As a guide I often encounter inclement weather. I describe a day as a one or two raincoat day… meaning that if its only showers one rain jacket is enough for the day but often in heavy rain two jackets are required with a changeover happening at lunchtime.
This season I have been using the Patagonia minimalist wading jacket in stealth green colour. I have only had one jacket days this season. I have been really surprised by this jacket and its water resistant qualities. On more than one occasion I have stood out in bad weather where 70mm of rain has fall on me and found I have stayed quite dry underneath.
Along with its resistance to absorbing water it is really light and amazingly packable. It folds into a tiny space – very handy on those long trips into the back-country with an already heavy pack.
The forest green colour is a feature I was also attracted to. The brown trout I chase are ultra wary and anything out of the ordinary will send them packing under the nearest rock. The green colour blends in well with a beech forest backdrop and allows me to often times get up alongside fish which gives me and advantage when trying for a perfect drag free presentation.
A bonus is the hand warmer lower pockets. As a guide there is often a lot of down time between tying knots and waiting for your client to finally get a cast in the right spot for the fish to see the fly. Its good to be able to keep the digets warm on cold days.
Other features are an adjustable hood and a couple of pockets on the chest that are easily big enough to hold smaller fly boxes and tippet.
I gave the jacket the once over today and after a full season of use it is in excellent condition. No rips or unpicked stitches and the 2.5 layer ripstop fabric is still keeping the water out.
Another Patagonia product I fully recommend. To purchase a Patagonia Minimalist Wading Jacket pay a visit to the guys ate Rod and Reel in Auckland or shop online at www.rodandreel.co.nz/product/patagonia-minimalist-wading-jacket/pata-minimalist.aspx