Friday, September 18, 2009

Day 12 - Gear

I just recently moved here from Minnesota. And through the course of this move I discovered many, many boxes of fly fishing gear that I have accumulated over the years. What is even weirder is that as I unpack boxes of books, or folders, or whatever... I find flies, tools, magazines, and even fly vests packed among them. And I wonder, am I a gear junkie?

I remember when I first started out in fly fishing. I was in Colorado and I had signed up for a fly fishing class to help finish my minor. I didn't know a Prince Nymph from an Adams and I had just come from a class that went over the basic gear. I didn't have a thing... no wait... yeah nothing. I called my parents up and explained my situation. They worked with Cabela's and I soon had a 9 ft 8 weight rod (I know, I know... way too powerful for a trout stream in CO).

But even with a rod, I still didn't have nippers, fly flotant/sinket, zingers, fly boxes, flies, waders, wading shoes, polarized sunglasses, forceps, a leader straightener, or even fly vest to put all this stuff into. And so, with my rent money in hand I headed off into the retail world of fly fishing.

(Cue evil laugh)

I'm not saying salespeople are evil (hell, I was a salesman at one point), but I definitely looked an easy mark. I walked into the fly shop and my eyes started to glaze over. I saw hanger upon hanger of waders, a whole wall of wading shoes, gondolas full of fishing vests, an endcap of tools... Even now I get a little excited thinking about all of it. When it was all said and done, I had purchased a pair of wading boots, waders, a net, a fly vest, and all the accouterments that hang and dangle from my said vest. The bill was well over $200, and I was already thinking of some creative ways to come up with the rent.

That was the start of things, but things really started to happen when I joined the buying team for a big box retailer. It seemed that no one in the office fly fished. And so, being the poor angler that I was/am, I capitalized on the situation. Now I never outright asked or took something, but I was given/authorized to take things home to try them out. Through the course of my time there (roughly five years) I wound up with experimental nippers, zingers of all sorts and sizes, flotant, fly rods, fly lines, sunglasses, vests, a whole case of strike indicators, leaders, tippets, fly reels, fly material...

During my time with the company the going was good for me. Being a nice guy, I shared freely with my friends and family. I've given away more rods, reels, and material, then I think any good angler should. But even with all this I still find odds and ends in my boxes. The question remains, am I a gear junkie or a capitalistic angler?


  1. I do not think that you are adicted, you can be salvaged! I only wish that I were you, as I started with a $5 cane pole and then a $19 Zebco using a carpenter apron for a "vest". Finally got to the point where I could buy waders and vests, etc. Jerry at