What do I have
in my fishing vest or chest pack today:
is mostly use to squeeze the barb of my fly hooks
closed, which makes it possible to unhook a fish much more
easily at times when they took the fly a little deeper then
expected. I use forceps with the claw mouth in a 45% angle.
to save my teeth and cut nylon.
usually the forceps and clippers will be connected to a
retractor. The retractor is just an awesome device and makes
locating and using your tools much easier and quicker.
I always have two hook sharpeners with me. One for small
hooks, and the other one for larger hooks. Wherever you fish
with stones and pebbles around, you will need them.
I use mostly 2 self-made fly-pads, one on each top pocket,
and replace them every year. I use them to dry my flies.
A chest pack even handier while salmon fishing
As you can see , the vests are a very important part
of fly fishing equipment
I always have a small waterproof MagLite with me. It can be
very helpful when I fish longer then expected. It's quite
handy when you still have a long and dark forest hike
remaining before reaching your accommodations or car.
A highly underestimated attribute. I added this to my vest
after I heard a story about a man who broke his leg while
fly fishing, and ran out of voice while shouting for help.
The whistle saved his life.
I always have some matches or a lighter with me. I put them
in a tiny waterproof bag. They have often helped me out
after I slipped in the water, and used them to make a big
campfire to dry my stuff. (oh do not tell me you never fall
Depends on the type of fishing, but on my holidays I usually
have six spools of different size tippet material with me.
Three spools for salmon fishing and three spools for trout.
For real big salmon I use strengths of 10lbs, for rivers
where I can hook salmon or grilse I use 8lbs, and for rivers
with grilse only I use 6lbs. For all my salmon fishing, I
use exclusively Maxima. For trout I mainly use tippet
material in strength between 2 and 4lbs
my old vest
spare leaders, a few special needles to make my own leaders,
waterproof Super Glue to secure my leader on my fly line, a
small scissor, a little bobbin with thread, and some braided
monofilament and backing for attaching my leader to my fly
line, and for emergency repairs on a fly line. In the wilderness,
I often have used my Super Glue as a perfect replacement for
plasters, and also during serious first aid situations as
well. In many circumstances, it works perfectly when you
have cut your skin, and it actually needs to be stitched. (imagine
you are at a fly-in lodge)
I have several boxes with nymphs, dry flies and other
required patterns for the type of fish I am after that day.
to use on my dry flies to keep them floating longer
and bug net
are essential in buggy areas or Mosquito Heaven!
Measuring tape is required to measure a good size fish so
you are sure that you don't make a fool of yourself.
A little diary
I keep it with a pencil in a little waterproof bag to make
essential notes about insects, hatches, weather conditions,
water temperatures, air temperatures, fish behaviour, and
when I change a certain fly pattern, or just in case I
suddenly get any good idea.
I don't use one.
I prefer to tie on a new tippet instead.
(very tiny) to clean and protect my floating lines from
I have one with me to complete important notes in my diary
for a lucky shot or nice fish
are indispensable when sunny
is very handy for all kinds of things and making a fire as
is essential when fishing techniques requires a lot of fly
action below the surface. It will protect my fingers while
stripping or retrieving.
A special glove
to tail slippery fish,
I take this with me when I fish for slippery fish species.
Very handy to tail salmon as well
Indispensable... we don't want to fish illegally!
will be in the back of my vest
Inflatable life jacket
I personally don't use it, but I always recommend one to everybody
else in my workshops and classes, just for safety reasons.
Pictures by Hans van Klinken