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.