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Trout Bums at Large is a monthly column appearing in the Yakima Herald-Republic and the Seattle Times. The column is written by Randal Sumner and Mark Littleton. We will be keeping an archive of these articles on this page.

Christmas letters
by Randal Sumner


            It is already the middle of January 2009, I have been browsing through the Christmas cards and letters deciding if I want to keep any of them. Actually is not the cards that interest me but some of the letters. You know the kind, they walk you through the entire year hitting the high spots, each month becomes more fantastic and wonderful than the last. Here is a classic;

            “We sailed our 62foot yacht “The Conquistador” to Sweden where we got a fabulous deal on two new Volvo’s and had lunch with the King ( He is really a gentle spirit) . Little Sabrina is now 7 and has taken an interest in music, her piano teacher says she has never seen such pure talent, although it was expensive building on the new conservatory, she so loves her Baby Grand Steinway. Boris is 5 now and all boy, after our trip to the Olympics in China he has become totally consumed with becoming the next Michel Phelps, and although we had to re-locate the Picasso sculpture, having the new Olympic size pool can only help him achieve his swimming goals. Speaking of achieving, Milt may have a big surprise early in the new year: an ambassadorship with new the administration (were hoping for France, oui,oui).  I’m staying busy with my homemaking chores and charity work for homeless animals; we all need to give back to our communities.” Ciao for now.”

            When you get one of these letters, save it, cherish it , read it once in awhile. Next is an example of a different kind of Americana: honest and heartfelt….out there.                             

            “We all had another fine year of county livin, the flood wasn’t much fun but we been up against that before at least a dozen times. Little Tronny was abducted by aliens again this summer but at least they fed her this time , she said it was kinda like fatback, grits and greens except it was all blue. She is a funny kid and a big help around the place. Gator and Raydell took Scooter and Flea down to the bayou a couple times this fall , fishing for Blue Cats . Gator said he was going to use Flea for bait , (ha,ha).  They caught a mess, and we had all the neighbors over for a fish fry and Crawfish boil. Raydell tuned up his guitar and played us Elvis Presley songs all night, that boy is even starting to look like The King. Gator was working double shifts at the refinery for most of the year and made his family enough money to take us all to Daytona Florida for the big race. He is such a sweet man. Everyone else is fine and happy. I have to tell you a funny story about our lunatic hillbilly neighbor Mr. Eyesley , this summer some one gave him a big old hot tub and he decided to install it in the back bedroom of his trailer. Gator and Raydell said they would help out, but by the time they got around to it Mr Eyesley had cut side of the trailer out with a Ginzu knife, he said it cut that aluminum like butter. After the men manhandled the tub into the bedroom they just stuck the cutout piece right back in the hole and duck taped the seams.  The funny part is, that now the inside of his trailer is so warm and humid his shag carpeting is sprouting grass and flower plants, he says he has more lawn inside than on his yard.  Ya’ll have a good year.”

            This why I don’t send Troutbum Christmas letters , taking a few trips and catching fish I throw back just doesn’t have the panache I see in other  peoples letters. Maybe next year I can work up a fabulous letter like True Trout Crime or my summer with the Rednecks of Costa Rica. Who knows?




More Trout Bum Articles:
05/01/2015: The wolves will always eat the sheep by R.Sumner
11/17/2014: Red Fish Redux by R.Sumner
08/01/2014: Retirement by R.Sumner
07/02/2013: Custom by Randal Sumner
05/01/2013: Subaru Magic by Randal Sumner
01/19/2012: Ding Ho by RandalSumner
04/06/2011: A Cautionary Tale by Randal Sumner
01/26/2010: Redfish Round-up by Randal Sumner
11/24/2009: Kentucky Don and English Bob by Randal Sumner
08/25/2009: A word about Bears by R.Sumner
06/30/2009: Polar bear hugging by Randal Sumner
11/25/2008: Trip to Eden by Randal Sumner
08/07/2008: Mime Time by R. Sumner
06/02/2008: fuel vs fishing by R. Sumner
05/01/2008: Long sleeve Hawiian shirt by R.Sumner
02/07/2008: The Empire by R. Sumner
11/29/2007: Troutbum self-help by R. Sumner
09/04/2007: The Perfect Client by Randal Sumner
07/02/2007: High Anxiety by R.Sumner
03/29/2007: Grasshopper by Randal Sumner
01/25/2007: Chinese food by R. Sumner
11/30/2006: Old Whitey by R.Sumner
09/28/2006: Chief Holland USN retired by R. Sumner
07/10/2006: BBQ by R.Sumner
05/30/2006: Cashmere by R. sumner
03/30/2006: Sterling Choices by Randal Sumner
01/26/2006: Tying with Pablo by Randal Sumner
12/01/2005: Brrr by Mark Littleton
11/24/2005: Thanksgiving 2005 by randal Sumner
09/01/2005: Anchors Away by Mark Littleton
07/01/2005: Some kinda fun by Randal Sumner
05/01/2005: The Base Lake by Randal Sumner
04/01/2005: Humble Pie by Mark Littleton
03/01/2005: Dance monkey dance by randal Sumner
01/01/2005: Where are the Instructions? by Randal Sumner
12/01/2004: Das Boat by Mark Littleton
11/01/2004: What me Worry? by Mark Littlton
10/01/2004: Priorities by Mark Littlton
09/01/2004: Falling In by Mark Littleton
08/01/2004: Ice Fishing by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Honey, I flooded the basement by Randal Sumner
07/01/2004: Elvis Lives by Randal Sumner
06/01/2004: Coyote by Randal Sumner
05/01/2004: Redfish and Capt. Dan by Mark Littleton
04/01/2004: Vested Interest by Randal Sumner
03/01/2004: Are you a Troutbum? by Mark Littleton
12/01/2003: Christmas presents by Mark Littleton
11/01/2003: Oklahoma by Randal Sumner
10/01/2003: Steel heading JuJu by Randal Sumner
09/01/2003: Motor Home by Randal Sumner
08/01/2003: Life is Funny by Mark Littlton
07/01/2003: Deschutes by Mark Littleton
06/01/2003: Class of 2002 by Randal Sumner
05/01/2003: BOAT FISHING by Mark Littlton
04/01/2003: ALASKA, LAND OF THE MIDNIGHTBLUE TARP by Randal Sumner
03/01/2003: MARCH BROWNS by Mark Littleton
02/01/2003: DEEP IN THE HEART OF IDAHO by Randal Sumner
01/01/2003: TOP TEN by Mark Littleton
12/01/2002: SAN MIGUEL by Randal Sumner
11/01/2002: DISNEYLAND by Randal Sumner
10/01/2002: CAMPING by Mark Littleton
09/01/2002: MMMM MAYFLIES by Mark Littleton
08/01/2002: CARNEGIE HALL by Randal Sumner
07/01/2002: CRAWFISH PIE by Randal Sumner
06/01/2002: Sons and Pals by Mark Littleton
03/01/2002: Visitation by Randal Sumner
02/01/2002: Ouch by Mark Littleton
01/01/2002: Death by Randal Sumner
11/01/2001: Leakers by Randal Sumner
09/01/2001: Poser by Randal Sumner
08/01/2001: Snake River Diary by Mark Littleton
08/01/2001: It's Hard by Mark Littleton
07/01/2001: Etiqutte by Randal Sumner
06/01/2001: June by Mark Littleton
05/01/2001: Road Trip to Paradise by Randal Sumner
04/01/2001: What Are They Doing Up There? by Mark Littleton
03/01/2001: Gear by Randal Sumner
02/01/2001: Soft Hackles by Mark Littleton
01/25/2001: Motivation by Randal Sumner
12/28/2000: Winter Fishing by Mark Littleton
11/30/2000: Old Blackie by Randal Sumner