It’s about quality over quantity. Unless you’re standing on a flat with an empty fly box.
With all the chatter about what a pain in the rear it is to fly nowadays, I decided to stack the deck in my favor by doing FIBFest with the minimal amount of stuff possible. I’m carrying just one bag, a 2,600 cu.in. duffle, and going as cheaply as possible on everything besides rod, reel and line. The goal is to do the entire week without borrowing a single item from either the other FIBFesters or our gracious host (other than maybe a little CPU time). Here is the packing list:
- Scott S4S rods(1) in #6, #8, and #10, in a heavy duty postal mail tube
- Lamson Litespeed reels in 3X, 3.5X, and 4, plus some spare parts for each(2) (’cause I often leave reels directly behind the tires of trucks that are about to back up)
- RIO Bonefish 6(3), Rio Tropical Clouser 8, Rio Redfish 8 (for when I trash the Tropical Clouser in the mangroves), and Rio Saltwater Tropical F/I 10(3)
- Roughly 1,100 yards of 30# gelspun backing (don’t be a sissy, you fingers are going to get cut anyway)
- A leader wallet with roughly a dozen tapered flouro and Toothy Critter jobbies in it, and spools of CFX flouro in 6#, 8#, 10#, 12#, 15# and 20#
- A hundred flies in a five buck Plano box that doubles as bass bug storage, and another small ($3) Plano box for when we’re on foot
I’ll note that I’m carrying way more flies than I’ll probably need, but it’s a pretty wide assortment, including some weightier stuff for deeper water. Last time around Norman gave me a nice ribbing for not being prepared when we shot over to the West Side, and goodness knows I cave under pressure as it is.
The Essential Non-Essentials
- Two pairs of lightweight nylon pants, one of which has been to China and back
- Two plain white long sleeve shirts I picked up at the Sport’s Authority outlet, and have already bloodied up on a trip
- Two pairs of white poly socks I picked up at the same place
- One lightweight fleece pulled out of the reject bin at TJ Maxx
- One pair of shorts, and one quick-dry button-down fishing shirt with a big rip down the side (the shirt needs to be quick dry for when I spill my Jack ‘n Cokes on it)
- Two poly t-shirts I snagged off of Sierra Trading Post the day after the website opened
- A packable rain jacket
- One pair of Simms flats sneakers, model year circa 2005
- A 320 cu. in. fanny pack I found on Amazon closeout
- A pair of clamps and a fifty-cent nippers
- A camera that doesn’t take very good pictures, but has survived saltwater excursions
- A Seal Line Black Canyon dry bag the doctors put me in when I was born
- A couple of Buffs, a tube of SPF 50, and a ratty cap I tore the logo off of
- A toothbrush and some toothpaste (if the other participants in this party are lucky)
I’m stuffing these meager stocks in a Fishpond Prairie Grass Kit Bag(4). It’s the type of bag usually reserved for day trips to tailwaters, but I think it is capable of a week’s worth of work. And I’m wearing a silk bathrobe on the plane.
You forgot the laptop! No I didn’t. I’m leaving it behind, despite the fact this is a media affair – I’m going to use an iPad for blog updates instead. In the interest of full disclosure, I ordered the unit with this shindig in mind, but between the time I hit the buy button and the time it arrived I wandered into the local Best Buy and played around with one for a bit. The unit was larger than I’d imagined, but despite that size I found myself fumbling on the virtual keyboard – in other words, there was immediate buyer’s remorse. Add the need for a case and a camera adapter, and I was loathed to take it out of the box. Eventually, however, I did, and once I got the right applications on it (like an RSS reader, a photo editor, and an FTP client), as well as tweaking email for IMAP access, I was able to at least feign impression.
If all else fails, there’s always WordPress for Blackberry.
MG signing off (hoping I didn’t forget anything)
UPDATE: I’ve aced the postal mail tube in favor of a four-inch travel tube, and have added a stick of insect repellent. What a whussie, eh? And, I tied up a half-dozen leaders and aced the spare spools.