Gray’s Gear & Lifestyle – Fly Fishing 2019

While we’d all like to fish for weeks at a time from rustic lodges far from home, the truth of the matter is, most of our windows of opportunity come on short notice, in one- or two-day stretches, within driving distance of the house. For these far-more-common scenarios, wise fishermen know packing light and remaining nimble are the secret to quickly escaping for a brief sojourn to nearby water. Filson knows it, too. That’s why it created the Rugged Twill Compact Rod Case ($375), a water-repellent, abrasion-resistant carrier with room for a pair of 9-foot, four-piece rods with tubes plus plenty of space in its two outer pockets for reels, fly boxes, and accessories. With its stylish bridle-leather strap, the case is perfect for hanging on a hook beside your back door, where it will not only wait patiently for your next opportunity to slip away, but also make sure you look good doing it. www.filson.com

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Orvis and Michelin have long been highly respected industry leaders in their respective fields, but the closest you’ve probably come to putting them together is rolling your rig to a favorite fishing spot atop a trusty set of tires. That’s about to change with the Orvis Pro Wading Boots ($229), a collaborative effort between the Orvis Research and Development team and engineers from Michelin’s rubber division. While the boots are designed for the angler who walks miles over rough terrain and fishes hard all day, they’re also perfect for those who need a bit more support and stability to stay steady in the stream. A generously padded tongue and collar, paired with a pull tab at the heel, give the Pro comfort and accessibility that rival a favorite pair of hiking boots. But it’s the exclusive tread pattern, inspired by Michelin’s agricultural tractor tires, that makes for better adhesion to slippery surfaces. A self-cleaning design makes sure each step washes the boot free of mud, clay, or river slime to ensure maximum traction. www.orvis.com

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Every fisherman understands that not all reels are created equal, and thanks to Finn Utility, the same can now be said of the cases that store them. The Sutherland Reel Case is made of extremely soft, 3 /8-inch felted wool, and its simple, hand-sewn pocket comes in two different sizes to suit your needs. The smaller ($78) fits reels 3/4/5 and measures 3½ inches deep by 3½ inches long, while the larger ($98) is designed for sizes 7/8/9 with two additional inches of depth and length. Each lives up to the Vermont-based company’s goal of creating uniquely beautiful products that get better with age. www.finnutility.com

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Hook & Gaff recognizes that outdoorsmen and gentlemen are often one and the same. That’s why it creates timepieces that are equally at home on the boat or in the boardroom. The newest addition to its hand-assembled, American-made product line is the King Tide ($525), an analog watch that tracks the tide at your specific location. Meanwhile, 24-hour tritium technology gives it continuously illuminated hour markers and hands, making it the ideal choice for any angler who leaves port before the sun comes up. Watertight to 200 meters, it’s available in white, blue, or gray dial colors and can be dressed up or down for most any occasion, thanks to a wide variety of band options. The result is high performance on the water paired with stylish practicality ashore. www.hookandgaff.com

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Since its inception in 1973, Ross Reels has carved an enviable niche for itself in the fly fishing world by consistently building overperforming, underpriced reels from its home base of Montrose, Colorado. For many anglers, its Gunnison and Cimmaron models of years ago were the first high-quality reels we ever owned—and the fortunate among us still have them in our arsenals. Now, Ross is at it again with the newly designed Animas ($295), which features an increased arbor size, a canvas reel handle, and a machined silhouette of the Rocky Mountains on the back side of the reel. It’s also substantially lighter than its predecessors, while upgraded components increase the strength of an already reliable drag system. www.rossreels.com

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Few sporting apparel companies today are threading the needle between tailored excellence and rugged quality as well as Ball & Buck. With its new dry-waxed cotton, water-resistant pullover, the Anorak 2.0 ($348), it has again created a highly functional garment that is both outstanding afield while maintaining a look of gentlemanly refinement. Solid brass antique hardware, genuine leather cording, and roll-tab dual breast pockets make sure you’re covered from a style perspective, while tool attachment D-Rings, a generous front pouch, adjustable Velcro cuffs, and their proprietary Versa Patch attachable fly system mean you’re always prepared on the stream. A waist leather drawstring clinches tight to keep the foul weather out and your body heat intact. www.ballandbuck.com