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Another summer in outdoor Disneyland

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POSTED June 1, 2011 12:45 a.m.

It’s Monday, and I’m packing for my trip north where I will indulge in my other life that starts with coffee and breakfast with mom and ends with fish talk around a fire with friends.

One of the worst parts of the pre-packing and packing has been the lineup of war movies. They are terribly distracting, especially given the gravity of Memorial Day. I’ve decided that all of them have to be great, because who am I to look at cheap special effects or low-budget films and say it’s not real enough.

It was real enough for my grandparents and brother who did two tours in Iraq.

Then I start thinking about how lucky I am that I get to hop on a plane and go fishing for the summer. That gets me excited and pensive so I drink more coffee and start thinking about where I will fish first and where to take the greenhorns that are coming up in July.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’ve got to fit all my gear into three pieces of luggage.

The past two summers I drove home and was limited only by what my truck could hold, but since I am flying this time I’m getting a lesson in what is truly important. This could be a deeper metaphor, but pondering my psychic apparatus doesn’t get anything done.

Anyway, I have a duffle bag and cooler as my checked items and a waterproof daypack as my carry-on. I don’t have much of a fear of losing baggage, but I tend to keep the most important things with me on the plane because my bags have twice toured earth without me.

So if I kept my most important items in the overhead compartment, that would put my fishing waders, vest and 251 flies neatly packed in two fly boxes all crammed into my carry-on along with my lap top and three fly reels.

Two fly rods would be attached to the outside of the carry-on making it one super carry-on. If I did get stuck in Seattle for the night and my bags were lost I could floss with 3X tippet then change into my waders for the flight.

Upon stepping off the airplane in Ketchikan, I’d epitomize ‘ready to fish’.

The 251 flies probably wouldn’t make it through security, so those will have to be checked and I guess it would be ridiculous to lug my waders around the airport, so maybe those will go in the cooler, same with the vest, net and all my fly-tying equipment.

An exact fit.

As far as clothing goes, I packed one pair of Carhartt jeans for formal occasions and two pairs of work pants that match the deck, house and garbage bin depending on which paint or stain spill you are looking at. One pair got caught in the chain of my bike last summer, but it looks more like I was nicked by a chainsaw. Those are my favorite.

I have three half pairs of wading socks. My place is not that big so there is no reason for such nonsense, but I will bring them all anyway incase I forgot their partners in Alaska last summer. If not, I guess I will have to buy more to eventually lose, but I hate buying socks.

The tent and sleeping bag finish off the duffle bag that still has space even after t-shirts, sweatshirts and other layers, and the carry-on also has plenty of room even with books and my laptop.

That leaves just enough space for my running shoes for Elimination Bear Tag.

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