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Take Me to the River

Fly-fishing can be quite calming — if you have the essential tools to keep your flies floating and the fish biting. When you’re in the middle of a stream, the last thing you want to worry about is whether you’ve got enough hooks or if you’ve forgotten that little leather thing that straightens out your hopelessly tangled line. You need a good fishing vest.

I have the Simms Guide Vest, made in Bozeman, Montana. It’s mostly a bunch of pockets and some clips — you add the rest. I usually load up with quite a few gizmos, including a Ketchum Release, a pair of clippers, and a bottle of float gel. Since the tools hang on retractable clips, they never wash away downstream when things get slippery. Better yet, the Simms comes with a nifty magnetic device that allows me to attach my fishing net to the back of my vest for quick access. When I’m ready to net my catch, I just reach around and pull it off the magnet. A lifeline keeps the net attached to me at all times — even if I happen to drop it while arguing with a fish. The Simms Guide Vest can be purchased on the Web (www. simmsfishing.com) for $149.FCS