Remember the joy of being a child and opening that one Christmas present with the toy you really wanted. Some kids go hysterical, some start crying, and some just freeze up. I remember that joy and I have seen that same emotion in my own kids.
“Look Dad, I got the BATMOBILE. THE BATMOBILE. I can’t believe it. I got the BATMOBILE,” from my son.
“I’ll never ever throw it away. Not ever ever. I‘ll keep it forever. When I‘m old and gray, I still have it forever,” from my daughter.
I think as adults, we get a similar joy when we see a UPS or FedEx box that we know we ordered. You know what’s in the box, but deep inside that excitement still comes to the surface. When you know that box contains new gear, SOMEBODY GET ME A BOX CUTTER NOW! Maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but in adult terms, that’s as good as it gets.
The hard part of getting something new is when you can’t use it. You’re forced to look at it over and over, and maybe imagine using it. If there was a way to use it, you would. I’ve seen videos of people fly casting in their backyard in snowdrifts to just try out their new rod. If you have no way to try it out, it’s torture. Right now, my workshop is filled with that new gear smell. Not just stuff I purchased, but gear I made or constructed. It’s bringing me to a new low.
I walk into my workshop and turn on all the lights. I look around at my bags, my rods, my nets, all my fly tying stuff, my fly boxes, and my vice…I just stand there staring at my vice like some kind of zombie. I want to tie some more flies, but I just can’t get myself to do it. The inner conflict goes back and forth. Should I make one more? Then I think maybe I have too many flies already, so I just can’t do it. Shutting off all the lights in my workshop, I shamble out in my zombie form- leaving the new gear smell behind me.
I think fly tying is supposed to ease the pain of not being able to fish, and it did for a while. Now I need something else to fill that void. Thank goodness that there are only five more days until the catch and release trout season opens in Wisconsin.