I use one of two vests for trout. One is normal cloth for when its cold out and I want an extra layer to keep me warm. Then I have a mesh vest for when its mild or hot out and I still want to have everything. For the warmwater creek fishing I do i use a backpack with all kinds of stuff in it. I have thought about getting a chest pack but im not sure on the comfort of one.
As someone with a vest, lanyard, chest pack and backpack I think it's fair to say there's a time and place for each of them. In the winter I like the chest pack/backpack because it makes swapping layers easy as pie. I alsolike to carry an extra dry sweater in case I take a slip and a coffee pot for a stream side brew.
In the summer nothing beats wet wading and the filson strap vest for me. Just the right size for everything to be comfortable and some room in the back for a water bottle.
I usually use my vest. Except for when I wet wade. Then, I use a lanyard. When I wet wade, I have a small waterproof Plano box I stuff my flies in. Then, the equipment goes on my lanyard. I used to use a waterproof bag, but the lanyard system works much better wading because then I only have my rod to carry.
Vest but I don't know why. It has more unusable pockets with holes in them than usable ones. Half the time I end up stuffing gear in my waders . Most times I carry a bag or backpack cause if I can I'd rather wet wade. Shirts and shorts with multiple pockets usually do the trick.
"I was born to fish" Lee Wulff
"There's more B.S. in fly fishing then there is in a Kansas feedlot." Lefty Kreh
" It ain't over till it's over." Yogi Berra
"Your not old,you've simply acquired a patina." Swirlchaser
I dont like to carry a lot of stuff usually, as I move real fast when I fish, and dont use many different patterns, so I carry a very small chest pack, holds two fly boxes, tippet and a couple of other odds and ends that are always helpful to have. \
More comfortable than carrying that all on a lanyard or in outside pockets, and still very compact so I can stay mobile, which is key for me.
I've used vests, fanny packs, daypacks, shoulder bags, lanyards alone and in different combinations. Having an arthritic neck and shoulders doesn't make it any easier.
Best combination for me is the lanyard for all my light grab tools and a lightweight fanny pack for lunch, water bottle, rain jacket, sunscreen, TP, droid etc. I put a fly box in each front pocket of my Academy fishing shirt. This has been the best way for me to keep the weight off my shoulders and forces me to pack light. I used to carry all kinds of **** down to the river and found I just didn't need it all. Huge difference. Packing this way has made me less top heavy and feels so much better on those hot days. Nice not schlepping all that weight around.
I also started using waist high waders to keep the straps off my shoulders. Otherwise I just wade with neoprene socks and wading boots if the weather permits.
I'm currently shopping for a new lanyard. I didn't know you could spend several hundred dollars on a custom vanity lanyard. Sheesh. Any suggestions on a good one?
And fanny pack too. I had a fishpond waterdance. Nice pack but found it was just a little too large for my needs. I may try the dragonfly this go around. Cabelas has a new private label one out too.