Usually I write these column's a couple of days ahead
so I can try to be on top of some issue that may come
up. This one I am writing over a week ahead because of
what is going on right now. Packing. We are packing for
the two week trip into Canada and Michigan. My wife
suggested I try to explain why I am taking the things
for us that I am. Trust me, it is not like some years
back when all I had to do was grab 'my fly rod' and
out the door I went. The years have been kind to us;
I have way too many rods, reels, lines and as the comedian
George Carlin called it, "Stuff!" Boy do we have stuff.
So much that I had to ship two big boxes of it to Michigan
ahead of our arrival. Now, that's getting bad. After all,
we get two bags each for luggage and one 'carry on,' seems
like we should to be able to make that do. Well I didn't.
For instance, take my rods; please. (That's a joke, son)
At last count I think there are twelve. I had to cut it
down. I (we) need the two eights weights for Atlantic Salmon,
a couple of five weights for some husky brookies in Quebec,
two three weights for the savage browns of the 'Holy Water'
of the Au Sable and possible smaller trouts. Then there is
a pet nine foot, six weight rod we have had for years, we
just 'never leave home without it.'
I also included a very special English made eight weight
and a custom made one too, call it back-up or just that
I wanted to fish them a bit, whatever. There are a couple
of rods that we will give away for certain events and a
couple of extras, not including the 'Broom;' just have to
lug that thing along. The one thing I settled on in
selecting the rods was this. They must be able to fit into
our luggage. That meant, four or five piece for inside of
the bag and I put six of the three piece ones into a rod
tube that fastens to the top of my fly-fishing bag.
Now if the folks at the airport just don't bust any of
them looking for bombs I will have it made. I always use
some bright pink straps that go around all of our bags
too. Helps to spot them in airport baggage terminals and
may keep one closed if a zipper pops or something else
happens. My main problem was how to keep it down to a
number of rods I could carry on and in the plane and not
have to ship any ahead.
I decided not to bring the Ron Kusse cane rod as it was
the only one that was two piece and I would have had to
carry it on as a 'carry-on' and I needed that for another
bag instead. If the 'new' rod had arrived, the five weight
quad, I would have brought both of them though. So as you
can see, it was packability that was the deciding factor
on which rods I packed. Especially since we'd have to go
through Customs twice.
Fly vests? We are bringing both, the Stormy Seas' floatation
vests and those garish old Orvis Tackle Packs from thirty-five
years ago with all the patches on them. Lots of pockets, but,
looking pretty ratty these days. Reels? "How do I love thee;
let me count the ways!" Easy choice as they don't take up
too much space. I held it down to about a dozen, plus spare
spools. Didn't want to over do it. Lines. I am proud of
myself this time. I did not pack any extras or the
line-winder so I could change lines while on vacation.
Oops, forgot, I have four new lines coming this week and
a few leaders and tippet spools too. Can't be too careful.
Want to make sure I had enough. But now it looks like I
will need to pack my line winder just in cast after all.
I have one big, well padded, bag for the assorted stuff.
I put some soft goods in there, (vests and jackets) and
some breakable things (reels and fly boxes) and then jam
even more 'stuff' into it so nothing moves. Seems to work
out fine so far. Never have had anything bust or leak.
Think I'm just lucky on that score though. With that,
I guess I am about packed. Nothing to do but get on
the plane. See you at the 'Fish-In's or back here in
a couple of weeks.
"Gone Fishing!" ~ JC