Here is a list of five weird items I have seen people take with them trout fishing. I even include a few in my vest.
I first learned about the versatility of pantihose from an old guy who was sharing the contents of his fly fishing vest. I personally do not bring them myself but he was certainly a fan. A pair can be brought for only $3 from amazon but I am fairly certain he just took his wife’s.
Pantihose are actually quite useful, and they barely take up any space.
This is what he uses them for
– As a glove when handling fish he plans of keeping. The tightly woven mesh greatly improves grip. Although to protect the trout’s slime layer, I prefer wet bare skin.
– As a small net or sieve for taking stream-life samples. Simply, dislodge a couple of rocks and stretch out the pantihose and hold them just downstream. The small mesh traps the tiny aquatic life. It is much more compact than a small sampling net.
– As a bag for holding caught kept trout. Simply drop the (dead) trout into the pantihose then store the trout in the water while you continue to fish. It is usually possible to weigh it down with a few rocks to prevent it from floating away.
– Insect protection. If the mosquitoes and midges are biting too much. Wearing a clean pair of pantihose over your face create a barrier. Sure insects can still bite through the gaps but it is better than nothing.
Being a small tube of vaseline was a bit of a game changer for me. Walking back home after spending all day on a river fishing upstream can result in quite a lot of chafing. I suspect that is mostly due to wearing wet pants next to my skin. An all day hike is nowhere near as painful.
So at the first signs of chaffing, I now apply a thin layer of Vaseline which helps prevent the chaffing from becoming raw. The relief petroleum jelly can bring is certainly worth the weight.
It also works quite well as a fly floatant, but it is a bit thick so I only use it as a last resort.
3) hand pruners or secateurs
Often when I fly fish, there always seems to be just one branch or stem which tangles my bank casts. I am quite patient, and usually make the effort to untangle my line.
But sometimes, it is simpler to do a little pruning and never worry about it again. This is the reason why I take my Felco hand pruners to some overgrown trout streams. I use expensive felcos because work pays for them, but any brand of hand pruners work just fine.
Now, I always think hard before cutting off a twig or stalk, and I usually leave native vegetation alone, and only cut down dead materials or weed species.
Hand pruners also come in handy for cutting up kindling to make a campfire.
I always like to have matches or a lighter in my vest just in case I need to start a fire.
The weather can change quickly in the mountains so knowing I can start a fire, although I rarely need to is good peace of mind.
5) Bike inner tube
Having an inner tube of a bike tire is quite useful and they pack down very small. While second hand ones can usually be gotten for free, new ones only cost a few dollars. .
Firstly, they make a great and cheap fire lighter. Just cut of a slice and place it beneath the tinder. It is also less smelly than petroleum based fire starters.
Also small rings can be cut off which are basically very powerful and durable rubber bands.
They can also be used to replace, or tie together a broken strap on a pack
If your boots sole starts to come off, a slice of inner tube can wrap around it to hold it in place for the walk home.
Inner tubes also have some emergency medical uses. They make a rather effective tourniquet (I have seen vets use them to remove damaged antlers on deer. (According to the latest medical advice direct, hard pressure to the wound should be used in preference to tourniquets).
Inner tube strips can also be used to secure a splint to hold a broken bone in place. Just need to be careful not to cut off the circulation.