I started testing this strap out early on in the summer. I knew I wanted something heavy-duty, Specifically for my fly fishing trips. Something I could wear over my vest, while bush-whacking through thick forest, fording a freestone river, and ultimately, not feeling challenged while bending down to net, and unhook a fish.
This is what I had in mind when I designed the Thicc Boy.
The design process was the same, as it is for everything I build. I ask myself, “what do I want” and how can I design it to be as functional, and minimal, at the same time. I’ll start by mauling over designs in my head. Adding, and subtracting elements almost simultaneous.
My vision is to have nothing “extra” If it does not serve a purpose, or if an Element is not necessary. I remove it.
In my head, less is more, always.
So I build off of my current favourite design, The No. 1 Camera Strap. Except I make the strap itself wider. and upgrade to a larger, more heavy-duty Split Ring. I contemplate adding more Brass rivets. But I know it won’t make the strap any stronger, So I don’t.
I knew I wanted a shoulder pad, but I was conflicted, because I also wanted the option to wear just the strap, for lighter excursions. So instead of using hardware to attach the shoulder pad, I sourced an oval Leather punch that was the same diameter of the strap it's self. Which created a friction closer. Similar to the one we use in our pipe rolls.
It allows the shoulder pad to stay in place, while at the same time being able to remove it easily.
I had everything ready for production when quite randomly I had a friend from BC reach out over Instagram.
He told me he’d be driving through the Alberta Rockies and would love to go on a hike, and maybe toss the line around.
This was Nathaniel Atakora, one of the nicest, kindest, all-around fun guys to be around. Obviously, the plans I had to work those days immediately flew out the window, as I said “I'm available, let's go”
Although it was short notice, I knew this would be an amazing opportunity to spend time with an old friend, and possibly test out this new strap. So I switched into production mode and got to work. I made two, one for me, and one for Nathaniel.
Normally I’ll slightly adjust measurements as I produce. It's common for me to have 3 to 4 variations before I lock down my measurements. But not this time, I feel like I nailed in the first time around. Call that luck, I don’t know. But I was happy with it.
I met up with Nathaniel in Rocky Mountain House. after a quick session fishing one of my favourite Trout Creeks. during which I caught, and landed one of my largest Bull Trout to date. All that to say, the trip was off to a good start.
We promptly grabbed some snacks from the local Co-Op, some granola for the morning. And headed for the mountains. My friend (Carson Reneau) told us about an Alpine Lake that had some wild Cutt-throat Trout in it. So what’s where we were heading. We got to the bass of the trail and set up camp. (I slept in my car cause its comfy)
We enjoyed a nice campfire with some good chats and then went to bed, so we could wake up early to start our hike.
We got on the trail right as the sun was rising. The light was incredible for these shots
We got to the Lake, put our cameras away (jk Nathaniel kept taking pictures) but we both quickly started fishing. It was still cold in the air. And even though the water was crystal clear, we didn’t see any activity. But as we moved, and fished around the lake, finally I got a bite, a larger sized putt was on my fly for a few seconds, then threw the hook. A bummer, but also a good sign.
We kept fishing. and slowly moved over to the south side of the lake, where there was a rock slide. I think these rocks made the perfect hideout for these fish. Because over the next few hours, Nathaniel and I both lost a few fish but landed a few more.
It was all around perfect. Did I mention it was an incredibly cold and windy day? No, I don’t think I did. Seems like that misery has left me. and the thoughts that stay with me are the ones of being with a good friend and catching some nice fish.
That seems to be all that matters, at least to me
Oct 7, 2020
ps. oh ya, the strap worked perfectly. haven't changed a thing on it. just finished my first full production run on it.