Welcome to Eye of the Guide

Part Twenty-four

Bob Krumm
By Bob Krumm

Last Thursday, Friday, and part of Saturday I had the privilege of attending the Fly Tackle Retailer's Show in Salt Lake City as a guest of W.L. Gore and Associates. Mike Craig, former owner of the Bighorn Angler, and I were autographing posters of the Gore Tex ad showing Paul Dubas and us in front of the car body rip-rap on the Bighorn River. A portion of that poster is above.

While Mike and I signed a lot of posters, we also had time to sneak away and view some of the new products for 1999.

One of the products that Mike was really impressed with was a water filter squeeze bottle that allowed a person to scoop up water from a stream, squeeze the bottle, and drink pure water untainted by any bacteria. Mike said the bottle had two 2 micron filters. (Giardia is 5 microns in diameter). Mike contends that such a filter bottle would allow recreationists to drink from the waters they are recreating at and eliminate having to lug along lots of water or a bulky filter system.

Safe Water Anywhere, 111 W. 9th St., Durango, Colorado makes the filter bottle. A half liter bottle costs $34.95 retail; a liter bottle, $39.95. You can also purchase extra filters.

My discoveries were more along the line of fly fishing and fly tying equipment and materials.

My friend, Shim Hogan, owner of Angler's Choice, (Gone Fishing Enterprises of Custer, Washington) has expanded on his line of Super Floss and now has 30 colors of one of the best fly tying materials to ever hit the market.

Hogan also has developed a product called Poly-Bear Hair. It is a "blend of polypropylene fibers and Angel Hair for just the right amount of glitter." He contends that Poly-Bear Hair won't absorb water and is great for use in large, bulky flies because they won't get heavy after a few casts. Hogan also says, "Poly-Bear Hair is much more durable than calf tail or buck tail."

Another product that Hogan has developed is A.C. non-toxic eyes, cones and beads. These are 90 percent the weight of pure lead and come in a full range of sizes, styles and weights. The eyes are injection molded from a "high specific gravity" rubber compound. All the eyes are uniform and come in two styles - hourglass and dumbbell. Hogan mentioned to me that "though the eyes have a rubber compound in them, they still hurt like hell when you hit yourself in the back of the head."

Al and Gretchen Beatty have a fly fishing products business in Delta, Colorado, entitled BT'S Fly Fishing Products. One of the products that they carry that really pleased me was an inexpensive, yet very rugged and functional large arbor fly reel. The DanReel retails for $60.00. The large arbor reel provides low start friction - low line memory - fast reeling - low sound removable click - extreme light weight. If you have been looking for a good, reliable fly reel at a reasonable price, check this one out.

Wapsi of Mountain Home, Arkansas has been in the wholesale fly tying products end of things since I have been a fly tyer (over 30 years). This year Wapsi has add a number of new products that are worth taking a look at.

They have come up with a copper wire size that they have called "brassie" since it falls in between their medium and small sizes of wire. The wire is the perfect diameter for tying brassies. Incidentally, Wapsi has added color to their copper wire: black. This will be ideal for tying that dark midge pupa pattern that appears on the Bighorn in April and May.

Wapsi also has developed a small bead for the bead-head fly. Wapsi's Cyclops eyes come in sizes 5/64 inch diameter to 3/16 inch diameter. The smaller size would be ideal for the size 18 and 20 bead head patterns of midges and mayflies.

Wapsi also has a small, very small, diameter yarn entitled "wee wool yarn." This will be just ideal for the small fly patterns where a tyer wants to use a yarn body, rather than dub it on.

There were so many other products at the show that I should mention, but I've run out of time and space. Suffice it to say that Dan Bailey's has bunch of new products for 1999 as does the Winston Rod Company. You will just have to wait until your local fly shop gets those products in, or your could call and ask for a catalog. Anyway, I can hardly wait to get my hands on these new toys and try them!
~ Bob Krumm

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