Fly anglers are pretty picky about their packs, and the demands anglers have when it comes to how they carry essential gear on the water might even rival the selectiveness they might have with any other piece of gear.
For years I had a beloved pack that almost became my second skin. But when my car was stolen (along with several rods and reels and likely thousands of flies among other things), I began a long journey of finding a new fly fishing companion. It was realized that this pursuit had ended last week when I darted across a fly shop to approach a stranger who was looking at the Patagonia Stormfront® Sling. “You must buy that!” I exclaimed to the woman who seemed a bit startled and was likely wondering if I was an over ambitious salesman. In fact, I wasn’t working in the store and instead was demanding a stranger purchase something simply because I knew that the pack would settle her journey as it had mine.
The Patagonia Stormfront® Sling is 20 liter, 100% waterproof welded sling that was clearly designed by anglers and for anglers. The thick, waterproof material is as durable as it is waterproof, and the welding prevents leaks in what would have been stitching. The zipper – a part that is also often vulnerable in waterproof gear – is a 100% waterproof TIZIP® zipper that helps ensure dryness. The pack also has a D-ring for news and loops to carry a rod. In addition, the sling strap has loops for everything from zingers to floatant.
This pack seems perfect for every need I can imagine as an angler. I like to be very active when in the salt or on a river, and the low-profile sling strap keeps clutter off my chest. This not only frees me up, but I also have less to worry about, like the line getting caught when there’s a permit at 10 o’clock or I am focused on not lining a trout in that nearly still pool. When you pull the sling from your back, the zipper is at the top of the pack for easy access, and there’s no worry about items falling out on the water.
From walking a scorching hot flat and not wanting to be warmed further by a big pack or vest to steelheading in the Pacific Northwest when I might be nearly chest-deep in water in the pouring rain, this minimalist, but large capacity pack allows me to carry everything I would want for a day trip while keeping it all dry no matter the conditions. For my needs, this pack is perfect. So it’s no wonder I encouraged a complete stranger looking at one in a local shop to buy one last week.
Patagonia Stormfront® Sling is available in fly shops and online and carries a $199 price tag – possibly a price much cheaper than the now less-vulnerable items kept inside!
– Tim Harden
Disclosure: Patagonia is in a professional relationship with the Fly Fishing Guide Directory, LLC and the Venturing Angler. Though potentially benefiting from this relationship, we do not post what we do not believe to be true. To read more, click here.