I often think that most fly fishers must have some degree of an obsessive personality. For some its with gear, collecting rods or reels one after the other. With others its tying material, with desk drawers and tupperware containers bursting with fur and feathers and more on the way home from the shop. Flies are a good one, especially my fanatical chironomid fishing buddies, some of who literally have thousands of bugs. Others find their obsession not in the material aspects of fishing, but in fish themselves and the waters they inhabit. Who can argue that steelheaders aren't obsessed? Or that you won't dream about that perfect trout stream for months after your trip, or yearn for that one shot at that elusive permit?
Obsession manifests itself in many weird and wonderful ways with fly anglers. I have to admit I am fully enthralled with fly fishing in its entirety. I love the fish, I dream about fishing and casting, I'm a broke but happy gear slut, flies fascinate me, I'm as much of a sucker for yummy tying material as the next guy, and I sink into a state of depression if I don't get out on the water often. But though I've always known it somewhere deep inside, I hadn't fully realized that I have a particular fishing obsession, that really has no bearing on my ability to fish.
Here is my confession: I am obsessed with hats. In particular, hats for fishing.
I'm moving next week, and tonight I had the intention of doing some packing. I had a couple hats to put back on my bookshelf that I turned into my hat rack, and in doing so took a good look at my collection. I realized that most were stacked two or three deep. So I took them down, one by one, and here is what I discovered:
I own 60 assorted hats, visors, tank hats and toques (beanies, I think, for my neighbours to the south).
I have 8 Sage ball caps and 1 toque.
I have 14 Loomis ball caps and 1 toque.
3 Simms, 3 Scott, 3 Ross Reels, and 5 Michael & Young Ball Caps.
A number of precious onsies, including a No Pebble Mine hat, a Trout Bums hat from the Patagonia movie party in Whistler, a camo Ruth's Chris Steak House hat (ha, I don't eat meat, but apparently this is heaven on earth for steak lovers - their sides, I can testify, are incredible!) and a Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society hat.
12 of them are in various states of camo.
9 are pink.
4 of those pink are Loomis.
Is it wrong that I want more?
I am obsessed.