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Artistic view of a Male Pteronarcys californica (Pteronarcyidae) (Giant Salmonfly) Stonefly Adult from the Gallatin River in Montana
Pteronarcys californica

The giant Salmonflies of the Western mountains are legendary for their proclivity to elicit consistent dry-fly action and ferocious strikes.

Dorsal view of a Sweltsa (Chloroperlidae) (Sallfly) Stonefly Nymph from the Yakima River in Washington
This species was fairly abundant in a February sample of the upper Yakima.
27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.

Broken Arrow, Ok

Posts: 25
Gt2003 on Mar 7, 2019March 7th, 2019, 1:46 am EST
I see so much about Orvis, Rio, Scientific Angler etc. and rarely see Cortland stuff mentioned. I thought Cortland was pretty popular 20 or so years ago. Is this a misconception or have these other companies passed them up? Reminder, I haven't done tons of fly fishing in my life, this is just my limited perception.
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Mar 7, 2019March 7th, 2019, 2:09 am EST
Cortland (along with Sci Angler) was the industry standard in fly lines for many, many years. My sense is that this changed in the 1990's, give or take. They were never a very big company to begin with and then changed hands at least once maybe a decade or two ago. During the uncertainty portion of this period, they were outcompeted in terms of product offerings and market placement by Rio, SA and to some extent, Sue Burgess/Air Flo.

So, once they reorganized, they had a tougher road to get back into a position of some strength. Gradually, over the past 10 years or so, they have been working their way back. But they lost a lot of dealers and haven't got them all back as of yet.

You can find the higher end Cortland products through the usual sources if you look for them. I'm older and remember all that the company did for the sport in the 60's and 70's and have a soft spot for Cortland. So, I tend to seek their stuff out so long as it fits my needs. Long and short of it is, I think you can trust Cortland's stuff, at least at the higher end
(not their Wal-Mart line of stuff) to be as good as anybody's.

This may be a less than perfect summary. That's another thing about getting along a bit. The clear grasp of timelines and events can get a little foggy...:)
Broken Arrow, Ok

Posts: 25
Gt2003 on Mar 7, 2019March 7th, 2019, 2:57 am EST
Thanks RleeP! That's about the time I last fly fished fairly regularly so your timeline makes sense. Even though I was never a hardcore fly fisherman, I tend to gravitate back to what I remember. I was a bit frazzled when I simply didn't see their name mentioned much. Good to know that their higher end stuff is up to par. I might be needing a new line soon and was looking at their "Big Shot" line for bass. Glad to know this wouldn't be a subpar choice.
Jmd123's profile picture
Oscoda, MI

Posts: 2474
Jmd123 on Mar 7, 2019March 7th, 2019, 7:19 am EST
I once had a lovely little 7-foot 3-weight made by Cortland, and my buddy Todd still has one (broke mine sadly). No reel seat, just a pair of slip[ rings on a cork handle, and a nice little rod for the smaller bodies of water. i've got some old cortland lines that are still in good shape, found them buried in the bottom of an old tackle box in my folks' basement during my christmas visit downstate. you don't hear much about them these days though, but they are still out there.

No matter how big the one you just caught is, there's always a bigger one out there somewhere...
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York & Starlight PA

Posts: 2635
Wbranch on Mar 7, 2019March 7th, 2019, 8:03 am EST
Back in the mid 1960's when fly fishing was becoming more popular Cortland brought out a series of bamboo rods. They were THE fly line company for decades. I still like the peach colored 444 DT line for some of my lighter dry fly rods.
Catskill fly fisher for fifty-five years.
Iasgair's profile picture

Posts: 148
Iasgair on Mar 8, 2019March 8th, 2019, 5:12 am EST
I agree with Matt on the Classic 444 Peach lines. They are fantastic lines for traditional trout rods, and they are excellent lines for bamboo. In fact, that's all I use on my bamboo rods.

Cortland has been silent for a long time, and you know what they say about sleeping giants? Well, they are back and they have new products out now. Their spey casting lines from what I have heard from a fly shop north of me, who are the only ones around that sell Cortland 444, told me they are right up there with other spey lines out there. But they have also revamped some of their other lines too, and have new packaging. Right now they have 82 different lines on the market, yes, 82, I just counted them. Who else has that many different lines. They even have a double tapered sylk line. I have never heard of a double tapered sylk line before.

Give them time and I bet you'll be seeing them in more places than what you do now.

Their competition nymphing rod is getting popular from what I have read on other forums. And correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't the Syndicate rod made by Cortland? Because that rod is really getting some attention.
Broken Arrow, Ok

Posts: 25
Gt2003 on Mar 8, 2019March 8th, 2019, 6:03 am EST
Glad to hear all of this! When I move forward with a bass setup I'll definitely be using their line and maybe rod as well. Thanks

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