I like bags. I like bags a lot and I might have one (or two) too many. Recently I missed the winning bid on a Hardy shoulder bag that I really fancied and soon after, an acquaintance with a vast knowledge, network and collection of Hardy tackle contacted me that he had seen I missed the bid. He offered me a similar bag for a very fair price.
In most circumstances I prefer bags and packs with more functionality, water proof, better comfort and modern carry systems. For tackle carry (fly boxes, extra shooting heads, leaders, clippers, floatants, tube fly hooks etc. etc.) I still prefer a vest or a slingpack. I have a water proof Simms, which has the potential to become uncomfortable to carry, because it’s basically a little too big. So if you stuff it it becomes too heavy. But when not too loaded, it’s nice because it’s 100% waterproof (which can be good when wading a big river). I use a smaller Simms when fishing the salt, which is very comfortable.
But I like old and traditional as well and this old Hardy bag is just an incredibly, high quality product. Sometimes, just sometimes, vintage, simplicity and patina takes precedent. This particular bag is perfect as a big-city man purse as well as a convenient carry of a thermos, a bottle of water and a lunch pack.
Just as when I use old fly patterns, for instance the North Country Spiders (one of very few areas where I do what I can to insist on the traditional tyings as far I can sustainably source the materials) I like the connection it gives me to the roots of fly fishing. I’m no purist (although I remain steadfast that some things just trigger an irrational, inner purist - Squirmy Wormys, for instance. Just wipe them out!). And recycling and re-use is good karma.
Have a great weekend!