What’s the Velcro strap near the shoulder of the fly vest used for?
When I did a video on how to use the strap on my YouTube channel, even experienced fly anglers commented they never knew the real purpose of the strap, and assumed it was to hold glasses. Its real function is to team up with a loop (or your belt) to support the fly rod and free up your hands. Good fly vests come with a loop at the bottom on the opposite side. Place the butt of the rod in the loop and lock down the shaft using the Velcro strap. The combination of the two holds the rod in place so you can do other things. If the vest has a strap without a corresponding loop, stick the butt in the wading belt to duplicate the function of the loop. Many fishing shirts incorporate a strap without a similar loop, and a belt works fine for those as well.
Have a fishing shirt with a velcro strap at the shoulder? Use your belt to hold the rod butt!
What’s the easiest way to thread tippet on small flies?
Most anglers tie flies onto tippet by repeatedly stabbing the tippet directly at the tiny opening in the eye of the hook. There is a more natural way that eliminates frustration, is faster and does not require magnification. First, cut the end of the tippet at an angle to create a narrower sharp point for easier insertion into the small hole. Second, do not stab the tippet into the eye. Instead, lay the end of the tippet against the eye with the eye canted slightly towards the tippet. Slowly and gently pull the tippet with light pressure against the eye until the end of the tippet bumps into the hole. Push the tippet through! The technique is shown in this video on the Kayak Hacks YouTube Channel.