I’ve spoken before regarding fly fishing packs verses fly fishing vests. Both have their own practical features and benefits. Yet for the past 6 years I have moved to a shoulder sling pack and have not looked back. I have been using the Orvis Guide Sling pack and have found this particular piece to be extremely functional and durable. I would recommend this pack in a heartbeat. However, it is time for a new purchase and I’m looking at the three other major players for packs. Simms, Fishpond and Patagonia.

I’m looking for Waterproof materials, accessory loops, storage areas, dividers and of course durability. I do try not to overload my pack but that is much easier said then done. But when I need a certain fly or tool it needs to be easily accessible while I’m waist deep in the rapids on our Ontario Rivers.

There are so many packs and options to choose from that I decided to speak to Rob Cesta who is the owner of The Drift Outfitters and Fly Shop located at 199 Queen St. E. Toronto, Ontario. Rob’s fly shop is packed with everything to accommodate a novice, intermediate or expert fly fisherman. Rob has all the newest and greatest packs the industry has to offer. Here are a few options available that have the Drift Outfitters Fly Shop’s seal of approval:


Fishpond Delta Sling
Fishpond Thunderhead Sling (waterproof)
Simms Waypoints Sling Small

Waist Packs:
Simms Dry Creek Z Hip Pack (waterproof)
Fishpond Nimbus Guide Pack (kitchen sink)
Patagonia Stealth Hip Pack (all around use)
Fishpond Flint Hills Lumbar Pack (minimalist)

Simms Dry Creek Z Packpack (Waterproof)
Simms G4 Pro Packpack

Chest Pack:
Simms Waypoints Dual Chest Pack
Fishpond San Juan Vertical Chest Pack

Every option works well yet I do find the Waist Packs run to low while wading in our Ontario Rivers. There are definitely moments when wading waist deep or more is needed. Chest Packs also are efficient but it would be better to have a smaller pack as they can get in the way. Love the Backpacks but it is an option to bring along for the driftboat or set along the side of the bank while working a run. Again the winner for me is the Sling Pack option. They ride comfortably on your back and stay out of your way while casting. It is a simple quick move to spin the Sling Pack into position when looking for a fly or tippet switch. Pack runs higher so stays out of the water much better. I also use a pack exclusively for Saltwater fun. Either waist deep in the ocean or walking the flats the shoulders can handle the weight easily with the Sling.

The fly fishing pack is an important part of your day for wading on our beautiful Ontario Rivers. Hop down to the Drift Outfitters Fly Shop in Toronto and see which option is best for you.


(647) 347-7370

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