Fly Fishing Gear that Works

A quick overview of fly fishing gear that actually works well, unlike some of the other crap that only works halfway, or only seems to work if you don’t know better.

Scientific Anglers Compact Nymph 270 Waterproof Fly Box
This box is small, holds 270 flies, is light and fits into your shirt pocket, plus it holds split shot and strike indicators. This is a great Bighorn River fly box because it holds so many small flies, and small flies are what we are all about.

Tie-Fast Knot Tyer
We always keep one of these near the line winding machine and use it for nail knots. We use a double nail knot to attach the backing to the fly line (the double is probably not necessary, but it looks cool and makes us feel good about ourselves) and to attach the leader butt to the fly line. This product has been around forever and it works great. They even make a magnum size for those of you who need it for saltwater or Spey lines.

Thingamabobber or Sindicator
Two different products here, but very similar. These are those round strike indicators that utilize “revolutionary trapped-air technology.” (Really, that’s in their promotional information.) Okay, so they’re bobbers, but please don’t refer to them as such. “Bobbers” is a crass word, and should only be used by spin or bait fisherman, not any self-respecting, finesse-oriented fly fisherman. Anyway, these work great as strike indicators, or “visible, strike-detection spherical apparatuses,” a term which is easier to remember.

Patagonia Home Waters Pants
Actually, everything Patagonia makes works well. I have Patagonia shirts I bought 25 years ago and they refuse to wear out. I wish they would wear out so I could buy a new color. The Home Waters Pant is a great lightweight wading pant. Wear it under your breathable waders, or for wet wading. By wet wading, I’m referring to wearing them in the water without waders, not wetting yourself while wearing waders. You know what I mean. These pants are also stylish enough to wear to a nightclub, or even to a wedding or funeral—if you hang out with the type of people I do. Great product.

Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling
Sounds like something James Bond might use, but in reality it is a really functional sling pack with a ton of features—I’m too lazy to mention them all here. I really like the way the sling pack is out of your way while you’re casting, yet you can swivel it around front when you need to get into it. Great for Spey casting, where you don’t want anything in front of you.

Simms AlumiBite Star Cleat
For you naïve people who believed the sales person when he said, “Yeah, these Vibram-soled wading boots have just as good of traction as the felt-soled boots,” these cleats will bail you out. Screw them into your boot soles and you’re good to go. Please resist the temptation to screw them into the forehead of the sales person who victimized you. Aluminum cleats work twice as well as the carbide ones. Who’d have thunk it?