How about this one? Straight from the pages 21 and 22 of an old Filson catalog it doesn’t get more vintage than this. Read more about Filson history here.
How about this one? Straight from the pages 21 and 22 of an old Filson catalog it doesn’t get more vintage than this. Read more about Filson history here.
For us, Father’s Day is a very special holiday to give thanks and honor our father figures who have taught us so many lessons and been a best friend since the beginning. For those of you looking to honor and treat your father this Father’s Day we have new products that are perfect! This year we’re excited to release new Filson gear and specials for the holiday as well as launch our 2nd Annual Father’s Day Facebook contest. Tell us a story about why you admire the father figure in your life, for a chance to win a Tin Cloth Cruiser Vest as well as a feature on this very blog, Filson Life!
Also, some new products and deals to keep your eyes on for dad.
Brian McGeehan has been a fly fishing guide for 17 years in both Colorado and Montana and owns Montana Angler Fly Fishing in Bozeman, MT. A fisherman’s job is never done, when it comes to fly fishing there is always more to learn. Brian helps us improve our catch rates just in time for summer fishing season!
As a Montana fly fishing guide and outfitter I spend my days working hard to help visiting anglers have a great experience on the water. While there is a lot more to a great guided fishing trip is a lot more than just catching, putting a few trout in the net never hurts! One of the great aspects of the sport of fly fishing is the complexity that it requires. While anglers can catch fish on their first outing, there is no shortage of new things to learn even for seasoned veterans. When I am on a guide trip I like to help my guests improve some of the fundamentals of the sport including casting mechanics, reading water, and understanding the river ecosystem. Some of these skills take more than just a few hours to develop so I also focus on a few quick tips that easily increase the number of fish to the net by the end of our day. These five tips almost instantly increase your productivity as an angler without requiring an enormous leap in your skillset.
Make shorter casts
The vast majority of fly fishers that I guide make much longer casts than are necessary to catch trout. Many variables play into how spooky a trout will be. When a fish is in very shallow water with glassy currents they can be extremely skittish and a cast of 40 or more feet may be required. In rough pocket water you can often approach a trout from less than ten feet away without spooking it. As casting length increases several things begin to work against you. Getting the correct presentation and drift on a fly is much more difficult when flies are farther away. The amount of time your flies spend on the water also decreases with longer casts since your flies spend more time in the air and less on the water. Finally, hook sets take longer when fishing at greater distance and you are less likely to actually hook a trout that takes the fly. By coaching anglers to move into closer range of their target, we almost always see an improvement in catch rates.
Make fewer false casts
While the image of Brad Pitt making repeated casts from that rock in the Gallatin River may look good on film, excess false casts just reduce your effective fishing time. I often encounter anglers that make 10 or more false casts in between presentations. When the flies are in the air trout can’t get them. often a single false cast is all that is needed to put the flies back into the feeding lane. By reducing false casts you can often quickly double your catch rate because your flies are now on twice as much.
Use foam flies when fishing attractor dries
Foam floats! If you are fortunate enough to be on the water when trout are taking attractor patterns or even smaller terrestrials, try some foam dry flies. Foam flies are often very durable and more importantly they don’t need treated regularly with floatants and never become water logged. When fishing with traditional flies constructed of hair, feather and fur significant time is used to treat the flies or change out flies when one becomes too water logged. Some smaller traditional dry flies also get pulled under water when mending the line which requires a new cast. With foam patterns the fly will float back to the surface after an overly aggressive mend.
Lead your flies when nymph fishing
When fishing subsurface nymph patterns many anglers either do not detect the strike in time (or at all) or they are too late on the hook set. This is often caused when there is too much slack between the fly line and the flies. By placing the rod tip downstream of the flies and leading the flies down the river you reduce the amount of slack between the line and the flies. Less slack means a quicker detection of strikes and a reduced time required to set the hook.
Use less weight when fishing nymphs
Over 90% of a trout’s diet is taken subsurface so it should be no surprise that nymph fishing is by far the most productive technique for catching trout under most conditions. Many anglers mistakenly assume that when fishing nymphs that the flies need to be dredging the bottom. While putting the flies directly on the bottom of a run may be needed when trout are not active, it is not required when trout are on the feed. Adding lots of split shot onto your leader increases your rate of tangles and also causes a dead spot in the leader that delays the detection of strikes. By fishing less weight anglers often greatly increase their catch rates. Nymph fishing is most effective in shallow riffles where trout move into when they are heavily on the feed. Many anglers seek out the deepest water they can find when nymph fishing even though the shallow water might be much more productive.
For more fishing tips from our guest bloggers click here.
Today, we took some time to dig through our archives and stumbled upon this gem. Our favorite line of the day, “Because through that experience we have learned thoroughly the requirements of the outdoor man, whether at work or at play”. These words still speak true to our goals and missions to provide the best for our customers.
Scott Linden of Wingshooting USA is a dear friend of Filson who has taught us many shooting tips and lessons in the field over the years. Scott helps us find more birds by scoping out their water sources in today’s lesson.
Birds need water. Not much, and not necessarily from the “usual suspects,” but almost every day. Though they don’t usually cooperate as they did one day in chukar country, when an acquaintance filled his gas tank with fuel and my buddy and I with hope. He predicted birds on a certain creek at a certain time.
And, he was right. At least that hot day in a drought season where the only water was scarce and in predictable locations. For all I know, he’d been there the day before, but I’m still grateful.
Most times, it doesn’t happen that way. We wander a creek bed to draw, swale to spring, searching for elusive game birds who some pundit said needed the life-giving fluid. So why aren’t they here? If only it was that simple.
One way to find more birds is to find their water source, then put yourself between the birds and their water. But if it was easy, there’d be fewer birds in the field and more bragging hunters in the local tavern.
The fact of the matter is, birds don’t have watches. Weather, time of year, and for all I know, the alignment of the planets will affect a bird’s schedule and water needs. Early in the season, they are most likely to head for open water: creeks, streams or a pond. They will travel some distances to get it too. Biologists tell us up to a mile, maybe more in a crisis.
But all water spots aren’t marked on a map. Springs, seeps, roadside ditches, irrigation canals all proffer enough moisture to sustain life in a game bird. Watch for green spots in an arid landscape, ask locals, and get creative. I’ve found birds at cattle tanks and dripping windmill trough.
They’ll visit that water once, sometimes twice a day if it’s really hot or their diet is comprised of dry materials like grains. But when, oh when, is the eternal mystery? Mid-morning and late afternoon are safe, but relative guesses.
If the wind is right or your route allows it, hunt toward or away from water and you might get lucky. Or plan a route that hits water sources several times during the day.
You can also simply trust it to pure dumb luck, like I do. Because even when sun bakes the hills and desiccates everything in sight, birds don’t necessarily need open water. Morning dew will suffice, or succulent forbs and grasses. So don’t put all your eggs in the hydration basket when you shuck those shells into your Mossberg.
All bets are off once fall rains arrive.
Precipitation resets the balance, putting moisture in places you might not think to look. Just today, after a hard rain our volcanic desert environment blossomed into a series of tiny oases. Every depression in the lava rock held a cup or two of water. That’s plenty for a covey that doesn’t have to tromp all the way down the hill to the rushing stream that meant life itself in August. Snow can do the same thing as it melts, or in a pinch, eaten. Insect-eaters get their share from their crunchy-on-the-outside but chewy-on-the-inside meals.
Lesson: once fall weather settles in, go farther from the usual water sources. You might get closer to the birds.
Now that you have the tips to finding the birds get suited up with the right gear.
While we all have wonderful fishing holes, rivers and lakes in our hometown states, but sometimes it’s nice to get out and see what else is out there. And we can tell you, there is a whole lot. Ben Smith of Arizona Wanderings helps you prep for an out-of-state fishing trip with the buddies. Safe travel!
Last summer, I had a great opportunity to head up out of the Arizona heat to the float the Deschutes River in Oregon, with my good friend, Eric. Since this was a do-it-yourself fly fishing trip, it was absolutely important that I show up with all the gear that I needed. Here is the list that I drew up that served me very well on our 4-day float down the river.
Fishing gear - I had a good idea of the type of fishing I was going to be doing, and with a little help from my contact there, I was able to pack accordingly.
Clothing - We were planning on being on the river for 4 day and I would have access to a washing machine at the end of the trip.
Miscellaneous – These items were easier to get/borrow once I was at my location.
What would you add to this list?
For more fishing and hunting tips from Ben Smith click here.
Elizabeth Foxley remembers back fondly on the day when she bought her husband a Filson jacket. “Money well spent,” she says.
Hi Filson Folks, I knew it was time when I saw my husband’s wool cape shirt jacket rolled up on top of the washing machine instead of hanging on his hook by the door. It’s been looking a little careworn for awhile, but I wondered when he would really let it go. Of course I couldn’t help but think back to the day 15 odd years ago when I bought that jacket for him under the elk horn arch in downtown (all one block of it!) Afton, Wyoming. It sure seemed like a lot of money at the time. We had just started farming and he was feeding elk in winter for the game and fish. I knew he’d be spending most everyday from here on out in everything Wyoming could throw at him. He never did ask me how much it cost, but I could see how happy he was with the coat by the fact that he wore it unceasingly! Well, it didn’t take long to realize that the ‘splurge’ on the coat was actually some good money spent! It has warmed him through countless early morning milkings, snowy spring vegetable harvests, middle of the night calving and more. I think it’s the fence fixing that ultimately did it in, though. We’re now farming just north of Seattle, on the Stillaguamish river. I’m looking forward to visiting the new outlet in Mount Vernon. I know now that the Filson motto isn’t just another cute Madison avenue ploy – its sound advice!
PS I just have to add the cutest thing I saw a few weeks ago: Our 10 year old son wants to be just like dad, of course. He’s always on the lookout for just the right hat, work gloves, etc. so I wasn’t entirely surprised that when I logged on to the computer I saw the most recent google search was ‘Filson for kids’. He was hoping…. Too cute!
Judith O’Keefe took on Washington D.C. with the Save Bristol Bay crew. She is a supporter of the cause and so are we, we’re proud of the efforts made by fellow sportsmen at The U.S. Capitol!
Did I hesitate when Trout Unlimited’s regional director of the Save Bristol Bay project called asking me to join thirty-nine fellow anglers and hunters from across the nation? Not for one second! We were being asked to join the Bristol Bay Sportsmen’s Summit, and descend on our nation’s capitol in an effort to prevail on the powers that be to support the EPA in it’s effort to utilize the Clean Water Act to save this pristine watershed from a proposed massive open-pit mine.
I’ve always had an interest in government. Working for candidates running for various state offices in the nineties introduced me to the world of politics . . . the good, bad and the ugly. The most surprising lesson was that an individual can, actually make a difference. Combined with my love of the natural environment, ecology, fish and Alaska, this project was tailor made to suit me. Yes, of course I was going. I was a little nervous about what was expected of me: Did I need to arm myself with the latest scientific data, the facts and figures relating to the economic impact the proposed Pebble Mine would have on Alaska, the Northwest and the world? Well, no matter, I would do what was necessary. This topic needed to be addressed in a big way, and as soon as possible.
The proposed Pebble Mine would generate up to 10 billion tons of toxic mine waste that would have to be treated in-perpetuity. Mine waste disposal in the Bristol Bay watershed is a direct threat to the tremendous wild salmon habitat that supports the Bristol Bay fishery and supplies the world with a healthy and sustainable source of wild salmon. The salmon fishery is the economic engine of the region, generating an estimated $450 million in revenue each year and providing some 12,000 jobs.
I was up at o-dark-thirty on April 14th, headed to Washington DC, as part of the sportsmen’s summit. Our group met that evening in a downtown hotel for introductions and a training session. To say I was awed and inspired by the individuals that made up this coalition would be a gross understatement; commercial fisherman, sportsmen and women, business owners, scientists and representatives from the Bristol Bay Native Corporation – an unlikely group of bed-fellows. Under typical circumstances, these folks would be on opposite sides of the fence. One of the unique aspects of the Save Bristol Bay project is that those who would usually support the “development of our natural resources” are staunchly opposed to the Pebble Mine. Also, I was relieved to hear that in my upcoming appointments on Capitol Hill, folks who had the facts, figures, and the day-to-day experience of living in Bristol Bay would accompany me.
My three days meeting with White House staff, the EPA, and the Oregon delegation on “The Hill” were interesting, exciting and most importantly, productive. It may be an anomaly, but in the saga of Bristol Bay v/s a multi-national mining corporation, I believe that the good guys have a fighting chance. After the events April’s Sportsmen’s Summit for Bristol Bay, our decision makers have been reminded again how important this issue is for the people of Bristol Bay and all who treasure it. To find out more about Bristol Bay and how you can make a difference, go to: www.sportsmansalliance4ak.org/about.html orwww.savebristolbay.org
Filson Life guest blogger Dennis Lynch, knows good horses when he sees them. If you’re planning on throwing some cash down this Saturday on the Kentucky Derby or just want to be able to “talk shop” at a Derby Party, take some advice from Dennis. We’re going with, Bodemister! Let the races begin and best of luck.
International intrigue, rivalries, princesses and paupers all come together this Saturday in Louisville, Kentucky in hopes of grabbing the most sought after prize in thoroughbred racing… The Kentucky Derby.
They spring the latch at 6:24 pm and the hopes and dreams of hundreds will be sailing past the stands along with the horses. The winner gets $1,459,600 out of the total pot of $2,196,500 but that’s not the real prize everyone is after. “Just win, baby” is what it’s all about!
Following are snippets on the 20 horses scheduled to start this Saturday, hopefully enough to increase your appetite for the sport, intrigue and of course the chance at financial gain.
In post position order:
#1 Daddy Long Legs- Aidan O’Brien , Ireland’s leading trainer brings this guy across the Atlantic, only one race on dirt—busto- probably not
#2 Optimizer- 79 yr. old 4 time Derby winning trainer D.W. Lukas tries to become the oldest to ever train a Derby winner- I hope he tries next year at 80
#3 Take Charge Indy - Cajun jockey Calvin “ on the rail”, Borel guides this regally bred colt who is a live longshot- don’t overlook this one
#4 Union Rags- Mrs Phyliss Weyth a du Pont heiress and JFK intern, who sold this colt once for $145,000 only to find him and buy him back for $390,000 has a true love story going with this colt-Don’t miss this story and he’s going to run “Off the screen”
#5 Dullahan – Louisville homie, Dale Romans wants this race bad and he has the most “fun loving” group of owners in the field—this one is LIVE
#6 Bodemeister - This once removed name sake of skier Bode Miller, Trainer Bob Baffert named his son after Bode and the horse was named after his son—owned by Asia’s largest non-alcohol beer distributor- big chance here and probable favorite
#7 Rousing Sermon- California connections headed to Louisville will need a sermon Sunday morning to pick their heads up
#8 Creative Cause -Beat “Bode” last time –shows up every race- use him!
#9 Trinniberg- Father/son combo team up as trainer/owner respectively, named after their native land of Trinnidad-great story but this guy will be looking for a cab at the head of stretch
#10 Daddy Knows Best- Top trainer and jock, this is a real sneaky longshot –listen to your Daddy
#11 Alpha- Great trainer owner by one of the world’s richest men-money can’t buy everything-looks too skinny
#12 Prospective- Florida bred trainer brings this one in from the Sunshine State-possible
#13 Went the Day Well- Sounds like a British movie starring Anthony Hopkins- owned and trained by last year’s winning owner and trainer-lightning won’t strike twice
#14- Hansen-Last years champion, owner tried dying this white horses tail before last race-racing officials said no—they will feel blue after the race
#15 Gemologist-Top trainer Todd Pletcher brings this undefeated colt into Louisville – he ain’t done nothing wrong!
#16 El Padrino- Another Todd Pletcher trainee- going the wrong way
#17 Done Talking- Kinda Cinderella story but this guy is Done Talking and Done Running
#18 Sabercat-Top trainer in Steve Asmussen but looks overmatched here
#19 I’ll have Another- Outside post but his guy always shows up-might be bellying up to the bar saying “Ill have another “ after the race
#20 Liaison- Bob Baffert or not- stick a fork in him he’s done
Top pick- Union Rags
Best of rest- Take Charge Indy, Bodemeister, Creative Cause, Daddy Knows Best, Gemologist, I’ll have Another
*these picks are worth exactly what it cost to read them
Have fun, enjoy the spectacle and the beauty of these wonderful animals!
Thanks to our founding father, we have been around since 1897 and the road to get to where we are today was one of dedication, hard work and development. While our motto stays the same, “Might as well have the best” and so does our fabric and methods, we continual strive to make the best products for fishermen, hunters, travelers, ranchers, and everyone in between.
Here at Filson, we like to continually remind ourselves of our history and what got us here. Today we sat around talking over coffee and browsing through the archives, and remembered our ancestors helpful contributions during the cold and hard days of the Klondike Gold Rush. C.C. Filson saw a demand for quality goods during the distressing times in the Yukon. Bringing his pioneering spirit to Seattle in 1897, C.C. Filson found himself at the cusp of the Klondike Gold Rush and opened his namesake store, Filson’s Pioneer Alaska and Blanket Manufacturers. With the Gold Rush underway, Filson thrived in providing gear and apparel for miners to survive and function in the arduous conditions.