If you haven't visited Patagonia's fly fishing page in awhile, you are missing out. Aside from the hard-hitting social essays featured there, there is some good insight into the fly fishing culture, as well as links to industry and environmental sites of note. Perhaps even more interesting, are the tidbits on how each of their unique angling products are designed and developed. Oh, and by the way, they also sell some sweet gear there too.
It's no secret by now, I'm a Patagoniac. I love their gear and have been using it with confidence since 1993. I am also a gear junkie. I love getting my hands on a new piece of technical gear. Thus, it was a a no-brainer to pick up the redesigned Patagonia Double Haul earlier this spring after getting a sneak preview on Way Upstream's blog. Of course, unlike the product line designer or other big cheese bloggers like the Trout Underground, I don't just get gear sent to me, without having to exchange some form of monetary payment first. For this item though, I was glad to part with the cash.
After a full season's use, this has got to be one of the most indispensable pieces of gear I own. The versatility of being able to use this pack as a modular system was a big plus. I typically wore the chest pack alone, sling style, and would add on the lumbar pack for longer days on the river or in locales where I needed to hike in. There is more than enough room in the chest pack to fit two Bugger Barns and all the other accoutrement necessary for the stream-side angler. Probably the most overlooked feature of this pack is the magnetic holder on the chest pack. This little doodad is perfect for keeping a loose fly safe, especially when tying to change patterns or pinch on some shot. The best part of this pack is that it doesn't feel clunky to wear. I've noticed no restriction of movement during a cast, and it never seemed to have gotten in the way. As long as you remember to tuck in the extra lengths of the straps after fitting it, there isn't anything on the pack for a fly line to get caught on. That's always been a pet peeve of mine on some of the gear that has been developed. All in all, this is a solid piece of gear.
Probably the most satisfying part of the purchase was knowing that proceeds from the sale went to 1% for the Planet. Now this is a corporate model I can get behind. It's good to know that there are some companies out there with a sense of corporate responsibility, and feel the same way that you and I do about the very streams we fish. Cheers!