In years past we ran a segment entitled 'Steve and Pete's Favorite Things.' This is version 2.0 spanning into some categories and products, which can be easily overlooked. Let's face it, there are a ton great products available to the fly fishing community these days. This is a guide to gear that Pete and his guides have spent a lot of time fishing with and validating their worthiness.
Best Bighorn Dry Fly Stick – The 'Traditional' series from Dusty Smith at Livingston Rod Company blew us away! I have long been a fan of Winston IM6 and Scott G series rods and these are right up that alley. Think of old school IM6 feel with new school resins and technology. Overall a 'lightened up' , more accurate version of the classics. The 8'9" 4 and 5 weight are my top picks in this category. Hand built one at a time right here in Montana!
Bighorn Nymph Rod - The 906 Recon from Orvis has been redone and is one of the best rods out there at a midrange pricepoint. With even more backbone and a lightened up swing weight, we're really digging this new rod!
Top Trout Reel – The Nautilus X is our pick for a higher end reel, but without the price tag. Starting at $275 and made in the US, this is a hard product to beat!
2nd Pick - This was a tough decision, but the Orvis Mirage LT came in at a close second. Made in the US, very light in hand, extreme machining tolerances and just looks good!
Below are our favorite line choices for specific fishing conditions. Ladies and gentlemen, the fly line is the most important component to a good setup, so don't skimp on quality!
All Around Line - SA Amplitude Smooth Infinity- A phenomenal and lower priced verison of our other favorite line, the Amplitude MPX. This taper is just a great 'All around' line for various situations you might encounter.
Nymph Taper – SA Amplitude Smooth Anadro - This is the best nymph line around! Ask anyone! This will turnover the heaviest (or lightest) of rigs with ease.
Dry Fly Taper - Rio Technical Trout - These lines match up perfectly with the new Sage LL and Livingston Rod Company Im6's. Delicate in close, but holds a good loop out to longer distances.
Best price point line – Scientific Anglers Frequency
Tippet – Boy, it sure is hard to beat Trouthunter. I know it's still one of my favorites, but the Cortland Fluorocarbon might even be better! The strength on this stuff is unreal, while providing plenty of suppleness for even the smallest of patterns.
FISHING ACCESSORIES- Here are a handful of notable products our guides carry in the boats and we think you should too!
Hareline Tacky Weight - We can't keep this stuff in stock! Many of the guides on the Bighorn have switched over to this putty weight in place of lead for many reasons - Non Toxic, Easier to take on/take off, sinks faster and doesn't hurt (as much) when the guy in the boat whacks you in the head! Oh yeah and it's the best one we've tried and the best price!
Jaydacators - Crafted by hand out of Balsa wood, these are the highest floating, lightest and most sensitive indicators you can get. The old balloon is still a favorite of guides on the Bighorn, but when the wind picks up, this is what you want!
High and Dry Liquid Floatant. Think of this as a non toxic Fly Agra, that works even a little bit better. That's all I'm going to say...
Umpqua LT magnetic boxes - My go to boxes for small nymphs. Extra strong magnets on this one!
Rising Boat nets - pretty much indestructible! Pretty much..
We're here to help! If you have any questions about any of the new products, or old, just give us a call and we'll get you set up! 406-666-2233