Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Arrival home after a steelhead bender... 

Every serious fishermen has a vehicle that they drive everywhere and treat like no other car owner would. For the past seven years, my particular "fish mobile" has been a 2004 F-150. It's predecessor was a 1992 Honda Accord that rocked out 236,000 miles for various members of my immediate family.  However, the truck was a true game changer for the traveling fly fishermen. The F-150 quickly became a second home for me on my weekends and extended holidays.

She operated as my five-star hotel in various 24 hr. parking lots across Pennsylvania, New York, and Maryland. I estimate that I spent over a hundred nights sleeping in the capped six foot bed. After long days on the water, I was always able to stretch out comfortably on one side while all sorts of gear and provisions were stacked on the other. I usually had companions sleeping in the cab on both seats. Adam probably spent just as many nights crammed in the front seat and I don't think he had one decent nights sleep. Nonetheless, the truck was accommodating. I recall a frigid night somewhere in Western New York when the temperature plunged to 4 degrees. On another night, we slept in a hotel parking lot after watching a Packers playoffs game and woke up to a foot of snow on the ground. I also recall all three of us rotating who slept in the back during a ten day summer binge when the temperatures never left the 90s. The smell that emanated from the truck cannot be described with any known word from man.

Usually the last car in the parking lot...

If you've ever experienced a ride in my truck, you probably realized pretty quickly that you didn't have to worry about the state in which you left it. I always told everyone not to worry about it and I don't think anyone ever did. Mud, ice, snow, various animal excrements, ticks, and salmon flesh all found their way inside my vehicle at one point or another. As the days on the water added up, the trash accumulated itself on the floor and spilled on mats and seats. After trips I found all sorts of things left behind by friends. These varied from assorted pieces of gear and electronics, to bottles of urine. After long suicide runs, you could always find a few packs worth of Red Bull cans on the ground, five hour energies, and probably spilled coffee somewhere. It was also home to two labradors who love to swim and ride like two humans sitting on the front seat. Zero care was given to the state of the inside of the truck on fishing trips. It was always about the fishing. 

As I reminisce about the various excursions with friends and family, I am forced to think about the end and saying goodbye. As they say, one repair became one too many. It is time to move on and accept the fact that I need a new vehicle. I've already made my decision and I'm hoping to get a pretty good deal. To say the very least, the habits of my friends and I are going to have to change over the next few years. I don't plan on writing another one of these posts for quite awhile. At the same time, the road trips are going to be getting a little longer. One thing that won't change will be the camaraderie and experiences that only a true fish mobile can bring on a long road trip to find some fish. 

Let the good times roll. 

*On a side note, if you owe me gas money, I'd really like to buy that Towee drift boat...

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