Steve & Pete's Favorite Things 2018


Steve and Pete’s Favorite Things 2018 – A look at all the must have fly fishing products for 2018

Each year Oprah Winfrey and her team go through the daunting task of sorting through and testing the most innovative and trend setting products in the marketplace. What they end up with is a must have list of Oprah’s favorite products that will help to enrich people’s lives on a daily basis.

This year we are unveiling our fourth installment of Steve and Pete’s Favorite Things for 2018.  This is a compilation of fly-fishing gear that as obsessed fly fisherman and guides we can’t live without. We feel that these products will be beneficial to all of you as anglers also. After all our time on the water is limited. While we can’t give you more time on the water, what we can give you is a list of the must have fly fishing gear to help you make the most of each experience.

We hope you enjoy this third edition and maybe you will pick up a few of these items for yourself as you plan your fly fishing journey’s for 2015! If only each of us had the money of Oprah we would have everything on the list! Please find the coupon code below as a thanks for your patronage over the years.

Steve Galletta is the Co-Owner/Outfitter of the Bighorn Angler Fly Shop & Lodge in Fort Smith, Montana. “Like a woman who loves high fashion and shoes, I love gear. There is nothing better than a product that increases your performance on the water, is extremely durable and offers an angler a great value. I look for fishing tools that meet these three criteria. Each year a few products emerge throughout the industry and become a staple in my boat.”

Pete Shanafelt is the Co-Owner of the Bighorn Angler Fly Shop & Lodge in Fort Smith, Montana.“Compared to 10 years ago, there are a ton of great products in the fly fishing industry. The tough part is sorting through all of them and deciding what to buy. The products featured here have repeatedly produced positive results time and again and are amongst the best out there today.” 

Favorite New Fly Rods – The Orvis Helios 3 has quickly become our favorite new line of fly rods. Stepping away from the mid flex/tip flex rod lineup that Orvis has had for years, the new Orvis Helios 3 comes in D and F models which has simplified things for the consumer. We prefer the 3D lineup up for line weights five and up, which offers a more progressive, quicker rebounding and all around faster action. The 3F series is good in line weights 5 and down, which offers a more relaxed casting profile and action. These rods can simply meet any demands you will encounter on the river.

Best Bang for the Buck Fly Rods – Thought that you needed to pay $900 to get a high performance fly rod? Thanks to G. Loomis you don’t’. The G Loomis IMX Pro was designed to specifically meet the demands of anglers fishing trout in the rockies. The IMX Pro comes in a wide variety of lengths and line weights and won’t break the bank coming in under $500. The Fenwick Aetos is incredibly versatile and has become our go to value rod on the market today. Coming in at under $200 the value this rod is hard to beat.  

Favorite Trout Reel – Redington Rise - for the money there is no better trout reel on the market. Stylish good looks, light, buttery smooth drag and an excellent price point this reel is hard to beat. Comes in black, silver, amber and olive to meet your aesthetic needs. 

Hardy Ultralite MTX Fly Reel – These reels are just simply cool all around. Incredibly light, strong and they look amazing. One of the first reels to incorporate carbon fiber, these large arbor reels perfectly balance todays lightweight fly rods.

Best Bang for your Buck – Redington Crosswater  Affordable disc drag performance. 

Favorite Fly Lines – Your rod is only as good as the line you put on it. Period. The taper and action of every rod demands a line that suits it best. There is a wide variety of lines on the market to meet the demands of the rods on the market today. Below are our favorite line choices for specific fishing conditions.

All Around Line- Scientific Anglers Wavelength MPX is by far the best all around fly line on the market today. It balances fast action rods perfectly, can be used to present any size fly and floats high making it super easy to pick up off the surface of the water. 

Best Nymph Taper – SA Mastery Anadro and SA Mastery MPX

Best Dry Fly Taper - Rio Trout LT, Scientific Anglers Wavelength MPX

Best Bang for your buck – Scientific Anglers Frequency

Favorite Waders – All New Simms G3 Waders have taken the most popular wader on the market and made them even better. These waders are loaded with every feature you will need along with the durability the most hard core anglers demand. Simms for 2018 has also released the Headwaters Pro Waders another USA made Gore Tex wader. These waders while not offering all the bells and whistles of the G3 waders, they still offer the durability at a friendlier price tag. Plus, they look great.

Best Bang For your Buck – Orvis Lightweight convertible

Favorite Wading Boots - Any Simms boot in the lineup. Simms has set the bar for wading boots and it has been set very high.  Simms make a variety of durable wading boots based on every angler's needs. Shop Simms Boots Now

Favorite Leaders – Rio Trout Leaders There is no other leader on the market that provides as good of turnover as these and can be applied to a wide array of fishing situations.

Favorite Tippet – It is amazing how much time and research anglers will put into buying a rod and reel when your tippet is probably the most important part of the equation. Trouthunter Fluorocarbon Tippet is simply the best material I have found for both nymph and dry fly fishing. It has amazing knot strength and because of its co-polymer makeup it has the best knot strength out there. Its price tag sometimes confuses anglers being that it retails for $22.95, but what most don’t realize is that you get almost twice as much material. At 45 cents per meter, its price per meter is the same as Rio Fluoroflex plus.

Favorite Fishing Accessories - Tie Fast Nippers I have yet to find something that trumps this tool for me in overall functionality. It has long lasting nipper – been using mine since 2006, has an easy to use nail knot tool and a hook sharpener. 

Air Lock Indicators have become the most widely used indicator on the Bighorn. You can quickly change depth without kinking your leader and they last forever. ¾” is the most popular size on the Bighorn. During high water we jump up to the 1” size for the bigger flows and added weight needed to get down to the fish.  Check out These Indicators Now

Favorite Floatants – Shimizaki Dry Shake LiquidFly Duster Desiccant, Bighorn Angler Amadou Patch and Shimizaki Dry Magic. If you have these four floatants you will be covered to properly fish any dry fly ever created. The Dry shake Liquid is a great pre treatment especially for larger flies. The fly duster desiccant is great to recondition delicate dry flies especially those that incorporate CDC. Amadou patches are the most effective thing you can use to dry your fly of water and slime after catching a fish. Shimizaki Dry Magic is the best gel floatant for pre treating any dry fly.

Favorite Packs and Bags - The new line of Fishpond waterproof/submersible packs is hard to beat. They make a variety of packs for every angling situation. The Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack is one of our favorites. 


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