Some anglers simply grab a rod and reel, a can of worms, and are off. Others take everything; except the kitchen sink.
The Fred Arbogast Fishing Tackle Company recently made a study of what they figured a fisherman should take along. It goes like this:
"License, rods, reels, baits (surface, medium depth, and bottom), jigs, spinners, pork rinds, extra spools of line, leader materials, wire, leaders, swivels, gaff and stringer."
Then, in a second column, they continue: "Creel, net, line dressing, rod repairs, reel oil. soap, insect repellant, first aid kit, sunglasses, suntan lotion, canteen, ice chest, opener, rain gear, and bobbers."
This, naturally, Isn't enough. So a third column is added: "Scales, fish sealer, pocket knife, pliers, screw driver, reel wrench, nail clippers, flash light, life preserver, wife (they put a question mark after this item), hooks, waders, sinkers, and bobber-stops (whatever they are)."
Now, many a westerner doesn't take all this much gear. Excepting a rod and reel (which holds the line), about all some take is a book full of flies and spinners.
Don L. Smith, the Salmon River outfitter, once assured me that all the "tackle" (besides rod and reel) a guy actually needed to fish the Middle Fork for trout, could be carried in a shirt pocket. Indeed, I once floated ninety miles of that fine trout stream with him, and the only "tackle" I used on that trip was a single old Gray Nymph. It caught and released trout every day, for ninety miles, and by golly, I had the good luck not to lose that fly for the whole trip.
Another time in British Columbia, Dalziel, another bush pilot and outfitter, and I took fifteen big Arctic grayling, In fifteen counted casts. We would each take a cast with the lone fly rod. and every cast took a fish. The only fly we used on that occasion was a No. 10 Sandy Mite. That was the only "tackle" except for the rod reel, and line.
Once upon a time, as Hawthorne would put it, I got the notion of stashing all necessary tackle in in a light fishing vest (except rod and reel of course). Then, any time I wanted to drop work and take off fishing, all that was necessary was to grab the rod (with reel already on it), and the vest; and be off.
Fishing tackle, like hash, accumulates. The notion was a good one until the vest gradually got so heavy with tackle I couldn't lift it. So it was necessary to start all over again. In considering the Arbogast list of what a Fisherman SHOULD take along, I can't forget a certain fishing hip, again down the Middle Fork with Don Smith. He'd wanted to go light, and I guess I really did take along too much tackle, gear, and duffel.
Don didn't say a word against it, until the trip was over. Then, looking at my big pile of gear, said, "Well, come again, and we'll do it some more. And if there's anything else you've got on your acreage over there, bring it along, too."
-- Dr. Todd