It took me a good year and a half and many different versions of chest and hip packs to get comfortable while fly fishing. Luckily we decided on a trip out west to visit the four corner states and I needed to downsize my fishing gear to fly. I ran into the Patagonia sling pack and decided to give it a try. I immediately fell in love with its low profile and the way it sat on my back, away from my arms and hands. Eventually, I moved on to what I now use all the time - the Simms Headwaters Sling (Large) - because it offered more space and comfort. Having fished exclusively with this sling pack all year, I'm fairly confident that my search for the best pack has ended and I'll be fishing with this sling until it falls apart.
Simms offers a normal size, and the large/guide size. I have the guide size and really like it. It has enough space for a full day's worth of provisions: 4 fly boxes, snacks, a small canteen, a journal, and in cold weather enough layers can be stuffed into the back pocket to keep warm all day.
The bottom strap goes across my waist much like a backpack unlike the smaller size where it kinda goes up and under your armpit. I found that the strap dug into my chest after long periods of time. I like this one a lot. Even fully loaded, it rests easy on my back and doesn't weigh heavily on my shoulders. It's super comfortable to cast with and to hike/bushwhack through the woods and brush with. I've put many hours, miles, and casts into this sling and it hasn't even begun to breakdown. The stitching and zippers are quality. The straps are strong and durable, and it takes seconds to unclip the waist band and slide it forward to access your flies, tippets, and beef jerky. It's got a great little "secret" stash pocket to hold your keys, wallet, etc. It also has enough clips for all your zinger and fly net needs.
I would highly recommend this Sling for anyone looking for a pack that can hold a day's worth of gear while sitting comfortably on your back, out of the way for easy casting and wading. Simms did an awesome job with this one.
Two things I got sick of: cleaning up all the trash strewn across my passenger side after a fishing trip & having to dangerously reach across and down into the crevices between the seats to find those peanut butter crackers I need to fuel up after a long day on the water. Also, warm drinks that should be cold. So make that three.
Solution: The Stanley 16 QT Adventure Cooler.
What's Great About It: It keeps food & drinks cold. It keeps food fresh even on a hot day. It's easy to load and carry so I don't forget it. It has just the right amount of holding area for a few cans and some snacks & sandwiches for a day trip. I really like the straps on the top which can be used to keep my Stanley Mug or a slim water bottle secure and easy.
My buddy used to always have what he called a "grub box" next to him in his truck. This has become my grub box. An essential component that keeps me fueled up and ready to hit the stream. My box of goodies.
Aesthetically: I love the forest green and slate grey colors. They work as a great background to bolster your sticker collection.
I started nymphing a couple of years ago, but really didn't understand what I was doing until a buddy of mine took me out and showed me what tight-line nymphing was. Before, I would use thingamabobbers and, later, the New Zealand Strike Indicator as my main indicators. These work well in certain conditions, especially when tight-line nymphing is impossible due to current and distance. However, one of the biggest game changers for me over the past year has been using Loon Biostrike as my main form of indicator when nymphing.
I love this stuff not for what it does, but for what it doesn't do. It doesn't really float, which means that I have more control over the depth of my nymphs. You can make it float by forming it into a ball, but I usually stretch it out over my line so it sinks with my flies. It doesn't fall off easily, which means I can use the same small piece for entire days. It also doesn't spook the fish. In fact, when I have fish start striking it, I use it as a sign to start switching up to dry fly or terrestrial. Finally, it doesn't kink my leader. I hate kinked leaders.
What it does do is help me catch fish since I can see my line and what's happening to my line a lot easier.
For $7.50, go out and buy yourself a container and give it a try. It's one thing I always have with me and use every time I go out.
Sketches & scatterings. Rooted in Pennsylvania along the Susquehanna River.