Review - Half a year with the Simms Dry Creek Backpack

Simms dry creek rolltop backpack - danica dudes flyfishing blog
That's the Simms Dry Creek backpack - It's absolutely waterproof.

Six months with the Simms Dry Creek Backpack are over.

I took it everywhere. University, biking, airplanes, boats, shopping and of course flyfishing.

It helped me during heavy rainstorms and prevented my iPhone and camera more than once from drowning.

I’m an outside kind of guy, meaning that I spend as much time as possible outside by the river. Shooting a lot of movies, I have to keep my cameras and lenses safe & dry.

 

Now I want to give you my best try of a comprehensive review about the backpack.


Simms dry creek rolltop backpack - danica dudes flyfishing blog
I've taken this bag into ruff situations, seemingly not a big deal.

Specs

  • Waterproof TPU (thermoplastic polyurethane) coated fabrics
  • Weight: 44 oz. (approximately 1250 Grams)
  • Capacity: 36 L
  • Closing system: Rolltop
  • Sizes: One size
  • Price: 169 $ (189 €)

Comfort

As this backpack is one of the bigger rolltop backpacks out there, I really appreciate the waste belt. There’s also a small and removable chest belt. The shoulder harness system is very comfortable, even on long hikes or fishing days. And then, also the waist belt is very handy to relieve the weight off your shoulders.


Design

I oftentimes want to take a second rod with me. Simms therefore added a lash point on both sides of their backpack. Unfortunately, you need to buy an extra strap to secure the rods as Simms yet hasn’t any to offer. The stretchy water bottle mesh pockets can be used either as the name says or, as also mentioned, as a rod storage. The pocket size could be a bit bigger in my opinion. No chance I can put a liter-bottle in there.

 

Oftentimes it’s the small things that many people appreciate most. Here, it’s the large D-Ring. It’s a must have on each and every fishing backpack in my opinion. Simply for a net this D-ring is very handy.

 

Further, the inside of the backpack has several pockets, one is zippered, to offer. You can place smaller thinks like tippet spools, you phone or keys into them so that finding them later is no problem in the dark inside of the backpack.

Simms dry creek rolltop backpack - danica dudes flyfishing blog
First way...
Simms dry creek rolltop backpack - danica dudes flyfishing blog
Second way...
Simms dry creek rolltop backpack - danica dudes flyfishing blog
Third way to close the backpack.


Durability 

I was a bit skeptical about the bottom of the backpack. It feels like a very thick layer of plastic that get scratches every time you put it on the rivers gravel bar. I already have some.

 

But, speaking of it half a year later, I trust it.

It really might seem a bit sketchy, but if you don’t run around with open knives or flies in the backpack, you be fine.

Nevertheless, I wish for bit of a reinforcement with a second abrasion-resistant layer, also working as a cushion for cameras and so on. Hard elements like flyboxes can otherwise scratch the material, like in my case. I used a towel as a second layer with worked fine and is always good to have with you.


What I don't like

I'd like to see a backpack, that already comes with straps to secure one or two flyrods. It should not be that much of a big deal for Simms. This backpack is made to be worn in the outdoors where it faces rocks, trees and of course water.

The bottom of the backpack should be the most robust part. I'd therefore highly appreciate a thicker material to not worry about it. In my opinion, the outside pocket, useful to store a wet rain jacket, is too small. I’d rather like to see a flexible mesh pocket than this stiff and inflexible outside pocket. that is good for leaders and a flybox.


What I like

Unlike many other rolltop backpacks, this one comes with inside mesh pockets to safely store small things like your mobile phone, keys or a wallet. There are several ways to close a rolltop backpack which is practical depending on how much stuff you have in it. The harness system is just great. Light and cushioned for a Long hike or day on the water. 

But most importantly - This backpack really is 100 % waterproof.


Final thoughts

Simms says on its website that the backpack is out of stock for a longer time. Maybe there’s another one coming.

It’s a safe feeling, knowing that the things you carry will stay dry, even under water pressure. The design, besides the things mentioned above, is great. The backpack is comfortable to wear , even on long fishing days.

I can store all of my equipment like fishing assecoires, clothes, camera gear and food.

To put it all in a nutshell, I really enjoy fishing and travelling with this backpack, but wish for several, small changes in the design.

I’d love to see a bit smaller version of the backpack as even chest packs like the Rolltop or G4 got quite big.

But maybe that’s because I tend to go with as little fishing equipment as possible

 

The Simms Dry Creek Rolltop Backpack is comfortable, practical, and defintely worth its price.

 

Tight lines

Kristof Reuther


Video - Naturschutz oder Klimaschutz? (German)

video on the danica dudes flyfishing fliegenfischen blog
Bild: BR

"Wie funktioniert ein natürlicher Fluss? Das wissen selbst Wissenschaftler bislang gar nicht so genau. Trotzdem werden Wasserkraftwerke in Flüsse gebaut, die das Ökosystem stark verändern. Was ist wichtiger: Klimaschutz oder Naturschutz?" - Bayerisches Fernsehen

Wasserkraft allein kann den regionalen Strombedarf nicht annähernd decken. Zudem verändern Wasserkraftwerke den Lebensraum Fluss nachteilig.

Durch Öko-Wasserkraftwerke sterben ersten Studien zufolge zwar weniger Fische wie bei herkömmlichen, aber auch sie sind ein Eingriff in die Natur, der Folgen hat.

Die wenigen verbleibenden natürlichen Flüssen sollten geschützt werden. Besonders wenn sie in Naturschutzgebieten verlaufen wie die Ostrach in den Allgäuer Hochalpen. Das schreibt auch die EU-Wasserrahmenrichtlinie vor. (Quelle: BR)

Ein sehr interessanter Film, der viele wichtige Aspekte aufgreift und deren Auswirkungen verdeutlicht.

Fly Tying - The all-mighty Buford!?

Fly Tying a streamer for pike fishing - Danica Dudes flyfishing blog
The Buford streamer design is living from the huge head and pressure, that this fly makes underwater

The second month of the new pike season is nearly over and I thought it is about time for a little resumee...

Unfortunately, I did not get out on the water as often as I wanted to, but that´s how life as a student can be at times. With the high temperatures we´re experiencing here in Germany for several weeks now it is at least not too sad, since catching the toothy critters would probably have been bad anyway...

The few times I did wet a line were also not very good in terms of catching (watch my "A day with a dude"-episode), I landed two small pike in six fishing days, had lots of followers and strikes though, but these conditions were really helpful in terms of testing out new stuff.

As I´ve posted earlier this year, I´ve been doing some research about tying techniques for musky patterns and how I can use them for my pike flies. After reading the fantastic book "Hunting Musky With A Fly " by Rick Kustich and scrolling through several instagram feeds of well known musky guys such as David O´Sullivan aka @Sullytuna or Brad Bohen from @Primotail I kinda fell in love with a deerhair head style, called Buford, which was first developed by Brad Bohen for his Wisconsin waters.

So I tied a few over the last couple of months and fished them more or less exclusively.

 

Here are a few things I like about that style of fly, which is actually a lot, but also some negative aspects I discovered in that design:

Fly Tying a streamer for pike fishing - Danica Dudes flyfishing blog
The Buford streamer design in different colors.
Fly Tying a streamer for pike fishing - Danica Dudes flyfishing blog
This streamer design make very much noise and therefore attracts pike a lot.

Starting off with the pros:

  • Fantastic movement - the big head pushes some serious water which makes the flash and feathers behind wiggle and swirl really attractive, even at a steady retrieve or when just facing the current. When stripped hard, the fly will dart and jerk like crazy.
  • The pressure this head creates makes for a perfect choice when fishing heavily stained waters where visibility is limited.
  • Topwater action - when the deerhair is packed a little tighter, the Buford can be fished similar to a diver or popper since it will come up to the water surface when the retrieve is stopped --> we experienced one crazy surface eat just before closing season on it!
  • Weed resistence: when you tie this pattern with a little wider head and more bucktail, it will push several small weeds aside and won´t get tangled too often! So you do not need to change your pattern when coming to spot with a little thicker underwater vegetation.

Now the cons:

  • Limited depth - when fishing with an intermediate line, the deerhair won´t allow the fly to sink as fast as others would, even if the head isn´t packed tight. Of course, pike in general tend to look up to the surface and sure will come up a few feet for a little snack, but not allways. In the small rivers that I fish, it´s sometimes necessary for the fly to dive a few feet into a certain spot, such as a sunken log, before you start the retrieve - and the  current won´t allow you to wait until the intermediate line pulls the fly down. If you don´t wanna change lines for one single spot, a fly that sinks a little faster will definitely do a better job in certain situations. BUT if you´re fishing a faster sinking line, this fly will fish above both bottom and the flyline and therefore won´t get stuck too often, unlike weighted patterns such as clousers.
  • This fly design doesn´t include eyes. You can glue some on for sure, but this will in general disturb the round, disk-like head profile. Eyes on a streamer are no dogma, but I do know a lot of folks who are strong believers of the trigger eyes display for predatory fish. I´m not totally sure about that since I´ve caught fish on flies with and without eyes, but I do see their point.

 

Fly Tying a streamer for pike fishing - Danica Dudes flyfishing blog
This fly has eyes, but does it catch more?

I plan on testing my little Buford collection on my upcoming trip to the South of Sweden in August to see what the Scandinavian pike think about them.

 

I`ll let you know about the results!

 

Tight lines,

 

Lukas Kirchgäßner


Video - Solitude by Scientific Anglers

My favorite episode of the Scientific Anglers/Fly Fusion Series, Episode 5: Solitude.

Great work guys and excellent, remote water you fish there!

Keep it up!

Watch all the Episodes here and enjoy!

TL

Lukas

Danica Dude Lukas in the newspaper

Today in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, you can read an German article about our dude Lukas, talking about the Isar river and the work of Munich's fishing club "Die Isarfischer e. V." regarding restoration and fishery management. 

You can check out the article HERE (German)