What's in My Vest?
Let me just say that there's plenty of good stuff in there:
over a thousand flies, leaders, tippets, various bottles
of stuff, including whiskey, anti-bug, anti-sun, anti-sink,
anti-float, anti-histamines, anti-this and anti-that.
Tools: knives, hemostats, clippers, scissors, lights,
.380 auto job, pliers, a small saw, a hatchet, and
another back-up gun. For safety, I have an automatic
and manual inflation device, a rocket pistol and about
a dozen flares, the guns, band-aids, matches, aspirins,
my medications, and various other liniments, lotions,
Bob Lawless, Port Ludlow, WA
But I won't bore you further with such common and ordinary
gear. It's the non-traditional stuff that I carry that is
of interest here.
I carry a live parrot in my upper left hand pocket. He
is not allowed on the right hand side where my rod is
because one time he snipped my line in a New York second
when I had a huge fish on one moment and he was gone the
next. He asked for a cracker. No cracker! Bad bird!
He's a lot of fun when I'm standing alone in the pouring
rain out in the middle of the river with not a chance in
hell to catch anything.
I'm frozen, depressed, frightened, hungry, thirsty, sick,
roaring headache, exhausted and I'm giving some thought
to calling it a day, particularly because it is getting
That's when my parrot buddy, "Oleander," comes in handy. All he
can say are filthy, obscene, sinful words. That way I don't
have to waste needed energy using these vile expressions
myself. You might consider buying a parrot (EBay) if you
think you need added help when having so much fun. I also
carry a small dog,"Smolt" who works well licking the tears
from my cheeks when the going gets tough; he can stay in
the pocket on right upper side because he has threatened
my line only once and I had no fish on.
Sometimes I carry so much gear (a small, battery operated,
color t.v. travel brochures, etc.) that I can't fish. So I
just sit on the bank, using my parrot and dog to help me
get by. I've thought about getting rid of either the
scissors or the nippers and maybe carry only one gun.
But naw, you just never know. ~ Bob Lawless
Born on April 10, 1937 in Syracuse, New York, my first
recollection of fishing was for bullheads in a rather stagnant
slough in the outskirts of Fulton, New York at the age of about
5. That puts me in this business of fishing for about 60 years.
That's impressive to me if to no one else. My evolution as
a fisherman took me far and wide. I have fished (started fly
fishing at age 12) in New York, of course, and Arizona, Colorado,
Wyoming, Utah, Montana, Idaho, Washington, Oregon, California,
Minnesota, Mexico, France, Spain, Germany and Canada (British
Columbia). That's also impressive, but by no means complete.
I must fish Alaska, Argentina, Chile, and Russia if possible
before I leave for that great lodge in the sky where all
good fly fisherpersons go, no wind, huge fish and lots of
them, beautiful waters, good friends and sunny days. And
there are none of those little, rather petty, annoyances
that often plague fly fishers in the real world: snakes,
mosquitoes, no-see-ums, horse flies, bats, suckers,
ill-mannered others, mossy rocks, particularly where all
rocks are the size of baskets balls (Campbell River and
the Thompson River in B.C.), wind knots, snags and fishless
I mainly write about the humor one finds in this too serious
business of fly fishing. Sometimes I try to relate stories
that are true and might prove of value to others. And then,
I like my soap box where I can express my love of conservation,
the preservation of the rich heritage of fly fishing, and I
consider myself an activists in the cause of saving our fish.
I am a retired teacher of history. I have been a resident
of my beloved Washington for about a dozen years and if all
goes well, I will remain here for the remainder of my
twilight years. A loving wife, a fine daughter, a beautiful
granddaughter, and a wonderful Labrador, Zody, make up much
of life. I also have 3 boats and lots of fly rods, etc.
I am a happy camper. ~ BL
Lighter Side Archive