Beyond The Campfire was created to encourage readers to explore the great outdoors and to observe it close up. Get out and take a hike, go fishing or canoeing, or simply stretch out on a blanket under a summer sky...and take your camera along. We'll talk about combining outdoor activities with photography. We'll look at everything from improving your understanding of the basics of photography to more advanced techniques including things like how to see photographically and capturing the light. We'll explore the night sky, location shoots, using off camera speedlights along with nature and landscape. Grab your camera...strap on your hiking boots...and join me. I think you will enjoy the adventure.

Prairie Sunrise

Prairie Sunrise
Prairie Sunrise

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Cleaning Out the Tackle Box

About this time of year cabin fever noticeably sets in. Here in Kentucky anyway winters tend to be rather gloomy and overcast much of the time and this season has certainly lived up to those expectations. Got to watching a fishing show over the weekend and that prompted me to want to clean out my tackle box which over the years has become an annual event whether it needs it or not. Doing so brings back many memories as I elevate each lure out of its holding slot.
Last season I did very little fishing. Seemed circumstances and other priorities interfered with my ability to get out much. About the only outing I made was a five day float fishing trip down Arkansas’ Buffalo River. During that adventure I managed to lose my favorite fishing rod and ruin a camera after taking an unexpected spill…but that’s another story. Oddly enough, that spill came back to haunt me as I started to clean out my tackle box the other night.
Guess I forgot to dump all of the water out the box after that spill and many of my old time favorite lures succumb to the effect of being submerged for an extended time. Paint peeled off…hooks rusted and corroded. Man it was a mess. As much as I hated to do it I had to throw out six or seven of my favorite lures, but did manage to salvage two or three others by replacing their corroded hooks. I also pricked my fingers several times during the process…hope my tetanus shots are up to date.
For many years I've understood that there is more to fishing than catching fish. Usually, I will only fish once with someone who does not understand that age old axiom. Once is all it takes to realize that someone doesn’t understand what that means. There was a time some years ago when I went fishing with a co-worker. He complained the whole time about how slow it was catching fish. Gripe, gripe, gripe…for four or five hours that’s about all I heard. He was constantly snagging his lure on something and that would initiate another tyrade of complaints and gripes. I must say I've had better company fishing alone than on that trip. To me, it was a glorious day just getting away and enjoying being out. I never went fishing with that guy again. Cleaning out the tackle box involves more than simply rearranging the lures…sometimes you have to rearrange your priorities and maybe even who you spend fishing time with.
There is a new movie about to open soon about my old pal Walter Mitty. He and I have a lot in common actually...well...maybe not a lot but certainly his and my tendencies to day dream are rather similar. I found myself daydreaming the other night as I cleaned out that old tacklebox. It's funny how an old stinky and beatup lure can transport one back to another place and time. Guess maybe that is why I spend time sorting and resorting old wornout fishing's good therapy for the soul, only now I must again find time to generate new memories...there have been too few of them as of late.

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