Becoming a Trout Bum - What it Takes
Almost everyone who has ever wet a line has probably had at least a passing notion as to what life would be like if it were possible to fish all the time. The answer, fellow angler, is that it would rock. That said, thinking it and doing it are two completely different animals. There are so many folks out there who have considered the life of a Trout Bum but a select few who have actually become one. We are going to examine what it takes and how to pull it off.
The best Trout Bums are semi-reclusive, fly tying derelicts that cannot function in a world away from rising trout or happy flats fish. If this doesn’t describe you, do not worry. It will in time. We are talking about a lifestyle thing people. The first thought to consider and the one that snags most would-be Trout Bums is a big time change in the way you live and think. Ponder this for a couple of minutes and then walk into your boss’ office and quit. No raise, no negotiating and no extra week of vacation. You are done. Congratulations, you have just successfully completed the first and one of the most important steps to your new life as a bona fide Trout Bum. Don’t forget to break up with your girlfriend too. A one-line email or text message should suffice. Doesn’t it feel great?
"No", you say. You may have buyer’s remorse due to the fact that you just left everything that was you behind. Don’t do this to yourself. Stay focused. You are almost a Trout Bum now so you’re gonna have to start acting like one. The best way to get on with your new life is to pick a spot and immediately go fishing there. You can start by laying out a trip somewhere that you’ve always wanted to fish. "There are so many places, where do I start?" I can’t help you with this one, amigo. There are guys who went to the Florida Keys and never came back. Same goes for the Bahamas, Mexico, Costa Rica, Belize, Alaska, Argentina and Kamchatka. Many people have also disappeared in the American West. If you are still having trouble, throw a dart at a big map of the earth and book a flight there. Before you leave get your gear squared away, consider a crash course in your new language (This can be accomplished while you are waiting for your new rods to arrive at your house that you just sold). Yep, I am serious, and don’t forget to dig up your passport or borrow a buddy’s.
Now that you are on the ground in your new homeland it will be helpful to start making some connections. You are going to need some new friends and with any luck you might run into a fellow trout bum or two. Feel out the scene, talk to some guys who fish and then get on the water as soon as possible. After you’ve landed a couple of whales you can start to put your long-term plan into effect. Chances are you will need wheels and a place to lay your Trout Bum head at night. If you find yourself in a tropical location a coconut tree and bike will suffice. This, however, obviously isn’t the case in many places. With minimal effort you should be able to find some new digs and a fast new ride. Who knows – maybe there is a hot chica out there to do some of the driving and help stretch out your fly line. You might consider ramping up your music selection too. Chances are you are going to be spending lots of time on the road and/or boat. That’s the whole point.
Well, my friend, you have pulled it off and hopefully landed the fish of your career in the process. Remember that the guys who are holding that huge permit, bonefish, tarpon, steelhead, brown or rainbow trout, peacock bass, alligator gar – you name it – all have one thing in common: they were at the right place at the right time when the fruit was ready to be picked. It comes down to days on the water and as a Trout Bum you will have more days than almost anyone in the rest of the world. Good luck and let me know how it all shakes down for you.
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