Keeping the Fly Vest in the Game~

Ever since I can recall, I wanted to wear my Grandfather's tattered fly fishing vest. It wasn't something special with a high end name like Orvis or Filson, more along the lines of Stream Tech, but that mattered little. I wanted to be big enough to wear my very own fly fishing vest. I think I was around 14 when I got my very own vest for Christmas, I kept it for many years, my daughter wore it on a few fishing trips. I recently passed it on to another young angler in a fly tying class in hopes that he too will get his fair share of prickers and fish slime on that generic Cabela's vest. This might be the reason I find it very difficult to let the four vests I own go by the wayside and collect dust in the fly accessory closet, and make the leap of faith to a sling pack. I appreciate knowing which pocket has which fly box, leaders/tippet and dry fly dressing. I am sure if I went on a weekend fishing trip and forced myself to apply usage to a sling pack, I might become fond of it's use and applications. Until then, I am very happy to see the gang at Umpqua Feather Merchants pushing the envelope and utilizing modern technology to take the traditional vest to the next level. Many of the attributes about past designs I see addressed in the generation of vests. The soreness and stiff neck at the end of the day due to uneven distribution. The bulky and overpacked vest we feel inclined to overload 'Just in Case' that rare flying ant hatch occurs while out in the headwaters. Tight and clingy materials that don't allow your back to breathe, or the opposite with a mesh vest that seems to hook more rubber legged stimulators than trout.

 
 
The Toketee on the left at $160 and the Swiftwater on the right at $180 are available in Slate Gray and Moss Green options.
The essential fly-fishing vest. The Toketee's smart and streamlined features turn “less is more” into simply “more”. All boxes and accessories are readily accessible via unique cross-body pocket orientation. Neck fatigue is eliminated with fully cushioned shoulder-straps and a supportive back-panel. Mesh back and side-panels keep you cool during the summer months and hand-warmer pockets keep you toasty on chilly mornings.
 
• One-size-fits-all shoulder and torso adjustment
• Eleven pockets, including two stretch-mesh tippet pockets and large bellowed back pocket
• Six internal stretch-mesh accessory pockets, including four horizontal, cross-access floatant/desiccant pockets
• Internal key clip
• Two molded barbless fly rigging stations
• Eight coated web attachment loops/retractor stations, including two, easy-grab hemo loops with raised retainer sheath
• Fully cushioned shoulder straps eliminate neck fatigue
• Back D-ring and web loops for net attachment
• Tricot-lined guide hand pockets
• Front buckle allows use without zipper to stay cool
• YKK zippers with loop primary pulls and sticky, micro-textured secondary pulls
• Integrates w/Surveyor 1100 Backpack
 
Inspired by the needs of the guides everywhere, the Swiftwater carries loads like no other vest. Neck fatigue and forward creep created by heavy fly box loads (often full of tungsten nymphs) is eliminated with a fully cushioned waist belt and shoulder straps. Mesh back and side-panels keep you cool during the summer months and hand-warmer pockets keep you toasty on chilly mornings.
 
• One-size-fits-all shoulder and torso adjustment
• Fully padded waist belt eliminates forward creep and neck fatigue and provides welcome back support on long days under heavy loads
• Fourteen pockets, including two stretch-mesh tippet pockets, two large back pockets and one large horizontal “reach-around” back pocket is easily accessed from either side
• Six internal stretch-mesh accessory pockets, including four horizontal, cross-access floatant/desiccant pockets
• Internal key clip
• Two molded barbless fly rigging stations
• Eight coated web attachment loops/retractor stations
• Includes two, easy-grab hemo loops with raised retainer sheath
• Fully cushioned shoulder straps eliminate neck fatigue
• Back D-ring and web loops for net attachment
• Tricot-lined hand-warmer pockets
• Front buckle allows use without zipper to stay cool
• YKK zippers with loop primary pulls and sticky, micro-textured secondary pulls
• Integrates with the Surveyor 1100 Backpack
Get ready to find yours at a favorite fly shop in November 2013!!!
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