SmithFly Invents Way of Attaching Fishing Gear to Coolers


SmithFly Invents Way of Attaching Fishing Gear to Coolers
Cooler Kilts Help Small Watercraft Fishermen Carry and Store Gear

DAYTON, OH (October 22, 2013) — Innovative fly fishing gear maker SmithFly Designs will launch the Cooler Kilt, a one-of-a-kind product enabling pouches to be attached to coolers, on November 25.

By snapping directly to a cooler, the Cooler Kilt keeps gear consolidated, out of the way, and easily accessible. It was designed for people fishing on small watercraft, including stand up paddleboards, kayaks, and micro skiffs, as well as spin-and-bait casting fisherman and hunters.

Many anglers keep coolers on board of their watercraft to carry water, lunch, snacks, and beverages. They also carry cumbersome bags that are intended for wading. SmithFly owner and fisherman Ethan Smith set out to design a product that easily enables people to attach their gear directly to the front of their coolers.

“There wasn’t a good solution for carrying fly boxes and tackle on the water while fishing from smaller, more nimble boats,” said Smith. “Now you can haul your gear and your beer in one trip from the truck to the boat. The Cooler Kilt lets you put your stuff right where you can access it, without any hassle.”

Cooler Kilts are made in the U.S.A. and will be available in five sizes accommodating cooler sizes from 25 to 65 quarts. They’re constructed of 1000D Cordura, and feature multiple rows of Mil-Spec nylon webbing with one-inch tactical bar tacks. The back of each kilt has snaps that attach to coolers. The snaps are available as stainless steel self-tapping screws similar to those of boat covers, or as pressure sensitive adhesive pads with snap heads.

Preorder for the Cooler Kilt, which starts at $45 (including shipping), is available beginning on October 28. For more information and to place a preorder, visit

About SmithFly Designs

SmithFly Designs offers American made fly fishing vests, tackle bags, waist packs, belts, and pouches with interchangeable parts that enable fly fishermen to customize their gear. It was founded by designer and fly fishing blogger Ethan Smith in 2010 and is based in Troy, Ohio. Visit to learn more.




Charting search trend data for outdoors activities. Seems to be declining, but why? Other fly fishing relevant search data charts as well…

So it’s a slow week at the office this week. Thanksgiving and all, so I was puttering around on Google trends, like I like to do, and noticed a fairly depressing trend illustrated by the chart below.

It appears that there is a seriously downward sloping trend among outdoor activities. I suspect that this trend is mostly the fact that the internet’s long tail is getting longer and people already know where to find this information and as a result are not doing generic searches for terms like “fly fishing” or “backpacking.”  But as a person with a respect for the sciences, I’m not offering that as actual causal relationship. I’m merely pointing out that the general public is is not searching for the stuff we like, as much as they used to.

Another interesting thing to note is that when it comes to fish species interest is largely flat if you remove the seasonal interest swings.

Notice there appears to be a slight decline in interest in steelhead, which anecdotally runs completely counter to everything I’ve seen on the ground in the fly fishing world. The term “bonefish” was clearly obscured by searches for “Bonefish Grill” so I left that out. In addition the term “trout” by itself, was WAY OFF-THE-CHART, so it was left out as well.

Another interesting group of terms I looked at was the various types of fly fishing we might do. Each seems to be fairly flat, with “dry fly fishing” clearly still being the number one searched for term among the group. Streamer fishing seems to the one that has grown the most in popularity recently, albeit only slightly. I’m sure most would agree that as a tactic it is, in fact, the one that has grown the most on the stream as well. Streamer fishing that used to be relegated to certain times of year is now acceptable all year long, on any day of the week, and in any conditions. At least it’s acceptable for those of us who don’t care about numbers but are looking for size, anyway.

And finally for comparison purposes I’ve done a trend query for mobile devices and trendy electronic gizzies to show what an up-trend should look like.

I think this just shows that the internet is getting mature and content in general is geting more targeted and specialized.

I think what this tells us is that we need to come up with some new stuff. New ways to fish, i.e. streamer fishing (ok it’s not new but you know what I mean) to get the general public excited about outdoors activities. I’m not sure what those new things are, but we need some new juice in there… anyone, anyone, anyone, Beuller?

Fly Angler wins conventional gear Musky Tourney with the only fish boated, suck it gear bitchez!

So a good friend of mine competed in a Musky tournament this weekend. No it wasn’t the National Musky Fly FIshing championship, which was also this weekend and which we both wanted to fish in. No, it was tournament of conventional tackle anglers on Caesar’s Creek in which he beat everyone else with with a fish landed on the fly! That’s right 35.5″ of tournament winning, fly caught, muskellunge.

That look on his face can only be described as a moment of ZEN!

Good job DK!

Google search trend shows an average decline of interest in Fly Fishing as well as seasonal swings, but is that a bad thing?

The chart above  from Google Trends shows a clear decline in the moving average for searches for the phrase fly fishing. The red lines I’ve added for emphasis. You can see clear seasonal shifts in the number of searches, but the overall decline is pretty eye opening. The good news is that this might mean fewer fisherman on the river, maybe? The bad news is that I think, at least anecdotally, the rivers are getting more crowded, not less. So to me, I think this means that the people who are into fly fishing are doing it more, and the general population just doesn’t care. And I think that’s fine. We the fly fishers of the world are becoming better stewards, more connected and more aware / plugged in supportive to what each other are doing, – outside world be damned.

The interesting thign to note on the chart is the big spike in 2009 when President Obama went fly fishing, the huddled masses, they’re so simple minded.

Over the past few years I’ve really taken to listening some interesting financial podcasts like FreakonomicsPlanet Money, and the much more wonkish Econ Talk. The whole economic crisis has raised awareness of the role of financial markets in the world. Starting a business also has made me more aware of the inner workings of business type of stuff. It just helps to be tuned into these things, if for nothing else than to know why it is that I am generally a contrarian. (for more of that go read ZeroHedge)

Below are two charts to compare the above. The first shows the trend for the iPhone with a clear upward trend, and a chart for the phrase christmas gift demonstrating a clear seasonal swing with a basically constant moving average.

Search trend for iPhone with clear upward trend.

Search trend for Christmas gift with clear seasonal swing.

As someone with a newly started business focused on the fly fishing market this might seem disheartening, but I’m a perpetual optimist and a born contrarian. So I look at this chart and say well it can’t go in that one direction forever. (everyone said home values had never gone down, and we all know how that turned out) It will probably move the opposite direction someday.

For those of us dedicated the royal and ancient anachronistic pursuit of fish on the fly, we are here to stay and we think there is tremendous potential for this sport in the future. Fish on!

Firehole River – Catching is heating up

Fly Fishing in Yellowstone reports that the Firehole catching is looking good. Looks like a good time of year to be there. And I learned a new word… salubrious – adjective -health-giving; healthy : salubrious weather. • (of a place) pleasant; not run-down.

. Despite the salubrious daytime temperatures it’s Fall in Yellowstone Country.

.. The golden meadows and cool evenings summon us to bits of water not visited for a couple of months. The Firehole River has, again, become a catching destination.
.. There are fewer elbows on the river right now. There are, however, massive numbers of voyeurs encircling the meadows as the testosterone laden elk begin their Autumn shenanigans. There are also creative parking geniuses along all the roads: and all is well with the world.
.. Evening caddis fishing truncates the mid day terrestrial frenzy at about 6:00 PM. A few Baetids have been spotted after the brief but intensive thundershowers.
.. Zipper-legged pants, pastel shirts, and $200 fishing vests are sprouting like winter wheat along the banks of the river. Fisher density will increase for the next week or so as word spreads.
.. We’ll let you know when the density of mayflies hits a level that allows even us to fish a dry.
.. More later.

Five Fish Fighting Tips

On rare occasion I actually enjoy getting emails from companies. Most corporate email newsletters are worthless pieces of marketing babble that get trashed instantly, even the companies that make some pretty cool gear that I dig. The same old pictures and quippy “call to action”messages. Yeah we know your product is revolutionary, let us figure it out for ourselves please.

THat being said, today I actually got an interesting one with some good tips for fighting big fish so I thought I would share it here. It came from the folks at Deneki outdoors, one of the email newsletters that I actually spend some time looking at. I cannot attest to their worthiness as guides, but I do like their emails and their motto of Fish Hard Rest Easy. Thats a good one.

Here are the fighting tips:

Top 5 Mistakes Made Fighting Big Fish

  1. Rod bent at the tip. The tip of your rod doesn’t have a lot of power.  If your rod angle is high (i.e. you’re acting like you’re in a bass boat), you’re bending the tip of your rod.  The power in your rod is in the butt section.  Keep your rod lower and pull back, not up, on the handle – that will bend the butt of your rod and apply much more pressure to the fish.
  2. Slow stroll downriver. Lots of times big fish get way below you on the river.  We get that.  But if you’re strolling downriver and casually reeling up slack as you go, you’re probably losing more ground than you’re gaining.  Some expert anglers like to ’stand their ground’ and literally not move, keeping maximum pressure on the fish.  Others want to pull more sideways on the fish so they move quickly downriver to get a better angle.  That’s fine, but if you’re going to make a move downriver, do it quickly and reel aggressively as you go – otherwise you’re guaranteed to lose ground.
  3. Pulling like a pansy. Big fish are strong.  If you’re not pulling hard, they’re resting, and you’re just increasing the length of the fight, allowing more time for something to go wrong.  You need to be working hard when you’re fighting a big fish – you should be breathing hard and your arms should get tired!  The gear we use for big fish is strong – you probably can’t break 15 pound Maxima with your bare hands – so pull hard and get it done.
  4. Sudden movements. Often during a fight with a big fish you need to change your rod angle to pull from the other side.  Do it smoothly!  Particularly with two-handed rods, this movement is really pulling the fly from side to side, and you don’t want slack or sudden jerks in the process.  That’s a recipe for working the fly loose.
  5. Rod tip too high. We like the ‘down and dirty’ method with big fish – in most situations right up to the end of the fight, your rod tip should be in the water.  Yes, sometimes you need to raise your rod to avoid an obstacle – that’s fine.  But otherwise, keep your rod low for maximum fish fishing mojo.

Leave a comment for them over here

They also had a cool little Angler’s Creed in there as well – words to live by!

The Dean River Angler's Creed

This stuff applies everywhere.

Here’s the Dean River Angler’s Creed, as posted at the airstrip near the mouth of the river.

This is a pretty good set of commitments to make on any river, wouldn’t you say?

Dean River Anglers’ Creed

I will:

  • respect the river, its fish and fellow anglers.
  • share the water and practice rotation angling.
  • park my vehicle out of sight and sound of other anglers.
  • keep my camp clean and bearproof.
  • leave only my footprints: my garbage goes out with me.
  • be careful with my campfire.
  • maintain a pit toilet and not foul the river.
  • give wading anglers a wide berth with my powerboat.
  • not discharge firearms unnecessarily.
  • respect and not harass wildlife.