When planning for any outdoor experience, it is important to gain as
much knowledge and information as possible, before leaving the comforts
of home. Everyone has caught themselves going, "I wish I would have
remembered this," or "I can't believe I forgot that". Usually it's no
big deal, but some times it could be the difference between a ruined trip
or the trip of a lifetime.
I recently returned from a fishing trip to Yakutat, Alaska. This was my
second trip, to that beautiful state, in search of the hard fighting
sockeye salmon. I was going to be fishing with my good friend and
colleague from the Fly Shop, Bob Zellers. Early on in the planning
stages, Bob gave me a list of items that he had found to
be useful. This was not his first trip to Alaska after all, and I feel that the best
teacher is experience.
Following his list of items I began to pack, not wanting to have any regrets about something I left behind. Mosquito head netting and a wader repair kit are two items that could have easily been overlooked. Because of the list, they were packed. Their use possibly saved my sanity and the trip. (I poked a hole in my waders on the second day and the mosquitoes were crazy!)
Not wanting to exceed the airline 50lb limit on luggage, my suitcase weighed in at 49.7lbs. I carried my fly rods and reels on board. That way, if the airlines lost my bag, I could still fish!
I had a great trip. I returned home with a box full of salmon and
halibut, but most important with a head full of memories and a smile on
my face. Bob's jokes, stories, laughter, good food and the fight of a
good fish, will last longer than my box of fillets. I am already dreaming about my next trip to Alaska though.