Whether swinging flies for salmon and steelhead, or tromping around on foot for bonefish, we really like fishing out of a hip pack. They’re easy to sling in and out of the boat, strap on when going for a walk, and in our humble opinion, much more comfortable to fish with than a traditional vest.
However for the longest time, with the exception of roll-top ‘dry bag style’ hip packs, hip packs were mostly limited to being ‘water-resistant,’ but not 100% waterproof. In other words, they worked great for keeping things dry in light rains or unavoidable boat spray, but take a spill in the river or fish for hours in torrential rains and you probably had to spend the evening drying out your gear.
Luckily, several companies have hopped on the trend of utilizing high end dry suit style zippers to create hip packs that are not only waterproof, but completely submersible. The good folks at Simms are one of those companies, and when they released their Dry Creek Z Hip Pack, we jumped on the bandwagon. We’ve been fishing with it for a while now, both in Alaska and the Bahamas, we really like it, so today we thought we’d tell you about it.
What it is
For a lot of the fishing we do, namely spey fishing and flats fishing, the need for a whole bunch of different gear is not overly pressing. Therefore, we like a hip pack that’s relatively simple. The more gadgets and gizmos hanging off of your pack, the more to tangle up with during those precious moments when making a shot at a fish. The Dry Creek Z is super clean on the outside, and we really like that.
As mentioned above, thanks to TIZIP zippers, and a super bomber TPU coated fabric (seriously, you have to feel the material to realize how tough this bag is), the Dry Creek Z keeps your gear extremely dry, no matter what the conditions. How dry exactly? Lets just say if you fill it up with air, and zip it shut, no matter how hard you try, you cannot squeeze the air out. In fact, it has replaced our need to carry an extra pelican case around for camera gear as well, allowing us to tote a small DSLR camera around without the fear of it getting ruined.
Furthermore, while the Dry Creek Z has a very ‘minimalistic’ design, it still holds a ton of gear. At one time, we’ve fit as much as 4 large fly boxes, leaders, tippet, stinger hooks, sink tip wallets, toilet paper (can’t forget that), split shot selections, strike indicators, sunscreen and more with ease. That’s a lot of stuff, and if you can’t fit all of your tackle in this pack, there’s a good chance you might be toting too much stuff!
What it isn’t
It’s important to not that there’s no one perfect bag or pack to handle every fishing situation out there. Trust us, if there was, we’d have it already!
However, what this pack isn’t is a super techy solution to organizing a whole bunch of different gear. So, if most of your fishing is super technical (like trout fishing for example), requires a lot of gear, and you like to stay ultra organized with extra pockets, sleeves, drop-down ‘work stations’ and the like, this might not be the bag for you.
However, if you really want to keep your gear dry, and, like us, would sacrifice organizational convenience more usable space, we don’t think you can go wrong with the Dry Creek Z.
We love this pack, and think it’s a great do-it-all bag for our fisheries from Alaska to the Bahamas.