The Fly Fishing Vest Setup: The Gear You Need For Trophy Success

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The Fly Fishing Vest Setup: The Gear You Need For Trophy Success

The angler crouched low against the surface of the stream. The trout had certainly risen not too far away, and the fly on the end of the line precisely matches the current hatch of insects. All it was going to take was a quick cast, drop the fly down gently and wait for the strike.

The angler, still crouched low, lifted the line from the surface of the water and started the back cast. As the angler rotated his arm forward at the elbow to send the fly down to the water’s surface, tragedy struck.

The fly had become caught in a low-hanging limb behind the angler. Angry, the angler snatched the line hard, trying to dislodge the fly from the limb. Out of frustration, the angler snatched as hard as possible, breaking the tippet and leaving the fly in the tree, well beyond his reach.

Disheartened and defeated, the angler made their way back to the bank. It was the only fly they had as the other flies were in the tackle box left in the vehicle, a considerably long walk away from the stream.

One of the main characteristics of trout fishing with a fly rod is that often the best fishing requires the angler to enter the water and move up and down the stream or river in search of their quarry. This unique perspective gives an advantage to the fly angler than many conventional tackle anglers simply cannot best. The fly angler also has a second and much more effective tool when it comes to reaching the difficult trout – the fly-fishing vest.

The fly-fishing vest is the equivalent of a mechanic’s tool box. The vest will have everything the angler needs at any time when on the water, giving them the ability to fish without stopping while on the stream and river.

What is the best fly-fishing vest?

A fly vest is something that is very personal and should be carefully considered before purchasing. Here are Angler’s Gear recommendations for a fly-fishing vest:

  • Lightweight – Heavy vests will wear out the angler who is actively casting and fighting current

  • Size larger than you wear – You will need the extra space for your fly boxes and other gear

  • Several pockets – Most of the better vests have eight or more

  • Fly patch – Usually up where a breast pocket would be, the patch holds commonly used flies

  • Open back – For a creel or to hold fish

  • D Rings – Several D rings to clip various tools and net on the back

  • Plenty of room to move – Fly fishing requires large arm movements, the vest should not restrict you

The Kylebooker Fly Fishing Vest is a top choice and meets all the characteristics listed above.

What do I need in my fly-fishing vest?

The better question to ask: What do I NOT need in my fly-fishing vest? Any good fly angler will have some following in their fly-fishing vests at all times:

  • Flies – Several fly boxes of flies including: dries
    wetsnymphs and
    terrestrials.

  • Line conditioner – Line conditioner keeps the fly line floating nicely on the water.

  • Dry fly flotant – Dry flies will get wet and need to be treated.

  • Tippet – Fly presentation requires line that tapers into a tippet. Tippet needs replacement.

  • Clipper – Trim tag ends and flies if necessary.

  • Forceps – Used to remove your hook from the trout.

  • Net – One that clips to the back of the vest is ideal.

  • Split shot – In case it is necessary to get flies or nymphs down deep.

  • Strike indicators – For wet flies and nymphs.

  • Bug repellant – Not all hatches are pleasant.

  • Sun screen – The sun gets hot and reflects from the surface.

  • Polarized glasses – These should be on your face but you.

  • Headlamp – Getting onto or off of the water when dark is not fun.

  • Small first aid kit – It is always a good idea to have bandages just in case.

This may seem like a lot of stuff, but remember something: most of the things a fly angler uses are relatively small and compact. All of this will fit easily into the vest.

How to fill your fly-fishing vest.

You have quite a bit of equipment to load into your vest. You do not want to be stream side or in the stream fumbling for something you need. Put your vest on at home, and start filling it. Put things you know you will need regularly – clippers and forceps – on the D rings. Flies you use frequently need to be the easiest to access. You should be able to change flies on the stream quickly and easily at any time.

Do you remember the angler at the beginning?

The angler, still crouched low, lifted the line from the surface of the water and started the back cast. As the angler rotated his arm forward at the elbow to send the fly down to the water’s surface, tragedy struck.

The fly had become caught in a low-hanging limb behind the angler. Angry, the angler snatched the line hard, trying to dislodge the fly from the limb. Out of frustration, the angler snatched as hard as possible, breaking the tippet and leaving the fly in the tree, well beyond his reach.

Dismayed but not defeated, the angler quickly reached into the vest, selected another, similar fly. The fly attached, the angler cast a second time, with the fly this time floating down and exactly in front of the spot where the trout rose but a moment ago.

There was a small ‘pop’ sound. The angler lifted the rod, the line zinged …

What happened next?

That is for you, the fly angler, to fill in. Angler’s Gear has given you the tools you will need to find that trout on the stream. All that remains is to be there. We hope to see you there!

Check out our fly fishing hook size chart