How To Setup A Simple Fly Fishing Kit Using the Bum Bag XL

May 29, 2024by Jason F


There is a ton of gear out there for fly fishing. But you may not want to carry all your gear with you all the time. And yet there are times when you are driving past that perfect stream and you just have to stop. The solution? Keep a simple fly fishing kit with you for those fishing spots you come across spontaneously.

Putting together a simple fly fishing kit shouldn't be complicated. We put together a short video and quick little step-by-step recommendations to help you create your perfect kit for fly fishing "on the fly" ;)


There are all size bags and chest rigs out there for fly fishing. There are even vests that do a decent job of organizing your fishing gear. But for our purposes we're recommending a bag that is not too small - but not too big either. We're looking for something just right in size that can handle carrying the basics and not much more.

Our favorite, of course is the Bum Bag XL that we make here at the Blue Ridge Overland Gear shop. It is made of technical grade X-Pac fabric and rugged hardware. It features an enclosed zipper pouch on the back, perfect for a smart phone. And you can get a variety of internal EDC Organizers to customize however you see fit. The modular nature of the Bum Bag XL is truly one of it's best features. Built for EDC, it also does a fantastic as the perfect fly fishing companion.


Here's the hard part. Since you can't bring all your fishing gear, you are going to have to whittle down what you pack to just the basics. Do an audit of your gear and make two piles: one pile will have must-haves and the other pile will include what you are leaving home. Simply ask yourself: what do you need for a lite day of stream fishing?


Now that you know what you want to include in your simple fly fishing kit you are going to have to get brutally honest. Here is the moment of truth when you compare what you want to bring with what you have room to bring. Remember, this is all about keeping your kit compact.


If you are an old pro coming up with your basic gear to include in your simple fly fishing kit won't be hard. If you are new to fly fishing you might benefit from seeing a list of what gear we like to include:

  • Fly Rod: Keep a lightweight or travel fly fishing rod to go along with your simple fly fishing kit. The travel fly rods can even collapse down for even easier stowing in your vehicle.
  • Fishing Net: Again, staying compact is the name of the game. A collapsible fish net can work but you can also use the webbing of the Bum Bag XL to stash a regular size hand net.
  • Tippet: Fly fishing demands some particular gear. Tippet is an integral part of your fly fishing setup - connecting everything to the fly. There are alot of different kinds of tippet to choose from based on what fish you are trying to catch and in what setting you are catching it. Scientific Angler is a great brand.
  • Fly Fishing Forceps / Scissors: Find one piece of gear that does multiple jobs and you'll have a much more efficient use of space in your kit. On the outside of our Bum Bag XL we keep a Dr. Slick's Scissor Clamp to handle all streamside tasks.
  • Tacky Fly Box: Our philosophy here at Blue Ridge Overland is to keep whatever outdoor gear you have compact and organized. Your fly fishing lures are no exception. Find something that can pack alot in a small space, like the Fishpond brand Tacky Fly Box (Double Haul). It can hold almost 300 flies! That should keep you supplied for a full day of fly fishing!
  • Emergency Essentials: From extra fly fishing leaders to an emergency space blanket, lighter, and headlamp or flashlight, keep some extras and survival essentials on hand. You may also want to include some personal first aid and even a little snackage (beef jerky anyone?).
  • Stream Thermometer: Making sure the stream isn't too warm to fish can significantly decrease fish mortality - even when you are catching and releasing. This is especially important to pay attention to in the summer months or in warmer areas. Fish can become stressed above certain temperatures so having a Stream Thermometer will help you gauge optimal fishing times and places.

If you are just starting out fly fishing or looking to create a simple fly fishing kit we hope these recommendations will help you put together your own kit. Check out the video and leave your comments on YouTube with any gear suggestions that we missed.