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I've fly fished for 40 years and have done some part time guiding for the last 7 and I can make an argument that you may not want a vest. Most fly fishing companies seem to be moving away from vests to a hybrid-type of backpack with some additional pockets on the front straps. The worst thing about a vest is most folks see all of the pockets and feel they have to put something in them. You'd be surprised at how heavy a vest becomes when loaded with too many fly boxes and gadgets. I know that my shoulders feel much better after long days on the stream now that I no longer wear a vest. And, they can be pretty hot. If you're fishing smaller streams (mid-thigh or shallower) I'd recommend a simple fanny pack that can hold a couple of medium fly boxes. That's another thing...most fly fishers carry around way too many flies and often carry patterns that aren't native to their home waters. A really helpful tool is a lanyard around your neck that puts most of your tools, i.e. nippers, forceps, floatant, tippet, etc, at your fingertips. If you get into deeper water that might soak a fanny pack, simply wear it over one shoulder. Let it hang under your non-casting arm. I have a William Joseph "Hook Net" that has a loop in the handle that lets it hang from your wading belt and eliminates the need to awkwardly yank a net from behind you. Plus, if you use your net once it soaks the back of your vest after you reattach it.
I don't mean to throw off on vests, but wanted to share some of my experiences as a previous wearer of one and observer of those who still do. Fly fishing puts a lot of stress on your lower back and shoulders already and I've seen clients struggle later in the day to maintain good casting mechanics after they became fatigued, sore, or usually both. I'm finding myself ridding newer fly fishers of more than half of their fly gear before we hit the water and have to yet to hear anyone complain that they were caught without something during our trips. Good luck on selecting your gear and even better luck on the water.

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