Several weeks ago, I was on a fly-fishing trip to Texas.
On the first morning, I watched one of my friends, Jim, spread all the contents of his freshly washed fishing vest
around it, and then meticulously place each item in its designated pocket.
He's a dentist, so his obsession with neatness and order is understandable.
Since this was a guys-only fly-fishing trip, we were allowed to talk about sex, religion, politics, whiskey, and
fishing. But, since this was morning and we hadn't consumed any whiskey yet, all conversation about sex, religion and
politics was out.
The conversation naturally turned to fly-fishing, and more particularly fly-fishing vests.
Seeing that both of us are extremely wise (aka old), our conversation took on a philosophical tone. We felt the first
question that had to be answered was, What is it that determines the perfect vest?"
With all the choices of different vests on the market, making that determination is no easy task. In today's world
there is an entire industry dedicated to different products that will hold all your fly-fishing gear.
There are traditional vests, fanny packs, chest packs, bandoleers, shoulder bags and shirts with eight or nine
I have to admit I have tried all of them and have decided a traditional vest is best for me.
After much conversation about the perfect gear-holding product, we decided proper fit is the most important part.
I elaborated, and Jim concurred: It's sorta like a woman picking a sports bra, or a man trying to decide on the
correct athletic supporter."
If it's too big, it won't hold everything in the correct position, and if it's too small, it will pinch and bind.
So, to get the perfect fit, you need to go try them on.
Next, you have to decide how much stuff you want the vest, or other product, to hold. It is possible to buy a vest with
more than 30 pockets. That might sound really cool, but think about wearing a vest
with all 30 pockets containing
Frankly, a 30-pocket vest filled to the brim could take you to the bottom of a deep lake.
Since I am actually on the quest for a new vest, and have done this before, I take my fly boxes along when trying
I want to make sure the pockets are the correct size for my fly boxes.
Different manufacturers have different patterns, and I don't want to have to replace all my fly boxes.
The next question is, When does one need a new vest?"
I am on this journey because the original color of my vest cannot be determined, it has holes in it where someone has
placed cigars that weren't completely out (I hate to litter), it smells like fish, and it is beginning to rot. I think
my vest has reached maturity.
Since my wife won't let it in the house, I find myself out shopping.
Oh the lengths we fly-fishermen go to keep our wives
Reach Don Oliver at firstname.lastname@example.org