Discharge is where he is | Hatch Magazine

It’s a common sentiment, written with great regularity, that packing on a trip is often as exciting as the trip itself. The thrill, planning and first steps of what one eagerly anticipates to be a glorious adventure. Choosing the rod, preparing the flies, assembling outerwear, shoes, and underwear, and Where is this mist of hell. It’s exciting stuff, anticipating the flight as one counts down the days of departure, but I have a confession to make. I like unpacking better.

Don’t get me wrong, I love progress, but it’s not without tension. The truth is, I tend to overanalyze. What will I need? Do I just use my bulletproof vest or do I split my gear into a rod box and pack some emergency clothing? How will the weather be? Which waders? How do I keep a large bag under fifty pounds and not have to carry a lot of bag? What would the TSA think of those 2/0 saliva? Take 8wt and 6wt, or just 7? Will I be carrying a lot? Will I carry too little? What is the really necessary life-saving ingredient that I will completely forget? Preparing is fun, but exhausting.

And since my recent forays have been in a variety of locations for a variety of hunting experiences, it has been difficult to get a checklist in place. Each trip has its own characteristics and considerations. Michigan has one listing. The Bahamas, other. Starting from scratch each time has its challenges.

But when I get home, this load goes up. There’s nothing to think about other than unpacking the bags and remembering the trip. I could restart everything, what worked and what didn’t, as I dumped the contents on the office floor. I have to go through everything again.

I note what’s still clean and add it to a file exclude next time The list, what is well worn and sloppy goes on Frequent flyer Menu, and what fish smells like on Have to take again. New gear is valued (one always has to take something new to try) and what has been tried and true is once again acknowledged as the bedrock of my fishing life. Each unpacked item brings back the adventure you just had. Each piece carries a memory of the journey. Each object still resonates with last week’s travel. Here’s where it gets weird. I feel so happy to put it all away.

You see, I have an obsessive/compulsive problem in which I derive insane pleasure in restocking the gear cabinet, and putting everything back in its proper place. Outerwear is hung in the right order, fly lines are stacked with upward weight, flies in appropriate drawers or boxes, and rails stand neatly in the corner. Washing and hanging this pile of dirty clothes gives me laughter, the bags empty and stashed give me peace.

And while this might sound weird, it makes perfect sense when you consider that this actually means I’m a little ahead of you in my anticipation of the next flight. I’m on point, ready to start it all, eagerly waiting for the time when I can pack it all up again and get out.

I’m ready to get ready to go. I’ve already started my pre-flight mobilization, whether or not I know where I’m going next. I just started early.

Unloading simply closes my fishing loop.

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