I am a pretty unorganized person. Just ask my wife, buddies, co-workers, etc! There are two things, however, that I can get downright obsessive about:
1. Fly Box Organization
2. Planning Fishing Trips
I live for the level of optimism that is present from the instant the idea of a trip or day of fishing brings. From tying and organizing tens of dozens of flies, to spooling too many lines of various sink rates and cast-ability, and building the “perfect” leaders. Truth be told, maybe only a handful of those flies will ever get their moment to shine. The conditions may have you fishing a standard floating line and leader the whole time. Why the hell do we let ourselves get so bogged down in nailing down every single detail? We know from past experience that planning for every possible scenario never guarantees success.
I think as fly fishers we do it because the planning, the excitement we share in text messages and email strings about “what the fish were doing the month/week/day before we get there,” prolongs the enjoyment of our time on the water. A trip can be short, maybe cut down to just a few hours on the water. But planning makes the adventure last for weeks.
As I write this, I’m currently in a fly tying binge. Caught between blobs and woolley bugger variations on one side and tan and pink shrimp and crab imitations on the other. White marabou, jungle cock feathers, and various colors of fritz are tangled on one side of my desk. The other side is a pile of sandy pseudo hair, pink rubber legs, and small lead eyes. My dad and I each have fishing trips in the works. I am anxiously looking forward to returning to the Adirondacks in search of brook trout, colored up and aggressive, preparing for their spawning season. He is headed toward white sandy beaches, bonefish, snook, oppressive heat and humidity, and big starving mosquitoes. Well, the last few are what I’m telling myself knowing I won’t be going. I will be about 1,200 miles from the nearest bonefish, but that hasn’t stopped me from looking for easily wadeable flats or dreaming of scanning the choppy, glared sea surface in search of hungry shadows.
The trips come and go. They are the shortest portion of the story, but they are the everlasting highlights. Memories of fish caught or missed, unforgettable scenery, and friendships formed with other anglers leave us rambling on for years, possibly forever, about the time spent doing what we are incurably passionate about. At least it gives us something to think about while we’re tying flies for the next opportunity.