Vests, Sling Packs, Hip Packs, Backpacks, and Boat Bags. They all manage change-outs better than using pants and shirt pockets
By Skip Clement
It seems the technical advantages added to our fly fishing plate just about covers every possible situation that could arise. Of course saying that is like the quicksand quote apocryphally attributed to the Commissioner of US patent office at the turn of the 19th century, “Everything that can be invented has been invented.”
But when it comes to accouterments for lugging fly fishing gear around while afoot or on a skiff, I think the only “new” available would be the construction of the “containers” themselves. And the varied offering of those now available is cause for pause and saying in my bubble, “Sh@t, which one, there are so many designs.
If you were to ask professional guides what would they most likely carry to cover bases for the day, a vest, sling pack, hip pack, backpack, or a boat bag? You’d always get the answer starting with, “That depends . . .” And that’s the answer you gave if you read the sentence. Especially one who fly fishes different venues as a matter-of-course each year.
When the fishing situation changes, and you need access to gear to make the new conditions manageable within the natural limits of the venue you’re fishing, you have to rely on how clever you were at selecting the traveling inventory and the pack to transport it all.
There is no pack capable of carrying enough gear to switch you from brook trout to tarpon, that’s not the point of these packs in the first place.
Several things like current can dictate changeouts, rapid water rises due to Corp of Engineers releases (tailwater fisheries) or flash rainfall runoff, in-water debris, flora cover, tidal current, and water depth. Restrictions like trees, brush, coral outcroppings, canyon wall effects, mangroves, or wind speed and direction, and more, can all create new equipage demands.
Some of those needs could be a fly line, flies, leaders, tippet materials, different fly rod, tips or adding short loop-on Skagit heads for chuckin’ big, bushy flies, and more.
The following choices are not necessarily recommendations; they are “examples” of each type of pack
Featured Image is courtesy of Simms.