If I were to guess, I would estimate I have been on more than 2,651,006 fishing trips in my lifetime.
Okay, I am exaggerating, but I can assure you one thing: I have been on a lot of fishing trips over the years, especially to my favorite destination Quebec.
So I have learned a few things, primary through experience enhanced by lack of judgement.
For example, once in my younger days I forget to bring a tube of lip balm with me on a week-long trip to a lake so far from civilization that we didn’t see any signs of other humans the whole time we were in the bush.
On day two of the seven-day trip, my lips were dried out and on fire. I tried everything to address the problem short of using motor oil or Gulp Alive! to alleviate the pain. By day six the situation was so bad I was ready to go home…and the fish were biting.
So I have learned to always bring lip balm on every trip, including a spare tube or two for desperate fishing partners who will trade their favorite lure to get relief if you wait long enough.
I’ve also learned to bring a couple light turtlenecks, even during the summer. I don’t bring ‘em for warmth. Rather, I use them as protection against black flies, which have the annoying habit of crawling inside your clothing before starting to feast. A turtleneck combined with taped arms and tucked-in waist is a great barrier that few blackflies can penetrate.
I also bring a couple novels after learning one isn’t enough if bad weather becomes an issue. I learned that after finishing Angels & Demons on a rain delay that lasted 24 hours and had nothing else to read when it started raining again three days later.
One final thing: bring lots of ibuprofen. When you fish Quebec, you develop pain in muscles you never realized you had until you’ve spent a day hoisting trophy fish after trophy fish over the gunnel for your partner to “admire.”