Choosing a pack, vest or fly fishing gear storage system has always been a bit of a journey to find out what suits you best as an individual. It’s a very personal experience as we all tend to value certain bits and pieces more than others, have a differing ethos about how light we like to travel, and the locations we fish can place their own unique demands on what we need to carry with us on the day.
You’re not going to take your streamer box to a tiny dry fly stream are you? But then what happens if you see a fish holding downstream under willow and the only thing that will get eaten needs to be swung on top of it?
Then there’s the stuff in your pack you won’t even use 99% of the time, but of course the day you don’t bring it is that 1% moment where it would have been a game changer. Oh the mental anguish!
Rather than trying to find one do-it-all solution to the problem and compromising on a few potentially important things, we’ve found it’s best to have one big gear bag at home as the mothership / base camp for all of your tackle and then a couple of different options of packs and / or vests that you can populate to suit the trip you’re planning on taking.
This especially suits big trips where you’ll encounter different demands each day and where the grab and go nature of the big bag combined with your various day bag options really shines.
And it’s much harder to leave stuff behind at home this way too…you know who you are.
Conveniently, the 2021 Simms Freestone line up of packs has just dropped in a store near you and as per usual, Simms are bringing a lot of bang for your buck to the table. Price pointed but still packed with both quality and features, the Simms 2021 Pack Range brings four exciting new products into the line up.
But which Simms Freestone pack is right for you? Maybe more than one we’d say.
SIMMS FREESTONE CHEST PACKS
Keep a couple of fly boxes, spools of tippet, tools and other essentials right where you can reach them. The Freestone Chest Packs are a favourite of the grab-n-go angler, or those who partake in deeper wading. Very back pack compatible.
SIMMS FREESTONE SLING PACKS
The Simms Freestone Sling Packs are the preference of many two handed, spey anglers who wish to keep themselves snag free throughout the casting process, and local day anglers why just don’t require the additional hassle of a back pack.
They provide the convenience of keeping the weight and the bulk around to the back but accessible with just the click of a strap with easy access to all your kit, and a zip down workbench to make quick changes even quicker.
Sling packs are favoured as a lightweight alternative to a back pack and the wider, padded strap makes carrying the weight comfortable.
SIMMS FREESTONE HIP PACKS
The Freestone Hip Pack is another grab and go favourite especially for backcountry anglers who require a larger backpack. They hold just what you need without the necessity of accessing your pack every fly change and keep well out the way during the casting process. You can ‘drop your pack and go’ when fishing a run and still have all the essentials close by.
SIMMS FREESTONE VEST
The Simms Freestone Vest is still the standard for those who require all the gear, everywhere. Vests keep a multitude of items organised, uncluttered and readily at hand, and distribute the weight well across both shoulders. Realistically the way to keep it all close to hand when you also require a larger backpack.
BONUS: FLY FISHING LANYARDS
The increasingly popular go light option for local anglers and those in the backcountry keeping a fly patch, nippers, tippet forceps and floatant right where you need them, when you need them. A great addition to any of the above pack systems to increase storage, and to keep the hot items in sight and at the ready. The Loon Neck Vest Lanyard or C&F Design Lanyard are the two go-to lanyards for modern fly fisherman.
So there you have, the Simms Freestone range gives you plenty of solutions on their own but when you start to mix and match then your fly fishing gear set up options are limitless.