South Fork & Henry's Fork Fishing Reports

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Today at Jimmy’s

Jimmy's All Seasons Angler / Today at Jimmy’s (Page 18)

Today at Jimmy’s 7-19-12

Have you ever wanted a really big boat box? Well we have a new box in the shop that is a giant, with even more fly storage room then the Cliff beast boxes. The box is the Montana Fly Company Boat Box. Depending on how you rig your flies in the box, this box can hold anywhere from 600 to 2,000 flies!  This is a great box worth checking out. We have a few different colors and styles in the shop, come check them out!



Today at Jimmy’s 7-17-12

Hopefully some of you guys were able to read the article on Lamson-Waterworks we put up last week. Today I want to show you some of the cool new stuff the company is coming out with. We have two new reels in the shop from Lamson. The first isn’t really a new reel, but a new jet black finish on the Guru. It is a sweet new look and definitely worth checking out. The next is a brand new reel that I am really excited about, the ARX 4+. The reel is super heavy duty and has a little different look then most the other reels from Lamson.  This reel is built as a spey reel and as a saltwater reel.. The Arx comes in a jet black finish as well and looks awesome. We have both new reels in the shop and would love to show them to you guys.




Today at Jimmy’s 7-13-12

Hey guys check out this article on Waterworks-Lamson published in the Idaho Statesman last week. There is some pretty cool stuff going on over there!


C1 Design Group bills itself as three folks who “innovate, invent, design and engineer” — Mark Farris, left, and brothers Michael Harrison, center, and Ryan Harrison. The Boise-based company started Waterworks and then bought Lamson, one of the best names in fly reels, and made the reels better.

There are no signs on the outside of Waterworks-Lamson’s world headquarters off Cole Road in Boise.

Even with a Google map of the address, it is hard to find the warehouse and plant where they make the fly-fishing reels that many fly fishermen consider the best in the world.

That’s the way Managing Partner Ryan Harrison likes it, just as most anglers like to keep their favorite spots close to the vest.

“We let our products develop our relationship with customers,” Harrison says.

Waterworks-Lamson’s customers are fly anglers like Carlos Araya, a Chilean who used to guide in Patagonia half the year and Idaho the other half. Today he sells fly-fishing gear for Silver Creek Outfitters in Ketchum.

“As a professional, I can have any reel I want for free,” Araya says. “I carry just two brands, and one of them is Lamson.”

Harrison, his brother Michael Harrison and Mark Farris had developed the first clipless pedal systems for bicycles in the early 1990s. As C1 Design, a California- and Ketchum-based company, they also reinvented front suspensions for Cannondale and Kestral bikes. Design and innovation drove these California native entrepreneurs who met in high school.

Harrison, 52, with a Harvard MBA, ran the company from California. His brother Michael Harrison, 53, with a design degree, and Farris, 56, whose degree was in philosophy, worked out of Ketchum.

They had enjoyed the bicycle business, but they wanted to start their own company and market their own products. The bicycle industry was too big for a few guys to make their mark. “But you could do it in fly fishing,” Harrison says.

That world is relatively small, dominated by specialty retail stores. Its consumers are discriminating. “It’s someone who knows what quality is and is willing to pay for it,” he says.

Harrison decided to join the other two in Idaho, attracted by its outdoors lifestyle. When he moved to Boise, his brother joined him.

Idaho is big in the fly-fishing world. Rivers like the Henrys Fork of the Snake, Silver Creek, Kelly Creek in North Idaho and the South Fork of the Snake are considered some of the top fly-fishing waters.


Farris, the pure designer of the bunch, came up with the first product, a pen-sized metal stick that hooks on to fishing line to release fish safely without handling them. The Ketchum Release caught on with anglers. They bought a million of them.

The trio began looking at reels in 1996 while their bicycle designs were still turning heads. They decided to start from scratch. Most fly reels had been created by machinists, Harrison says. Fly reels were heavy. They were complicated, with a lot of parts. When dropped in the water, sand and grit often got into the drag mechanisms, requiring that they be taken apart and lubricated. Rod designers complained that reels threw off the balance they designed into their rods.

There had been little innovation for decades.

You can see the teamwork in the process that brought them success. Harrison is the resident serial entrepreneur, who comes up with broad ideas, does the marketing and manages the company. Farris, the resident “blue-sky, out-there thinker,” takes big ideas and turns them into reality. Michael Harrison, also a designer, serves as the industrial engineer who takes their final ideas to the manufacturing stage.

Farris and Michael Harrison figured the solution to the rod-reel imbalance would be to align the center of mass of the reel with the center axis of the rod. They patented the idea and took it to Sage Rods, one of the best brands in the business. It became the Sage Center Axis rod. The C1 trio also designed a reel to fit these rods.

The trio began selling their own reels under the Waterworks brand and bought the Lamson brand from Sage. Its original design was well-machined and at $200 priced for people who would pay the same or more for rods in the 1980s and early 1990s.

They designed their new reel to be lighter, simpler and wider, so it had a faster retrieve and more consistent drag. The old Lamson LP reel had 86 parts. Their new reel had 23.

They invented a conical drag system that was completely enclosed so it didn’t even need lubrication. It was similar in design to the closed hubs that took over the biking world in the 1970s.

“We were 10 years ahead of our time,” Harrison says.

They started marketing reels as both Waterworks and Lamson. Waterworks remains their high-end brand. Lamson is their mainstay.


Their innovation has paid off.

Jen Lavigne, sales and marketing manager in Ketchum, says Waterworks-Lamson is among the top fly reel makers in the country. The company won’t disclose sales data.

“We’re the No. 1 reel company in our price point in the country, maybe the world,” Harrison says.

The American Fly Fishing Trade Association does a survey of reel makers conducted by that shows Lamson with a 25 percent market share.

“That’s a pretty large percentage of the reel market,” says Randi Swisher, past president of the trade group.

Lamson offers reels for $150 and up, to more than $500 for its top-end reel. Harrison believes their products beat the competition, which has moved in their direction.

“Our $150 reel is better than their $800 reel,” he says.

Jimmy Gabettas, who owns the All Seasons Angler shop in Idaho Falls and is considered one of the most knowledgeable fly fishermen in eastern Idaho, has a Lamson reel sitting on his front counter in a goldfish bowl of water filled with sand.

“It’s probably our most popular reel in the shop,” Gabettas says. “It’s a great design, and their warranty service work is excellent.”

When all of this change began, Harrison was still living in California. The three needed to set up an assembly facility, warehousing and warranty center. Ketchum lacked access to the suppliers and workforce they needed.

“We found Boise to be the best of both worlds,” Harrison says. “It’s a sophisticated town.”

All of the production is done by others and many parts are machined or anodized in the Treasure Valley, he says. “There’s a good amount of capacity locally, but not enough to be 100 percent.”

Including the trio, the company has 15 full- and part-time workers who assemble the reels, sell and ship them, and handle warranty issues. All of Harrison’s employees are fly anglers.

Boise’s access to great fly fishing means Harrison has an ample labor market with the same understanding. “Whenever we need help, it’s not a problem to find qualified candidates,” he says.


Harrison is confident Waterworks-Lamson can still expand in the reel market.

For instance, Araya’s second reel that isn’t a Lamson is for his traditional fly rod. Harrison says Waterworks-Lamson hopes to offer a reel for that market as well.

“We can be twice as big as we are right now,” he says.

But Waterworks-Lamson is looking beyond reels. Since the company has quietly moved into its current position, it would be out of character for Harrison to make noise about his next big plan. But he does know how to stir up intrigue.

“What we have in mind doesn’t exist,” he says. “It will have dramatic consumer benefits for fly fishermen.”

Rocky Barker: 377-6484


Today at Jimmy’s 7-11-12

It has been a while since our last update, but things should be back to normal for the rest of the summer.  We have a lot of new things to talk about, but we will break down and try and get something new on here every couple of days.

Today I want to tell you guys about a new hook we are carrying in the shop, the Mustad C-49S. This is a hook that has quite the following among stillwater fly fishers using it for chironomids, but also works well with any nymph, emerger, or even dry fly. The hook has a unique bend and adds a cool new look to traditional curved hooks. We have the hook in sizes #8-#18, so come into the shop and check them out!







Today at Jimmy’s 4/18

The East Idaho Fly Tying Expo is this weekend at the Shilo Inn. As usual we are very excited for this event and can’t wait to see everyone.

We have a few exciting announcements about the Expo this year. First of all Dave Hughes will be at the booth and we will have lots of his books there for you to purchase and get autographed. Dave has written many popular books about Fly Fishing and Fly Tying. He will be in and out of our booth all weekend is willing to sign any of his publications.

Our next announcement is John Rohmer is going to be tying at our booth during the show. This is the first time we have had a tier showcasing flies and patterns at our booth. John is a fly designer for Solitude Flies and owns the company that distributes Arizona Dubbing. Arizona Dubbing produces the semi seal and scud dubbing we sell in the shop. We will also have some of his other dubbing and tying products at the show.


Today at Jimmy’s 4/16

There has been a lot of chatting in the fishing community about wading boots. Is felt okay? Is it outlawed in my state? What about the rest of the boot like the laces? Is Vibram just as good as felt? What about studs in my drift boat?

Well there is a lot of good solid information out there and there is a lot of well…not so solid information. So with that in mind I want to talk about wading boots and the 3 main choices you have when buying a new pair of boots. I am going to cover it all Felt, Vibram, and the new Aluminum Bar boots. We have some new gear to feature as well in this post so sit back and enjoy.

So the biggest rumor we hear in the shop about wading boots is Felt boots have been banned in Idaho and Montana. Felt is not banned in Idaho nor Montana. There are 3 states that have outlawed felt. Alaska, Vermont and Rhode Island.

Simms is now selling felt soled wading boots. After a few years of not selling felt on any Simms boot, the huge demand for felt convinced them to start manufacturing felt soled wading boots again. We now have the Simms Guide Boot and the Freestone boot in felt for sale here at the shop.

Another alternative to felt is a rubber soled boot. There are many options in this catagory. Simms has a large variety of vibram soled boots that are called Streamtread. Patagonia has the Rock Grip wading boot which is much softer rubber sole compared to the Simms Streamtread. Studs can be installed in most wading boots but seem to be almost mandatory in the rubber soled boots.

Studded boots tend to be fairly harsh on drift boats, and some people are looking for something that grabs a little bit more than studded wading boots. Patagonia has a boot called the Aluminum bar wading boot, and Aluminum Bar Crampons. I have personally had the opportunity to be in a pair of Aluminum Bar boots since October and they are fantastic! They are by far the best boot I have worn for gripping action while wading. You need to be careful wearing them around the boat. They don’t seem to have destructive ability of studs, but you hear things crunching around on the bottom of your feet.

I personally recommend the Aluminum Bar boots over anything else when fishing out of a boat. Anglers that do a lot of hiking to get to their fishing spots I would recommend a rubber soled boot. As far as felt goes they work in any and all fishing situations and felt is great. Just remember to clean them!

For questions and more info…come to the shop and we will be more than happy to help you!


Today at Jimmy’s 3/13

We got our first shipment from SIMMS for spring 2012! We have some really cool new items in the shop. First of all I want to show you the new Flyte jacket. This is a softshell jacket with WindStopper. Some of yo might be thinking whats the difference between the WindStopper Softshell and the new Flyte?” Well first of all the price is less for the new Flyte. However with the reduction of price you loose some of the features like storage space in the form of pockets on the jacket. The new Flyte jacket is basically a streamlined version for those angler who don’t need or want all the pockets and technical features offered in the Windstopper Softshell.

We also got a new selection of Simms hats, including the flex fit Derek Deyoung hat that has been super popular and very hard to find. We have them in Gray and Black. Come grab one while supplies last.


Today at Jimmy’s 2/20

Have you ever used split shot while fishing and wanted it to be a little more discrete. Well we have great news, Anchor has come out with Camo Shot! This is a tin based split shot, so its safe to use in Yellowstone Park. The split shot comes in 4 different colors, Gravel/Sand, Weedy Green, Muddy Brown and Dark Green. We have a large selection of sizes for all fishing situations.

Still have a bunch of special topics tying classes coming up. Check the schedule by clicking this. Tube Flies is coming up on Feb 28th. and we have many other very useful and very educational. Check it out, pick a class or two and come learn some tying skills.


Today at Jimmy’s 2/13

We have a topic that is being discussed on our facebook page I wanted to let you all know about. Last week I posted a question asking our customers how they felt about Fish and Game opening the section from Ashton Dam to Vernon Bridge during the winter season. This is the only piece of water on the Henry’s Fork that is closed during the off season with the exception of Herriman State Park and the State has regulations from the Herriman Family about fishing access and seasons for that section.

We are interested in how  you all feel about this section being opened to fish. Do you oppose it, why? Are you in favor of having more river access to fish in the winter and off season on the Henry’s Fork, why?

Feel free to leave a comment here or go to our facebook page and join the conversation.


Today at Jimmy’s

In the back of the shop you will notice that we have remolded our old bookshelf. We updated our bookshelf making it much easier to find and browse our large selection of books.

We have many great Fly tying classes coming up. We still have a few spots left in our begining fly tying class starting Thursday evenings Feb. 16th. This class will run for 5 consecutive weeks and is $50. Materials are not included and there are 2 spots left in this session.

We also have a bunch of special topics classes coming up in February and March. Tube Flies, Streamers, Mayflies, Stoneflies and others. For a list of the classes click HERE. These are 1 night classes and materials are provided by the instructor. They are very informative and they start at 6:30pm and usually go until were done. We don’t hold back for these classes we want you to learn as much as you can. Classes are limited to 6 students so sign up today!