Autumn On The EB

Autumn On The EB
Fly Fishing The Millers - With over 30 years of fly fishing this river I will claim more knowledge and fish caught than anyone. There are over 40 miles of river and I will take you to the best sections and if you want to sections that never see another angler. Don't be fooled by those who say the Millers is a Spring and Fall river. I'll show you how to have great Summer action. The "EB of the Westfield" - Wild and beautiful is the only way to describe this river. There's a lot of water here but I know where to go to catch trout. After a trip you will too!! Solitude and trout IS the EB. The Swift - 20 trout days are not uncommon on this river if you know what to do and use. I'll show the way and you catch the trout. RATES - Full Day (6 hours) = $150.00 for one, $225 for two (lunch included). Half Day (three hours) $90.00 for one, $155.00 for two. Beginners Class - 3 hours ffor $90.00, all use of rods lines, reels included.

Friday, February 6, 2015

Reduced To Writing About Equipment - Goodbye To The Vest

There's too much snow and it's too damn cold to enjoy a fly rod in my hand and I can only tie so many flies. So I'll bring up a topic that is interesting, at least to me.

I started fly fishing when Nixon was in office. Way back then the fly fishing vest was standard equipment and everyone had one. It was part of the accepted uniform along with the baseball cap advertising something to do with trout or fly fishing. Now the vest worked but had a few drawbacks. One, it was just another layer of clothing that you didn't need during warm weather. Two, it didn't fit well over heavier clothing during colder weather. Three, we just had to fill all of those pockets that we really didn't need with fly boxes to the point where we would begin to forget where that box of #16 black ants was hiding.

I got rid of my vest in 1987 and began experimenting with a series of small hiking bags and fanny packs. I got rid of the "one bag for all occasions" and now have a small bag that I bought from Orvis in 2002 for the Swift river (no need to bring boxes of wooley buggers to the Swift) and a larger bag from Fish Pond for the Millers/EB. The Orvis bag is no longer available.

I will be retiring the Fish Pond bag after 8 years because it just doesn't cut it any longer. When I bought this bag I was a bit dismayed over how bulky the bag was. It felt more like a camera bag. So I ripped out the useless tackle "bench" and then cut off the lumbar belt and have used it as a shoulder bag ever since. It's still too bulky and will be replaced by a bag used for rock climbers. It's very light, has plenty of room for three boxes, has compartments for leaders and other junk I can't seem to do without and has a convenient holder for a water bottle. I bought the new bag at EMS. There's a good chance that the old Orvis bag will get replaced by that EMS number too.

Sometimes it pays to source things outside of the fly fishing industry.

Thought I'd throw in a photo of a morning in May on the Swift. One month to Daylight Savings Time!!!



Anonymous said...


I started fly fishing when I was 13 (1972) and always wore a vest as part of the "uniform". In the mid 1980's I began saltwater fly fishing using only a fanny pack. After that first season I realized, its all I needed for fresh water flyfishing as well and I've never looked back. The ONLY downside is making sure you wear a shirt that has a loop on the rear collar for your net!
I use the Simms Guide fanny pack and love it.

Millers River Flyfisher said...


You have it right.

My net is carried on the waist belt of my pack. Very easy to get to and has never been a problem.

You get my first "thinking out of the box" award.

As I see it the vest is dead or it's slowly dying.


PCG said...

I was at Loser 40 today & Jimmy said that he only sells about 3 vests a year now. Everyone's looking for sling, chest, or lumbar packs. I used a shoulder bag this season & felt a lot cooler & seemed to have a lot more mobility. Always had everything I needed too.

Jo Tango said...

+1. The vest is extinct. I started with one and liked it. But, now I use an Orvis sling guide for quick trips. And, my favorite is the William Joseph Confluence chest pack. The killer feature? Magnetized front pouches. And, you can put your flies there as you ready to clip off or tie on.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

I should of mentioned how lanyards have simplified things to the point where even a pack may be unnecessary for a place like the Swift. Attach a small fly box and you're good to go.


Mike from Andover said...


I'll have to check out that climber's pack. Started with a vest like most do, have been using a Fishpond chest pack for several years - like it but I find that being in front it can be a bit of a distraction when trying to navigate tricky rocks and such. Now considering switching to a sling pack that can be swung out of the way. For White Mt. streams it is wet wading with the 2-wt. and a lanyard, not quite as bare bones as Tenkara.

PCG said...

Whoops! Lower 40, not Loser 40.

Matt McC said...

I picked up the Tightlines Sling Pack from Vedavoo and it works really well. Worth checking out if you are in the market for a sling.

Millers River Flyfisher said...

Ok fly fishers - this very limited poll of vests vs packs has a clear winner. PACKS, regardless of design
or maker, have it all over over vests regardless of maker or seller.

Vests will continue to be worn but will they be replaced?
I think that they will fade from the river as time (not a lot of time) moves on.