Ok, maybe not in the true sense, but it sure feels like it.
Here I am, packing with my wife for a trip to Texas to visit
our new grandson. The suitcases are overfilled with baby gifts
from all the relatives who aren't acquainted with UPS or FedEx,
(just kidding!), so the only fishing paraphernalia I am allowed
to include is one 5-wt fly travel rod, reel, (with spare line),
and a couple small boxes of flies! Now this may not seem
significant to you, but if you knew me, you would know how
dramatic this is.
You see, I LOVE to fish! Primarily I love fly-fishing. But, if
I can't fly fish, I will use a bait caster or spin outfit, in
any configuration or combination that will entice a fish to bite.
Heck, I've even been known to use live bait at times. (There -
I said it!) I should also mention that in my youth I was an
avid Boy Scout, and have always tried to live up to the motto:
Be Prepared. I don't just say it - I try to live it! Every
vehicle we own has a collapsible spinning outfit and small tackle
box with jigs and spinners in the glove box. My work truck always
contains a minimum of a bait caster; a spinning outfit; 5-wt and
8-wt fly outfits; hip boots; stripping basket; and assorted flies
and tackle. You never know when the opportunity to fish will arise!
Thus being the case, my normal vacation planning usually goes
something like this:
"Hmm - Texas - be going for Bass primarily, so I better take the
6-wt, good all around rod, but sometimes its pretty windy there,
so better include the 8-wt., plus I have a spool of full sink line
for it - never know when the fish are deep. Also, if the bass aren't
hitting, they have lots of Bream down there, so the 3-wt has to go.
Oh yeah, I remember something about Stripers down there, so best
throw in the 10-wt with all the big deceiver flies. And just in
ase the Bream are on the small size, I better take the 1-wt to
make it interesting. Breathable waders and boots, vest, and fly
boxes, and fishing hat - all set! Can't forget about a good
election of leaders & tippet material. But what if the weather
is really lousy and fly-fishing is out of the question. Best
take a couple bait casters and a couple spinning outfits just
in case. Since I don't really plan on using these except for
emergency, I only need a few plugs, spinners, plastic baits,
and hooks, limit myself to just two medium size tackle boxes.
Oh yeah, its a lot warmer down there, so don't forget the top
water plugs - and flies too, almost forgot all the bass poppers
I tied this winter! Plus, I better throw in the rain gear. What
am I forgetting? Oh yeah, a couple pairs of socks and underwear,
a couple shirts, and a spare change of jeans. Done!"
"Ooops - can't forget the digital camera to take pictures
of those trophies!"
I know what you are thinking! "How can you travel on commercial
airlines with all those rods?" Well, to be truthful, nowadays it
would take a different method, but before last fall . . . imagine
an 8-foot section of 12" sewer pipe with an axle and wheels on
one end and a hitching device on the other. (Used for attaching
to pull type luggage for traveling through the airports.) I checked
this year - and the airport authorities made it clear that they
would not appreciate seeing this contraption anywhere near their
facility! (It's a shame too, because it made a for great conversation
while waiting at the ticket counter, and you should have witnessed
the incident on the escalators - but that is another story.)
Anyway, this year it's just me and the wife, my 5-wt, and five
Teddy Bears off to Texas. Will my fishing experience be the same?
Can a 'maximum' type guy be converted to a 'minimalist' overnight - for
the just cause of a few Teddy Bears? Next week will tell! Anyway,
I'm not too worried, I know of many fine tackle shops close
by . . . and they take VISA, so who knows. ~ Bad Habits