I have had a close relationship with my various fishing vests ever since I first got one as a kid. Back then, I just though they looked so cool and that I definitely needed one to be a proper fisherman. I had one box of lures and a can of worms, which I could have carried in my jacket.
I've been off the vests periodically, but I've always ended up returning to them after a while. For along time, I've been using three vests (all three are around 10 years old or even more). One for dryfly/nymph/trout/grayling, one for salmon/sea trout in the rivers and one for the salt. Most of my pike fishing is done from pontoonboat/floattube/kayak/boat, and when in either of these I don't use a vest.
Three vests are convenient so I don't have to empty out boxes and other "species-specific-gear" I might carry. And theyre not the same either. I carry more for dryfly/nymph than I do for salt and salmon/seatrout, so the vests are scaled accordingly.
Now it's time for another round of can-I-get-out-of-the-vest-and-into-something-more-modern-and-be-cool-with-the-cool-kids :-). And I've chosed the salmon vest to be transferred into my new slingpack. Simply because when fishing the double hander it's nice to have everything on the back and of of the way when speycasting. I moved into another sling pack some years ago with my salt-gear, and the pack was simply uncomfortable and actually pressed on my neck and my main arterie making me dizzy.
This pack is smaller, it has a secondary strap that pulls the main strap away from my neck. The smaller size also means less weight and less temptation to stuff in it.
So here's what I carry for a day along the river.
Three fly boxes: One with black flies, one with other colors and the small one for Sunray-style flies.
Leaders and tippets.
Needle (for untangling leader knots, not that I get any, of course - also used for clearing hooks eyes if they blocked with varnish and other stuff).
Plier and folding knife (it's always nice to have a knife).
Box of tricks (small box with plastic lined beads and coneheads, small propellers and other stuff).
In addition to this, which is all in the picture, I'll carry a water bottle and a (few) extra shooting heads and sometimes a lunch pack.
In the PoD, all of the above is packed into the sling pack, and it's quite comfortable to carry and I'll premiere it next week. The pack is completely waterproof, which is an added bonus, even if all the stuff above has no problems with water. But - it's nice to have a waterproof pack for the camera if I'm surprised with heavy rain. Usually I'll just varry it around my neck and inside the waders.
All for now - Paul should be back on strike on Monday. Have a great weekend!