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Lateral view of a Male Baetis (Baetidae) (Blue-Winged Olive) Mayfly Dun from Mystery Creek #43 in New York
Blue-winged Olives

Tiny Baetis mayflies are perhaps the most commonly encountered and imitated by anglers on all American trout streams due to their great abundance, widespread distribution, and trout-friendly emergence habits.

27" brown trout, my largest ever. It was the sub-dominant fish in its pool. After this, I hooked the bigger one, but I couldn't land it.
Troutnut is a project started in 2003 by salmonid ecologist Jason "Troutnut" Neuswanger to help anglers and fly tyers unabashedly embrace the entomological side of the sport. Learn more about Troutnut or support the project for an enhanced experience here.


Posts: 115
Trtklr on Nov 25, 2008November 25th, 2008, 8:26 am EST
I'm rethinking my onstream gear and I'm wondering what people take with them. I still use the 20 dollar vest I originally bought but sometimes it gets a bit weighty. I carry two mid size blue ribbon fly boxes and although they are heavy I really like em because they are waterproof and have a nice system for holding flies. I like to take a camera with me. and I often put a net or a bottle of water on my back more to balance the weight than for use. I'm tempted to go to a chest pack or a fanny pack and nothing else. so, just curious as to what people out there keep on them while on the stream.
I have seen nothing more beautiful than the sunrise on a cold stream.
Troutnut's profile picture
Bellevue, WA

Posts: 2758
Troutnut on Nov 25, 2008November 25th, 2008, 8:46 am EST
For trout fishing, I always bring about ten times more than I need -- a big vest fully loaded with gadgets and several hundred flies. It's not the best way of doing things, but that's my habit.

I have become more economical in my grayling fishing, getting by with one little creel-sized gear bag on a shoulder strap, and one fly box in it. Grayling don't require a big arsenal.
Jason Neuswanger, Ph.D.
Troutnut and salmonid ecologist
NW PA - Pennsylvania's Glacial Pothole Wonderland

Posts: 398
RleeP on Nov 25, 2008November 25th, 2008, 9:53 am EST
I think Jason wishes to emphasize that "grayling do not require a big arsenal..."...:)

I carry way too much stuff in a conventional vest. Probably 10-11 fly boxes containing somewhere around 1500 flies combined. Scissors, complete tippet spools in 8 sizes from 6X up to .013, 3 types of floatant, 3 types of weight, 2 types of strike indicators, half an old chamois cloth for drying flies, extra nippers and pliers on an extra zinger, shades, one of those pop-out clothes to clean shades, hook hone, small bungee in case a tourniquet is needed, original and spare licenses for PA, OR, WI, IA and MI.

I do not however carry a spare spool or reel or any water bottles. I'm trying to keep weight and bulk down...

I have a separate vest for smallmouth. It has approx. the same amount of stuff, except a few less sizes of tippet and fewer licenses.

I tried fishing with a chest pack this past season, but gave it up. In order to get the stuff I absolutely have to have with me into a chest pack, I had to get one that was the chest pack equiv. of a 90 room Super 8 with pool and conference room. It was so big that when I would bend down to release a fish, I would dunk the lower 2 levels of fly boxes. That got old in a hurry.

So, I'm back with my Cabela's 3 Forks vest with the 27 pockets or however many it has.

It isn't easy to have to accept that I cannot abide cutting back my load enough to make the most of a chest pack. But I take solace in the self-knowledge gained during the journey..
JAD's profile picture
Alexandria Pa

Posts: 362
JAD on Nov 25, 2008November 25th, 2008, 11:25 am EST
I am quite a bit like RleeP except I carry a extra spool. I think in my case it just plane greed, if I leave one thing in the truck that is exactly what I will need. The problem is I a old man my back hurts and my legs are beginning to bow. I think Lee Wolf had it right when he (Lee)said a heavy vest kept his feet on the bottom of the stream.



They fasten red (crimson red) wool around a hook, and fix onto the wool two feathers which grow under a cock’s wattles, and which in colour are like wax.
Radcliffe's Fishing from the Earliest Times,
Marquette, MI

Posts: 33
UPTroutBum on Nov 25, 2008November 25th, 2008, 2:43 pm EST
I have a gander mountain chest back with the backpack, all one unit. Its nice because it has a strap to hold a net and balances out the weight. I carry two fly boxes, 2x-5x tippet, bug spray, strike indicators, normal tools, floatant, and granola bars. In the back a rain jacket and net, usually a couple beers and water bottle on the outside mesh.

I just bought a William joseph riptide lumbar pack but kinda a fanny pack too. Not sure about it yet. Really the gander mountain pack works great kinda bulky at times because I dont take anything out.

I would like to find a vest that is high above the waist line, I had an old one made of cloth that was long at got soaked if wading too deep. Any good ones that are high above the waist?
" The true fisherman approaches the first day of fishing season with
all the sense of wonder and awe of a child approaching Christmas." John Voelker
Johnstown, Pa

Posts: 11
Wetfly1 on Nov 26, 2008November 26th, 2008, 2:07 am EST
Way to much stuff in my vest feels like a small car on my back when I first put it on. But can't seem to be with out any of that stuff.

I have an Orvis super Tac-L-Pac vest it has a ton of pockets, of course I have all of them filled. I carry 7 boxs of Perrine aluminum fly boxs with the clips that hold all my wet flies and 1 small plastic box that holds my small wet flies. I also carry 2 extra spools, one with a full sinking line the other an intermediate sinking line. 2 spools of leader material one for my droppers the other tippet material and leader wallet with all my pretied leaders. Small flex lite for those late night trips. A pair of shot pliers,nippers and my waterproof camera. In the back I keep a pair of gloves,small first-ad kit and exta batteries for camera and lite and net.

My wild trout vest is much lighter. Its a Cabela,s chest pack, I carry 1 boxs of flies,2 spools of tippet material,extra leaders,camera,small first-ad kit and water bottle. Need the least amount of weight as possable because Iam hiking into some remote areas.

Have taken a few spills over the years and its not much fun unloading that vest and drying everthing out. Iam sure I can speek for everyone.
Cortland Manor, NY

Posts: 139
Mcjames on Nov 26, 2008November 26th, 2008, 5:04 am EST
I bought a used CamelBak backpack w/ 3L water bladder and a used Orvis Safe Passage pack, the one with the 2 chest pockets. I attached the pockets to the straps/belt of the Camelbak vest. I like to hike into semi-remote areas and this arrangement is great, I can fit lunch + rain jacket + all my gear. I usually take 1-4 fly boxes, depending on how well I know the water I'll be fishing. I use alot of zingers-- one for tippet, attached to the back of the pack; one for forceps; one for nippers; one for thermometer. I have a net attached to a magnetic release bungee on one side of the pack.
I am haunted by waters
Potter County, PA

Posts: 144
SlateDrake9 on Nov 26, 2008November 26th, 2008, 10:14 am EST
Well, here goes:

Box of soft hackles, box of nymphs, box of dries, fly wallet full of streamers, box of midges(dry), box of midges(nymphs), leader wallet full of leaders and sinking tips, various indicators, flyline floatant, small clip on head lamp, hemostats, nippers, fly drier, tippet from 2x-8x, net, license, bottle of frog's fanny, small comb to comb out wings on spinners when they get all matted up, small camera and a pistol. Seasonally I'll add a box of egg patterns in place of the dries. Oh yeah, sometimes split shot, but usually not. Sometimes water and even less times single malt scotch. All carried in a Chapman "Artist's" bag.

Fishing with bait is like swearing in church.
-- Slate Drake
Hollidaysburg Pa

Posts: 251
LittleJ on Nov 27, 2008November 27th, 2008, 12:39 am EST
I fished during the too hot for a vest months with only the following:
nippers, hemostat, 3x-5x tippet, 1 large fly box. No vest or pack required, the little pocket in the front of the waders was sufficient for the box, and shirt pockets for the rest. Now I'm back to a vest for no reason whatsoever.
Portage, PA

Posts: 437
Lastchance on Nov 27, 2008November 27th, 2008, 2:31 am EST
I switched to a cheap $20 chest pack from Sierra Trading and added a backpack to it later on. I think it's great. It's very easy on the shoulders when fishing all day. I never liked a chest pack because I always felt they stuck out too far in the front, but now I found one that doesn't. There are more out there. I have eliminated the unnecessary stuff and have what I need for a full day on the water. I know longer have shoulder ache like I did when wearing a vest.
Eastern PA

Posts: 31
Trowpa on Dec 6, 2008December 6th, 2008, 3:32 pm EST
I've recently converted from vest to chestpack. I've always been a minimalist - and this keeps things more versatile for me - easy to wear the chestpack over a wading jacket in the winter as it is to wear over a t-shirt in the summer. Also i like the fold down "tables" the chestpack provides. I use a very small pack, so i don't notice any bulkiness. I don't think i'll be going back to a vest any time soon.
Martinlf's profile picture
Palmyra PA

Posts: 3047
Martinlf on Dec 7, 2008December 7th, 2008, 3:47 am EST
Lastchance, which model did you get? I have looked at Sierra's chest packs, but haven't bit yet. I might give one a try next season. I know they sell out of things and rotate new stock in all the time, but I'm interested in the design you like and may look for something similar.
"He spread them a yard and a half. 'And every one that got away is this big.'"

--Fred Chappell

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