One of the most exciting parts of fly fishing is the kit. That means everything from your fly fishing vest, right down to your boots and flies.
The great thing about fly fishing is just how raw it feels and how much it immerses you in nature as you hunt your fishy prey.
Fly fishing means crafting a faux animal that is an intricate work of art, casting out using your brute strength and then lying in wait for the fish to bite. You feel like Rambo, stalking your prey and almost becoming one with your surroundings while you wait.
And tooling up is just another awesome part of that whole package that makes you feel like you’re going to war using a variety of different elaborate tools and weapons. As you hone and improve your skills, you’ll also grow and enhance your toolkit – and the result is that you’ll become a more formidable force to be reckoned with!
The fly fishing vest is one of the most important parts of this set-up and over the course of this post, you’re going to find out why!
A fly fishing vest is a vest (sleeveless top) that you will wear over the top of your clothes when you wade into the water.
This has a number of different jobs and functions and can completely change your experience of fly fishing.
The first job of your fly fishing vest pack is to provide you with all of the different tools and equipment you’re going to use for your fly fishing. This means that you can keep them on you and keep them dry, even when you’re wading into the water or using a fly fishing boat.
Fly fishing is best when you wade yourself into the shallows of the water so that you can get closer to the action and creep up on your unsuspecting fishy prey.
This way, you get to feel the still water around you and watch for the slightest ripples in the water before you make your move. It’s a great feeling but it does mean that you’re away from dry land and probably all your supplies.
By wearing a fly fishing vest, you ensure that everything is to hand. That can mean a net, ready to catch your fish, snacks to eat while you fish, tools for removing fish from the hooks and even a camera for that awesome selfie-snap!
Need more convincing that a fly fishing vest is a cool purchase? Then think of it like Batman’s tool belt. And you can (almost) genuinely include shark repellent here too!
The other benefit is that this can act as a fly fishing life vest. A lot of fly fishing vests will inflate or float as they are and this means that if you fall out of your boat, if you get pulled over by a massive fish or if you just trip and fall – you’ll float.
Maybe you’re a strong swimmer and you’re not sure that you need a fly fishing life vest.
But in that case, imagine that you trip and fall and hit your head on a rock. In that case, a fly fishing life vest may well be your very best chance of staying afloat and being carried ashore by the current.
The safest type of product in this case, is an inflatable fly fishing vest. This will blow up, giving you a lot of buoyancy and helping you stay easily afloat!
Obviously another big advantage of a fly fishing life vest is that it can keep you warm and dry. While fly fishing, it’s very easy to get splashed and this will leave you standing at the edge of the water, dripping wet and out in the cold.
Using a fly fishing vest, you can help yourself to stay warm in this scenario and also help yourself to stay dry.
The warmest kind of vest in this case is the mesh fly fishing vest. These use a mesh material that has lots of holes in it. At first glance, that might look like it’s not going to be a terribly warm or protective choice.
But the thing to remember here, is that air is the very best insulator. A mesh fly fishing vest will trap air in those big gaps and this will serve to keep you much warmer than any other material could do!
But which vest is best? The best fly fishing vest will depend on your intended use and of course you’ll choose different products depending on whether you’re looking for something to help you stay afloat or just something to carry lots of different items in one place.
Then you might also want to think about the look of your vest. While this is a practical and functional item, this is something that is increasingly becoming in-vogue. In other words, there’s no reason that you can’t look stylish and functional at the same time!
Durability is also important and especially when you consider that you’re likely to be getting wet, snagging on rocks and generally ‘playing rough’ a lot of the time. You don’t want it coming open and especially if it’s holding an expensive rod and fly fishing line!
Then there’s the small matter of price. You want to get all of these features while keeping the price as low as possible.