Fly Fishing Pack Options

Fly Fishing Pack Options

The problem with old-school vests is that there are no truly large pockets for big items like cameras, jackets, or even for truly large fly boxes. (Yes, there's usually a large zippered pocket between your shoulder blades, but it's so awkward to get in/out of that it's practically useless.) And all those little pockets on the front don't keep you organized, they keep you in a state of disarray because you never know what pocket your 6X tippet is in, or where to find your floatant. Many (if not most) fly fishers today are eschewing their fathers' vests for packs and slings that favor large compartments, and easier access to more stuff. Here are four of our favorites.

Leave No Flies Behind

From smallest to largest, these packs are (1) 462 cubic inches, (2) 504 cubic inches, (3) 900 cubic inches, and (4) 1,434 cubic inches.

Orvis Safe Passage Guide Sling Pack $140

This is a truly massive sling pack for the 'œbig fly' guys who stow their streamer collections in old-school Plano boxes, and don't like to get caught short. At 900 cubic inches it's the largest true sling pack we looked at, and it's 360% larger than Orvis's original Safe Passage Sling Pack. It has a security strap to stop the sling from slipping around to the front while you are hiking or casting. Unclip the strap and you can swing the bag to the front for easy access to the pockets. There's a hemostat sheath on the strap so you don't have to swing the pack around every time you release a fish. Our tester used this bag for Spey casting on the Skeena River and said 'œYou can carry as much as you want with you, but unlike a chest pack or vest, your gear is out of the way while casting. The easy-grab zipper tabs are just one of the thoughtful features that make this bag work.' orvis.com

Patagonia Sweet Pack Vest $200

Patagonia's uber-packvest isn't for roadside fishing or driftboat trips where the guide ties on flies for you. This is for all-day expeditions where you carry everything — think sunrise-to-sunset fishing in the Gros Ventre Wilderness. You need more than flies. You need food, extra clothes, camera, an extra rod, and lots of water. The Sweet Pack Vest has side compartments for rod tubes or water bottles, and two outside zippered compartments for fly boxes, tippet, and other essentials. The top compartment also has a waterproof TPU pouch for your wallet and cell phone. The main compartment has two stretch-mesh pockets for extra organization, and a sleeve for a hydration bladder (and exit for the hose). Patagonia's Minimalist Vest ($130) clips to the padded shoulder straps for extra storage and easy access while fishing. patagonia.com

Simms Headwaters Sling Bag $70

Our tester loved the lightweight, breathable back panel on the Simms Headwaters Sling Bag. 'œWhen I'm walking long distances, I wear the bag as a lumbar pack, and the mesh and perforated foam keep my back dry and cool. Even if I dunk the pack, the back panel sheds water and dries quickly.' The bag can also be worn as a sling (over one shoulder) or as a more traditional chest pack for match-the-hatch situations where you constantly need access to your boxes. When you are hiking, the sling strap detaches and hides inside the bag. Made of durable Cordura, the bag has two Velcro exterior pouches for leaders and tippet spools, and two larger zippered compartments for three or four large fly boxes. Inside, there are also small pouches with elastic tops to hold accessories like bug dope, split-shot, sunscreen, and other necessities. simmsfishing.com

Spite Hill Guide Pack $100

Can't decide between a lumbar pack and a sling? You don't have to. The Spite Hill Guide Pack can be worn as either. A quick-release tab loosens the waist belt so you can swing the pack to the front like a sling where you have easy access to all of your stuff. It's comfortable, and has the compartments you need to stay organized, but without the hassle of so many pockets so you can't find what you need. The waistbelt has expandable water bottle holders, and the small front compartment has magnetic closures on the front flap, and zippered mesh pockets inside for things like tippet spools and leader packages. The large compartment has a YKK heavy-duty zipper, and magnetic dividers inside to separate large items like cameras, fly boxes, extra reels, or a rain jacket. clearcreek.net


Get Your Fish On.

Plan your next fishing and boating adventure here.

Recommended for You

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done. Fly Tying

Tying the Kamikaze Sculpin

Charlie Craven

The Kamikaze Sculpin is easy to tie, versatile, and smartly designed to get the job done.

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game. Fly Tying

Perdigon Nymph

Charlie Craven - January 15, 2019

These dense, indestructible nymphs will improve your subsurface game.

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that occurred on what appeared to be a routine guide trip on Sunday, June 23, 2019 in a shallow lagoon near San Pedro, Brazil. Industry

Fly Fishing Community Stunned by Twin Slayings on Belize Saltwater Flat

Fly Fisherman Online Staff - June 27, 2019

The fly fishing communities in the U.S. and Belize are mourning after twin slayings that...

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

Bahamas - Bonefish

Bahamas - Bonefish

Conway casts for his personal best bonefish while fishing the Grand Bahama islands.

 Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Getting Started In Fly Fishing

Breaking the Surface

Breaking the Surface

Attack of the Bass continues as Breaking the Surface attacks bass with fly and lure 12:30pm ET Sunday, April 17th.

See more Popular Videos

Trending Stories

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most common applications you'll encounter on the water. How-To

Picking the Perfect Fly-Fishing Leader

George Daniel - January 22, 2018

George Daniels offers his advice on which types of fly-fishing leaders are best for the most...

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp flies! Flies

The 15 Best Carp Flies

Jay Zimmerman - September 27, 2016

As you explore your home water, keep in mind what they are eating to select the best carp...

American River California United States

American River California

MIchael Wier - March 23, 2017

American River California

See More Stories

More Accessories

Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader make backpacking and flying a little bit easier by shaving weight and bulk from a men's and women's wader system that weighs 2.4 pounds (men's medium) and packs smaller than any previous Orvis waders. Accessories

Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 28, 2017

Orvis Ultralight Convertible Wader make backpacking and flying a little bit easier by shaving...

Finding the Spine Of The Rod every time. Accessories

Spine Of The Rod

Ross Purnell, Editor - November 20, 2017

Finding the Spine Of The Rod every time.

A drift boat may be the most expensive piece of fly-fishing equipment you buy this decade. It pays to look around at the best drift boats, as the wrong choice can be costly. Accessories

Best Drift Boats

Fly Fisherman - January 03, 2016

A drift boat may be the most expensive piece of fly-fishing equipment you buy this decade. It...

See More Accessories

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Temporary Price Reduction.

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW THIS MONTH'S ISSUE

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.