The ultimate fly fishing backpack: Simms Dry Creek Z

The ultimate fly fishing backpack: Simms Dry Creek Z

Worried about having everything on the flats with you? Scared that your camera is getting wet after a spontaneous swim? Rocks can be sometimes slippery and rivers far too often deeper than expected. You need a waterproof fly fishing backpack. A good fly fishing pack has to offer a lot!: High durability, lots of space with minimum wight, the right size and the ability to protect your gear from the elements.

Nautilus Monster

I refused special fly fishing backpacks for all my fly fishing years because I believed in other solutions. I had in total 3 hip packs and 2 chest pack and since I started with photography I added additionally 3 more packs for carrying and protecting my expensive camera equipment. A total disaster!!

I was thinking long time about what pack to invest money in the hope that now I found what I was looking for and not producing even more sunken costs. For freshwater fly fishing its a bit easier because I put all 3 needed things in the small chest compartment in waders. That works pretty fine for me. I really don’t like vests. I think they look like old fashioned that make me look like a typical fly fisherman. No!

For saltwater fly fishing you can use every, more or less, water resistant solution as long as you are fishing with a personal guide. Even if it’s not the most comfortable solution. You pay and no professional guide will refuse to carry whatever pack you are using. But when fishing DIY or shared guiding this is a totally different story and you have to care for your own stuff during the day. Serious saltwater fly fishing is not minimalistic: spare lines, Flies, leaders, strong for two different species, pliers, wire traces, hook sharpener and spare sunglasses plus camera were all in my pack in all my trips. Nothing is ballast on a reef far away from the lodge when the fish are cruising around you. This can ruin your day.

A hip pack? Yes that works and there are also waterproof hip packs available. They are quite comfortable but not as big an versatile as a backpack. What can be an issue is that the line can easily tangle around the hip pack which is a major issue if a real big fish is in the game. The usage of a stripping basket is also not possible. Simms also offers for hip pack fans a Dry Creek variant. I own one too.

A chest packs? Chest packs are a combination out of two worlds. Incredible versatile with the chest pack compartment for everything that need to be instantly available and the back pack compartment for everything that is needed on demand. The only issue is that there are no real good waterproof solutions available.

The Simms Dry Creek Z backpack. This is the newest pack from Simms and a real cool one too. The first thing than came in my mind is that it is extremely lightweight. I feely like it weights a patch of a cloud and the extremely comfortable shoulder straps contribute to make it a real day pack. All straps are adjustable and roll up nicely and clean out of the way of your casted line or brushes on your way to the water. Exterior lash points are welded to the pack allowing to store your wet storage or whatever you want to carry easy accessible. The fairly simple shape of the Simms Dry Creek Z backpack, made out of heavy duty TPU coated fabric, similar to the material used for pack rafts, merits the pivot between usability and to seal out water. The back panel is made from breathable, water-resistant foam. Only the minor interior mesh storage pockets could be a little bigger allowing to store more than just odds and ends. Its bit like a woman’s handbag. You have to rummage around in it to find your stuff.

Nautilus Monster
Nautilus Monster

SIMMS is claiming that it is 100% waterproof. I haven’t tested it out and I’m not sure if if really is, but it feels so. You can fill it up with air, close it, and sit on it and you won’t feel air is coming out. There is an article on the web that shows that it isn’t waterproof dunked in for an entire night. Maybe but who is doing this? For underwater storage there are are other solutions which are not that comfortable to carry. Would I put a 5000,- Euro camera in the pack? Yes I have done many times and I would not hesitate to take swim with it. Fishing in the surf with permanent splash? No worries your gear is getting wet.

FABRIC TECH: Waterproof 840 D TPU coated fabric
CAPACITY: 25 L, 1525.59 cu. in.
DIMENSIONS: 19″ x 12″ x 7″
SIZES: One Size

There is one thing that is worth to mention. I got once an older Simms zipper bag in my hands for use and I refused it because the zippers where a pain in the ass to open. This can spoil the fun on the pack. Simms delivers a lubricant with the bag that should be used from time to time. Its then easy to open it with one hand only.

Simms also offers a Dry Creek Z variant as a hip or sling back

Nautilus Monster

I got mine from Fly Fishing Europe (

Check out further details or buy directly

3 thoughts on “The ultimate fly fishing backpack: Simms Dry Creek Z

  1. Hello Philipp,

    What a nice blog you have. I love the tackle reviews and your super sharp pictures ! I have a project concerning an upcoming sportfishing magazine, and I really think it might interest you. Would you be kind enough to give me your email address ? I’ll fully explain my project and why you may find it interesting.

    Best regards,

    Dylan SMITH

    • Hi Miguel

      I attached a velcro strap on the upper part and on the lower part I made me a removeable loop from an old backback strap where the reel seat sits in.
      I attached the velcro strap just with two cable ties to made also this removeable.


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