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Fly Fishing
Stillwater Kit Bag

By Phil Rowley

Variables are part of a stillwater fly fishers life, some they control, some they do not. Fly fishers have no control over environmental variables such as water temperature, barometric pressure and wind. Equipment on the other hand is controllable. From personal experience focusing what can be controlled better prepares an angler for what cannot. Fly fishers confident in their equipment from a quality, performance and availability point of view are better prepared for Mother Nature‚Äôs curveballs, able to focus on the challenge at hand. Rods and reels are a natural. However, on any given day or outing it is the little things or details as they are so often referred to that make the difference. In equipment terms this means a well stocked organized kit bag. The stillwater water nerve center if you will.

The first stop on any kit bag tour is the kit bag itself. A suitable kit bag must be portable and compact with enough compartments, pockets and sections to house a wide array of gear. Compartmentalized bags allow fly fishers to sort and store equipment in a logical easy to find fashion. Angler discipline is required to make sure items are put back in their place. This is not always easy during the course of a day and often contents become dishevelled. Look for a bag with good strong zipper systems. A reliable set of zippers ensures items stay on board from the car or boat or during a walk through the woods to the shoreline. Be wary of bags that have pockets that zip around 90 degree corners.

Look for weatherproof kit bags with lots of compartments.

These can be challenging to close once loaded and in some instances cause the zippers to split. A shoulder strap is another handy feature as this allows rods, landing nets, coolers and kit bag to be portaged in one trip. A trait all men are familiar with. Water resistance is paramount, especially if the kit bag is also home to camera equipment. Most quality gear bags are waterproof or some come with waterproof covers in the event of a damp day, if fly fishing during torrential rain is your thing chose a water proof bag.


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