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Archive for February 2014


Most people don’t expect to trip and fall while walking from the cubicle to the water cooler, just as most fly fishers don’t expect to end up ass over tea kettle in the waters they’re plying. However, as we all know, things happen, and it can be a relief to know that thanks to a weatherproof pack your day isn’t shot just because of an errant foot.

Weatherproof packs are nothing new, dry bags with pack straps have been around even before i got into the outdoor industry some 25 years ago. While those packs were easliy capable of descending class IV rapids in one piece, they were hardly suited for day hikes and easy access. Their roll top design assuredly kept out the water, but it also kept one from casually entering and exiting the pack on a regular basis, point A to B being it’s call in life.

As all fly fishers know, constant access to tippet, flies and snacks is a must, and it’s here that the new era of weatherproof fly fishing packs shine. The Gale Force Pack from Orvis is a prime example of a simple pack that is fully capable of handling all the abuse that a sane (or semi-sane) angler can dish out while simultaneously protecting the contents and allowing easy access to them.


The body of the Gale Force pack is constructed of a polyurethane-coated nylon fabric that not only shuns tears and scuffs while entering and exiting various watercraft, it also brushes aside the menacing branches of cedar trees with aplomb while bush whacking, something the constantly ravaged tissue of my forearms surely aspires to. The YKK water-resistant zipper that provides such easy access to the packs innards is also non-corrosive making it highly suitable to the harshest salt water conditions that i hope to eventually subject it to.

One of the highlights of the pack is the outside pocket with a vertical zipper that allows easy access by removing the right shoulder strap and slinging the pack around, perfect for retreiving items like flyboxes that require constant access to. While the easy access is awesome, my only issue with the pack is that i wish the zipper was located on the opposite side so that the dominant right hander in me could sling the pack around to the much more convenient right side of my body (petty, i know.)

Other well thought out features such as external side pockets that double as water bottle or rod holders (in conjunction with the two side straps), an inside mesh organizer and external clips that allow you to add additional packs will give you a bag that can grow as your wallet and needs see fit. All of these features and more make this a pack to be reckoned with, especially for the price.

Soaking Victims

While any pack out there will doubtlessly get an angler by, there is a lot to be said for a pack that can be stuffed with all matter of gear, including cameras and dry clothing, strapped to the deck of a paddle board, or slung on the back and forgotten without further thought as one paddles on, or stealthaliy skirts the waters that fish call home. The Gale Force does this to a T, enabling you to focus on the fishing instead of the water. When eventually things do hit the fan (as they did in the above photo) you’ll be happy to know that despite your misplaced foot and consequent dunking, dry clothes and camera are safe and secure, enabling you to get warm, document the misadventure and continue with the fishing.

To check out the Gale Force and the packs it can be paired with, visit

Be sure to check out the excellent video review from below to see the pack in action.

Truth: To be honest, i did receive this pack for free to review from the fine folks at Orvis in Austin, TX. But as gar is my witness, every word, critical and otherwise is true. Tested with nine months of hard core abuse trout fishing in Colorado and foraging new paths through the thickest cedar jungles of central Texas and it still looks like new. 


A true beauty spotted on the Guadalupe River during Troutfest. Hop on Instagram with your mobile device and check out #fishridedaydream to scope out other fishing vehicles we’ve spotted and lusted over, as well as to submit your own photos!


Our popular “Keyboard Logo” trucker hat is now available in a sweet red, white, and blue trucker hat that’s sure to catch the attention of bass, steelhead and the fly fishing paparazzi.

Head over to  to pick up your own lid (while they last).

Note: This hat’s ideal night is plugging quarters in the jukebox to hear the Beastie Boy’s “License to Ill”, drinking P.B.R.’s, and playing foosball until closing time. During the day it nurses P.B.R. hangovers with Gatorade, and prefers streamers or poppers.


As another trout season starts to wind down with the advent of warmer weather, the annual Troutfest festival thrown by our local Trout Unlimited chapter, the Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited, makes a fitting book end to an interesting season of low flows and chilling weather.

If trout aren’t necessarily your thing, have no fear, Troutfest is a much bigger celebration than the name suggests. Casting events, vendor booths, and presentations from such luminaries as Charlie Craven, Fred Smethurst (of Felt Soul Media infamy), and David Whitlock. Best of all? IT”S TOTALLY FREE!

For those that can hang our on the banks of the Guadalupe well after dark, Saturday night will also feature a showing of the Fly Fishing Film Tour.

I’ll be there all Saturday and will be giving away some random prizes including die Fische schwag, so be sure to follow us on Twitter to stay in the loop. Flag me down and say “Hi” if you feel so inclined.

Oh yeah, totally bringing my copy of Easter Rises for Fred to sign.

P.S.  If you’re asking “How great is Troutfest?”, i submit to you this photo taken of me and one of my heroes at last years event. Big F-ing smile for me, i promise you.