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Trouts Journal

GEAR GUIDE || Nine Picks for Late Winter Dry Flies

Ivan Orsic / Feb 28, 2021

While a hilarious amount of snow covered the Front Range last week, a quick look at the forecast and it's clear that we're in late winter with spring right around the corner. While we all know that there should be plenty of winter weather in our future, the beginning of March means that our favorite rivers are going to start to wake from their winter slumber.

With that, comes blanket hatches of midges and soon enough...blue-winged olives. It's best to be prepared for when those bugs emerge and the trout key in on that surface fare.

With that in mind, we've put together a collection of gear that will help you get ready to toss dry flies throughout late winter and into early spring.

Winston Pure Fly Rod

The Pure is tailor-made for throwing small dry flies. Moderate action with quick recovery that allows for open loops for fine dry fly presentation along with the ability to generate faster line speed as required for different conditions. Designed and made in Twin Bridges, Montana, it's hard to beat the Pure for slinging dries to pods of risers.

Abel TR Fly Reel

Light tippets are required to fool wary trout. There's nothing more satisfying than palming your reel as a fish screams downstream.

Crafted by Abel's expert machinists in Montrose, Colorado, the TR is a lightweight masterpiece. An integrated precision-balanced clicker on the spool eliminates the need for a counterweight, yielding a clean look and retaining an iconic click-pawl sound. The pronounced palming rim is deliberately shaped to manually control drag pressure in all fishing conditions.

This Deep Blue would look awful nice on that Winston Pure. A little olive...a little blue and an ode to one of our favorite hatches.

Premier RIO Technical Trout Fly Line

Sometimes long, delicate, precise presentations are required when you're picking out a target in a pod of rising fish.

RIO’s TECHNICAL TROUT line features a long, fine front taper for the lightest of presentations and delicacy and is the ideal choice of line when fishing dry flies, nymphs, soft hackles and emergers to tricky eaters at distance. The line has a long head and back taper to increase loop control when carrying long lengths, and for making precise casts to rising fish, while the weight distribution makes it easy to turn over long leaders for technical feeders at range.

This line is built with SlickCast, RIO's proprietary coating technology, which creates the slickest, most durable fly lines on the market. Lab tests show that lines built with SlickCast have the least amount of friction ever measured in a fly line. In addition, the line features MaxFloat Tip Technology, RIO's proprietary tip coating formula that floats more than twice as high as regular line tips, without any increase in diameter.

Tiemco Shimazaki Dry Shake Liquid

Tiemco's liquid version of the Shimazaki Dry Shake. This new Liquid floatant with “Dry Shake” powder offers an easier and more effective application. Just "dip" your fly into the liquid, shake the excess off and in seconds your fly is dry and ready to float high for the duration of that blanket midge hatch.

Umpqua Perform X Trout Leader

This is your go-to leader for most situations. Umpqua Trout Leaders, in all three lengths, feature exclusive taper designs to ensure a perfect blend of power and delicacy that are perfect for turning over double tiny dry fly rigs with precision and touch.

Rising Ultralight

We love the Ultralights from Rising. With smooth tapered tips, serrated scissors, an internal spring, and an attachment hole, they're the perfect do-it-all tool that'll make changing flies and rigs easier, so you can get back to fishing in no time.

Fishpond Sabalo Lightweight Visor

Sure, this visor might not scream trout. In fact, it's rocking a tarpon patch. But, you can't contain the power of a styling visor. Nothing says confidence like letting your lettuce flow in the late winter breeze. As we power through the end of winter, you've gotta think warm thoughts. This Sabalo Lightweight Visor is the penultimate warm thoughts piece of gear.

Orvis Guide Hip Pack

For those who love an unencumbered feel while fly fishing, whether a guide or hardcore angler, the Orvis Guide Hip Pack offers 9 liters of capacity and a highly innovative design to please any organizational perfectionist. The 100% recycled CORDURA® ECO Guide Hip Pack has the new Tippet Whippet recessed docking station with tippet bar included for instant, fixed, and fumble-free access for up to six spools.

The large main compartment is topped with a large fly patch and inside are a zip pocket, drop-in pockets, and stretch mesh sorting pockets. Smaller front compartment with mesh pockets. The substantial side panels both have zip pockets and hidden net scabbards that store a net with instant access. A lo-pro zinger/nipper pass-through port and small zip pocket on one side and a water bottle holder on the other. Included are two straps, one lightweight neck strap and one heavier shoulder strap with multiple docking stations, a zip pocket, and fly patch.

Simms ExStream Hooded Jacket

Look, it's still winter...even when it's late winter or even early spring. Stay warm with the ExStream Hooded Jacket. Maximum warmth meets minimum weight. Simms' ExStream Jacket is a toasty, water-shedding layering pro that syncs perfectly under waders or on its own.

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