Okay, so I was inspired by a blog post by Deneki. They set the bar pretty high.
Here are their 50 things.
Here are mine.
1. 5 AM.
2. 5 AM after fishing all night.
3. The whisper of wings smaller than a postage stamp.
4. Michael Schmidt.
5. April Vokey.
6. That smell. I don't quite know what it is. A combination of DEET, smoke, watercress, deer hair, sweat, electrical tape, reel oil and cork. My grandfather epitomized that scent.
8. Brook trout.
9. Difficult casts.
10. Easy hookups.
11. Bluegills on spiders.
15. Tommy F. Lynch. Long live the donkey king.
16. Phil Croff's magnificent cedar drift boats.
17. Phil Croff's tutelage.
18. That grass that grows on the water's edge.
20. Carp. Long may he endure upon the earth.
21. The Fiberglass Manifesto.
22. Tom Hazelton.
23. The way Alex Cerveniak abuses his car, as if the sooner he beats it to death the sooner he will be admitted to Valhalla.
24. Cedar Waxwings.
26. Dirty fries in downtown Traverse City.
27. Dirty sheepshead in downtown Traverse City.
28. Tag alders. Wait, did I really say that?
29. Broken line, lost flies and good stories.
30. Leaky waders. No one cares about the trips in which you were happy and comfortable. But spring one leak in those Simms? Priceless.
31. Owls. What a hoot.
32. Coyotes. My night is not complete without them.
33. 333 line. I can cast that like no other.
34. My TFO switch conversion kit, which turned my already awesome 8 weight into a spey beast.
36. Wolves howling in our camp this last fall, while we were in search of water wolves.
37. The gentle feel of my rod loading.
38. That moment that I realize a cast is failing.
39. Erin Block.
40. Mike Sepelak.
41. All those people I haven't met yet who are fully engaged with this sport.
42. Those little ice cupolas that form on the ends of branches that trail in the water.
43. Steelhead. In all their forms, and wherever they live.
44. The mess that is my tying desk.
45. The great masters who have set the bar in fly tying.
46. Thomas Whiting.
48. Bait fishermen. Without them what would we compare this to?
49. Aluminum canoes, plastic kayaks and any other means of conveyance.
50. Endless possibilities.