Fly Fishing Gear photo

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I just returned from a long weekend down in New Orleans with my wife. We ate, took in the sights, and of course did a little fishing. As usual when I travel I like to bring some kind of small carry-on that doubles as a camera bag and/or fishing gear bag when I get to my destination. Enter the Piney Creek pack from fishpond.


Now I’ll have to admit, I’m not much of a vest guy and much prefer a chest pack or waist pack while fishing. With that though comes the need to carry a rain jacket, extra clothing, first aid, and some food. For years I’ve mixed and matched back packs and chest packs and never been totally satisfied.

I’ve always been partial to Fishpond, but they’ve come close to perfect with their new Piney Creek Back/Chest Pack combo ($169). On this trip it was particularly effective.

Here’s what I like: It’s minimal – everything you need for a one day fishing trip and not a gizmo more. The pack is insanely light, has 1,220 cubic inches of space, two zip out rod tube holders, can accommodate a bladder for drinking, recessed “garages” for all zippers and snaps. This helps a ton because they won’t snag your fly line while casting.

The integrated chest pack is small, and perfect for forays to high mountain lakes or small streams. What’s cool about the chest pack is that it also “docks” with four locking clips to the back of the pack for hiking, or front for fishing. Or you can simply use the chest pack by itself when you arrive at your destination.

Traveling down to NOLA I stuffed it into my larger checked bag and on the way back carried it on, where it fit perfectly under my seat with room to spare. I didn’t even feel like a dorky angler walking around the airport with it.