Years ago I decided I didn’t want anything hanging off my shoulders besides the dreadful burden of catching fish. So I shed the vest in favor of a waist pack, caught more fish, and consumed more 7-11 Big Bites (which are a great dawn patrol breakfast treat, until you try wiping the dribbled mustard off your shirt while hauling down an elk-strewn road in the pitch black). Soon after I wondered why my pack’s waist straps started shrinking.
Back and forth I went, vest to pack, pack to vest, until I found what I thought was the ultimate fly-fishing accoutrement storage, the ole’ Mountainsmith Tour. I ran with it, touting its utility, relishing in its capacity…while secretly pissing and moaning about all the straps dangling from it, and finally settling on it being perpetually slung over my shoulder because it was so difficult to spin around for access when lashed over my hips. Yes, purpose defeated.
What did I really want in a fly-fishing waist pack? Lots of capacity…lots! And the fewer compartments the better – one biggie accessible from the top would be supreme. Ace the custom features otherwise designed for holding floatant, dry shake, and pliers – all the things that either wind up in a shirt pocket or don’t get carried in at all. Easy in/out access for big C&F boxes, and wide hip padding so I didn’t have to split myself in two to keep the loaded pack from hitting my ankles. Go minimal “strappage” (otherwise designed for Everest expedition participants). Let’s also throw in excess room, after the stones, terrestrials, dries, nymphs and beads extra dries, for a can of bear spray Guinness.
I queried the innermost reaches of my feeble mind for clues as to why the fly-fishing industry couldn’t produce such an accessory, and concluded they just didn’t listen, just didn’t care, were focused on the almighty dollar, and that I was the sole anal retentive in a world of magnanimous, wholly satisfied anglers. Then one day early last fall I woke up a package arrived on my doorstep. Contained within was suspension of disbelief, and I immediately checked the gear closet for electronic surveillance devices. Would this thing actually go to market, or was it just a cruel joke? My suspicions were unfounded – it was real, and the answer to my prayers – the zombie antidote I ordered online after watching Resident Evil too many times Fishpond Nimbus Guide Pack.