Proudly, I can say that I have never washed my fly fishing vests. I am on my second one, a wonderful Simms vest which I have now had for approximately 15 years, but I still have, and sometimes even use, my original Columbia vest, which I got 32 or so years ago. That first vest was quite large for a skinny 10-year-old like I was, but I eventually grew into it. Nowadays it doesn't fit as well as it did a few years ago, but I can only assume that is because all the fish slime has caused it to shrink, and not that my waistline continues to expand... Keep your rude comments to yourself, please.
I keep both of my vests, along with my chest pack and waders and hip boots and other fishing paraphernalia, in the gentleman's closet in my fly tying room. If you are unaware of what a gentleman's closet is, like I used to be before I became a gentleman, I will describe it. It is a tall piece of furniture with four drawers in the bottom and a large open space with a closet rod in the top. You can use that large open space to store large things, or to hang up clothes. I use one side of it for the former, and one side for the latter. Or is it vice versa? The nice thing is that the gentleman's closet has two swinging doors on the front, so I can close them to keep everything out of sight, and to keep the aromas on the inside...
I am telling you all of this to set up the rest of my story. My friend Bryon and I went fishing a couple of weeks ago. It was a strange day, weather-wise, as it went from hot and sunny to cool and windy and back and forth, and some rain drops even fell every once in a while. During the hot times, we both got super sweaty in our hip boots. We eventually just took them off and fished in our shorts. Taking off my hot rubber hip boots helped a great deal, yet I still was very sweaty and stinky for much of the day. Then I realized, "Hey, I might very well be stinky, but I sure don't smell as bad as my vest does!!!" It was at that moment that I realized that I am not superstitious in the least bit, and that juju is over-rated when it comes to catching fish. Cunning and guile is where it's at! Oh, and a nice, clean, fresh-smelling vest doesn't hurt, either!