Field Testing the Fly Fishing Strap Vest with Tyler Sharp
Tyler Sharp is a documentary photographer, writer, and filmmaker based out of Dallas, Texas. Traveling extensively on assignment, he has filmed and photographed a myriad of cultures and landscapes, and slept under the stars in some of the most remote regions of the world. Today, Tyler revisits a family fly fishing tradition and illustrates the myriad uses of our Fly Fishing Strap Vest.
Every year as August rolls around, my father, brother and I get to escape the Texas heat, and head up to Montana to fish the Yellowstone River. As I highlighted in the videos I shot for Filson Life last year, my father and his friends have been taking this trip for the last 30 years. Now that my brother and I are part of the tradition, to say the least, it is something that we look forward to all year long.
As with most sports or outdoor activities, there are varying degrees of skill associated with fly-fishing. And while it may be difficult to accurately measure this skill, I can assure you that none of us rank amongst the elite anglers of this world. But where we lack in God given talent, we make up for in dedication, and by having one hell of a time.This year, I decided to field test the Fly Fishing Strap Vest, and gifted my Dad and brother with vests as well. Our fishing talent being what it is, our version of field testing would have to be a little less serious than most avid anglers, so I wanted to explore some alternative uses for the vest. Though our vests did partly take on a traditional fly fishing function, they quickly became fashioned for our own purposes.
Being a photographer by trade, I found the vest to be very useful for accommodating my multiple cameras, in addition to the extra flies, liter and tippet I needed. I could easily fit my Contax rangefinder, an extra lens, and several rolls of film into of the front main compartments, and still have room for more. I shoot a lot with my iPhone as well, which fit perfectly into the outer bellows pocket, and fastened securely to prevent it from falling in the river.My brother deals in antiques and rare taxidermy, so his vest was quickly adorned with various obscurities, pins, and even an ermine tail. And should you fall in the river, the Filson cover cloth repels water long enough to regain your footing, allowing the tobacco stored within to stay dry, and the hand rolled cigarettes to persevere.
My fathers’ vest took on more of a recreational function, being mostly additional storage for his banquet beers, cigars, and chewing tobacco. And just in case you were wondering, the front pocket of the vest can easily hold 4 unopened beers, for those lengthier wades away from the boat & cooler. We also discovered that smaller fish would fit in the front compartments of the vest, should you entirely fill the gigantic back pocket of the vest. None of us came anywhere near that capacity.
As we’ll be taking this trip for the next however many years, I plan to take the same photo of the three of us wearing the Filson vests annually, from the exact same spot. In this way, as the years go by, it will show the physical changes that become us, as well as the wear on the vests. As handsome as the vests already are, I am looking forward to seeing them age and season over the years. And for as hard as we fish on that trip, it is likely that the vests will outlast all of us, because now we have the best.