On the Fly: All good things come to an end
On the Fly
For the past few weeks I’ve been working on a slideshow presentation about carp fishing in Western Colorado. While sorting through hundreds of slides, several common themes began to emerge. Sure, there were plenty of the obligatory big grins from lucky anglers, dripping wet fish, along with killer scenery and underwater shots. Besides rekindling memories of fish, friends and camping trips, I couldn’t help but reminisce about several pieces of my favorite gear that I absolutely can’t live without.
In nearly every photo of me holding a carp, I’m wearing this ridiculous green hat that says, “Kiss Me, I’m Magically Delicious.” Over the past five plus years, the hands of father time have started to finally catch up to me physically as I’ve been losing more and more hair off of the top of my head. My lucky carp fishing hat was initially donned simply to keep my scalp from burning in the sun. I’m finally at the age where I can no longer sport the “trucker” mesh ball cap outdoors.
Speaking of sun protection, while giving my presentation last week many were in awe that I don’t wear sunscreen anymore. Nowadays, I prefer to be covered from head to toe in sun protective clothing including a face mask, sun gloves, long sleeves and lightweight pants. I also noticed that in addition to my lucky hat, I also wore the same battered, tattered and stained Simms flats pants over and over again. Realistically, I just put them on every day in efforts to keep my other pants in good, usable shape for work and over time, like my hat, just become lucky and a permanent part of my wardrobe.
Some years ago, I was fortunate enough to meet and become friends with the then CEO of Patagonia, Casey Sheahan. I’ll never forget tying up about fifty spey fly lines and hundreds of knots for him and Yvon Chouinard. It took me hours and hours to complete the task, and as a thank you, I was gifted with a Patagonia Micro Puff hooded jacket. That jacket made me a convert and believer in Patagonia lightweight insulation. It is hands-down the best, most versatile jacket I’ve ever owned. It was at one time black, but is now grayed, sun bleached and patched too many times to count. It’s become one of my signature pieces of gear, like the Crocs that I have literally lived in since their inception over a decade ago.
Recently, a guide and writer friend of mine named Paul Brunn, sent me an article he had written titled, “Brunn’s Rule of Two.” His sage advice was simply this: If you find a piece of gear that you truly love and seemingly can’t live without, buy two. All good things must come to an end, now leaving me wishing that I’d bought another lucky carp hat, pants and jacket. I should have bought two Paul. You were right!
This report is provided every week by Taylor Creek Fly Shops in Aspen and Basalt. Taylor Creek can be reached at (970) 927-4374 or taylorcreek.com.
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Born in New Castle, Alice McKennis Duran learned to ski at 2 at Sunlight Mountain with her father and older sister, Kendra. She also had a brief stint training with the Aspen Valley Ski & Snowboard Club prior to joining the national team.