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Michael Gracie

Tread Lightly Redux

First there was cramming a week’s worth of gear into 2,600 cubic inches. It worked for a while (even on a six-weight).

Later the goal became staying safe and sound; the load increased by roughly 30 liters and [at least] five pounds, dirtbag style. There was big payoff (with moments wishing for a nine).

But alas reversion to the mean is the natural order. Further, if you know that in route to your final destination you’re going to spend a night in an airport, the last thing you want to do is to check a pile of baggage; either it’ll disappear, or you’ll wind up on the wrong side of security when the man heads home for the evening.

The solution this latest go ’round came in the form of fifty featherlight liters of Osprey Atmos backpack, packed to barely 3/4 capacity. Along with a couple of epoxy-reinforced cardboard tubes.

traveling light

That’s all folks

Rolled 22″ X 14″ X 9″, and nary a gate attendant disagreed. And while forgetfulness can rear its ugly head during packing, the only thing left behind on this latest trip was the A-game. In the moments following a popped leader that will haunt for many years to come, the temptation to throw an eight-weight overboard did the wink and nod; then I remembered that everyone blow shots. Still, I’ll suppress the nightmares by counting sheep rainbows.

rainbow over the flats

MG signing off (because a wise man said less is more, but yours truly just needed room for souvenir snow globes)

Comments

Eric English says:

That rainbow is amazing! Too bad about the popped leader. What happened, a bad blood knot? It will probably haunt you until the next time like my break off from a fouled reel did. I understand about the minimalist approach but what about bringing tying gear and being self sufficient? Probably depends how far off the beaten track you are. I’ll go minimalist if I ever have to carry it on my back! Thanks for the post.

100% angler error. And on a very familiar boat, whose operator expects a lot.

No need to tie on the fly – the bonefishes will eat anything in the single box I carry the week’s supply in, and I only throw a handful of patterns anymore as a result.

Hope all’s well EE.

Eric English says:

All is well, thank you. The foot is knit up and I have been back to Acklins last Feb and was able to wade hard smooth flats. I’m back at work. With my luck, the bones won’t eat anything but the flies I’ve run out of. Also my first aid kit is pretty extensive as a practicing ER doc.

Did you carry on that pack!!!!

Seriously, how was the rest of the fishing? Where, good numbers of eats, good weather, good booze and beer, sober guides, laundry service, and did you bring your suture kit?

I usually carry on my meds, boots, rods, one reel, one fly box, nippers, tippet, ie all I need to fish. I might try dirtbag style next time despite just buying an Orvis roller duffle. KISS!

Glad to hear it EE.

Yes, the pack worked perfectly as carry-on – no problems at security, with gate attendants, or getting it into the overhead. The fact that it is narrow made it all too easy on the last part, even with the little Chromebook I recently picked up stuffed in the front pocket.

As for the rest: it is most awesome being on the flats, no matter the circumstances (barring tropical storms). As you well know, nothing but nothing compares.

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