What to forget

One of the best ways to enjoy a fishing trip is to start off with confidence, knowing you’ve not forgotten something important. On the eve of my departure for Yellowstone, I can’t help but obsess about this. One would think that after years of fishing, and specifically of going on this trip, that I’d have it all down to a confident science–a system, as it were. A checklist would seem a sound practice, but I’m not a list kind of guy. Lists make me nervous, and stubborn. Mostly because the typical lists I deal with are “To-Do” lists presented to me by others (I am not singling out Mrs. UA). When I see those kinds of lists, I often put up a wall of self defense and block them out; a tactic developed over many years of living under the same roof with women who are/were list makers. My mom was a list maker. If there was any perceived free time, check the list to find out otherwise. So, no–I don’t do lists very well. Nor do I lay things all out in an organized fashion so I can take careful, visual inventory. I mean, who does that, really? If you do, I’m sorry for insulting you. I’m just jealous of your patience and organization.

This person probably keeps a clean office, too.

And so I go through a fairly random mental checklist: flies, reels, tippet, strike indicators…check. Last I checked that was all in my gear bag so it should still be there, right? Rods, check. They’re large and awkward so hard to forget (stop laughing, Joe). Sunglasses- good catch, check. Suncreen?  Won’t need it, but, check. Flask, check (never forget that). Waders, boots, insulating layers, check. Long johns, warm socks, earplugs (in case I get stuck with the Goosemeister as a roommate). Check. Lucky fishing hat, check! Clean skivvies, extra t-shirts, check. Phone charger, check. What am I missing…?

The next thing I have to ponder is sleep.  Jimmy is meeting me at my house at 3:30 AM so we can be to Marck’s house at 4 AM where we will all pile into the “plush mini van” belonging to the new guy (I don’t have a name for him yet). I’m a night owl by nature, usually not retiring until well after midnight. If I go to bed at a decent hour, like 11 PM, I will lie awake until at least 1 o’clock, tossing and turning and sighing loudly out of frustration. That will not earn me any favors with Mrs. UA, and even if I do fall asleep two hours’ shuteye hardly seems worth it.  Maybe I’ll just stay up and obsess over what I’m forgetting. I’ll think of it, hopefully. Besides, there’s quality programming on during the wee hours.

The good thing is that if I do forget something important, there are 157 fly shops within spitting distance of each other in West Yellowstone. The bad news is that if I forget something important, an otherwise cheap trip just got more expensive.

Wallet, check.

Any bets on what I’ll forget?


  1. jergens

    Gotta go with the old standby, reels.

    • Kirk Werner

      Already accounted for, except my 8 weight reel, which I am not taking.

  2. Dave

    You forgot to pick ME up!!! OMG

    • Kirk Werner

      Crap, well if you can be in CDA, Idaho by 9:30 we’ll be stopping for breakfast. We’ll pick you up there.

  3. Royal Wulff aka Mike

    Wading boots. Cause they never fit in the over-stuffed fly gear bag and you will leave the house wearing other footwear, thinking nothing is amiss. Don’t ask me how I know this…. mike

    • Kirk Werner

      That would seem an easy thing to forget, and I did forget my boots once on local lake. However, the boots have been securely packed already. I have two pairs of identical boots–I better check to make sure I didn’t pack two left boots.

  4. Sanders

    i’m still betting on reels…

    • Kirk Werner

      I hope you’re wrong, Sanders. If I remember my gear bag, it contains all my reels. Forgetting the gear bag would be grounds for punishment.

  5. Steve Z

    You just pegged the jealous meter. Enjoy the trip!

    Battery charger for the camera

    • Kirk Werner

      Good call, Steve. Surprisingly, I have that packed. Sorry about the jealously meter, although not really 😉

  6. Brian Schiele

    I hit a local river yesterday an took my Tenkara rod, but forgot my line!
    So my fishing day turned into a photography day, I finished two rolls of film so it wasn’t at total loss!

    • Kirk Werner

      Well, at least you didn’t forget your reel, Brian 😉

  7. Fred Telleen

    Not to worry so much.

  8. cofisher

    Toilet paper. Everyone forgets the toilet paper. Oh and don’t forget to get dressed and bring clean undies.

    • Kirk Werner

      Good call, Howard, but we were all prepared in each of those regards. I guess we’ve learned our lessons in the past.

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