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Trouts Journal

Top 5 For Fall: Kyle Wilkinson

Ivan Orsic / Nov 11, 2014

As I look out the window writing this, it seems perhaps the title should be "Top 5 For Winter"....snow is flying for the first time of the year in Denver and even if I may not personally be excited about this, I know it's a good thing.

Over the next several weeks we'll repeat this theme featuring other shop employees. One of my favorite aspects about fly fishing is how everyone has their own (typically well formed-if even just in their mind) opinions on gear, flies, fly lines, etc. No two anglers fish the exact same way, prefer the exact same gear, or always use the exact same fly rigs........yet somehow we typically all still manage to catch a few fish.

One thing I am excited about though is the fishing to be done over the next few months. I love Fall and Winter fishing (and yes I realize that in a few more months I'll be saying 'I love Spring fishing'...fast forward to next June and we'll swap out the term 'Spring' for 'Summer'....am I the only one noticing a trend in the lens through which I view the world?) Either way, life-choice reflection aside, one thing can be counted on with as much certainty as the phrase "I love fishing"...is that if I'm going to be on the water, I want to put the odds in my favor. Below are the top 5 things around the shop that I'm most excited about currently....and that will definitely keep the odds in my favor this fall and (with any luck) a few fish in my net.

1. Simms Kinetic Jacket- I've mentioned this piece of outerwear in a previous post as a no-brainer, gotta-have-it piece of gear. Everything about this hybrid fleece/puffy jacket is tailor made to keep you comfortable on the water. The Primaloft gold insulation retains warmth even when wet so you need fear not submerging past wrist deep when you happen to hook the giant you've been searching all fall for. The stretchy fleece used on the side panels and underarms compliments those big, stretched out double hauls when slinging streamers all day is on the menu.

2. Winston BIII-LS Fly Rod- You can bet I'll be putting the 5wt version of this rod through the paces in the upcoming months. Here's why--Winter fishing and tailwaters go hand in hand. Additionally, tailwaters and big fish also go hand in hand. When it comes to big fish in technical waters, you want a rod able to deliver deadly accurate casts, however with the backbone to let the big one know who's boss. This 5 wt has the backbone to take whatever you want to dish out. Pair that with the tippet protecting "softness" synonymous with a Winston, and what you get is the perfect combo of power and stealth often necessary to hook the bign's in this state.

3. Simms G4 Stockingfoot Waders- After 6 years with my old pair of Simms Guide waders, they finally saw their last day on the river a few months back. While those waders and I had a lot of great days together, it seemed fitting they gave out when they did. Summer was approaching and I love wet wading. About two months ago though, as the mornings started to get cooler, and quite frankly after three months of riding home wet and being quite sick of it, I decided I better order a new pair. The G4 Stockingfoots fit the bill perfectly. The pocket layout and padded shoulder straps make all day wear very enjoyable...plus let's be honest, they just look badass. Yes, the G4's will be a constant companion of mine until next summer- which looking out the window right now, feels a LONG ways away.

4. Simms G3 Guide Boot- 2014 was a big year for me in the wading department. After 2 years of success wearing the Simms Rivertek BOA boots, they finally saw their last day on the water as well. My first thought was to simply get another pair of these...however upon recommendation of another one of our guides, Scott Dickson, I decided to try on the G3's. Game over. The dual density sole works exactly as billed and allows me to maintain an incredible amount of feel with the riverbed. It's one thing to take a spill in the summer when it's 85 out. It's a whole different deal repeating this scenario when it's 35 out. I feel confident these boots will give the stability and grip I need to stay in control as the Farenheit continues to fall. In simplest terms, these are hands down the most comfortable wading boot I've ever worn. I've said it a hundred times and I'll say it again now, I literally get sad when I have to take them off at the end of the day. They're that comfortable.

5. Costa Del Mar Blackfin 580G Sunglasses- One of the best ways to catch a big fish in Colorado is by sight fishing. One of the best times of year to sight fish is upon us. Rule number 1 to follow then if you're planning on doing some sight fishing....you better be able to see the fish in the water. Costa's 580 series of sunglasses have been around for a number of years now and for good reason. Crystal clear glass lenses, comfortable frames/nose piece and built to perform- these have been my go-to lens for almost 10 years now and I don't see this changing anytime soon.

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