Jul 4, 2012

Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling Pack - A Fly Fisher's Pack

Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling Pack

Was out on the river yesterday… Ah to be wet wading again! But I noticed one serious flaw in my gear scenario - one that I have noticed before but done nothing to fix. Well the time for procrastination died after dunking my fanny pack, once again, into the river. I am now going to remedy the situation.

I’m not a vest guy. A while back I decided that they were too restrictive, especially when wearing a lot of clothing. Trying to put one over a coat can be a chore and then once you got it on, you feel all bound up, and that’s not ideal. So I moved on to the fanny pack, which I like well enough for most situations. It holds all my flies and tippet and so on, just fine.

When I started steelheading more, I found that I could keep everything I needed in my waders. So joyful is the simplicity of stepping into the river with only a few flies and a small spool of maxima 12 lb. It’s nice to be limber - which is exactly what you are when you can finally strip off the waders and feel the river on your skin. After all, who wants to hike and fish while sweating and turning into a sloppy mess during the height of summer?

But when you take them off, you lose your tippet, fly, hemostat and clipper holder. So you whip out the fanny pack and load up all the essentials. And then you head out into the river and fish. And so many times, you end up with your pack sagging into the water or getting fully dunked when you lose your footing. This happened, once again, to me yesterday. I was out enjoying some pretty heavy salmon fly action on the Madison; wading upstream in the river and pounding the banks when I slipped and my pack got marinated in river water. It’s a drag getting the flies wet, and if you forget to dry everything out, well you know, rust happens and mildew and the whole bit.

So I’m moving on to the Patagonia Stealth Atom Sling Pack. I’ll still use my fanny pack, but if tricky wading is on tap, then it will be a sling pack game. Why not? It is comfortable, water resistant (complete with water repellant zippers), it holds the important stuff and it keeps it dry. Brilliant right? Furthermore, the way it rests or moves around your body is rather interesting and highly functional. The pack simply rotates from your back to your chest in one easy swoop below your arm pit. One second, it is out of the way and then the next, it’s right there in front of you. You can even reach in and grab your cell phone or camera out of a 100% waterproof interior pocket.
Drying table... is overused

Have a good time,



  1. I'm also tired of the vest. The fanny pack keeps getting submerged time and time again. I think this sling might be the perfect solution!

  2. I use a lanyard with fold down waders on the hot days. I feel like a mobile salvage truck but it doeswork.


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