lanyards or chest packs.. what do you use.. and what do you carry..

Everything I need fits in pockets: shirts, wader and jacket. I have two tote boxes full of vests, chest packs, fanny packs and satchels to prove it.

A couple of small fly boxes with a selection of options, tippet material, maybe some tips, multi tool, cigar, TP, lighter, and I still catch more fish than 20 years ago when I stuffed handkerchiefs into my vest to keep it from rattling when I waddled.

Leroy Laviolet

Aint no nookie like chinookie
Lanyards and chest packs will eventually cost you a fish or two...
Fanny packs are the the most comfy, but not the most convenient . A simms backpack is what I use for winter steel heading, keeps me warm, and can have extra clothing , but it's hot in the summer, so I switch to a william j ...
I guess the answer is all of the above... Except, I could never get used to a chest pack, but mybe it would work for you...
Lanyards are cheap, start there, unless you are a steel header, loosing a trout, not a big deal, a big steel head , because your line got tangled in you lanyard , heartbreaking....
The most important thing i use for winter steel heading as far as gear goes, is my simms g3 "Flack jacket" ... Pretty much all I need fits in the front zippered pockets...


Active Member
Fishpond Windwalker... Plenty of storage... Plus a Sealline dry bag around my waist for my digital
SLR... I've gone for a swim with it on and the camera stayed dry!!!

Bob Jones

Still truckless now farther away
Texstan, Lanyards are worn around the neck with a large loop hangining down your chest. The loop has clips or zingers to hold forcepts and clippers and floatant and what ever else you wish, some have a strip that willl hold 3 to 6 spools of tippet oone way or another. The listings on lanyards have them at aout 30 to 40 Dollars, some even have small pockets to hold fly boxes. I have been using a vest which seems always to weigh about 5 lbs. and that gets hot and heavy after a while so I think my waders will carry a couple of small boxes and a lanyard will carry my tools. I also use a fanny pack for the beach fishing that carries a little more, whem I want bigger flies and mabe a couple of tips along and my fanny pack also carries two water bottles or could be cans of something. Some lanyards have a clip on the bottom that will clip to your shirt to keep it from swinging around, easy to put one on.
I had a vest. It now goes unused.

I use a nylon cord for a lanyard. See picture. The "figure 8" type clip came from REI and is a recent addition. I always carry a Tie-Fast combo tool, a file, and an Able Perfect Tool. I don't use the Able tool too often, but when I do it is life saver. Obviously I can add floatant etc as necessary.

I have switched to Mitten Clamps from forcepts. Mitten Clamps fasten by a squeeze and unfasten with an additonal squeeze -- very easy to do one handed. Some work smoothly, some don't.

Depending on where and how I am fishing, I use a fanny pack or an extreemply light weight back pack.
I purchased a camel pack (small backpack with a water bladder) a couple of years ago and I take it to work or when I go out on the water.
It holds my lunch, camera, a small first aid kit, has pockets for a pen, a lighter, my knife, and other misc. items.
I can also expand it to include a couple of fly boxes. Its been a great little setup.

I have a couple of vests but they would literally be a pain in neck and shoulders once I loaded them up (poor design?).
For all trips:

- One spare furled leader
- Snips
- Forceps
- Camera
- Polarized fitover glasses
- Cap
- Water
- Occasionally, food (fruit/bars/sandwiches)

Additionally, for:


- Small box of dry flies, small box of nymphs
- Tippets in 2 to 6 lbs. BS, most times just one size if I know the river well
- Sometimes a scoop net, a Measurenet in small


- Medium box of saltwater flies
- Tippets in 6 to 15 lbs. BS depending where I'm going
- Pliers
- Sunscreen

I like to go as light as possible, all the above usually fits into the pockets of my Daiwa Wilderness Wading Jacket, or hangs off the attached zingers.

I sometimes use a Fishpond Crooked Island pack when I'm wet-wading, e.g., on a reef or sand flat in the tropics, or when the jacket's not needed. The pack's great, you can use it as a fanny or chest pack or sling it over your shoulder, or take it off and hang it on a tree branch when you're exploring a hole.
Interesting you should ask; same question going running on two other major fly (US and UK) fishing boards. I'll keep my 'answer' short ... if it doesn't fit in the pocket of your waders/shirt or clamped (string of clamp/clipper/file on you shirt) you don't need it unless you're going to be a hell of a long way from your car. Why lug all that shxt around?

Just a thought, just a thought (and .02 cents).


My other car is a fly rod.
I wear a sling pack, shapped sort of like a Fish Pond. It is a Tamarac photogrphers bag, empiled of campera equipment and filled with three fly boxes and the other crap I need. With a camera bag, I finally have a place for lunch. They are handy because you can quickly take them off. Lanyars would drive me crazy. Anythin that hangs around my heads and jingles is going to get caught on something, plus I don't want to look like a Christmas tree out there. It might spook the fish.
When wade fishing I usually use a backpack. I started with a vest but I mainly fish trout on rivers and streams and am typically away from the truck or campsite for a few hours or more. I usually have a jacket, hat, food, water, booze, smokes, camera, bug dope, sun block, misc. first aid/survival gear, fishing depends on the weather and how far I plan to go. I do my share of backpacking so the weight doesn't bother me and if I am fishing with one of my buddies we will both use it and take turns carrying it. I keep tippet and nippers on a zinger and some flies in my hat or shirt for easy access.


Purveyor of fine hackle, wine & cigars!
A backpack, if I'm walking any sort of distance. Gave up on the vest a long time ago and don't like the chest pack, especially when I'm spey casting.

I have a separate trout and steelhead backpack and a fair number of duplicate things such as pliers, nippers, etc. so that I don't have to deal with moving stuff from one to another and usually forget something. I use the trout pack, that has some front pockets most of the time I fish for trout.

For steelhead, I just take a fly box, some Maxima, tippet, a spare leader or two and its stuffed in my jacket and wader pockets. I've found that less it more and I get tired of carrying the extra weight! I've got enough of that w/o any more stuff! :clown: If I was hiking in somewhere then I do carry my backpack, but try to take only what I'll need.

The really important items are the flask of ____ and a few cigars! And a wading staff, I hate when I forget that!

I use a sling pack, my wife got it for my birthday last year and I love it. Just spin it around and everythings right there, spin it back and it's out of the way.


Well-Known Member
I wore a Columbia "Kalama" short wading vest for years, and it more than served its purpose for 20 years. I thought I'd scale back and replaced it with a chest pack I found in the Cabela's catalog. It was great, made of regular nylon pack cloth with just enough pockets for a couple fly boxes, tippet spools, forceps, nipper, and hook hone. It was so practical that when it wore out after 10 years I discovered it was no longer available. In its place are all the new high profile brand name shit made out of ballistic nylon and stuffed with so much padding, it holds its shape while empty. I've tried at least a half dozen of them, and they are all flawed. Fabricated from such heavy fabric and then stuffed with foam stiffeners, I feel like a Holstein Cy-bood porn star when wearing any of them. But since I once had a fully functional chest pack, I figured out just what to do. I grabbed a scissors and seam ripperand removed the inner nylon layer and the foam stiffener. All that shit adds up to the thickness of a standard fly box, so now with a fly box in it, no additional thickness is generated. I use the Fishpond San Juan model, only I use the old straps off my previous pack. I found that I don't care for a strap around my neck, and the double shoulder strap holds the back better, and I don't feel any weight from it anywhere.

If I'm hiking to fish, or floating, I take a day pack loaded with lunch, water, beer, rainjacket, extra shirt or jacket depending on season, 10 essentials, and could bivauc for the night if need be.



Ignored Member
Lanyard with hook file and nippers. In pocket of rain jacket or fishing shirt with large pockets or vest if not wearing rain coat; 1 fly box, tip wallet, spool of tippet. In back pocket of rain coat or vest a roll of tp in zip lock bag and knot tool along with 30 lb. leader material.

Craig Schulz

Midwest transplant, but taking root nicely....
The simpler the better in my opinion! If you have room you will carry something you don't need! Lanyard, nipper, file, forceps two spools of tippet!