Fly Fishing Stuff

I recently met a young man that is just starting out in fly fishing and he was amazed that fly fisherman actually look like they do in the magazines and in pictures. Complete with waders, boots, vests, hats, nets and all manner of assorted gadgets dangling from their vests and clothing. This young man asked me seriously if he needed to purchase all of this stuff to be successful? Orvis, Simms, Fishpond and countless other fly fishing companies work very hard and spend a ton of money on advertising in order to convince people that it is needed, but the truth of the matter is that most of it is not. There are some things that are necessary and some that may not be completely necessary but are helpful, and other things that are more gadget than tool. Over the years I have tried a lot of things and have my kit boiled down to what I actually use the most and I have a box full of stuff that I don't use.

So what is absolutely necessary in order to fly fish? A fly rod, fly line, a leader and some flies and honestly that is just about it. There are other items that will make your time fishing more enjoyable and possibly make you more effective, a fly box, a couple of small spools of tippet material of different sizes, forceps, nippers, fly flotant, a net, and lastly, maybe most important depending on where you fish, waders and boots. All of this is fairly cheap, besides waders and boots, and can be carried in a fishing vest, small chest pouch, shoulder sling, or waist pack.

The above pic is what I carry fishing. From left to right, TMNT net, Gink fly floatant, forceps, my lucky buckeye, firestarter with fire straws, bag that my reel goes in. In the next row, a plastic bag with some stick-on strike indicators and a couple of spare leaders, double sided fly box, 3 spools of tippet, mountain wax for my line and leader, the black bag at the far right is my glasses and on the bag itself is a small retractor with a pair of nippers attached. All of this is carried in the USGI waistpack at the top of the picture, the net is attached via a lanyard and magnet. That's it, everything I carry for a day out fishing as long as I am fishing an easy access stream and don't have to hike. If there is any hike in then I have my daypack that contains my waders and boots, water, snacks and a few other items but waders, boots and daypack will be a future post.

I have tried about every type of carrying system imaginable, vest, sling pack, backpack, shoulder bag and everything in between and have settled on what you see because I wear a backpack so much and fish with one on. This pack allows me to wear it with a backpack and access my fishing gear without taking anything off or having to leave the stream.

This is what I am using now but honestly, next week it might be something different, this is a constantly evolving process. I am not saying what I do is better than what anyone else does, I am all about doing what works for you. What I am saying, is that while there are a few things you need to fly fish and some things that are handy to have, you don't have to spend a tremendous amount of money or look like the cover of an Orvis catalog to get out and have a good time and catch fish.


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