Outside magazine, May 1995
As happy as you and your favorite daypack are with each other, spend some time together fly-fishing and you'll discover shortcomings: Once you've stuffed it to capacity with just your waders and awkwardly lashed your rod cases to the outside, you're left carrying your spare boots and lunch--and you can load only so much overflow into a vest. Factor in the crowds at easy stream accesses and you're one cranky angler.
Bridger Mountain's new Fishing Pack System can help. Built around an internal-frame backpack with three smart add-ons, all made of 1,000-denier Cordura, the body-friendly system makes it easier to escape to less-pressured streams. The main backpack comes in two sizes: the 3,300-cubic-inch Golden and the 2,300-cubic-inch Grayling. Either can house your waders with room to spare; both carry easily with aluminum stays and wide hipbelts. A narrow profile and S-cut shoulder straps eliminate interference should you want to cast along the way. An outside pocket hides fleece-lined sleeves for water bottles or camera lenses, and specialized straps lash on wading brogues, rod tubes, and a footwear-changing mat.
Add-on number one, the Rainbow, is a smart tackle chest-pack with a fold-down shelf for changing flies. Add-on two, the Brookie, is a small back-pouch for carrying extra reel spools, drinks, lunch, and raingear, so you can leave the main pack ashore. Use the Brookie and the Rainbow together or separately, or strap on add-on three, the fleece-lined Camera/Bino pouch.
A small swatch of some slick material, like the crampon patch on your daypack, would help protect the pack from muddy boot soles, but this is a nitpick. The entire system is comfortable and supremely functional. As your fishing companion, it could save your relationship with your daypack.
Golden, $199; Grayling, $149; Rainbow, $60; Brookie, $50; Camera/Bino pouch, $20. From Bridger Mountain Pack Co., 5051 W. Yellowstone Highway, Casper, WY 82604; 307-237-8826.