By E.J. Daws
For Outlaw E.J. Daws, a native of Bozeman, Montana, summer in the Rockies is all about fishing. And hiking to high places. It’s even better when these two pursuits are combined. Here are a handful of his top gear picks for the summer season. Go fish!
Redington Classic Trout Rod
This 6-piece, 3-weight rod from Redington is the recipe for long battles and endless smiles during fights with feisty trout. Great for high-alpine action, spring creek craziness or even bigger river battles, it’s compact enough for backpacking… or stowing in your car for a post-work session on your favorite riffle. $170
This elegantly designed, 3.7 oz. reel balances perfectly on lightweight rods, and its lovely click and pawl sound is music to your ears. It comes with a case that protects it even when jammed in your pack or glove compartment. $100
Fishpond Westwater Chest Pack
The Westwater Chest Pack keeps things simple when you don’t need your full arsenal or you’re putting miles on your fishing boots. Two compartments easily hold a couple fly boxes, strike indicators, sunscreen and a can of chew. Adjustable strap, water-resistant zippers, heavy-duty nylon construction. $80
Redington Sonic Pro Ultra Packable Wader
High mountain streams and lakes remain chilly into August, so having what’s touted as the “lightest, most packable wader on the market” is a serious boon. Only 1.5 lbs, the Sonic Pro Ultralight Wader can stuff into its own pocket, leaving plenty of room in your backpack for a couple more beers. $290
The Piumas offer the support of a high-top boot, but are light and nimble. The “natural motion” Vibram sole design encourages rolling momentum and grips wet rock like moss. Velveteen uppers dry quickly. The verdict: perfect for summer peak bagging and accessing remote waters lurking with hungry trout. $190
Black Diamond Speed 30 backpack
Designed for climbing, the Speed 30 is a streamlined beauty. Stuff this top loader with overnight gear and lightweight waders, strap your rod to the side, and head for the hills. BD’s ReActiv suspension supports effortless movement – all the better for chasing big browns, and a summit to boot. $140
Brooks-Range Propel Tent
At 2 lbs. 7 oz., this two-person, four-season tent is incredibly lightweight and packs up to the size of a wine bottle. Quick and easy setup gives you more time to fish, and using your trekking poles as tent poles you’ll forget it’s in your pack until bedtime. $350
Black Diamond gear is made for the mountains. With 110 lumens, the ReVolt offers variable brightness settings, is water resistant, and has a lock mode to prevent the light from accidentally turning on in your pack. The best part: optional rechargeable batteries with a USB cable. $60
This story was first published in the summer 2014 issue of Mountain Outlaw magazine.