The 2008 catalogs are rolling in and I am starting to get that "clean out the gear bag and fly boxes" itch that always seems to follow. The list of new stuff I "need" is already growing. Dog-eared pages mark ideas for flies, rods, new reels, and an assortment of "stuff". Do I really need any of it? Of course not. I managed to catch (and not catch) fish just fine with my current equipment throughout the last season. However, there is something beautiful and even hopeful about the new fishing catalogs - they contain that same optimism that takes you to the stream. Even if the damn thing is buried in ice and snow.
Went to the Southern Wisconsin TU Ice Breaker last week; always an inspirational event (and needed given the single digit temps!). Particularly impressed with Larry Mann from the Hayward Fly Fishing Co. in Hayward, WI. Great talk about wonderful fishing opportunities in that corner of the world. Check them out they seem like wonderful folks who really know their stuff.