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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.

Das Boat
by Mark Littleton

I didn’t need a boat. A good flyfisherman doesn’t really need one. Why would I want a boat, they are expensive and troublesome. I don’t want a boat. Well, maybe I wouldn’t mind having a boat, I sort of want a boat. No, yes, I need a boat. I need a really nice boat. The best drift boat money can buy and I need it now. That’s the thought process I went through this spring. I already have all of the flyfishing gear I could want – and then some. I own 6 rods, 5 reels, 3 pairs of waders, a float tube, a canoe and who knows what else is hiding in the nooks and crannies of my garage. Like any red blooded American I needed more, after all that is the American way. The yen for a boat can be a powerful thing. My brother-in-law Joe named his first boat Nojo. It was named after the words of his first wife (now his ex-wife) when he told her he was going to buy a boat. Once I decided, against my better judgment, that I really did want to get a boat, I had to break the news to my wife Katie. Katie and I have been married for 29 years, so you know she is a good sport, in the words of my college roommate Bob “the woman is a saint if she can live with you.” When I told her that I thought it was time for me to buy a boat, she looked at me in a way that suggested “I know you are sick, but I will humor you until you get better”. She said go ahead and get a boat if you want one, but she never did stop looking at me that way when the subject of the boat comes up. Approval in hand, I ordered my new boat. A 16 foot Clackacraft low profile drift boat with a tunnel hull, two casting braces and built in rod racks. This boat is the Mercedes of the drift boat world. It comes with everything I need; oars, anchor rope, and two anchors (in case I lose one). The only problem was that, in the spring there is a lot of demand for these boats and I had to wait 6 weeks before they would have one built for me. These 6 weeks seemed to drag on forever. I found myself dreaming about my new boat at all times of the day and night. Why don’t they hurry up and build my boat, don’t they know who I am? To make matters worse, the fishing during this time was the best I can remember. I finally got the call, the boat was ready. Randal and I took a road trip to Clackamas to pick it up. After a quick stop at Chin Yens for some of the finest Szechwan Chinese food west of Peking, we hitched up the new boat and headed for home. Shortly after I got my boat, my life suddenly took a turn for the busier. Work and family commitments multiplied like rats, there wasn’t much time left to fish. I sat in the boat in the driveway and screamed at the neighbor to “set the hook” but somehow it just wasn’t the same as being on the river. I have since got the boat out on the river a few times, and yes it is all that and a bag of chips. I may not have needed a boat, but I did want one. Life is short, and iffy while it lasts. I didn’t want to get to the end of my life and think “you know, I should have bought a drift boat”. Things never turn out the way you think they will and maybe I will find out that I’m really not a boat person, but I’ve got one now and I have no regrets about it.

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
01/27/2009: Christmas letters 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
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