Fly Fishing Vest

Fishing for trout can be challenging even for veteran anglers! Trout are aggressive feeders that can fight against the angler, and fly fishing as a method of catching them isn’t an easy one.

The bottom line: You want to keep the other aspects of fly fishing simple so you can focus on actually catching trout.

And that means keeping your fly fishing essentials within easy reach and in an organized manner. It is where the best fly fishing for trout comes in.

But be sure to put some thought into deciding which items will be placed in your vest and which items are best left in your car.

Things To Pack In Your Fly Fishing Vest

Keep in mind that traveling light is a must for enjoyable fly fishing, no matter the fish species, as well as the location and time of year you’re fishing for them.

While a fly fishing vest is a wearable tackle box of a sort, it shouldn’t be packed full to the rafters lest it becomes a burden, even get in the way of casting the fly.

Also, there isn’t a single way of packing your vest correctly. You have to experiment with the pockets and their contents until you find an arrangement that suits your style and preference.

You may, for example, put a fly box with the most frequently used flys in a front pocket on the opposite side of your dominant hand.

The fly box can be placed in a large pocket on your vest’s left side so you can easily unzip the pocket and retrieve the fly box.  You can put the smaller fly boxes in other pockets.

Tip: When organizing your vest’s contents, you should ideally keep the smaller items in the smaller pockets. You can also put the less frequently used items in the pockets further away from your dominant hand.

With that said, we suggest packing these essentials into your vest for a day of trout fishing:

  • Strike indicators
  • Drying powder
  • Leader-weighting putty and split shot
  • Small flies like tiny terrestrials, midges and minute nymphs for harsh conditions
  • Chocolate bars for when hunger strikes while you’re still on the water
  • Streamer pump
  • Wet box for storing nymphs and muddler minnows
  • Stomach pump for checking the trout’s stomach contents before its release
  • Leader gage
  • Fly line dressing
  • Insect repellent
  • Fluorocarbon tipper
  • SPF 30 sunblock
  • Small binoculars
  • Multi-use tool
  • Mixed flies
  • Pain medication because you never know when you’re in the field
  • Dry box
  • Permanent marker
  • LED light
  • Safety pins
  • Polarized sunglasses
  • Digital water thermometer
  • Hemostat-scissors combo
  • Stogies
  • Leader packs
  • Raincoat
  • Net
  • Reels
  • Grab bag
  • Wading staff
  • Keys
  • Wallet
  • Cell phone

The last eight items can be stored in the back pockets, while the other items should be stored on the vest’s left and right sides. 

Be sure to put your cell phone in a waterproof plastic bag, too, because you can’t be too careful about bringing electronic gadgets near a body of water.

Of course, you have to zip or lock the pockets for less frequently used items so these items don’t fall out into the water.

Reasons For Packing Them In A Fly Fishing Vest

There are three types of wearable containers that fishers use: sling bags, waist packs, and vests.

While the first two types have their merits, we suggest using a fly fishing vest because of its numerous advantages.

Sling bags and waist packs have a smaller number of pockets for stowing the myriad of fishing gear necessary for a day of fishing. These are also more difficult to pack and to find items without nearly emptying everything.

However, you can also rummage around until you find whatever it is you’re looking for. Plus, these can be unwieldy to bring so much so that you can be tempted to leave them hanging on a tree while you fish somewhere else.

In contrast, putting your essential fishing gear in a fly fishing vest means ease of carrying, convenience, and quick access to items. You don’t have to frequently rearrange a vest since you wear it on your body.

You’re also just wearing another layer of clothing but with essentials in them, and you can wear them in nearly all weather conditions.

A fly fishing vest also contributes to improved posture when casting the fly. It distributes the weight around your body and on your shoulders, not on your neck. You also have plenty of storage space for all of your fishing supplies and tools except for the rod.

Men’s Fly Fishing Vest

And if you’re looking for a practical, durable, and affordable yet reasonably-priced vest, you will find this Men’s Fly Fishing Vest a great choice.

With its multiple pockets, you can store most of your fishing accessories, including fly boxes, leaders, and multi-use tools, as well as food, water, and binoculars.

You can easily retrieve them, too, thanks to easy-to-open zippers and locks while still keeping these items safe.

There are even a few D rings in the back where you can carry a small fishing net. You can utilize it for different things, too, which means more storage space.

The water-resistant material has a mesh lining for better air circulation, a great feature in warm weather. Simultaneously, the adjustable shoulder and waist belt make it easy to adjust to nearly every body size.

You can tighten or loosen it easily according to your comfort level, perhaps tighter if you’re wading in the stronger current.


Long-time fly fishing enthusiasts know that a vest is a must-have accessory, perhaps among the first ten accessories that should be purchased when first starting.

With it, you can keep your hands and eyes focused on catching trout, from identifying where they’re clustered to casting the perfect fly instead of rummaging for things.

You will likely catch more trout for dinner, a satisfying achievement that makes the hours spent being wet worth it.

But like all fishing accessories, even the best vest is just another tool that may or may not be an excellent tool depending on its use. You have to use it properly to get the most value from it, from arranging the items in it well to taking good care of it.