Icy weather continues to delay my fishing, but newly arrived fly fishing catalogs offering international travel destinations provide sustenance for my adventurous self. Each exotic location is described in minute detail, including posh accommodations, world-class cuisine, and some even offering helicopter transportation to hard-to-reach hotspots. Spectacular photos of monstrous fish accompany each entry. The read was therapeutic, but suffice to say I won’t be traveling to Mongolia for Taimen or to New Guinea for Arapaima this year, nor, barring the purchase of a winning lottery ticket, will I be packing my gear in the foreseeable future.
Rather than assembling 10- to 15-weight rods, I’ll be casting my much-preferred 3-, 4-, and 5-weights for bluegills, crappies, and smallmouth and largemouth bass because it’s the rod that reveals the fight of a fish. Even a 10-pound bass caught on gear designed for giant tuna or huge tarpon wouldn’t be a memorable fight. Fishing home waters that I can return to again and again is more my style. When I’m wading a favorite stream as a jet soars across the sky, I will wonder if it’s full of anglers headed for one of those ballyhooed destinations. I’ll smile but I won’t be jealous.