Gear Review: Montana Fly Company River Camo Tying Tools

As mentioned before, I got my package of goodies from Montana Fly Company (MFC) earlier this February. I’ve been biding my time, waiting for the right moment to bust these bad boys out.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve begun planning an early April trip to fish the Big Horn River in Montana. How could this get any better? Armed with MFC’s double ceramic tipped bobbin, all-purpose scissors, stacker, and fly box (all with MFC’s signature River Camo designs) as well as three varieties of tying thread, I was ready to begin stocking up my basic flies for the trip. After some online research, I decided I would start with scuds to get the ball rolling. I had a free afternoon earlier this week and got started.

Let me just get this out of the way; I am confident that the quality of my flies, in no way, reflects the quality of MFC’s equipment. So go easy on me.
Right off the bat, I could tell the difference between my generic, bottom-of-the-barrel, bobbin and the MFC bobbin. The MFC thread rolled off the bobbin easily and slid nicely on the ceramic tips. It had a very natural weight in my hand allowing a novice like myself to feel more confident at the vice. And just like anything else, confidence when trying something new is HUGE.
I tied a variety of scuds. Orange, grey, silver, peacock, with and with out beads. After looking at some examples online, I think I should have used a bit more dubbing to really get those thick, hairy legs on the underside of the hook shank, but they might be fine. The MFC thread is definitely high quality. I have only used a couple other brand names, but I think the 8/0 (orange), 6/0 (brown), and 3/0 (black) I was sent held up beautifully. No break-offs, shredding, or knot issues. I tied all size 14 hooks. Might be a tad on the big side, but only time will tell.

After tying 7 scuds, I was done. All I needed was someplace to store them. Fancy that! MFC sent me a River Camo Aluminum Fly Box with a Brown Trout pattern. Needless to say, my scuds looked great in the box that resembles the fish I am aiming to catch.

Today, I had another Cornhusker Fly Fisher’s tie-in. I dedicated the time to midge pupa’s and Griffith’s gnats. The scissors got plenty of use today, and, just like the bobbin, I was suprised at how comfortable the felt in my hand. Great weight. Flashy design. Sharp as can be. And, the serrated edge on the all-purpose scissors did every job I asked of it and did it well. 6 Griffiths and 7 midges later, I was spent. My box was filling up. This was also when I noticed a venting system in on the sides of the box to prevent your flies from being completely locked in with their moisture should you forget to set them out after a day on the water. Touche, MFC.

With regard to the hair stacker, made of what I think is cast aluminum and colored with a Rainbow Trout River Camo design, I didn’t actually tie any flies with it, but I did give it a go. A cork-padded base saved my bench from getting dinged up when I slammed the hair down. The top half easily slides off to allow easy pick up of your deer or, in my case, moose hair. If I were tying a deer hair caddis, this baby would have done the job beautifully.

Overall, there are three important things I believe these Montana Fly Company products offer the consumer:
1. The tying materials and equipment are all high quality.
2. The signature River Camo is a gorgeous reminder of what you are working towards. On hard days, every little bit helps to keep the goal in mind.
3. This is a company made by people who love the same things we do. Dependable equipment and successful fishing. This is by far, the most important to me.
I personally like to have a latch or locking system on my fly boxes, just in case, but this box closes snuggly, so I’m not worried about me doing something stupid. Plus, MFC does have locking fly boxes as well (scroll down and check out all the designs! they are pretty awesome.). As for the equipment, I almost feel guilty to have such good stuff to work with from now on. I feel like I haven’t paid my dues to have such sturdy tools. I know I will be using them for a long time and they will hold up. I can just tell.



As a quick reminder, the Outdoor Blogger Network (OBN) facilitates opportunities to review various types of donated outdoor equipment. Montana Fly Company gave three bloggers the opportunity to use and review a package of their equipment. I have no disclosures regarding financial interests with MFC or OBN. My review is my own opinion and based off my personal experience with the equipment. The photos were taken by yours truly.
*Thank you MFC for the goodies, OBN for the opportunity, and Vampire Weekend and Kanye West for my tying tunes.
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I’ve found a new outlet…

So I stopped by Omaha’s only fly shop, which is in Cabela’s. There I met Bill, the guy who was working the fly shop. We chatted about tying and fishing in the area and he mentioned they are having a fly tying course this Saturday the 18th.

Not only that, but he mentioned a group called Cornhusker Fly Fishers. Interesting… Their website looks like it needs maintinence. Apparently they meet at Cabela’s each Thursday to tie. This could be a great opportunity to formally learn some skillz (wow, I’ve never used the “z” like that. I feel a little ashamed but also a little liberated).

I’ll probably stop by this weekend. Maybe tomorrow night as well.

I’m such a beginner at this, in reality. I need some people to teach me. I’ve been fishing my whole life. I’ve been trout fishing off an on since I was in 5th grade. I just have never taken that leap to really get taught about fly tying and fly fishing. In fact, I think I have always been resistant to asking for help. Instead, I figure things out my self even if that means I don’t know everything I should. So this will be good for me. I will be start attending this group to really learn how to be better.

On another note, today is a good day to try and write some poetry. Let’s give it a shot.

Stranded.

Eastern Nebraska in the winter.
It’s as much an island from
Fly fishing
As the Sahara.
The waters are slow and frozen.
The fish are hunkered down.
I either need to hunker down
And tie like a mad hatter,
Mind poisoned from the cement,
Or pick a date
And escape
To a stream with enough
Kinetic energy to
Bare its ripples and expose her fish.