Monday, May 20, 2013

Gear review-Simms Dry Creek Hip Pack

BDF is a big fan of fly fishing gear.  I love reading the new catalogs, and browsing the fly shop checking out the latest and greatest gear.  I'm going to do some periodic gear reviews in hopes that you will learn from my experiences.  There is a ton of great gear out there, and as you know, what defines great gear can be very subjective.  What is the perfect piece of gear for me might not fit your needs.

I've definitely evolved into more of a minimalist when it comes to gear, but I not to the point where I don't have what I need with me.  I generally fish with a Fishpond Nimbus pack, but decided that I need something waterproof for float tube fishing.  I picked up the Simms Dry Creek hip pack with the intention that it would fit that role.  I used it for several float tube fishing expeditions last year, and found that it served me quite well.  It kept items inside dry when the bottom of the pack got wet, and has enough pockets inside to help me organize essential gear.  I took this pack with me on my recent trips to the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and put it through some friendly abuse.

The pack is fairly lightweight, and has a strap that allows you to wear it as a sling.  It seems well designed and well built.  I'm a big fan of Simms, especially their waders.  I've worn the waders for years and they are bulletproof.

The one note of caution:  Don't submerge this pack (and to Simms' credit they only say that it is water resistant, not waterproof).  In Florida I wore it on my hip, and found everything inside soaked (I may not have completely closed the zipper either).  Luckily, I had my phone in a smaller Simms waterproof bag, which is waterproof.  The rest of the time I wore the bag as a sling pack, made sure that the zipper was completely closed tight, and had no issues with water getting into the pack.  During my time fishing in the Pacific I followed these guidelines and had no problems. 

Bottom line?  It's a good product as long as you remember that it is designed for water resistance, not being fully water proof.  It is perfect for using in a float tube when it sits in water, or as a sling bag (which I prefer anyway).

BDF is going to use a three tiered gear rating system for gear reviews.

Dry Fly =       Great Product
Emerger=       Good product with potential
Nymph=         Could use improvement  

The Simms Dry Creek Bag earns Emerger status.


Monday, May 6, 2013

Return to home waters, back to the Poudre.

After fishing both oceans over the last couple of weeks, it was time to visit an old friend, the Poudre River. The PR has always been a very special place for me, and it is the river I know best.  I have an adventurous streak in me, and I enjoy figuring out new water.  But as someone wise once said, home is where the heart really is.

The river was fast and dark, with lots of debris.  We have had a ton of snow and moisture here lately, and all that melted water has to go somewhere.  The water is darker than normal runoff due to the ash still clinging to the riverbanks after the fires of last summer.  Although it makes the fishing tougher right now, I'm very glad to see the start of a runoff.  Even though the river stayed low and clear last year (before the fire of course), it is much better for the health of the river for it to be full of water...dirty or not.

The time astream caused me to think of all of the trout brought to hand over the years on this river, often in the presence of great friends.  Weekly Friday trips with Noconympher and JT, 50 fish days on a stretch called "Rainbow Road" with DG, and catching a big trout with a size 12 Royal Wulff dry fly on a cold February day while fishing with Morty from TFM.

Here's to many great days ahead on the PR this season...but for the time being, I'm going to get the float tube out, and head to the lake.