I watched as the dull-black wooly-booger fell from my clumsy hands into the chilly water. My fingers were numb from the cold, and their sensitivity had been reduced to something like a callused heel. It wasn't the first time to happen that day -- I'd already lost two other flies and made a mangled mess from several of my knots.
For such a small, inexpensive kit, you sure get a lot of assistance from the Vest Tool Kit.
It's a standard day of fishing when things take twice as much effort to get done as they should. Add in some cold air or water and watch as my eyes squint and I bite my bottom lip as I try to manipulate the little tackle of my fly-fishing setup.
Using my fingers to do almost any intricate work is about like using shovel handles for chopsticks. I just don't have the dexterity to hold little flies and such. When I'm fly fishing the problem compounds itself. If I attempt to hold my leader in one hand, a fly in the other and then join them up with a strong knot, something will invariably go wrong.
But there is an aid to these chores. Bass Pro Shops offers an extra-handy little kit that makes my time on the water a lot easier. It's the Vest Tool Kit. The Tool Kit is a great set for any fly angler and includes a 6-1/4 inch curved set of forceps, a pin-on retractor, nippers with hook-eye needle and leader straightener.
For such a small kit you sure get a lot of assistance from it. It makes tying on a fresh trout-getting fly half as much trouble. I attach the set of nippers to the retractable string and clip the forceps on my vest. When you're ready for a new fly, all you have to do is secure in the forceps and clean out the eye with the nipper's hook-eye needle, then tie the knot as normal -- all that without ever laying one finger on the fly.
As an added bonus, the kit comes with a leader straightener. Lay your leader between the leather tabs and pull. The friction will cause the leader to forget any curls it might have picked up from your previous fly casts.