Why use a fly fishing lanyard?
I've never been a particular fan of fly fishing vests: they're a bit on the bulky side, and I can never figure out whether you're supposed to wear one over or under a waterproof jacket.
I tend to use fly fishing sling packs or chest packs instead of a vest, but nothing beats the convenience of a fly fishing lanyard for easy access to the bits you need when fishing.
The original idea was that I'd wear my fishing lanyard on short trips up the river, but it's so light and convenient to use that I now wear it on every fly fishing trip, whether I'm carrying a sling pack or not.
Yes, it looks like a man's necklace, but it is a very handy way to get to your gadgets and flies quickly, and saves lots of rummaging around in your bag to find what you're looking for.
What is special about the Mountain River Guide Lanyard?
The Mountain River Guide Lanyard is a modern looking mix of wooden and ceramic separator beads, and pieces of black high density foam.
The strong cord supplied is fitted with a safety connector which prevents you from being garrotted, should you get the lanyard stuck in a tree. This is pretty hard to pull apart, so the chances of it coming accidentally unstuck and you losing all your gear are quite slim.
It's fitted with plenty of strong clips to which you can attach your snippers, floatant, forceps and other things. There are also two fly patch tubes on it, which are handy for storing and drying damp flies, and prevent the need to open up your fly box every time you change flies.
Can you store spools of tippet on this lanyard?
Yes, the middle of the lanyard includes a tippet spool holder which will take perhaps five or six spools of tippet, which is enough for most people.
There's a twist lock mechanism on the tippet spool holder, so you simply unscrew this and slide on your tippet spools, then snap it back together.
Does it come with a fly box?
The Guide Lanyard doesn't come with a fly box, but if you find a fly box with a small hole in the corner, you can easily attach your own fly box.
Orvis does sell its own miniature lanyard fly box, which it sells with the fully loaded version of this fishing lanyard, but it is quite expensive.
I bought this one, and then stumbled across a near identical model elsewhere for a much lower price, so now have a couple of fly boxes, filled up with different things and ready to attach, depending on where I'll be fishing.
Is it comfortable to wear?
Yes, very. The neck cord has a long, soft tube of high density foam tubes at the back behind your neck, so the lanyard feels light and well supported, even when you've dangled almost every fly fishing accessory you own from the clips.
Is the lanyard well made?
Yes, I've been using mine for a couple of seasons and it's still in very good condition. The foam tubes that serve as miniature fly patches have a few splits in them, but they still look good and work fine, so I'm sure I'll get many years of further use out of it.
Where can I buy one?
The Mountain River Guide Lanyard is stocked by quite a few fly fishing shops, including branches of Orvis, who sell it as the lanyard only and as a fully loaded lanyard, along with all the fly fishing gadgets you need.
The Mountain River Guide Lanyard can be picked up for just under £25, which is decent value given its quality.
If you want to splash out on one and also need all of the accessories to attach, then the fully loaded version Orvis sells is certainly a nice bit of kit, though you are restricted in the choice of accessories provided, which is why I chose to attach my own.