GRAY’S GEAR & LIFESTYLE: Summer 2020

When we first met VEDAVOO founder Scott Hunter roughly 10 years ago, he was sitting alone behind a solitary table at the annual Fly Tackle Retailer Show. Before him were displayed a few modest prototypes he’d created in his garage only months earlier, after buying a used sewing machine off the internet and setting out to pursue his dream of creating comfortable, versatile, and American-made fly fishing products. What Vedavoo has since become is a good old-fashioned success story born of hard work, innovation, and an unwavering dedication to quality. The new Rod Quiver ($200) is a testament to all that and more: a rugged, easy-to-carry padded package that allows you to safely travel with as many as four 4-piece rods. Depending upon your needs, it can either fold flat or be rolled up for added protection. Rod sections slide easily into a series of perfectly sized pockets on either side of a central leaf. The quiver is also ideal for consolidated storage of rods that don’t have tubes, an affliction that mysteriously seems to impact us all. www.vedavoo.com


Austin-based HOWLER BROTHERS has made a mission of celebrating the finer things in life. Fishing, paddling, surfing, music, and spending time around the firepit are the cornerstones upon which founders Chase Heard and Andy Stepanian built the brand in 2010. They’ve been trying to corner the market on good times ever since. In the process, Howler developed a well-earned reputation for crafting limited run, high-quality garments that draw inspiration from things they love. This year, it added a pair of excellent shirts to its collection with the short-sleeved Airwave ($69) and the long- or short-sleeved H Bar B Snapshirt ($89), both of which offer UPF 35 sun protection, have a sunglass-cleaning microfiber at the hem, and are ideal to wear during time spent on the water or manning the grill. The Airwave is the lightest shirt Howler has ever made, while the H Bar B showcases snap buttons and a western flair. Additional features for both include wrinkle-resistance, a vented back yoke, and stretch fit for improved range of motion. To add some adventure to your wardrobe, review your options at www.howlerbros.com. Chase and Andy are also excellent musicians, and the folksy bluegrass of the Wrinkle Neck Mules is well worth a listen at www.wrinkleneckmules.com.


When Tanner Sutton left his guiding gig in Montana 10 years ago, he packed his bags for Charleston, South Carolina, intent on creating a new brand of performance apparel that would be less tactical and more comfortable. He soon teamed with his sister and brother-in-law, both of whom departed Nike to pursue a shared dream of getting outside and living life on their terms. Together, the trio found the answer it was looking for in the buttery-soft, quick-drying, odor-resistant goodness of bamboo fabric blends. Today, FREE FLY APPAREL can be found in more than 400 specialty retailers and is one of the fastest-growing apparel companies in the country. Its redesigned Nomad pants ($89) are the ultimate boat-to-bar garment, perfect for wading the flats or an evening concert with friends. The Nomad boasts a twill finish with four-way stretch, 50 UPF, and a level of casual comfort rarely found in a garment that is perfect for so many occasions. www.freeflyapparel.com