If you’re even a little bit like me, you carry all kinds of fly fishing gadgets. Having a system to carry it all in an organized way is important to get the most out of every fishing outing.
Testing out fly fishing packs that can accommodate all those fly fishing accessories and keep them within your reach can be a costly experiment. Luckily for you, I’ve got over 20 years of stomping around with a fly rod in my hand to help you out. After looking at what’s available I’m going to suggest what to get.
My Recommended Pack – FishPond Thunderhead
The Thunderhead is a perfect balance of performance and value. Constructed of durable TPU, fully waterproof, rod straps and awesome capacity. Definitely my pick.
How All 8 Fly Fishing Packs Stack Up
|Fishing Pack Name||Best For and Why||Amazon Link for Info|
|1. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible||Best Overall – performance|
|👉 Fishpond Thunderhead|
|2. VIXYN Fly Fishing Waist Pack||Best Hip Pack – Light|
|👉 VIXYN Waist Pack|
|3. Aventik Chest Pack||Best Chest Pack – Versatile|
|👉 Aventik Chest Pack|
|4. FishPond Upstream Tech Vest||Best Vest with Pack – Comfort|
|👉 FishPond Upstream|
|5. Piscifun Fishing Tackle Bag||Best Over Shoulder Bag – |
|👉 Piscifun Tackle Bag|
|6. Allen Eagle River Lumbar Pack||Best for Hip/Back Support – |
Lumbar belt support
|👉 Eagle River|
|7. Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Pack||Best for Minimalist – Perfect|
for wading light
|👉 Bear Creek Micro Pack|
|8. Simms Freestone Water Resistant Chest Bag||Best Overall Chest Bag – Works|
great for deep wading
|👉 Simms Freestone Chest Bag|
1. Fishpond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Fishing Pack – Best Overall
Generally, when looking for the right fly fishing pack for your next trip, there are several factors you have to consider. Some of the things you must include are the number of pockets, size, and versatility. Still, one of the key things I always consider is whether it is waterproof or not. After all, you will be in the water for a better part of the day, and in the worst-case scenario, it may even rain.
And one of the best fly fishing packs that ticks all the boxes in my list is the FishPond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Pack. Even though it has been around for decades, its timeless design makes it one of the best fishing packs on the market.
This pack is designed with your gear and comfort in mind, especially when fishing during the rainy season or if you love getting into the water when casting your line. Therefore, if water or rain has damaged some of your valuables in the past, then you need an exceptional waterproof backpack with a unique layout for organizing gear. It has plenty of space for your camera, tied flies, peanut jelly, and anything else that must be dry all day.
In order to keep your costly gear away from the water, this bag materials include using waterproof 1680D TPU-coated nylon. It also comes with some waterproof TIZIP zippers for your equipment that can come in handy when you find yourself fishing deep or when it rains. The thunderhead submersible lumbar is a tough bag designed to serve you for decades. And unlike most brands, its unique waterproof zipper will rarely fail you.
Its primary pocket measures about 13.5″ by 9″ by 5″ and has a capacity of about 10 liters. Therefore, it’s vast enough to store your reel, fly line spool, and fly box, among other accessories. (source below) It also has an outer stash pocket for your smaller gear. Still, the only disadvantage is that this pocket is only water-resistant. It has four unique attachments for several accessories, including forceps and tipper holders.
Besides being comfortable, it has an integrated net slot for securing your net. Therefore, it can be the best bag for your next fishing or hiking trip.
- Brand: FishPond
- Material: Thermoplastic Polyurethane
- Color: Eco Yucca
- Weight: 0.82 kgs
- Dimension: 17.09″ by 10.28″ by 4.37″
Pros – What I Love
- Has more than enough storage space
- Comfortable (Lumbar Support)
Guide Recommended: The Thunderhead Submersible has the capacity to carry a full days worth of gear and food. Convenient external rod straps, and fully waterproof you can keep your gear and lunch dry for all day fishing. Checkout the current prices and reviews on Amazon with this shortcut link 👉 FishPond Thunderhead Submersible Pack
Cons – Things to Consider
- The external pockets are only water resistant
2. VIXYN Fly Fishing Waist Pack- Best Waist Pack
At first glance, this waist pack can seem small in size, which in most cases means that it can accommodate very few things, but this is not the case with the VIXYN waist pack. The VIXYN waist pack is the opposite of most waist packs; it may seem small, but it can accommodate most of your fly fishing accessories. Therefore, if you’re an over-packer like me, you should not dismiss this fly fishing pack at first glance.
Unlike most fanny packs, it has several compartments. Its main compartment can accommodate several things; in fact, it does have several small compartments also. Its next compartment folds out to create more space for your gear. (source) The VIXYN fly fishing waist pack has two patches on the front for your dry flies, a unique feature. (source)
The ability to fold out allows you to view your display of flies and easily pick the right one. When folded out like most of the best fly fishing packs, this waist pack converts to a unique workstation that can make it easy for you to work.
The fly patches on the secondary pocket make it easy for you to replace a used fly with a new one. To provide more storage space, it comes with three small pockets, one on the front and two on the waistbands. Therefore, you can perfectly arrange your gear in the bag and easily access them when fishing. (source) And to ensure that it’s a comfortable pack, VIXYN added an adjustable strap that anyone could use to secure it around your waist despite your body size easily.
The VIYXN waist pack has everything you will ever need in a fly fishing pack, and the fact that it’s affordable is a bonus.
- Brand: VIXYN
- Material: Velcro, nylon, fabric
- Color: army green
- Strap type: Removable
- Closure type: zipper
Guide Recommended: If a waist pack is for you, checkout this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews and current prices 👉 VIXYN Fly Fishing Waist Pack
- Its beautifully designed
- It has more space than you think
- It comes with adjustable straps
- The leashes on the side don’t retract fast enough, but this will depend on the weight of the gear it’s supporting.
3. Aventik Fly Fishing Chest Pack – Most Versatile Chest Pack
If you’re in a hurry or looking for a fly fishing chest pack with some essential fly fishing tools, then you should try the Aventik chest pack. The Aventik designed their chest pack with fly anglers in mind. After all, the design allows for it to fit almost everything you will ever need while fly fishing. And despite its size and several tools, this chest pack is lighter than most brands. Therefore, it guarantees stability and endurance; its zippered pockets are effortless to reach.
Unlike most of the best fly fishing packs, the Aventis chest bag has exceptional pocket designs. Its front and main pockets can quickly meet any angler’s needs. Therefore, it is one of the best options to free you from your current heavy backpack or vest pack. Unlike the traditional vest pack, this exceptional chest pack will ensure that you have no extra weight on your back while keeping your hands free.
Its main pocket is big enough for a wide range of gear, plus it does have a mesh compartment for supporting some small accessories and a fly box. Its adjustable waist belt and neck strap will guarantee that it will fit perfectly on your body. It spreads the weight evenly to ensure you don’t get back pain after fishing the entire day. However, some anglers have complained that it is minimal and tight.
The tool pack combo includes six zingers, five tippet T-holders, a steel cutter combo, a knot tying tool, and a waterproof fishing box. (source below) Plus, the fact that it’s made from high-grade polyester means it will serve you for a very long time.
- Brand: Aventik
- Material: polyester, stainless steel
- Closure-type: zipper
- Style: backpack
- Weight: 0.48 kgs
Guide Recommended: Chest packs are convenient, if you’re considering one checkout this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews ahttps://aventiksports.com/nd current prices 👉 Aventik Fly Fishing Chest Pack
- It comes with some reliable fly fishing tools
- It has a functional design
- Some users have complained that it’s a bit small
Are you looking for some great How To Fly Fish Articles? Checkout this list:
- How to Fly Fish for Bluegills – These amazing fish are all over the USA. I like to call them the “Gateway Drug to Fly Fishing”
- How to Fly Fish for Brook Trout – Find the cleanest, coldest, most beautiful streams and I’ll bet Brookes are present.
- How to Nymph Fish – Step by Step details for setting up, presenting and catching trout with nymphs.
- How to Fly Fish for Salmon – Image hooking into a +25 pound King Salmon in a river and your Fly Rod breaks! Seriously this happened to me on my first trip.
4. FishPond Upstream Tech Vest – Best Vest Pack
If carrying any form of bag pack seems to wear you down, you should try the FishPond Upstream vest pack. Unlike the other fly fishing packs on our list, the vest pack is part of your attire, and it can do more than protect some of your body parts from direct sunlight. The FishPond vest pack is one of the most versatile, with 14 exterior and interior pockets.
The huge pockets on the front part of the vest are huge enough to hold a small fly fishing box. Plus, there are some unique attachments on the back of the vest for your fishing net. And to guarantee that it fits tightly, it comes with tremendous adjustable shoulder and waist straps; after all, it is a one-size-fits-all vest. It comes with some well-padded shoulder straps to ensure you’re comfortable.
Another thing that stands out for an environmentalist like me is that it consists of ECONYL-generated nylon, which is very strong. (source below) Therefore, you will never have to worry about it getting torn, even when carrying a vast amount of your gear in its pockets.
This vest pack may not be cheap, but its exceptional design and quality guarantee you will have fun for several years while fishing.
- Brand: FishPond
- Size: one-size-fits-most
- Material: Nylon
- Style: padded
- Color: orange/grey/tan
- Closure type: zipper
Guide Recommended: If you love a fly fishing vests, but want more capacity. Read more with this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews and current prices 👉 FishPond Upstream Tech Vest
- It consists of eco-friendly material
- 14 pockets
- Available in more than one color
- It comes with well-padded, adjustable shoulders
5. Piscifun Fishing Bag Portable Outdoor Tackle Bag – Most Portable
There are many portable fly fishing packs on the market. Still, very few can compete with the Piscifun tackle bag regarding portability. Despite having a simple design, this highly durable portable fly fishing pack can do more than just serve as your bag. It can easily blend with your outfit and being a lightweight pack, and you will never have to worry about a back ache at the end of the day.
This khaki fanny pack weighs about 10.5 oz. Therefore, it’s the most practical option for several outdoor activities, including fly fishing and hiking. Its unique design and dimensions of 12.2″ by 4.7″ by 5.3″ make it a perfect fanny pack. Its primary compartment has an internal pouch storing all your valuables, including your wallet and licenses.
This Piscifun fishing bag also comes with a zippered back pocket, providing more storage space. The backspace measures about 6″ by 5.3″, providing more storage space. Therefore, it’s an exceptional place for storing your smartphones, passport, and anything else you don’t want other anglers to see. (source below) The front pocket is easy to open and wide, so you can easily access your gear and continue fishing.
To guarantee that it will be comfortable, it comes with a unique waist belt that can provide a fast, personalized fit. It also has a quick-release buckle, hook, and loop fasteners to support the belt’s extra part. Another thing I love with this pack is that it comes with five external pockets, including two hook and loop pockets. These pockets can come in handy when organizing your fly fishing accessories.
- Brand: Piscifun
- Weight: 0.59 pounds
- Materials: khaki
- It’s comfortable to carry the entire day
- Its backside includes a well-padded cooling mesh
Guide Recommended: A simple bag is great. I used one for years, if you’re considering one checkout this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews 👉 Piscifun Fishing Tackle Bag
- Its zipper wears out quickly
6. Eagle River Lumbar Pack – Best Lumbar Pack
Unlike most of the best fly fishing packs on our list, the Eagle River Lumbar Pack is a solid fly fishing pack that carries more than you think. Therefore, you shouldn’t let its size fool you; after all, Allen Company designed every compartment perfect for your fly fishing accessories. Remember, any bag, including the small ones, can hold a considerable amount of your essential fly fishing gear when appropriately organized.
The Eagle River pack has an easy-to-access primary compartment that can easily hold 2 x 9″ tackle boxes or 6″ fly boxes. Therefore, you can carry everything you need for your next trip. The primary pocket has multiple interior compartments for storing your gear, fly boxes, and other valuables, including your camera, smartphone, and passport.
The front pocket also provides some extra storage space, but what makes it stand out is the fact that it can also function as a zip-down workstation. So you can secure your dry flies on the fly patch and easily access them while fishing. (source)
Other than the two primary pockets, it also comes with two side pockets that you can use to store your other accessories and fly boxes. And to ensure that it’s comfortable to carry all day long, it comes with a well-padded cool mesh waist belt. Like most of the best fly fishing packs, it comes with two water bottle pockets that can ensure you are well hydrated while fishing. It also features a D-ring for some of your accessories and another one for your fly fishing net.
- Brands: Allen fishing gear
- Color: olive
- The primary pocket comes with a wide opening
- You can convert the front pocket into a simple, but reliable workstation
- It has pockets for your beverage
Guide Recommended: If a waist pack is for you, checkout this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews and current prices 👉 Eagle River Lumbar Pack
7. Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Pack – Best Lightweight Fishing Pack
Allen has produced some of the best fly fishing gear on the market, and the Bear creek micro fishing pack is no exception. It is one of the lightest fly fishing packs in the market that has served anglers for years. It weighs about 0.5 kgs and measures about 8.74″ by 8.54″ by 2.36″. Plus, the fact that it’s a unisex unit is a bonus.
Other than being one of the lightest fly fishing packs available, this fishing pack was designed with you in mind. And to make your fly fishing experience easy and fun, Allen converted its front pocket into a unique zip-down workstation. Therefore, they ensured you always have a small table for setting your tippets and flies while fly fishing.
Its primary pocket has several storage pockets that can help you store your fly gear and easily fit a medium-sized fly box. The Bear Creek Micro fishing chest pack is the best option for fly fishing in windy conditions, thanks to its clips that can help hold the leader in place.
It comes with a well-padded neck strap to guarantee that you will be more comfortable casting your fly line with this bag around your chest and neck. And to keep your fly fishing net within your reach and safe, it comes with a unique D-ring. (source)
But since it’s a smaller bag, it cannot carry a huge percentage of your gear. Still, it can easily support your medium-sized fly box, the most significant option for carrying your dry flies. Plus, you can store all your valuables and smaller accessories in the other pockets.
- Brand: Allen Company
- Material: polyester
- Color: Olive
- Weight: 0.5 kgs
- Dimensions: 8.74″ by 8.54″ by 2.36″
- It has more than enough space for your fly fishing box
- It comes with a well-padded neck strap
Guide Recommended: Sometimes carrying a bunch of gear is more of a hinderance than a help. A small chest pack with the essentials can be just the right thing. Read more with this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews 👉 Bear Creek Micro Fishing Chest Pack
- Small in size
Overall rating: 4.6 out of 5
8. Simms Freestone Water Resistant Outdoor Chest Bag – Best Chest Pack
Your gear determines the success of any fly fishing trip, and having everything you need within your reach means you’ll spend more time doing what you love the most. And one of the best options for holding everything you need for your fly fishing trip is the Simms freestone chest pack. Despite its small size, this pack has a huge carrying capacity thanks to its four pockets, including two interior organizing pockets and two zippered ones.
Like all the best fly fishing packs on our list, this chest pack has several exterior storage pockets. The external part includes a loop Velcro for storing your flies and a unique magnetic docking station for some of your smaller accessories. Its primary pocket can hold two medium-sized fly boxes.
One of the key things I love about the Simms chest pack is its water resistance. So, you can cast your line even deeper in the stream or when it’s raining without worrying about your valuables becoming wet. The material used to make this pack comes with an exceptional water-repellent finish that can keep your tackle clean and dry.
Plus, the fact that it comes with removable waist and chest straps is a bonus. Therefore, you can wear it around your waist or chest to easily access your fly fishing tools.
- Brand: Simms
- Capacity: 3L
- Closure type: magnetic
- Color: grey
- Material: nylon and Velcro
- Weight: 0.39kgs
- It has a huge carrying capacity
Guide Recommended: If you’re ready to upgrade your chest pack, the Freestone is for you. Read more with this shortcut link to Amazon for reviews and current prices 👉 Simms Freestone Water Resistant Outdoor Chest Bag
- It can only hold the essential gear
Factors to Choosing the Best Fly Fishing Packs for Your Next Fishing Trip
Generally, when getting into fly fishing, you will realize that some gear is usually given top priority, like the flies, line, reel, and rods. But once you purchase this equipment, you will realize that others are not a top priority but also essential, like the fly fishing pack. Most experienced anglers claim that a fly fishing pack is a must-have bag to help you carry all your necessary accessories while fishing.
But with the many fly fishing packs available, picking the right option can be challenging. If it were three decades ago, you would have only had two options: a vest and a chest pack. (source) Here are a few things you must consider when purchasing the best fly fishing packs for future fly fishing trips.
As aforementioned, several types of fly fishing bags in the market vary in design, size, and how one carries them. These packs come equipped with certain fly fishing features that can help you to carry as much gear as possible. Some of the most common types of fly fishing packs include:
Sling packs are standard among many folks, including fly anglers, thanks to their unique design. Unlike the hip or backpacks, the Sling packs come with a special harness designed to hold them comfortably and securely to your body. These bags have a single strap that varies with the manufacturers and have more carrying capacity than the fanny packs/ hip packs.
Unfortunately, they don’t have more space than backpacks, but they’re way easier to access than backpacks, especially when fly fishing. These bags have two main compartments and several external pockets for your gear. Its strap, which generally sits across our chest, also comes with pockets or gear-hanging accessories.
But they’re not versatile, meaning you can only wear them over your shoulder and chest. Some anglers have complained of a dull ache after carrying this pack the entire day.
Another popular fly fishing pack typically carried around our waist is the lumbar/hip/waist fishing pack. These packs come with a hip belt to help us safely secure them while fly fishing. Plus, some of them come with an optional over-the-shoulder sling. These packs are the most versatile in the market as you can wear them on either side of the hip, rotate them to the back, and continue fishing.
Unfortunately, they have a smaller carrying capacity than the other types of packs. Still, their several small pockets and organization compartments can increase their likelihood of carrying more accessories. You can easily convert the front pocket of most of them into a small workstation.
Generally, backpacks are not that common among fly anglers, but they’re worth looking into; after all, they have more storage space. Their selling point is usually their carrying capacity; therefore, most people who purchase this bag have to sacrifice accessibility. But they have some key features a bag should have, like hip pockets and bottle holders.
If you’re out fishing, you want to be comfortable and not aching or have to change your posture whenever you need to access your pack. The fishing pack’s design matters a lot; therefore, you should consider how it fits on your body and how you can easily access your gear. So you should try the different bags and see which feels perfect against your body and can be easily accessed. (source)
Even though you don’t need all your accessories when casting your line, you do need some crucial gear and accessories like flies with you in the water. Therefore, you need a bag that can hold as many accessories as possible without being too heavy. After all, the heavier the pack is, the harder it will be to carry, and you may end up with body aches at the end of the day.
You still need extra space to arrange your accessories, even with a huge carrying capacity. Therefore, you need a fly fishing pack with several hooks for attaching some of your gear, including your fly fishing net. Plus, some fly fishing packs come with several small pockets and attachments sports that can help you convert its external pocket into a small workstation.
Generally, when fishing, you are in direct contact with the water. Therefore, you need a water-resistant bag to keep your valuables safe even when fishing deep into the stream. With a waterproof fly fishing pack, you can fish even when it’s raining without worrying about your valuables getting damaged by the water.
Last Cast (Fishing with a Pack)
With proper planning, fly fishing can be very relaxing and fun; therefore, you need the best fly fishing packs to help you arrange your gear. With the suitable pack, you can carry everything you need while casting your line without worrying about body aches or your valuables getting damaged by water. Accessibility of the fishing pack while fishing also plays a crucial role in the success of your trip.
From our research, we have concluded that the FishPond Thunderhead Submersible Lumbar Fishing Pack is the best option available. After all, it has a huge carrying capacity, is comfortable, and most importantly, is water resistant.
More Nymph Fishing Articles – WHY because NYMPHS Catch Fish!
- Best Rod, Reel and Line for Nymph Fishing – All about the equipment to nymph fish.
- How to Tie and Fish a Traditional Nymph Setup – An introduction to rigging up for nymph fishing.
- Nymph Fishing Styles Explained Traditional, Euro and Indicator – An overview of nymph fishing techniques and when to use them.
- Reading the Water for Nymph Fishing – Learn how to recognize the right conditions to fly fish with nymphs.
- A Complete Guide to Stillwater Nymphing – The title says it all, learn how to nymph fish lakes.
- Amazon contributor, FishPond thunderhead submersible lumbar fly fishing pack new 2022, https://www.amazon.com/FishPond-Thunderhead-Submersible-Lumbar-Fishing/dp/B09M968TVS/ accessed September 10, 2022
- Amazon contributor, VIXYN fly fishing waist pack, https://www.amazon.com/VIXYN-Fly-Fishing-Waist-Pack/dp/B08J8DZ9SC/ accessed September 10, 2022
- YouTube contributor, VIXYN fly fishing pack review (hands-on and tested) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lni9wiXawE/ accessed September 10, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Aventik fishing chest multiple pockets, https://www.amazon.com/Aventik-Fishing-Chest-Multiple-Pockets/dp/B08C9HVWP3?th=1/ accessed September 10, 2022
- Amazon contributor, FishPond Upstream Tech Vest, Men’s https://www.amazon.com/fishpond-Upstream-Tech-Vest-Mens/dp/B07ZTV5SG1/ accessed September 10, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Piscifun fishing portable outdoor fly fishing bag, https://www.amazon.com/Piscifun-Fishing-Portable-Outdoor-Multiple/dp/B01HBAQIKC/ accessed September 10, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Eagle River lumbar pack, https://www.amazon.com/Allen-Eagle-River-Lumbar-Fishing/dp/B00MK16XJY/ accessed September 10, 2022
- Allen Company, Eagle river lumbar fly fishing pack by Allen company, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_fsCES9ef4/ accessed September 11, 2022
- Amazon contributor, Bear creek micro fishing chest pack, https://www.amazon.com/Creek-Micro-Fishing-Chest-Tackle/dp/B09V3W5K23/ accessed September 11, 2022
- YouTube contributor, Choosing a fly fishing pack, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-bashOsEtdg/ accessed September 11, 2022