I’m one for travelling light. For a while now I’ve just used a lanyard that had a fly box attached and carried floatant and extra tippet in the pocket of my waders.
It has been a comfortable and easy way to travel and has meant I really paired down my fly selections to the “must-haves” rather than the “might be usefuls” and as a result I haven’t needed boxes of flies.
There is a downside to this however; in the hot days of summer I had nowhere to store my water bottle and just sticking my net down the back of my wader belt is a high risk and, sometimes, painful strategy.
Also, when the rain fell I had nowhere to store a rain jacket and so things had to change.
I was looking for a lightweight vest that had enough pockets for a couple of large fly boxes, tippet, floatant, extra tippet and that I could also store a jacket in the back along with a sandwich and water.
The other thing that is important to me is that when I wade deep the pockets won’t fill with water and drown my flies. Also when I am this deep and I shoot line it won’t get caught on zips or zip pullers. This is a real pet hate of mine and I am often astounded that manufacturers don’t think about this when designing a fishing vest.
Although this isn’t a long list of personal requests I have struggled to find a jacket that would cope with my modest demands.
Finding the Patagonia Hybrid Pack Vest online looked like the answer though. So I bought one.
Buying something without actually seeing it is a little high risk but there are some helpful videos on the Patagonia website that give you an idea of what it actually looks like and, more importantly, what it looks like on.
I’ve fished with it on a number of trips now and really like it. I have found I can store two of the large C&F boxes in the upper pockets and there is plenty of room for the various other bits and pieces in the smaller pockets in front of them.
There are plenty of places to attach zingers and nippers.
The jacket sits high on my shoulders so wading deep isn’t an issue and the D loop on the back means attaching a net is simple. The large storage pocket on the back means I can carry a rain jacket, sandwich and water with ease.
There are no zips at all for anything to get caught on either and so I’m a happy punter. The vest is DWR treated meaning it will repel water too.
The Hybrid Pack Vest retails for £75 and is available from Patagonia stockists or via their website.