Montana Outdoors

April 21, 2007

Staying Equipped for the Great Outdoors

Filed under: Fishin' stories, Fishing, Humor, Montana, Nature, Outdoors — montucky @ 9:06 pm

It’s a fact of life these days, and probably soon to be enacted into law, that you must be specifically (and expensively) dressed and equipped for every recreational activity in which you intend to engage, including but not limited to, fly fishing for trout.

The Federal trout fishing dress code regulations have not yet been completed , after spending the last thirty-seven years in the Recreation Sartorial Sub-committee of the House of Representatives before being passed on to the Senate for filibuster, but in the meantime the legislatures of most of the more progressive states have enacted a large number of their own ordinances, having quickly cut through all the red tape after receiving a generous amount of funding from Cabella’s, L.L.Bean, Orvis, Nike, Reebok and eight hundred or so other guardians of our appearance and safety.

Last week when a large truck from Rocky Mountain Motor Express pulled up in my driveway to deliver all four hundred volumes of the Cabella’s Spring/Summer catalog (and I want to publicly thank them for not sending the unabridged edition this time), I was suddenly reminded that it was high time to start on my 2007 fishing budget.

After perusing volumes 237 & 238 titled Fishing Shoes for Early Spring Wet Fly Fishing on the Yaak River, it became glaringly obvious that during the off season, unbeknown to me, China had produced several thousand new and absolutely indispensable products for the properly attired fly fisherman, and if I start right away, by working three jobs between now and the middle of May, I will be just able to afford the bare minimums required by the Montana 2007 statutes and still have time to obtain the required equipment permits in time for opening day.

So far the budget has come along nicely and is almost ready to be submitted to the Chief Financial Officer (my wife‘s official title) for final approval. I’m quite sure it will pass, assuming she somehow doesn’t notice the $700 expenditure surreptitiously tucked into page 12 for a GPS radio collar that will fit a Royal Coachman dry fly, size 16!


  1. truth in the midst of satire-you gotta a gift for it!


    Comment by skouba — April 22, 2007 @ 11:28 am

  2. Thanks, skouba! I think sometimes it’s good for us to step back a little and poke fun at ourselves. Being dead serious all the time just isn’t all that much fun.


    Comment by montucky — April 22, 2007 @ 1:41 pm

  3. I have to agree – you’re a gifted (and honest) writer. I never felt good about my waste. I recall with happy clairity the day I felt better. Joe’s mom sent his dad’s 1950 tackle boxes. When I saw that he had purchased a life-sized gray floating rat ….(no exaggeration and no lie there) and I tried to imagine how a fish must feel having that skim across the water (myself – I would swim for my life in the opposite direction) suddenly I had found my bottom. If I ever bought a six inch gray rat I know I’ve gone too far. (This makes it a lot easier for me to filter though Cabala’s myself… they should really offer a cash back offer for the truly addicted.)


    Comment by aullori — April 22, 2007 @ 5:54 pm

  4. Thanks, aullori!

    You’re right… when you start buying gray rats it’s time to take the pledge.

    I have an interesting relationship with Cabella’s. I do have a few things I bought there, but usually the things I buy from them are presents for someone else, and the things I receive from them are presents from someone else. I like to look at their stuff though, but usually realize that I already have something just about as good.

    I have a compass that my hung from my brother’s cartridge belt in the South Pacific during WWII and when I wonder where “north” is, it still tells me. My fly rod I bought in 1969, but it’s still perfect, so why would I want another? And on, and on…


    Comment by montucky — April 22, 2007 @ 7:01 pm

  5. Quick like a bunny I’ll respond here – I’ve caught more fish with the lures out of Joe’s Pa’s box than the ones I’ve gotten via various catalogues and sports stores. (Way more! It is about a 4 to 1 ratio) There is a lot to be said about going back in time a bit. (And the three fly rods he sent are in perfect running order as well.)


    Comment by aullori — April 23, 2007 @ 9:30 am

  6. aullori,

    I’ve found that with fishing, “clothes don’t make the man”. A couple years ago I finished fishing a rather remote and lonely stretch of river with my limit of trout packed in fresh leaves in my old wicker creel, climbed into my dusty old Jeep and headed back home. A few miles downriver, by a stretch of water along the road (where everybody and his uncle had been fishing for days) was parked a brand new Yukon with a “trick” paint job and a rather garish-looking sign on the doors that advertised a guide service. Out in the water were several individuals who were dressed like you would see in the advertisements for Cabellas or Orvis. I stopped and talked with one of them and found they had caught no fish at all. He looked at me and probably thought I was a refugee from one of the third-world countries. I wouldn’t have traded places with him for all the world!


    Comment by montucky — April 23, 2007 @ 10:16 am

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