If we are to believe those who make movies and television programs, one of an angler’s favorite possessions is a hat adorned with flies, spinners, and sometimes even a crankbait or two.
Truth be told, I don’t own a hat like that, and I’ve never seen any other fisherman wearing one.
While I don’t have a “fishin’ hat,” though, I do own a “fishin’ bag" that I'm particularly fond of.
It was the first thing that I bought with my own money, right after I started babysitting for 50 cents an hour. It cost $1, back when a buck could buy you something. As I recall, for that same amount, I also could buy 10 comic books at Talbert’s News Agency, and I could get into the Liberty Theater to see “Guns of Navarone,” with enough left over to buy popcorn and a Coke.
But this particular $1 bill was tucked into an envelope and sent to a mail-order company out in Colorado for a World War II surplus gas mask bag, made of heavy-duty green canvas. I bought it to carry the popping bugs and foam spiders that I was going to throw with my new Sears & Roebuck automatic fly reel and fiberglass rod. After all, a guy couldn’t carry his fly stuff in a metal tackle box.
(This is the beginning of an essay in my new book, Why We Fish. It's received 15 five-star reviews at Amazon so far, and Bill Dance calls it a "masterpiece." Please check it out. You'll be glad you did!)