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View Full Version : Gear of the go-light fly fishers


sworp
05-21-2008, 04:42 AM
A few years back, I started thinking about all the stuff I was hauling around in my vest-pack and not using. There was for example: a stomach pump, a fly retriever, two knot tyers, lots of fly boxes, scissors, rain jacket, reel spools, a GPS and you get the picture. This is the kind of thing a few days bush whacking and boulder scrambling will make you consider. The result was the short list of things I truly needed and the discovery that I could fish out of my Columbia shirt. The list looks like this: 1 medium sized foam fly box, 1 or 2 extra leaders, 1 spool of tippet to match the leaders,a pair of small hemostats, a hat, polarized shades, light weight fishing pants (the kind with the zip-off legs), and the afore mentioned shirt. Up till now everything fits in the shirt. On one of those guide-looking lanyard I carry the stuff I'm always looking for and don't want to drop in fast water like nippers, floatant and a small thing of split shot. Thats pertty much it.
Now, what I'd like to know is how can I get this list smaller? What are all you like minded fishers of the mountains packing around? I believe we could all lighten up a bit if we share our ideas.

Thanks-
Sworp

Grumpy
05-21-2008, 07:42 AM
You can tie a leader to a stick, really. It wouldn't be as much fun though, i carry everything in a large C&F box for a day on mountain streams.
I still carry a backpack for those things i hope i never need.

Grumpy

ACinEastTN
05-21-2008, 09:56 AM
Try switching to a fishpond molded fly box. You can fit floatant, split shot, and tippet-leaders inside. You can also attach your clippers to a retractor and retractor to the webbing loop on the outside. Thus no more lanyard. These boxes are difficult to fit in a columbia shirt pocket, but you can find shirts with deeper chest pockets.

PeteCz
05-21-2008, 02:56 PM
First a confession: I believe that I am taking this ultra light stuff to the point of being absurd. While there are benefits to carrying as little as possible, I think that I have tried too hard and am now rethinking my position. There have been a few times lately that I've really put myself at a disadvantage by not carry all of the stuff I could have needed, and then didn't have, when I was two miles away from the car.

Case in point: a few weeks ago I lost my nippers in the WPLP Gorge when the zinger I had them attached to, broke and floated away as I was scrambling over a boulder. Because I no longer carried my small pocket knife, I wound up cutting my excess tippet with a small flat stone, each time I changed a fly. There have also been a few times I wished that I had carried one of my extra fly boxes that contained the exact fly I wanted, rather than my current, pared-down selection in one small box.

Current setup: One fly box, floatant, nippers, forceps all pinned to the belt/pockets of my fishing pants. And then two small ziploc bags with my license and a few pretied tippets (3' long with perfection loops in one end) in 4x, 5x and 6x, as well as a few pretied dropper loops. I'm using a furled leader, so I don't need to carry tippet spools. I also carry a spare 9' 5x leader in case the furled leader finally kicks the bucket (its at 20+ trips so far). Finally the hat (with spare flies) and the polarized sunglass clip-ons.

What I don't carry: [on trips less than 4hrs]: water, food, first-aid kit, pocket knife, extra t-shirt and socks. If I'm travelling more than a mile or two, I usually carry a cheap backpack with those supplies. I also don't carry split shot. I probably should, but I usually use heavily weight nymphs in tandem with the nymph or wet I want to take deep, instead.

Should I carry more? Probably...

buzzmcmanus
05-21-2008, 04:57 PM
http://i165.photobucket.com/albums/u51/buzzmcmanus/DSCN6283.jpg
here's what my current set-up is:
In the chest pack (take every time);
2 fly boxes, both only 1/4 the way full, never consolidated them
1 bottle floatant
extra pack of leaders
3 spools of tippet
nippers
hook remover of some type
camera, tyied onto neck strap

In back pack (take on all day trips);
hydration system
food
alcohol stove & pot
S&W .357 (not in park of course)
sometimes a jacket

I used to go minimalist and just throw everything into a pocket. But I've found that I enjoy recording my trips through pictures and the chest pack makes it easy to have the camera right there when you want to take a picture.

TroutAssassin
05-21-2008, 06:44 PM
i use an Orvis sling pack that contains
knife
flint stone
gps
1 large fly box
line nippers
forceps
needle nose pliers
2 spools of tippet
4 extra leaders
strike indicators
floatant

and i usually wear a small camelbak filled with water

sdetoro59
05-21-2008, 08:50 PM
Ok..I knew I'd find PeteCZ fessing up here. :p We fish together quite a bit and I think his Go-light kick has peaked as he explained about coming up short a few times recently.

But honestly.. how many of us pack duplicate items..probably not many. I always (for years) used a vest stuffed with my basic supplies (tippets, a couple of fly boxes, spare leader, glasses (sun and eye, recently!)

At Christmas I cashed in a gift Cert for a William Joseph Cest pack.. I wasn't sure how I'd like it.. it does add some weight and bulk to your front side (ok it looks like a papoose!) but I haven't noticed that it has added any extra stress, and I like it now. Yes, I still find that after hours of casting my back does get a little tired. but no more so than before.

I also find that sometime I even carry a back pack, as others mentioned, sometimes it's nice to have that extra item (camera, water, Cigar) Even if you're hiking a few miles (like Pete!) does a small day pack really cramp your style that much?

So I guess I have to say I'm not a go-light man myself. But do what feels right for you.

tire guy
05-21-2008, 08:59 PM
Buzz
Great looking outfit, but you need new tires. LOL

sworp
05-22-2008, 04:31 AM
It looks like we're all pretty much on the same page. I do carry a fanny pack on longer trips when I have to hike in and I'll carry some survival / first-aid type things and lunch. Specifically a pocket sized survival kit from Adventure Medical, a plastic drop cloth folded in its original package about 3"x5" for shelter, some para-cord, a light weight lockback knife, and a roll of biodegradeable T.P.) These things will fit into the fannypack with my fishing gear.
Now, this is the best addition to my go-light outfit: a water purifier bottle from Ex-stream (now Katahdin). Highly recommended because it is carried empty and filled only when needed and emptied again. This I carry in a holster on my belt or in the bottle pocket of the pack. (There are cheaper filter-only models available too.) TroutAssasin, this might save you a couple pounds.
You guys have some well thought out outfits and I'm getting some great info! Keep it coming!

litefoot
05-22-2008, 09:33 AM
howdy ,guys .As a backpacker i have been working on go lite for years and it is progressive,especially from the early days 0f high testosterone young man with a 60lb pack to now 44yrs old and wiser.I have incorporated this into my fishing .I love bushwhacking and hitting those low pressure waters and when fishing in national forest where you can camp any ,where prepared is nice.I have a small pack that weighs in @13.5 pounds Containining 1 siliconized nylon tarp=1 lb ,1-3/4 thermarest, 1 -35 degree down sleeping bag =1lb6oz,Alcohol stove=1oz alcohol for 3days=12 oz.Small cook kit,rain jacket small piece of fleece,GPS.3by5ground cloth.and food.1 extra pair of socks ,aluminum foil for cooking fish which i also use as a heat deflector for stove when cooking,
On my body,nylon shirt,nylon shorts,hat ,glasses,socks ,boots ,neoprene wading socks.(leave the waders at home)fishing vest. and rod .My vest could be scaled down a bit .My pack weight does not include what is on my body.This list is fairly complete other than tooth brush,tp and personal needs.I have been in the back country for 3 days using this set up ,More food is the only thig else that you would need for longer stays.My first aid kit is a few pills ,and a bit of duct tape.oh yea i carry a small water filter and only carry a small water bottle.Water weighs 8 lbs per gallon ,why carry it on you back when standing in it.I have carried this pack thru the horse shoe on more than 1 occasion and find it very managable.Now i do not carry this on 1/2 day trips,just overnighters or unknown situations.Give me your feed back.Thanks Litefoot

TroutAssassin
05-22-2008, 09:53 AM
TroutAssasin, this might save you a couple pounds.About how much do they cost? It sounds like a good investment to make. Most of you would consider me an energetic 21 yr old young gun anyways, so the extra 2Liters on my back doesnt really bother me. Not calling you guys old or anything:p :biggrin:

buzzmcmanus
05-22-2008, 10:55 AM
Buzz
Great looking outfit, but you need new tires. LOL
That's funny, I was actually just outside looking at them thinking the same thing. I need them pretty bad. I'd let you try to sell me some, but wife works at a place where I get employee discount.

buzzmcmanus
05-22-2008, 11:06 AM
litefoot, does the 13.5 lbs include the weight of the pack itself? Do you have any problems/discomfort with insects by just using the tarp instead of a tent?

I've thought about getting one of the waterbottles with the built in filter, does anyone have any experience with this? How'd you like it?

sworp
05-22-2008, 12:46 PM
About how much do they cost? It sounds like a good investment to make. Most of you would consider me an energetic 21 yr old young gun anyways, so the extra 2Liters on my back doesnt really bother me. Not calling you guys old or anything:p :biggrin:

I've thought about getting one of the waterbottles with the built in filter, does anyone have any experience with this? How'd you like it?[/QUOTE]


The water bottles with the built in filters run from 20.00 - 40.00. They are absolutly worth it. I've been using one of the 40.00 versions now for years and just change its cartridge every year or so, depending on use. Mine is considered a purifier, but the filter version (less expensive) works fine in the relatively clean water of the of most mountain streams.
I remember guide Tim Doyle had one years ago when I was on a trip with him. That was the first time I ever saw one and I went right out and bought the one I carry now. Nary a regret.

sworp
05-22-2008, 01:01 PM
Litefoot-
I like your list and especially the weight! I had the thought of loading a pack in a similar fashion and keeping it on standby. What sort of alcohol stove do you have?

buzzmcmanus
05-22-2008, 01:41 PM
Litefoot-
I like your list and especially the weight! I had the thought of loading a pack in a similar fashion and keeping it on standby. What sort of alcohol stove do you have?

I'm not sure what litefoot uses, but here's the one I like.

http://jwbasecamp.com/Articles/SuperCat/index.html

It takes me longer to eat the cat food than it does to make the stove (sarcasm). I've already got templates on a piece of paper and it takes me about 10 minutes to make one. I use a drill and drill the holes instead of a punch.

PeteCz
05-22-2008, 06:40 PM
Buzz, thats an amazing setup. Do you use it as your main stove, or as an additional? I have a JetBoil and really like it, but I've always wanted a 2nd stove for cooking larger meals (and have been too cheap to buy another JetBoil). The SuperCat looks like it would be just the ticket. Thanks for the link! Now if I could just get my dogs to eat cat food...

litefoot
05-22-2008, 10:27 PM
buzz,im heading out tomorrow for camp 49 on bradley fork,i weigh 135 lbs.packed and ready to go ,fly vest ,rod and pack dressed for wading, i am @153 lbs including a fishing net.I never have a bug problem after dark.Last year i fished hazel creek lake to top and the gnats about drove me insane on memorial weekend but they went away @ dark .wish me luck guys

litefoot
05-22-2008, 10:56 PM
i do not know what brand of stove mine is ,it was a gift from a fellow golite backpacker.Alcohol stoves are great for just 1or 2 people cooking coffee in the morning and a ramen at nite ,but if you are a gourmet or are cooking for many ,the burn time is too short .you can make your own as for the dude eating cat food ,you can make them out of soda cans also

sworp
05-23-2008, 03:46 AM
The Super Cat is a good looking little stove. My brother made a soda san stove and athough it is light, its not as substantial looking as the Super Cat.
Thanks for the link!

buzzmcmanus
05-23-2008, 08:57 AM
Get a lab. Mine will eat anything you drop, then worry about it being food later. That includes gates, fences, cell phone, and prescription eyeglasses. Getting her to eat cat food was nothing. My wifes cat won't touch the stuff. Can't blame her.

I use this as my main stove. Like litefoot says, its good for boiling water. I usually have oatmeal or grits in the morning, and mountain House in the evening. I know, not very creative. I'm also never more than a days hike from a road, so if for some reason, something was to happen to the stove, my life wouldn't depend on it. I have a friend that does backcountry bowhunts in Colorado every year and uses a similar stove. He gets far enough away that his life does depend on it and he doesn't seem to think twice about relying on it.

When I was looking at building an alcohol stove, I chose this one due to ease of construction. The Pepsi can stove all required multiple cuts and taping cans together, and it actually seemed like more work than I could accomplish with 1 beer. With this stove, I actually had it done before I even finished my beer. So on a scale of 1-6, it was a 1 beer project. My pot is a small aluminum quart pot I bought for $0.50 from Goodwill. I've got a total of $0.87 in my cooking arsenal with this.

buzzmcmanus
05-23-2008, 09:08 AM
buzz,im heading out tomorrow for camp 49 on bradley fork,i weigh 135 lbs.packed and ready to go ,fly vest ,rod and pack dressed for wading, i am @153 lbs including a fishing net.I never have a bug problem after dark.Last year i fished hazel creek lake to top and the gnats about drove me insane on memorial weekend but they went away @ dark .wish me luck guys
That's awesome. I've thought about ditching the tent, and going with a tarp. I've just assumed the bugs would be bad. If you were as bad a fisherman as me, you'd lose the net. For me, it's just dead weight. (green grinning guy goes here).

Good luck on bradley fork