It’s been a fun couple of months and one of the highlights was a mission we made to the Orange River where we teamed up with Jeep Apparel, makers of gritty outdoor/urban clobber, who have come out with a new range of clothing that they wanted to test in the field on us. That was why we also had a Jeep Wrangler Sahara 3,6L V6 to play with.

When the new gear was handed out, there was almost a palpable surprise at how well it suited our fishing shmodels both in terms of how it looked and how it performed on the water. The new range is a fresh departure from what you might expect from Jeep Apparel’s standard styling of the last few years and is aimed at a crowd that favours versatility in a garment. It was designed so that you can wear it on the water, in the bush, or up a mountain and then fit back into society again without being labelled a sartorial pariah. If you’ve ever gone straight from fly fishing to a bar or a restaurant, dressed like a piscatorial gnome, a court jester or a rodeo clown, you’ll know what we’re talking about. And while not specifically designed for fly fishing (which usually means doubling the price), this range felt like it might well have been designed with fly fishing in mind. We’re talking quick-dry fabrics with stretch which helps when rock-hopping or casting, materials like ripstop for durability and smart detailing from haemostat loops to zippered pockets, perfect for a fly box or a phone.

“Jeep Apparel’s new range was designed so that you can wear it on the water, in the bush, or up a mountain and then fit back into society again without being labelled a sartorial pariah.”

Brett Bellairs with a largemouth yellowfish
Brett Bellairs with a largemouth yellowfish from the Orange

It makes perfect sense that with this new range Jeep would want to appeal to a much bigger target market than just the fly-fishing crowd, but it was interesting to discover that they do in fact have history with fly-fishing clobber. In fact, years ago they kitted out the original Flycastaway team of Gerhard Loubscher, Arno Matthee and Keith Rose-Innes in technical fishing shirts and sponsored a fishing series called Hook, Line and Jeep. Their new Trailhawk technical shirt worn day-in day-out by our shmodels Bod, Brett and Gabriel, is a more than worthy successor to those earlier styles. It still ticks all the tech shirt boxes – plenty of utility, quick-drying and easy to move in – but boasts a much improved fit and look.

Despite life dishing up a few metaphorical lemons, with brilliant new clobber, three fishing shmodels with mad skillz and a souped-up Jeep Wrangler Safari, we still managed to make some sweet sweet lemonade. This short film shot by Gabriel Botha and Ryan Janssens is the story of that trip.

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