-new line made up of revitalized and redesigned signature pieces, and some entirely new and innovative products as well.
Before I dive into the awesome new packs and bags, Josh and I had a few minutes to catch up and discuss Team USA’s Silver Medal finish at the 35th World Fly Fishing Championship in Bosnia. Josh said the fishing conditions were tough on top of competing with 27 top-notch teams from around the world. Each team competed over three days at various rivers and lakes where the combined total lengths of fish caught determined overall place. Spain took the Gold, USA silver and this year’s host Bosnia took the Bronze. Next year the 36th World Fly Fishing Championship will be held here in Colorado in Vail, CO, we can’t wait!
As Josh showed off the new product line, the term Zero Sweep was brought up and I have to admit I was intrigued from the start. Umpqua’s internal design team collaborated with former Special Operations Veterans and Members of Discover Courage to implement a new, snag-free way to store and easily access your tools you need on the water. Often times, before a Special Forces team jumps out of an airplane, a sweep check is performed to make sure everything is in place and nothing can be accidently snagged. With this process in mind, Umpqua introduces Zero Sweep to give you more time on the water and less time untangling line caught on buckles, nippers, hemostats, retractors, fly patches and all the other crazy stuff we all tend to dangle off our packs. By creating a unique system of ports and attachment points, all of your go-to-tools are snag-free yet still available at your fingertips for easy use.
This is a minimalist dream come true. Bandoliers have traditionally been used for ammunition carried over either shoulder and now you can carry your fly fishing arsenal comfortably the same way. A main compartment holds two large fly boxes and two side pockets hold accessories/tippet. Two Zero Sweep retractor stations, a Zero Sweep tool sheath and Zero Sweep foam fly patch rough out this stream-assault pack.
The new Ambi-Sling has a uniquely designed shoulder strap that can be set up for either orientation without sacrificing functionality. This medium sling has a large compartment for boxes, jacet, camera, etc., a secondary pocket for accessories and a separate water bottle pocket. Most pockets have access/closures on either side for ambidextrous access.