There has been a handful of handy hunting threads regarding gear and other kit so I figure as it is blowing its tits off in Hawkes Bay and I can't get out for a fish I would start a trout one.
I have been trout fishing way longer than hunting and have never lived more than an hour from a decent trout stream in NZ. Most of us will fall into that category though! Over the years I have tried bunch of gear. Some good, some not so and now after about 30 years at it I think I have finally found a decent setup.
I bought a Fishpond Wasatch vest last year. It is great. There are a bunch of others around but this is the original and it shows.
The fishpond gear is a bit pricey but buying online takes a lot of the sting out so I got a couple accessories
The line cutters are awesome and have renewable blades as well as a small pin for opening up eyes etc
The thermometer Im starting to use after reading a Derek Grzelewski book
The zingers are good and are made for the vest.
Hook pliers (haemostats) are real good to get a fish quickly back into the water. Im not fussed on the mitten types but they fit well in the vest. Next time you go to A&E ask for a pair from a nurse. The hospitals don't re use them anymore
I like the C&F Design boxes. They work. I do prefer open compartment boxes for dries though, as the hackles etc are not crushed up.
Almost all my fishing now is spotting on rivers and streams. The tapered leaders are a big help (even with my rough casts) for decent presentation and are also economic as I usually only use about 30cm of tippet. I also use micro rings at the end of the leader to attach tippet to. saves a bit of time on the river when having to do a tippet change. Fluorocarbon is awesome. Tough, small diameter and pretty much invisible to trout. 4lb and 6lb is what I mostly use. I have used a Uni Knot forever now and have had very few failures. I did find out a few days ago that my leader was rotten though with knots holding under pressure on the bank but failing on 3 consecutive fish.
I have an old weigh net. Soft mesh (not nylon) is best if you want to put a fish back. It clips to the back of the vest.
I carry plenty of sunscreen here in HB as wells some DEET type bug repellant.
I have a large ziplock bag in the back pack of my vest to store a cleaned trout in should i take one for the smoker as well as a small Buck Protégée pocket knife. Its only for gutting and gilling so any small knife will do. Ive had this one since I can remember.
My pet hate is huge strike indicators. May as well try tying a freaking ginger cat to the top of your leader? WTF.
Im using some elastic bands for mouth braces and a small tuft of either white or orange yarn. Its an awesome method as it is small but visible and is quick to adjust for different depths you may need to fish. I can show you if you want how it attaches?
The green thing is a nail knot tool. Quick and strong attachment of leaders to the flyline.
I've had a fishing license for about 30 years now. Alway will too. A few plasters as well as some toilet paper for the just in case moments (more for kids nowadays).
I think I've tried about a billion flylines and I do like the Airflo Ridgeline I have in 6wt. I got real sick of floating lines that would sink in the front 6ft after a few hours in the water. May try a Rio Gold next, just cause I can.
I bought this Waterworks ULA reel second hand a few moons ago now. It is one of my prized possessions. I have used a few reels and the large arbor is a no brainer for fly lines. Line memory in the old Scientific Anglers and other smaller diameters was terrible.
I have always liked to make my own fly rods. They are pretty easy with the right gear. My current one is on a CTS Afinity One blank. I like it but I cheated and had it built by a mate this time. Rods are like rifles though. Heaps of options and really a personal thing. A decent rod tube is worth it and Im using one you can keep the reel attached to while in storage. The zip broke on mine the other day so I may be on the look out for a new one.
Be good to see if anyone else has a few other gear tips or pointers.