SmithFly 2X Pouch to the rescue

New Stream Team member Henry Jackson sent a note about how he is using his 2X pouch this weekend.

A delayed departure for a four day backpacking trip had me looking over my gear, scratching my head over what could be left behind or rearranged, and after making a few modifications I was relatively satisfied with everything but my medical kit. That’s not unusual, as a Wilderness-EMT I’m quite picky about my medical gear and am never happy with the mass produced first aid kits out there. Then I noticed my 2x Pouch peeking at me from across the room and the idea hit like a rock to the head; it’s the perfect med bag for a short backpacking trip! I know the tough material won’t give out on me, the large center pocket holds all manner of trauma pads, gloves, moleskin, ace bandages, and rolls of tape, and the outside pouches are perfect for stuffing full of standard over-the-counters. Better yet, the fastening straps on the rear of the 2x Pouch allow me to strap it to the outside of my pack where it’s quickly accessible, much better than having to dig it out from the bottom of a 65-liter pack while a buddy is bleeding. Now fully satisfied and quite pleased with myself, one last stroke of brilliance snuck out of my brain. If the El Poquito will hold pliers, I bet it would hold trauma shears too….yep, perfect fit. And, better yet, it straps directly to the front of the 2x so my shears will be in easy reach should the need to expose an injury arise.

The versatility of SmithFly gear is insane and I’ve never been happier with mine! With a little thought and some ingenuity this gear can do anything and it’s made-in-the-USA toughness can be counted on not to let you down! Whether your totin’ fly boxes, lunch, medical supplies, or any of your other gear, SmithFly has got you covered!

We are very excited to have a quite a few new additions to the Stream Team ranks and unfortunately I’m sadly delinquent in announcing those.
I’ll get those posted in the next few days.


A podcast interview with yours truly on Midcurrent about SmithFly, check it out…

The podcast interview I did with Tim Romano for Midccurrent is up over here. Check it out…

Ethan Smith gives MidCurrent the skinny on his new fishing gear company SmithFly Designs and why he chose to go with a modular system that is made completely in the US.

Ethan—whose career as a very successful graphic artist gave him the visual tools but not all of the the hands-on experience—says, “I started sewing prototypes myself and sorta had my mother-in-law help me out and show me how to sew, then started talking to contractors and just took it from there”

“The only sewing left in the US are military-based contractors and they are sewing for the government,” he continues.  ”It was sort of a natural fit that when I started looking for contracts here in the US that the modular system just seemed to go along with what those guys were doing….”

I’ve been off the grid fishing carp on Beaver Island, will post a trip report here soon.

A fishing trip saved by my SmithFly Modular Gear

The 3X prototype on my wading belt. Also in the pic is the rod butt holder that will snap on anywhere you have some webbing, another addition to the line up.

So Friday was a unique evening because my wife was doing a “girl’s night out” and my parent’s could watch my two boys. So I hit the local smallmouth river after work for a few hours.

When I arrived, I rigged my rod, donned my waders and tied on a popper. Yes, I know, it’s strange; it’s April and the Smallmouth are hitting poppers like it’s June, go figure. There’s not much better than the surprisingly enthusiastic take of a smallmouth on a popper. You’ll catch more fish on subsurface flies but seeing them hit it, is where it’s at.

So I grabbed my SmithFly Boat Bag, yes I do use it to wade too and as soon as I grabbed it, I realized, EGADS, I had left the shoulder strap for the bag at home. SHIT and DOUBlE SHIT!

You see, I’ve been working on a new prototype for a messenger bag (check back here for pics of that item later) and I was using the shoulder strap for my boat bag to check out the fit, and I’d left it attached to the prototype messenger bag.

But because the SmithFly Pouches are modular I was able to take one of them off, the prototype-super-secret-next-year’s-model, 3X Pouch off of the Boat Bag and wear it by itself on my wading belt! How badass is that? This is pouch is 12″ wide and 6″ tall, a bit bigger than the current 2X and made to be the full width of the boat bag.

I could get my my smallmouth tippet spools, my big streamer box, and spare leaders in that one pouch. Pretty much everything I NEEDED, I just had to leave the “nice-to-haves” in the car like the DSLR, tripod, rain jacket etc etc. Then I took my Poquito and clipped it over top of my waders, and I was off. Shooweee, thank the lord for modularity!

That saved me having to drive all the way home and fetch my strap. The beauty of modularity.

In fact, that reminds me, I need to get on those vendors about getting me prices for that 3X pouch.

The Great Miami River. Looks quiet but it's full of smallies hungry for poppers.
This, is the capital of shit eating grin territory.

SmithFly Launches Hassle-Free Modular Fly Fishing Gear

SmithFly did a press release today, and this is what it looks like.

SmithFly Launches Hassle-Free Modular Fly Fishing Gear

Customizable U.S. Made Vests, Packs, & Bags Protect Against Wrestling And Fumbling


DAYTON, OH (October 19, 2011) — Designer and fly fishing blogger Ethan Smith just launched the SmithFly Designs line of modular vests, bags, pouches, waist packs, and belts enabling fishermen to easily carry and access their gear. All items are made in the United States.


SmithFly introduced its debut product, a pocket pouch called El Poquito, at the International Fly Tackle Dealer convention in August. Its slim design keeps essential tools close and frees fishermen from wearing a vest. In lieu of snaps and Velcro, it features a magnetic clasp that holds tight to waders and belts.


El Poquito is an example of design success in simplicity,” said Miles Nolte, author of The Alaska Chronicles. “It’s incredibly effective for keeping essential tools handy on the water. The magnetic closure is quick, convenient, and surprisingly strong. I can clip it on anywhere: my pocket, in between my shirt buttons, or around the strap of a bag. The genius of it is in its flexibility.”


Cameron Mortenson, who writes the Fiberglass Manifesto blog, said “I recently started using El Poquito and really like how it keeps everything close at hand. It has become an essential accessory for all of my warm water and saltwater fly fishing.”


A lifelong fly fisherman, Smith grew tired of fumbling with traditionally bulky fishing gear and sweating beneath hot fishing vests. “Every time I went to get something out of my vest, I felt like I was wrestling an octopus,” he said. “I realized that the solution would be to create removable pockets that could attach to my bag or waist belt.” Armed with his wife’s sewing machine, Smith taught himself how to sew and built prototypes of his dream products. He partnered with domestic contractors to adopt the same durable sewing techniques as U.S. military products, and used the proceeds from writing a fly fishing article for Gray’s Sporting Journal to start SmithFly.


“SmithFly is all about passion for fishing,” Smith said. “If fishermen have a better, more enjoyable experience because of these products, I will have accomplished my goal.”


About SmithFly Designs

SmithFly Designs offers American made fly fishing vests, tackle bags, waist packs, belts, and pouches with interchangeable parts that enable fly fishermen to customize their gear. It was founded by designer and fly fishing blogger Ethan Smith in 2010 and is based in Troy, Ohio. Visit for more information.



Ethan Smith



Top Ten Signs a SmithFly Switch Vest is for You.

Top Ten signs a SmithFly Switch Vest is for you:
1. If you ‘ve ever worn out a vest and wished they were built to last a little longer
2. If you wish more stuff was Made in the USA
3. If you find yourself holding your pack/waist belt over your head to keep it dry
4. If you’ve ever wondered what some the “features” on your current vest are
5. If  you hate to wear your vest in a boat
6. If you’ve ever said, “shit! I left that [insert critical piece of terminal tackle here] on the coffee table”
7. If you’ve ever said, “shit! I hate sorting through all this before I head out”
8. If you fish for more than one kind of fish or with more than one tactic
9.  If you just want to look totally bad ass!