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Romano and others tease me about the “retro” fishing vest I wear… a [Filson Foul Weather Fly Fishing Vest. ](http://www.filson.com/product/ index.jsp?productId=2092330&cp=2065674.2065688.2065712&parentPage=family)But I think in fly fishing, being a creature of habit is a good thing. I think that’s especially true with the vest (or pack) you wear. I’ve tried packs and other vests, but I can’t switch. For me, there’s nothing more frustrating than fumbling around looking for that spool of 5X. Too many frills and pockets are a bad thing.
Actually, to call this a vest is really kind of a misnomer. It has two large, low-slung pocket compartments for fly boxes, but nothing covering your upper chest area. I like that, because it’s lightweight, and cooler in warm weather. There are four smaller pockets lining the two big ones. Thats where my indicators, dry-shake, sunscreen, and weights go, respectively. The back compartment is just big enough for a crushable raincoat, and a bottle of water. That’s it. I prefer to travel pretty light.
Are you on the “lean and mean” plan? Or would you rather have all your bases covered, even if it makes you look like the Michelin Man? Is it a vest or a pack? I’ve found that religion, politics, and they type of vests/packs you wear are the three subjects for which you will never find angler consensus.
The price of the Foul Weather Vest ($170) is sure to cause some sticker shock, especially considering its simplicity. But whenever you buy Filson, you buy durability. I’ve worn mine 10 years, in the foulest of weather, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego, and while it’s starting to show rips and frays, it also wears like a favorite baseball glove that’s broken in just right.