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Crackaig

Excess Baggage

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I really do need to 'lighten up' a bit and thought I did that a week or so ago. I got a mesh vest of sorts that had a LOT of pockets but looked overall like it was quite a bit smaller than my 'current' vest. Found out I could put almost ALL the stuff from the former vest into the new one and ... well.. I might have lightened up a little.. but emphasis on 'little'. I'll try again another time.

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Really depends on what I am fishing. If I am doing a float for musky I have three boat boxes of flies, pair of pliers, knife, and a couple spare leaders. On top of that my gopro and assorted mounts, rain jacket, camera, tripod. Also typically carry an extra rod and spare reels in case I break something, which I have the tendency to do. A tent and matches will be taken depending on how long I plan to be on the water. But if I go brook trout fishing on small native streams, it is a altoids can of flies, hemostat, tippet, and gopro or camera. Then every other trip is somewhere in between

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When I was doing a lot of steelheading on the north shore in MN my vest was heavy. We lost a lot of weights and carried a LOT of lead. My friends and I tended to fish a lot more weight than almost anyone else on the stream and proved over and over again that lots of weight in heavy current would give you much better control of the terminal end yarn/egg fly than a split or two. It was important to balance the weight of the vest to keep from having a sore back because of the weight we carried though. I was young then and the weight didn't mean much to me but now I'd definitely pare it down. Keep more in the truck for backup and less in the vest.

 

Speaking of weight, many times I'd watch guys with a couple of splits trying to follow their line and find out they were snagged up 10' from where they thought their fly was. We'd thunk, thunk, thunk along the bottom below the surface currents and catch fish they never could touch.

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Less is best, but today it was to much! Pulled up at the car park of a local fishery in the morning! The noise didn't sound good! Put my rod & reel togeather, hip waders & boots on, wadding jacket & clipped my net to the magnet, thought i'll take the fly box with dries & nymphs so i can trail a nymph under the dry if the water is to big! Walked through the bushes to see chocolate milk tydal waves coming over the rocks! Back to the van & went to buy a new pair a shoes, misses has been on to me about it for a while! Ever pulled up at the rivet for a short fish with no gear at all? Just a rod with one fly on the end, beautifull feeling of freedom, just like driving a car without a seatbelt or a motorbike without a helmet!:-)

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I have done that a few times Adam I am like a two minute walk to the river I go fish for bass for a few minutes a few times a week with only a rod and bugger and a pair of hemostats.

 

Its nice to keep it simple some times.

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I wish I had everything on me when I'm fishing. But I'm in such a rush to get on the water I always for get something everyday I'll for get something.

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When I go on a trip out west (like right now,) I pack a lot of flies for different places and often use only a few of them. I have several hundred flies that I store at my brothers, and always end up tying more getting ready to go. I leave waders, and boots at my brothers, along with a wading staff, and net.

 

I load up a small back pack with snacks water camera, and extra fly boxes. Clipped to the front of the back pack is a small chest pack. The chest pack holds about 8 small fly boxes with what I think will be needed that day on that water. A tippet spool hanger holds 6 spools of tippet, and a net is clipped to the back pack.

 

So far on this trip, I have fished 4 different streams, in two different states, and I am not done. Today, it was in the upper 90s, so I went light. I loaded up the pack and chest pack as usual, but when I reached the area I intended to fish, I set it down on a rock and put 3 fly boxes in my pockets, and some lead in one pocket. Lanyard held the tippet holder and tools. I waded wet, and even left the net in the car.

 

Didn't miss any of the other 1000 or so flies I had left in the pack. Yesterday, I fished a small mountain stream with just one box of flies.

 

Of the 5 rods with me, I have used only 2 so far. I have 4 weights, 6 weights (2 each,) and one 8 weight rod with me this trip.

 

Yes, I carry way too much stuff, but I don't ever know when I head west just where I might end up fishing. Today I fished a western green drake hatch which was not unexpected, and I had the right patterns. Last week, it was stone fly nymphs. and in the mountains, it was tiny caddis flies.

 

Tomorrow will be streamer and leach patterns in a large lake.

 

Yes, I carry WAY too much stuff, mostly extra flies. There were times when I would pack two rods on the stream with me. I could stop tying today, and not run out of flies for 15 years. But I won't stop tying, so be sure and hit my "estate sale" when I kick off, there will be plenty of tackle and tying material there, plus thousands of flies.

 

One from today:

post-12074-0-48490300-1435629930_thumb.jpg

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... I don't like the weight of water and I am looking for a fanny pack with water bottle pockets to keep the weight on my hips and less noticeable I hope.

Moving the water to a waist/fanny/lumbar pack is a huge win for the shoulders. This helps anything that hangs from your shoulders - vest, chest pack, shoulder bag, sling, etc... I normally use a common fanny pack to carry water. It replaces my wader belt, when I'm wearing waders.

 

A few of the newer pack-vests have a waist belt to move the load to the hips. Looks promising, but I've never used one.

 

I'd love to move my net off my shoulders, but I really like the performance of a magnetic net holder. I've tried the net in belt method, but it doesn't really work for me. Maybe I could use a net holster.

 

Back on topic - I wannabe a minimal, but my reality is a pack mule.

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