Industry News

Howler SpringMore than rods, reels, and toenail clippers... the most essential piece of fishing equipment might be your hat. Bad hats don't fish. Austin, TX-based apparel brand Howler Brothers makes good ones. In addition, their Spring 2015 collection features five new shirts, four new styles of shorts and boardshorts, and a pile of fresh t-shirts designs.

If apps are your thing and selecting the right line for your rig isn’t, RIO might have the solution. Last week, the Idaho Falls-based company introduced its free Line Selector App, designed to make “...the connection to fish come easier for anglers whether it’s through its lines, leaders and tippet or through education on the consumer and dealer level.”

Idylwilde Flies last week filed a lawsuit against Umpqua Feather Merchants—the company that recently purchased and started selling in-limbo Idylwilde product from production facilities in the Philippines.

Via its social media channels and blog, Idylwilde owner Zach Mertens announced that, "...Idylwilde legally filed for its right to claim the flies from Umpqua and Mirabel...." He also included a link to statements and case evidence filed by Idylwilde, et al., here.

In addition, plaintiffs Mr. Mertens and Idylwilde won a temporary restraining order (TRO) against defendants Umpqua, Mirabel, and Mirabel's owner Bien Tan on Tuesday.

According to Oregon District Judge Hernandez:

"Having reviewed and considered Plaintiffs' motion for temporary restraining order (dkt. #11) and supporting documents, I find that a temporary restraining order ("TRO") is necessary to prevent the irreparable injury alleged in the Complaint and shown in the declarations supporting Plaintiffs' motion. Pursuant to this TRO, Defendants are temporarily restrained from promoting, selling, transferring, or disposing of any flies related to this action.

Full details on the TRO, here.

"Idylwilde's Wild Ride" first appeared in the fall issue of The Drake.


On Dec. 10 Judge Marco A. Hernandez ruled in Umpqua Feather Merchants’ and Mirabel’s (the fly factory) favor and denied the Motion for a Preliminary Injunction. At this time neither Umpqua nor Mirabel are restrained in any way from doing business or selling flies.

Injunction Idywilde Umpqua copy

Deneki Outdoors—with lodges in Alaska, British Columbia, and the Bahamas—was sold this week to a Dallas, Texas-based family with ties in the destination flyfishing game that run two-decades deep. Despite the sale, there are no short-term plans to dissolve the successful brand started by former owner Andrew Bennett in 2004.

AndrewBennetThe trio of lodges on AK's Kanektok River, B.C.'s Dean, and South Andros Island, Bahamas, were acquired by Amy and Dan Herrig, said Bennett via phone on Tuesday. The deal has been in the works since June.

“For our operations it’s pretty much no change at all, other than being part of a bigger, better organization,” Bennett said. “What we’ve found here is a good fit with a strong company—a good fit for our guides, as well as great roles for our team.”

Deneki general manager, Mike Sanders, will continue running operations, while Bennett has signed a one-year, open-ended contract to maintain marketing efforts for Deneki—in addition to lodges already under the Herrig’s portfolio. Those operations include the exclusive, fly-out Rapids Camp Lodge located on Bristol Bay’s Naknek River, a lodge in Chile, and an upstart in Baja.

Mrs. Herrig’s father, Jerry Shults, built Rapids Camp Lodge from scratch back in the early ’90s. It’s slated to celebrate its 20th anniversary next summer. The addition of Alaska West, said Amy Herrig, gives the company the ability to provide a full Alaskan flyfishing experience at two vastly different price points. Fishing at Alaska West, for instance, costs between $5,550 and $6,150, depending on the week. Rapids Camp can run anglers upwards of $10,000.

“The lodges are two completely different entities, which is great for us,” she said. “Alaska West offers a classic tent-camp experience with less frills and great fishing, while Rapids Camp will continue doing what it does best.

“[Deneki’s client list] was also very appealing. It builds on what we already have and we could see how we could cross-market it quickly.”

Bennett, beyond marketing duties and plans to branch out into consulting, said the sale means more time to get out and fish. He was also recently elected as an officer to the board of the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA), which he said is “full speed ahead.”

Stopping to drool over Down River's equipment

If you’ve fished out West for more than a little while chances are you’ve figured it out—Rafts rule. You jealously spy them drifting by the opposite bank, the one you can’t get to, past the “No Trespassing” sign and fence you can’t cross, into water you can’t fish. You wish you knew that guy on the sticks, and you wish he’d call you up. I hate to break it to you, buddy, but that guy has more friends than boat space.

You need your own whip, and you need it quick.

Wild Fish Conservancy Northwest

Citing warnings from agency and independent scientists, four conservation groups filed suit today against several federal agencies and officials of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe (in their official capacities) for violating the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and ignoring the best available science and threatening the recovery of killer whales, Chinook salmon, and native steelhead by funding and operating fish hatchery programs in the Elwha River. The groups agree with federal and state scientists and a recent review by the Hatchery Scientific Review Group (HSRG) that restoration of the lower Elwha River and recolonization of the pristine upper Elwha River above Elwha and Glines Canyon dams should prioritize recovery of wild fish. The proposed reliance on large-scale hatchery releases undermines ecosystem recovery and violates the ESA. Wild Fish Conservancy, The Conservation Angler, the Federation of Fly Fishers Steelhead Committee, and the Wild Steelhead Coalition have brought the suit against the Olympic National Park, NOAA Fisheries Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and representatives of the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe.



Here's the thing, Westwater Products was recently awarded a patent by the United States Patent Office for its strike indicator the Thingamabobber™. And the thing is, the Thingamabobber is only the beginning. According to the company, which prides itself in these sorts of things, there are many more things in the works.  

"I envisioned a more durable, reliable, and environmentally sound alternative to existing methods" said Thingamabobber creator Brian Westover. "I think the effectiveness of the Thingamabobber is its simplicity. It takes the hassle out of fishing with an indicator. It offers superior buoyancy, durability, and "cast-ability".

For more information see

Fellow Flyfishermen,

With the International Fly Tackle Dealer Show (IFTD), now only three months away (September 9-11), I thought I would take a moment to encourage all of you to attend. Why? Because attending will help you, it will help your business, and it will help the flyfishing industry as a whole. While not perfect, the IFTD is still the best option out there by far.

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association has taken a lot of criticism in recent years—some of it deserved, some not. I have taken a few shots myself, in The Drake and elsewhere (mock story about the show being held in Rock Springs, etc.), because, at times, our trade organization was just begging to be made fun of.

With the announcement this week by the American Fly Fishing Trade Association (AFFTA) that it would “sponsor and/or endorse and/or ignore and/or relocate an Independent Fly Fishing show in 2010,” it came as welcome news to the industry this morning that the trade group has settled on the lobby of the Rock Springs, Wyoming, EconoLodge as the location.

TFO Hemingway

DALLAS—September 23, 2009. In some surprising post-tradeshow industry news, Temple Fork Outfitters president Rick Pope announced today that novelist Ernest Hemingway recently rose from the dead and asked to join the advisory staff of Temple Fork Outfitters.