Fishpond® Blue River Chest/Lumbar Pack or Replacement Foam
I have been using a Fishpond Gore Range Vest since I began fly fishing several years ago, however, during the dog days of summer it can get mighty warn wearing a vest with all of the stuff I usually carry. So decided to give a lumbar/chest pack a try. Researched on line for some time and finally settled on Fishpond's Blue River lumbar/chest pack. Actually, that's a bit of a misnomer because one can use it not only as a lumbar or chest pack, but also slinging it over the shoulder which, can be even better. It has quite a bit of room and holds the things that I need including quite a few flies on the changable pads. It is a lot more comfortable to wear on warmer days.
The only con, and it is not against the pack itself, but with Bass Pro is that I wish they offered the other colors the Fish Pond makes them in. I would have liked a choice there.
April 18, 2010
Love this pack. Great investment!
I was recommended this pack by Helen in the Denver store. This thing is AWESOME. She showed me how she wears hers and I was immediately intrigued. My husband was a little suspicious - he has a nice vest - but the thing I didn't enjoy about my own vest is that it's too long (I'm short) and half the time when I'm walking through deeper water, I end up soaking the bottom 6 inches of it. Not so with the pack, as I can wear it up high when I'm in deep. This thing is pretty cavernous and holds a nice amount of gear.
The fly bench is huge and holds more flies than I know how to use, from tiny nymphs to monster streamers and even the steelhead flies I use in the fall for kokanee fishing. There are a ton of compartments for leaders, split shot, strike indcators and tools, sunscreen and lip balm, and there are loops aplenty for a tippet toggle, retractors for clippers, and an inside loop to clip your keys. There's about 4 different places that would be perfect to keep your fishing license and i.d. Even with all this stuff in there, I still had room for the digital camera in its case and the cell phone, plus granola bars.
This thing changes from a fanny pack on steroids to a chest pack to a satchel. I kept mine strapped around my waist and used the neck strap over one shoulder (bandolier-style) and was able to spin my pack out of the way while I was casting, but I could easily pull it back around when I needed to change flies. My guide on my last trip had a similar pack from another mfr. and did the same thing. He liked the looks of mine a lot better, though!
I use it like a waist pack in the float tube so the neck strap doesn't interfere with my inflatable PFD. Because this thing has so many loops, I don't need a neck lanyard. I have now fired my vest and it stays in the car, where my pack gets to come with.
Pros: Roomy pack, versatile, interchangeable foam and a nice amount of space (gear and stuff like granola bars),
* a huge amount of places to clip on stuff,
* elastic loops to hold the loose ends of the adjustable waist straps down, and the adjustable straps holding the front flap have the loose ends hanging inside - nothing to catch line on while fishing
* easy to grab plastic zipper pulls on the zippers so it's easy to open when you can't look down.
* a little bulky as a chest pack if you're a gal, but the fact that it is versatile in how you can wear it is a plus
* a loop for a water bottle would be nice (but my vest didn't have one either!)
* given, the fly patch on the inside isn't going to be the absolute best place to keep delicate dry flies from getting crushed, but the compartment is still roomy enough to protect most of them. If you need to, a hard fly box can still fit in there, too.
Like any fly gear, you have to decide where you want to put all your stuff. The pockets inside the fly bench compartment were just the right size to stuff my Fly Pod in there too, which holds all my tiny stuff.
Fishpond has the right idea. Nice. The webbing comes in a bunch of different patterns, so if you have a pack, and your buddies get them, you won't look all alike.
April 18, 2006