It’s a crisp summer morning on the Upper Provo with the first beams of mountain sunlight bending through the mist. A handful of dedicated anglers cast flies into the chilly water hoping to catch the attention of one of the resident cutthroat trout before life’s lesser duties call. Among them is Mike Schneider, a Salt Lake City local and the founder of Causwell, a fly fishing apparel line that’s appealing to the growing new generation of anglers.
“We wanted to create a laidback collection that really embodies the lifestyle of a trout fisherman,” says Schneider, “The search for new water is always on. Our goal was to create pieces that our customers could wear while ‘commuting to the river,’ on the water fishing, to school or work, and still be identified as an angler without having to wear a terrible fitting logo t-shirt that they bought on the sale rack at their local fly shop.”
Driven by the aesthetics of the skate and snow world, this new crop of anglers sees less of a division between their time on and off the water. As Schneider knows, this calls for the meeting of outdoor functionality with street-ready styling. To keep the aesthetics appealing, Causwell opts for timeless branding elements and contemporary fits.
For the line’s new t-shirts, hooded longsleeves, and neck gaiters, Schneider developed a partnership with materials innovator Drirelease to make the apparel river-ready and virtually dirtbag-proof. “Not only is our fabric some of the softest, most comfortable on the planet, it also dries four times faster than regular cotton, removes perspiration quickly while the “FreshGuard” technology prevents odor,” Schneider says. Most importantly for the summer, the material features a a built-in sun protection rating of UPF 30-plus.
Though the brand is designed to appeal to the next generation, staying true to the heritage of the sport and passing on the notion of ecological stewardship in fly fishing is a top priority. “We want to make sure the young anglers learn that there’s an art to casting, a proper way to handle a fish when catch and release fishing, river etiquette and general respect when in and around the river,” Schneider says.
While social media platforms like Instagram may be a factor in driving new anglers to the water, the common thread of exploration, adventure, and a desire to commune with nature remain the same. As Schneider says, it’s fine to share your day on the river, just don’t blow up any secret spots.
Keep an eye out for Causwell this summer on their “Commuting Rivers” tour across Idaho, Montana, and Alberta.