There are some parts of the fly fishing world where you live and die by your rain gear. You’re in it every day, it’s loaded down with gear, and bombproof durability and storage options are key. On the Kanektok and the Kenai and the Skagit, high-end fishing shells like the Simms G4 Pro Jacket are a great idea.
On the other hand, there are lots of places where it’s really wise to bring a raincoat along, but you’re not going to be wearing it most of the time. Here, you want great performance and breathability, but light weight, packability and a reasonable price tag are a little more important. Places like South Andros Island and maybe the Dean River in July come to mind. These are the situations in which we really like the Simms Gore-Tex Paclite Jacket.
It’s made with actual high-quality Gore-Tex. It breathes really well, which is especially important during, say, a boat ride in the tropics. It packs down small and weighs almost nothing, but it’s an actual honest-to-goodness high quality piece of rain gear.
When you need to have rain protection along (which is probably pretty much always) but the $479 shell is overkill, give the Paclite Jacket a try.