Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gear Bags, Vests and Backpacks

                   Gear Bags, Vests and Backpacks

          Fishermen come in all the time to ask me to set them up with the perfect fishing organization system. Over the years, I have tried several systems and continue to use multiple systems depending on the fishing situation and location. I still use a vest occasionally (and like it) but I have also been very happy with Fishpond and Patagonia non-vest products.

        The picture above is from our Smoky Mountain trip a few weeks ago. The bags belong to me (left) and Frank Crane (right). Fishpond has repeatedly impressed me with their ingenuity. Frank and I have very different ideas on what makes a good system and our bags represent this. Frank is a huge advocate of having a water bladder with him. I prefer to just have a spot or two to store a Nalgene bottle. While the bottom of my waist bag often gets a little wet while wading, Frank  doesn't usually have to worry about this. Everything Frank needs is right at his fingertips on his chest. My bag is not as convenient but I wear waders that have a lot of chest storage so this isn't as important to me.
      Anyway, next time you are considering a new system, think about some of these questions. What kind of fishing will I be using this system for? Stream? Lake? Bass? Trout?Saltwater?  Do I need a dry bag or do I only fish in dry weather? What kind of durability do I demand? Am I a "less is more" fisherman or a "be prepared" type?
       In addition to the bag you carry with you, I have found that a more general gear bag can be very helpful. This should be the bag that you keep the majority of your flies, leaders, extra tools, raincoat, and patch kits inside. Not everyone needs 300 pockets but some separation is good. No one wants to be the last person ready for a morning of fishing. A gear bag keeps everything together.
       Fishpond and Patagonia both make a variety of bags to fit your system. Come to us with the answers to some of these questions and we will help you find your match. I'll leave you with a few more pictures of the trip.


2 and 3 weights ruled the day.
The Crane boys and myself.
The Crane's fishing dries to Brook trout.

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