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Thread: WHAT'S IN YOUR VEST? - Bob Boese - August 24, 2009

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Bothell, WA, USA
    Blog Entries

    Default WHAT'S IN YOUR VEST? - Bob Boese - August 24, 2009


    Heres an interesting question.

    Ever wonder what the pro's have in their vest, and what you might be missing? Or perhaps they are?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    neither here nor there


    I don't use a vest, but I have a May pack . 2 boxes of flies ... one wet, one dry, roughly 16 per box. 3 tippet spools, 2 with tippet, one empty. Zinger with hemostats, and nippers. A "tail knotter" tool. An Able tool. A big orange whistle. I tend to fish fairly light!! Oh, and a chamois like cloth from BP that sucks goop off a fly, or your hands. That's it!
    Trouts don't live in ugly places.

    A friend is not who knows you the longest, but the one who came and never left your side.

    Don't look back, we ain't goin' that way.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Sierra mountains west of Lake Tahoe


    How do you fit 16 fly boxes in one vest? Wow!

    OK, here's mine. I have a simple lightweight mesh vest that I bought for $25 somewhere. I don't even know what brand it is.

    Lower front pocket left: Sci-Angler Nymph box (Orange). Nymphs on one side, Dries on the other

    Lower front pocket left outside mesh: Junk. found bobbers, found hooks and other trash that gets thrown out when I get home.

    Lower front pocket right : Sci- Angler classic fly box (Blue). Dries and wets on one side. Larger wooly buggers, hoppers, streamers etc. on the other.

    Lower front pocket right outside mesh: Mini Leatherman knock off. Strike indicators.

    Left inner pocket : Water bottle.

    Left chest pocket : Over priced C&F "not at all waterproof" nymph box with 2 threaders for micro size flies.

    Right chest pocket : Tippet spools and clip on magnifier that clips to my hat.

    Right chest pocket outer mesh : Extra floatant and sink.

    Front of left chest pocket: Wool fly patch. Forceps on zinger. Monomaster on zinger.

    Front of right chest pocket: Fly floatant. Nipper on zinger. Fishing License.

    Clipped to back of vest : Net.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 1999
    Sedro Woolley, Washington, USA


    I hardly wear a vest but I fish mostly for steelhead and all I need is one box of flies, tippet or leader, nippers, hook file, tip wallet. All of this will fit into the pockets of my rain coat or the upper pockets of my waders on those rare occaisions when I don't need a raincoat, nippers and hook file are on a lanyard. Oh, and in the back storage pocket of the rain coat is a ziploc bag with a partial roll of tp.
    "The reason you have a good vision is you're standing on the shoulders of giants." ~ Andy Batcho

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Prescott AZ
    Blog Entries


    On a lanyard hemostat, bottle floatant, tie fast knot tool, fingernail clippers. file.

    In a fanny pack main compartment

    one box of buggers.

    two boxes assorted, poorly tied dry flies

    One box assorted wets

    one box pan fish flies.

    one Little south fork,(thanks danbob) magnetic box full of size 22 and smaller drys wets etc.

    in the small pocket


    strike indicators

    expired state of wa parking pass

    Three spools if tippit

    one pair of small smooth jaw needle nosed pliers

    two bobbers in case I need to introduce a spin fisherman to the joys of fly fishing.

    (way to much stuff)

    "Complexity is easy; Simplicity is difficult."
    Georgy Shragin
    Designer of ppsh41 sub machine gun

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004


    16 fly boxes....holy smokes !
    In my trout vest, I carry 4 boxes plus a streamer wallet
    No zingers for me either.... more trouble than they're worth
    The simpler the outfit, the more skill it takes to manage it, and the more pleasure one gets in his achievements.
    --- Horace Kephart

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    London, Ontario, Canada


    For years I never used a vest. The reason was for the same reason stated in the article. They were just too heavy and I found they got in the way when I was fishing. I also lost a lot of stuff out of them.

    I just used a small pouch that held two or three small fly boxes and a few other essentials and I used a lanyard.

    I ended up buying a vest last summer...the Filson Strap Vest. I'm not sure what the major driving force was that got me to put the bucks down for it. I always liked it's classic look but I think the reason I felt I had to have it was because I was needing a way to carry a rainjacket, food and drink with me on full day outings. I really didn't want to use my regular day pack for that. This vest has a nice little pouch in the back that would hold all that.

    This year the vest started out HEAVY ... but now I have that tamed down again. What is with the idea that we have to fill every pocket? I had the thing stuffed at first. Now I go through the vest every couple of weeks, sometimes every couple of days, to decide what is now what is now obsolete. There's no point in carrying several boxes of flies I won't use and other items I won't be using on a particular outing. Most of my tools are still on my lanyard. On some nice days or a short outings I don't even need the vest. Once I've fished an area I can get it down to one box and my lanyard.
    My wading staff is attached to my belt.
    "There's more B.S. in fly fishing than there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh

    "Catch and Release,...like Corrections Canada" ~ Rick Mercer

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Canton, Ohio, USA


    2 large & 1 small Flambeau Blue Ribbon fly boxes
    hook hone
    Ketchum Release tool
    tape measure
    red tin (actually plastic) Mucilin
    4 furled leaders
    3 spools tippet/mono
    small 1st aid kit
    Magnetic Fly Guard-GREAT item from Dot Man (Fly Reel Dots)
    I carry my 4-6 favorite patterns on it-seldom have to open a box
    20/20 Tippet Threader...again, from Dot Man
    waterproof digital Pentax camera
    (I also carry a gym bag & soft tackle bag in the Jeep with various other items in case I need to switch out)

    Th-th-th-that's all folks!
    FAOL..All about caring, sharing, & good friends!!

  9. #9


    if I'm dry flying (small creeks)
    3x - 5x tippet
    3 fly boxes
    dry fly's (has a few small nymphs in it, usually if I want a dropper I'll do something more like a midge emerger, or the swamph or whatever it's called lol). also a few large fly's in this box like hoppers, chernobyl ants etc which I usually only use as a strike indicator for a dropper)
    streamer box
    insect repellent
    zinger w/ clippers /hook eye cleaner (only zinger I use)

    wading lader waters (usually nymphing only)

    3x, 4x, 6x, and 7x tippet
    4 fly boxes
    dry fly's
    small scientific nymph box (small nymph's)
    other nymphing box with bigger stuff
    streamer box
    small sinkers
    strike indicators
    zinger w/ clippers /hook eye cleaner (only zinger I have)
    net on the back on large zinger

    most of my time on larger waters is in my boat. I carry everything including the kitchen sink, and I don't feel iike writing a book so we'll just list the contents of my 1 bag that I fish out of. no vest here

    polarized sun glasses
    3x -7x tippet
    furled leaders (6' 2WT-5WT, and some 9' 6WT-8WT)
    5 fly boxes
    dry fly's
    small scientific nymph box (small nymph's)
    other nymphing box with bigger stuff
    streamer box
    large fly's including cidda's for the green
    sinkers, tons
    strike indicators, 4 different kinds
    zinger w/ clippers /hook eye cleaner (only zinger I have)
    4 reels (3 6WT - mine, usually 1 for my passenger I usually provide their gear, and my 4WT that never leaves my bad as I carry it as a backup)
    about 5 bottles of floatant
    and a partridge in a pear tree

    the vest is accurate I change empty it / load it every time I use it. the bag is off memory I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Blog Entries

    Default Bad Luck's vest

    Here's what I ALWAYS have:

    3 flyboxes....dry,wet/nymphs/streamers,midges

    2 spools of tippet

    1 sinking leader,1 mono (knotted)leader (got extras just in case)

    muskol (bug juice)

    thermometer (just in case I get a fever)

    night lamp

    canister for insects (if I'm lucky enough to catch 'em)


    When I DO go out, I include:

    my cigarettes and a lucifer

    Some snacks and water bottle

    When I DO go out, I EX-clude:



    the hustle and bustle of everyday living.

    It's sure is GRRRRRRRRRRREAT to leave them off my vest and take them off my chest!

    Happy Fishing All!

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