August 19, 2007

Let's Go Shopping


Saturday morning was a busy one for me. I received my commission check yesterday and with three pay periods this month, I decided to buy some fishing gear for the upcoming season. I dropped my wading boots off at the shoe smith to repair some of the stitching. I had a list of things I needed so I stopped by a couple of tackle shops.
 
One of the things on my list was a vest. I had a William Joseph Coastal vest that overtime really didn't suit my needs for float fishing and I wanted something smaller. I stopped by a store that caters more to the affluent cough fly fishing cough crowd. This store had higher priced items than the other stores I regularly go to. I was looking at getting a Fishpond vest as several friends of mine bought them and rave about them. I looked over several vests and examined them. Most of them were impractical so I started looking at wading packs.


Over the years, I have learned to pack smart. I see a lot of guys on the rivers that have too much stuff in their vests and they're ready for a 2 week expedition. I usually see them fumbling about going through the endless pockets looking for something. Then I would hear them complain about their sore shoulders or back. I wanted something simple.

At the store one vest that caught my eye was the Blue River chest/lumbar pack. What I found appealing about it was it could be used around the chest or waist. It had a large fly bench that had plenty of room for my streamers, egg patterns, nymphs and jigs, that meant no more fly boxes. It had enough pockets for all of my needs and it felt very light. Whenever I go fishing, I carry the basics - a single small box for sinkers, hooks, beads and swivels, forceps, floats, spools of 3X and 4X tippets, spool of 10 and 8 pound leader material and a leathermen tool. I never put my cell phone or digital camera in a vest. I learned the hard way many years ago. I carry both on my belt and the camera is in a waterproof case. For spawn sacs, I prefer to keep them in a jacket pocket. 

While I was at the store, I noticed they had the Simms gravel guards with the shoelace hook. I quickly grabbed the last ones on the shelf. Last season, I can't remember how many times I had to go back and retrieve a guard that fell off. Nothing is worse than having gravel get in your boots as they damage the boots and neoprene stockings. I drove to the other store and noticed there wasn't some of the stuff on my list. I knew it was only mid August, but I bought some mainline, tippets, sinkers, hooks and several floats. All I need is some new netting for the net, some wool socks and rain jacket. Overall, I almost spent $150.00 and since I'm separated from my wife the days of the "look" are finally over.

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