I like to use a framed backpack to carry fish and gear up from the river. While streamside, it only contains a fillet knife, sharpener, bonker, stringer, plastic bags, etc.
My understanding of the rule about backpacks on the Russian is that it must be within arm's reach of the angler IF there is food or other scented items inside. Otherwise, it's okay to set a pack on the bank while fishing.
Didn't think it was an issue until a friend told me that I was in violation. His interpretation of the rule is that no backpacks (scented or unscented) are allowed beyond six feet of a person.
This news came as a bit of a surprise since I'd been operating in this manner all summer. In fact, I was even greeted by a law enforcement officer one morning in June while I was in the water and my "empty" pack was laying in plain sight on the bank. The issue never came up.
I consider myself a law abiding outdoorsman and certainly want to comply with the rules and regulations. Would appreciate some clarification on this issue, so I can avoid any misunderstandings in the future.