It’s amazing how creative the angler’s mind can get during the close season. It’s been over three months since I wet a line, and I’m beginning to feel it. Recent posts have probably hinted at my burgeoning desperation, as thoughts have turned to unnecessarily expensive fishing tackle and pathological levels of fly tying. Stuck into the fray has been Christmas, shocking weather and a move of flat. This is precisely the sort of crap that makes me need fly fishing.
Until the weather clears and the grayling come out to play, or the next three months go by and the new season comes around (it’s about 50/50 as to which will happen first) it’s the ‘thoughts’ thing. Recently, the most obsessive of these has been that of the ultimate gear-carrying system.
Up until the middle of last season I was a waistcoat man. I don’t mean any old waistcoat either, I’m talking seriously cheap, nasty and unfashionable. My brother and I wore almost identical apparel, the only difference being that my pockets contained three times as much rubbish. Given that the reverse is true of our outward mutterings I’d say that overall we were pretty even 😉
Inside the waistcoat were six fly boxes, countless old fishing permits, a leader wallet, a rock from a special river and enough spools of leader material to encircle the earth three and a half times. On the outside hung nippers and forceps, with a landing net hung off a D-ring on the back. There are more excessive setups for sure, but I’m a bit of a tinkerer by nature and it was the turn of the waistcoat.
The replacement was a chest pack, one of those flashy looking William Joseph chaps. I used this for the last few fishing trips of the trout season, and it was pretty good. Enough space in the rear pocket for lunch, and not enough space in the front to carry too much useless tackle. Subtly my gear-carrying philosophy had begun to change. Less is more.
The latest phase has been developing over these last few dark, windy winter days. I say ‘developing’, because the Ultimate System is still in a beta-testing stage, but it’s looking promising. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you… The Lanyard of Power!
Yes, folks, it’s a lanyard. And yes, it’s going to be powerful. I’ve taken the liberty of photographing the very item, and here follows a brief description of the elements that give it The Power.
A – The Fly Box
B – The Forceps (on The Retractor of all Knowledge)
C – The Nail Knot Tool
D – The Nippers
E – The Floatant (in The Floatant Holder of Peace)
F – The Tippet Spools (featuring the revolutionary SHS – shoelace harness system)
G – The Shoelace (brown – important)
H – The Shirt (this isn’t actually part of the lanyard, but in this particular incarnation does provide a pleasingly fashionable backdrop, I’m sure you’ll agree)
So that’s TWO shoelaces involved. And you seriously questioned where The Power would come from?? The more observant amongst you may notice the devilishly cunning way I have used cheap monofilament to suspend the fly box. Total cost: about a quid. Truly, no expense has been spared.
What none of you will have realised is that the Lanyard of Power is perfectly balanced. The fly box sits precisely in the middle, in line with the tippet spools. Either side the various components have been carefully matched to provide optimum mass distribution. Truly, this is Power.
I think this is going to a really useful way of carrying fishing gear. For fishing the smaller rivers which I know well, it’s all that will be needed. For the bigger rivers, and for longer days, a small daypack with food, water and any other really essential tackle will be simple and more comfortable than any fishing waistcoat. Gradually, I’m cutting down. Less tackle, less crap, more fishing.
Simple But Good, you might say.
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