Fly fishing at its core is a simple sport.
Rod, reel (and if using Tenkara not even a reel), line, leader and fly are all that are needed to begin.
Throw in a couple more flies – even though Yvon Chouinard spent a year using only one fly, and a tool for cutting leader and removing flies from a fish’s mouth and you’re good to go.
Of course, there can be additional clothing required – depending on locale and air and water temperature, there will be waders, boots, rain coat, and insulation. But some combination of layers and protection is almost always required when venturing outdoors.
What complicates fly fishing is not the clothing but the gear.
Fly fishers can load themselves down with too much stuff: too many extra fly boxes that will not be needed; too many spools of leader material; too many backup tools. The list goes. Add a net, a pack to carry all the gear, and around here a stripping basket and just walking down the beach becomes a cumbersome burden.
At least around here on Puget Sound where I fish, much of the gear can be left at home or in the car given the relatively short distances needed to get to the beach and back.
So I’ve been looking to become more efficient at fishing by just bringing what I need.
And I think I’ve found the near perfect mean of carrying what I need and that’s the Patagonia Wader Work Station.
This small pouch/bag attaches at chest level to my wader straps. It carries a leader or two, one spool of tippet, and a small box of the one or two flies I’ll be using. There is an attachment point for my forceps and a pocket for my phone (keys and wallet are in a waterproof pocket inside my waders).
It’s light, doesn’t interfere with casting, and its small size forces me to carry only what I’ll really need for an hour or two of fishing.
And at $39.00 (late-2019 price), it’s a bargain.