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Product Review: Fly Fishing Flies all the way from Africa

Some days around here are better than others.

When someone contacts us here at Kootenay Angler and asks us if we would like to demo some of their products, we usually get excited for numerous reasons. We love lures of all sorts and colours. We love planning fishing adventures, and new tackle gives us an excuse for a little product testing and R&D. And mainly, we love catching fish! Anything is worth trying a few times to see if it helps us hook up with the fish.

So a few months back, I got an email from someone named Paul Aringa. He seemed keen to have us try out some of his flies. I told him to send a sampling of his flies out to our headquarters, and we would be sure to give them a go. After a week or so, a small brown envelope arrived that I had to sign for. Ah, the "Paul Aringa" flies have arrived. I curiously openned the envelope and found a nice sample of his flies of various colours and weights. I was especially pleased to see a few "Janssen Minnows" which look like a fly with a minnow around the hook which adds a little weight. I was pleased because this would definately be an asset when casting into the British Columbia November winds.

I hadn't seen this type of fly much around here in the Koots, and then I wondered where the flies had originated. I flipped over the envelope again to read that Paul Aringa had sent the flies from Kenya in Africa. "Come again, say what?". Yup, straight out of Africa to Kootenay Angler in Nelson BC Canada.

The flies were all labelled by hand and taped carefully to a name tag. I was impressed with the assortment of colours - Paul had done his homework. It's one thing to receive a product from a large lure company that has lures to spare, it's another thing to receive hand-made goods from the other side of the planet for no apparent reason other than maybe to sell a few to us. We were honoured to receive these flies, and we set out to give them a go.

As predicted, the Janssen Minnows were great on a windy rainy day in the West Kootenay region. We were impressed with the distance we could cast with these flies in bad weather which was a result of a good weight and the fly's aerodynamics. The fly sunk quickly which also aided in our ability to get the fly down into the target zones quickly in rough water. The hooks were also sharp and durable, and most importantly, the trout were enticed. We enjoyed many battles.

Just like when fishing, you never know what you will catch when sitting in the office day dreaming. I am stoked to have been introduced to these fly fishing flies from Paul in Africa, and we will look forward to my next fly fishing mission with these flies.

- Review by Brian at Kootenay Angler


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