Monday, November 26, 2012

Fishin' Light


I regularly see guys on the trout stream who look like they’re moving in, who appear to have been tossed out of the house for going fishing one time too many, kicked to the curb with their worldly belongings, luggage and all, and they've toted everything to the water.

Backpacks that could attack Everest. Chest packs they can barely reach around, much less fish around. Fanny packs that would take a whole lot more fanny than mine to keep suspended. I shake my head.

But then, I’m a minimalist. I travel light, think light, fish light. I want less to carry, less to lose, less to hang fly line on. I don’t need four boxes with every trout pattern in six sizes and three colors. I don’t want five kinds of indicators, a ten-tall tippet stack, or gadgets and widgets and zingers out the whazoo. All that stuff just confuses me. Not that it takes too much to confuse me, mind you.

I just try to keep it stupid simple. I have enough complexity in my life without dragging it out to the stream with me. I fish because it gives me uncomplicated, quality time, so I do it with uncomplicated, quality stuff.

I load up my SmithFly 2X pouch with a 4x6 C&F box of flies, 5X and 6X tippet, a few spare leaders, some Gink and some Frog Fanny, a bit of wool, and a little shot. Maybe a Clif bar or two. Hang the hemos and the nippers and I’m good to go.

Fishin' light, unencumbered, leaving the luggage at home...

...and trying not to go fishing one time too many.

17 comments:

Austin Orr said...

When I walk out on the flat, I usually have a dozen flies with me and some hemos. Simple is best.

Mike Sepelak said...

Amen, Austin. When I'm bass fishing in my home waters, if it doesn't fit in my shirt pockets, it doesn't go.

upacreek333 said...

Couldn't agree more... but then, I work for a non-profit. Simple and affordable tend to go hand-in-hand ;-)

Brian Koz said...

I think as we mature in our fly angling devolopment, it is only natural our next stage isn't to have every possible option covered- especially with ten fly boxes with a hodge-podge of patterns to cover any possible hatch under the sun. The simplistic nature is more peaceful and if you don't happen to have that #18 emerger on this particular occasion, you won't forget it the next time conditions call for it. Excellent write~ thanks for sharing.
Tight Lines,
Koz

Steve Zakur said...

I find the amount of gear I take is seasonal. In the spring and summer, I go real light. The hatches are predictable so the fly box selection is well known. I'm wearing as little clothing as possible without scaring small children or violating laws. In the fall and winter I bring more stuff -- streamer box, big nymph box, sometimes a backpack for the jetboil. I like the "light" mantra, I just struggle to get there, especially when the weather is cool and the fish more stubborn.

Mike Sepelak said...

Yeah, Chris. There certainly is that aspect of minimalistic fishing to be considered. But I like your non-profit. :-)

... if you don't happen to have that #18 emerger on this particular occasion, you won't forget it the next time conditions call for it. Amen Brian. And the joy is that there will be a next time.

A perfectly valid argument, Steve. But a jetboil? You going to poach (and that's cooking "poach", not illegal "poach") your fillets on the stream? Oh, I forgot. Your lifeblood coffee. Peace.

howard Levett said...

I couldn't agree more with everyone. I carry a Recycled Waders Nook Sack which is small and light. Unfortunately it doesn't stay slung over my shoulder and slips forward. Chest packs and fanny packs don't work well for people with abundant chests, waists or Fannies. I've been looking a lot and think I've found the pack light and comfortable solution. Will be doing a review soon. Thanks Mike, this helped.

Mike Sepelak said...

It's my mission to serve, Howard. Look forward to hearing your solution. :-)

Mel Moore said...

For years, I have been an advocate for having a plan when you go fishing. Take along what you need for that plan. Simple and basic! No way ol' Geezers like me can pack all that s--t around and use it and stay clear headed. Geezerhood is confusing enough!

Mike Sepelak said...

Perfectly stated, my fellow Geezer. Thanks for strengthening the argument, Mel!

M.A. Hughes said...

I say go heavy or go home. I forget too much, and don't mind wearing a vest. I don't pack too much, and it keeps everything I need for every water in one place for a quick water escape.

Case in point, as I type I'm looking at a brand new laptop power inverter purchased because I left my other one at home. A week of work would be tough without a powered laptop...if I could just get a vest for working.

Mike Sepelak said...

An excellent point, Mr. Hughes. Excellent. My memory is suspect as well, and having it all there ready to go at any time has great value.

But your power inverter example suggests that you still work. My condolences. I am no longer so afflicted and have all the time in the world to refine, to winnow down, my packed gear. Preparing for a trip is almost as much fun as going.

But your point is well taken. THANKS for the comment, and another viewpoint. :-)

Joel D said...

Got to love the K.I.S.S. method of doing just about anything. I've ditched the vest years ago and now favor two boxes and a fishpond mini pack of leaders and tippit. It's very liberating isn't it.

Brk Trt said...

Light....the only way to go.
Good points.

Mike Sepelak said...

Liberating is the right word, Joel. Thanks for that.

In most things, BT. The only way to go. I appreciate the confirmation.

Neuse Wader said...

So good to hear another Nook Sack is out there. Mine somehow stays comfortably just dorsal of my armpit. Nippers on the end of an ID badge retractor ease the sting of having the retractor in the first place. Those days are a distant memory for you, right?

Mike Sepelak said...

ID badge retractor. HA!