Jack Dennis's "20 Places to Fish in the Rockies Before You Die"

Aaron “Chubbs” Peterson and friends attended the 16th annual East Idaho Fly Tying and Fishing Expo in Idaho Falls last week and came away with a considerably longer list of great northern Rockies fishing spots, thanks to Jack Dennis. They posted the 20 spots — or more accurately, experiences — on the FlyFishingFrenzy Web site and it’s worth a long look, even if you are a veteran Western trout addict. Lots of interesting stuff here, including Dennis’s take on fly rods: “Jack went on a little rant at this point in the presentation that you need to invest in a 4 piece 3 wt rod and not to buy a $500 rod, and that no one should own a $500 + rod. He apologized to Sage and other expensive rod companies, but said St. Croix makes a fantastic 4 peice 3 wt for $180.”

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  • i think it’s interesting how we still all have these “hold-over” sensibilities about the $500+ fly rod companies and feel the need to “apologize” to sage, winston, and orvis when we say that nobody needs to spend more than $200 for a quality fly rod sub 7wt anymore. sage, winston, and orvis have all been selling $200 fly rods in the mid and light wt categories for awhile now. so they obviously know it and don’t mind admitting it themselves: sage launch, orvis clearwater classic, and winston ibis. in fact, the orvis is considerably cheaper than $200 as i recall.
    the reality is there are quite a few excellent fly rods out there today for between $100-250 and virtually every brand name in the biz is offering at least one.

  • Tom

    i’d agree with ken. for under $200 bucks, there is a lot of quality to be had. my personal favorite is the 3 wt, pro model from temple fork which lists for $149 but can be had for less on ebay.

  • As far as $500+ rods go, they should represent cutting-edge technology to justify their price. When a cutting-edge rod is developed, it should come out with a high price tag; then that price should lower over time as the technology is obsolesced.
    There’s nothing wrong with a $200 rod or even the $70 SA rod I bought at Wal-mart a decade ago. And there’s nothing wrong with a $500 rod. If someone wants to fish on the cutting edge of technology, and they have the money to fund technological advances, I say go for it. Meanwhile, those of us who can’t afford cutting-edge technology will just have to wait until the price drops.
    The way I see it, a $70 rod could very well be built on twenty-year-old technology, but people were catching fish twenty years ago, so why should I worry about the price tag? It’s like when seasoned mechanics say “Oil’s oil.,” to say it really doesn’t matter what oil you use, what Jack Dennis is saying is “A rod’s a rod.”

  • Bob L.

    The marketing departments of rod builders such as sage, winston, etc., have done a great job over the years of convincing fly fishermen that you can’t get the distance or delicatly present a size 18 dry, unless you’re waving around one of their $500 rods.
    I own three fly rods: a old 7 weight Orvis (good for small mouth fishing), a new 5 weight Sage, and a 2 piece, 6 weight, 9.5′ rod I built myself 22 years ago from Cabelas blanks and hardware – I think the whole thing cost me about $70 to construct. I can honestly say I wouldn’t sell that hand made Cabelas rod for $800. I’ve used it on small streams in Pennsylvania to the big rivers in Montana. It’s comfortable – like an old friend.