Saturday, June 28, 2008


I received some product feedback that I wanted to share with the Way Upstream community. The following letter and photos are from guide and casting instructor Joel Hays:
Hi Steve -
My name is Joel Hays and I'm a guide in North Texas. I specialize in fly fishing freshwater flats for carp at Lake Ray Roberts north of Dallas/Ft. Worth. An amazing fishery, 4-8 lb. fish that love flies, TAILING in inches of clear water - an absolute blast! Anyway, I received your contact info from the guys at the Tailwaters fly shop in Dallas. I took them fishing last weekend and they said "Dude, you've got to send Patagonia a picture of your Marlwalkers!" Well, attached is a photo of my beloved boots. This is my third pair of Marlwalkers and nothing stands up better to the abuse I give footwear. Hard packed coral flats have nothing against the bottom of this lake in terms of shoe torture - broken glass, old house foundations, barbed wire, abandoned well equipment, etc. The discoloration is from iron oxide leached out of the sandstone that surrounds half the lake. Thanks for a great product - these boots have lasted three years in a VERY harsh environment. Contact me when you're in Dallas and I'll show you to some amazing fishing!
Joel Hays -

Note that Joel's Marlwalkers are the originals which were introduced in 1999. The Marlwalker® of today has evolved some but is still the same superb flats/surf fishing shoe. It's been combat tested on the razor-sharp coral pancakes of Christmas Island, this third version of our classic flats shoe is better than ever. Lighter, more flexible and faster drying, the latest Marlwalker retains the stiff midsole flex pattern and killer durability that’s made it the favorite of flats guides everywhere. Boot-style protection and support reduce fatigue and maximize stability.

Photos courtesy of Joel Hays

Thursday, June 26, 2008


Matt O'Connor is the new Patagonia Sales Rep managing accounts in Colorado, New Mexico, and southeast Wyoming. One of his first on-the-job actions was to dive into the meandering currents of the blogosphere with an online creation he's dubbed - Rocky Mountain Patagonia Fly Fishing. His reason, "I wanted to create a resource for anglers, retailers and industry partners." His site plans to feature updates and reviews of Patagonia products, his travel calendar, industry news, events, retail success stories, tales from the river and fishing reports. Give a Way Upstream welcome to Matty and drop by RMPFF.Photos courtesy of Matt O'Connor

Friday, June 20, 2008

Insulator Jacket

Crisp, autumn mornings on the Yellowstone, foggy late spring Vineyard rips, the first hard frost at Illiamna—these kinds of scenarios are the motivation for creating the Insulator Jacket. This windproof, water-resistant soft shell dramatically increases on-the-water comfort whenever the hard shell is overkill. It's also perfect, friction-free insulation under the hard shell for inclement conditions. The sleek-yet-cozy fabric (stretch-woven polyester outer layer bonded to Polartec® fleece) combined with features like angled, water-resistant zippers on large front cargo pockets, protected zinger attachment points and streamlined, snag-free cuffs ensure you’ll fish more comfortably and efficiently. Added bonus: the signature trout logo on the collar back. Brushed-fleece lined zippered hand pockets and collar; Houdini® drawcord at hem; inner stash pocket. The Insulator Jacket will be available for Fall 2008.

The Insulator Jacket provides all the advantages of a soft shell—max breathability, comfort and warmth—in a windproof, water-resistant package that loves to fish.

Shell: 9.8-oz, 100% stretch-woven polyester laminate (Polartec® Power Shield®) and 8.8-oz dobby weave of 47% nylon, 45%polyester, 8% spandex with 4-way stretch plus a durable water repellent finish. Collar: 4.3-oz polyester fleece (50% recycled)

* Large front cargo pockets with water-resistant, angled vertical zips
* Protected zinger/tool attachment bar
* Houdini® drawcord at hem
* Zippered, brushed-fleece lined handwarmer pockets
* Brushed-fleece lined collar
* Snagfree, streamlined cuffs
* Internal zippered chest pocket
* Modified Y-Joint™ shoulders and articulated elbows
* Distinctive fish (trout) logo on collar

S, M, L, XL, XXL

Photos courtesy of Chris LaScola and Dylan Tomine

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Find what moves you

Return to the Outdoors is a Web site recently launched by The Conservation Alliance and Timex, a Conservation Alliance member company. Their goal - inspire people to get out, enjoy and protect wild places. The Web site features videos about people who identify with special places, and how those places inspire them to be involved in conservation. Check out this fly fishing related video of Yvon Chouinard in Argentina. Visit The Cleanest Line for a more detailed post about this subject. Find what moves you.

Photo by Henry Barber

Sunday, June 15, 2008

The Complete Angler - Chapter 5

James Prosek (artist/writer), Fritz Mitchell (producer/editor) and Peter Franchella (cinematographer) produced a Peabody Award winning film documenting Prosek’s travels in the footsteps of the 17th century English writer, Izaak Walton.

Way Upstream now brings you Part 5 of the mini-series - The Complete Angler. In this chapter James fishes with Sir John Swire, an upper-class Englishman who talks about his love of fishing and of Izaak Walton's ideals and life philosophy.

Way Upstream Productions Copyright 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

River Portrait - 1

I created this image from a photo that I took of friend and Way Upstream contributer, Rene Braun. I call it River Portrait. Check out this 90 second Kennebec Brown video showing Rene and Guide Sean McCormick putting a nice brown trout in the net. You'll see more River Portrait posts in the future.

Way Upstream Productions 2008

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Mandatory pilgrimage

On May 30th I packed my bags and headed across the North Atlantic. 18 hours and a few plane changes later I was in Oslo, Norway where I met up with resident friends Jeff Leopold and Ole Wilmann. The first objective was to get to a small cabin along the Stordal River and usher in Atlantic salmon season. In order to accomplish that it would still require a 6 hour drive from Oslo over the Norwegian high country, a ferry ride to the Fosen peninsula and then more driving, but the possibility of catching the regal chrome fish transformed the lengthy trek into a mandatory pilgrimage. At our destination cabin we met up with Egil Wilmann who was waiting for us with steaming hearty sodd, aquavit and cool beers. For the next couple of days we two handed flies through the beautiful pools of this river.

Now those of you who chase this fish know that there are no guarantees when it comes to catching Atlantic salmon and in this trip’s case, relatively warm conditions combined with low water stacked the deck in favor of the fish. We had tide and water temperature as our trump cards. It’s a hard game no matter what, especially when you only have a few days. Skill and luck are always tested and big winners are few. I always set my expectations on this mantra, “It only takes one”.

We did manage to coax fresh silver blue torpedoes to take our Leopold tied Jock Scott variations (Ole’s favorite fly for this river). A few small sea trout (pictured above) found themselves deceived as well. During our long and mostly sleepless sessions we tested new waders and features, a variety of packs, a new soft shell shirt and a host of current styles including R2 Jackets, Insulator Pants, Riverwalker Boots, the Guidewater Jacket and more. It was also a chance to see some new product line coloration in this environment. Great session, great place and really great people….but it was time for part II of my trip.

The later half of this excursion was the fixed point and the real purpose behind my travel. It was time to head to Annecy, France for the Patagonia Spring 2009 EU Sales Meeting. I was a bit nervous but was looking forward to it since getting the nod to attend. I would get a chance to present the Patagonia Fishing category to our hard core representatives from a wide variety of countries in their neck of the woods. It would also be a chance to hang with my team members on an “away game” level. Needless to say it was awesome. The presentations, company, food, accommodations, organization and activities (which included Dragon boating and Sumo wrestling) were all commendable. I’m looking forward to next time already as a mandatory pilgrimage.

Photos by El Pescador