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Your Fly Vest

Find the perfect fly-fishing vest crafted with plenty of pockets and compartments keeping fishing essentials close at hand. Lightweight mesh help keep you cool in the summer are available in variety of sizes and styles. Popular is the shorty vest if you wade deeply. I like vests with pockets on pockets for succesive storage. The smaller pockets are still useful. A rear cargo pocket for the extra gear and spare reels or even lunch.

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Orvis Clearwater Fishing Vest (Click to enlarge)

See simms vest    Patagonia Hybrid Pack Vest_RATN
See Reddington Vest

What's in Your Vest? How ready are you for Eventualities?

Mind you, most of these take up little room, are not heavy, and may also be used as ecoutraments for fly fishing. Other items support coping with inclement weather, accidents, exposure, and basic survival items. Here is what I keep in my vest after 30 years experience camping, hicking, fishing.

  1. Small first aid kit (tape, band-aids, large safety pins, anti-septic, bandage, Ace- bandage, instant ice pack, Water Purifying Tablets) - First aid mandatory
  2. Emergency Thermal blanket - sudden storms/hail/rain
  3. Hemostats - Fishing and removing hooks from fish or your ear
  4. X-acto knife and (fresh sterile blades) If not barbless hooks, may come in handy
  5. Extra flies
  6. Extra leaders and tippets
  7. Leader nippers
  8. Sharp Pocketknife - cleaning fish, fire starting, survival, cutting cordage
  9. Hurricane matches in a waterproof vial - fire starting and two bic Disposable propane lighters
  10. Sunscreen
  11. Mosquito repellant
  12. Pair of stout wire cutters - cutting fish hooks
  13. Small signal mirror (survival signalling)
  14. Whistle (survival signalling)
  15. 12 feet Black 550 Paracord - Snares, lashing a tarp or tent, boot-laces, backpack repair, emergency shelter
  16. Toilet paper in a plastic zip lock bag
  17. Lip balm chapstick - may also promote fire

A few things you also may carry include fly fly floatant, extra pair of glasses, gooseneck night light, thermometer, sunglasses, a large 33 gal 2-mil garbage bag which makes a passable rain pancho. In California, I carried a 38 loaded with snake shot which saved two of my dogs.