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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.

by Randal Sumner

Among the things I really hate are crowded noisy public events; my idea of a day from hell is spelled NASCAR. So it was interesting to find myself in the fly fishing equivalent of Daytona on race day: the Sportsman's / Outdoorsman's show in Portland Oregon. To top it off I was working in a booth with the legendary Jimmy Hill and Chris (choo choo) Cody. Jim is the king of an Internet Empire selling flies, lots and lots of flies. This was only my second visit to the land of Hunt and Fish I found the inhabitants interesting, scary, and charming. The first thing you realize is that there is no shortage of testosterone or chewing tobacco at this venue. This is not a bunch of trout bums laughing it up and trading chili recipes this is deadly serious. I mean were talking death and mayhem to wild creatures everywhere. Listen, I understand that these deer, elk and varmints got to go, or they simply take over. Pretty soon our parks and softball fields would be over run, bears and cougars on the roof of your house. Not a pretty picture.

Then there was the "Girls in Waders " calendar booth. Gee Randal what is that? Well it is a calendar with girls in thong swimming suits wearing hip waders. The real girls in the booth seemed kind of short and sullen but then again they were forced to look at the stuffed animals across the isle all week. It would make me introspective too, and I am far from a trophy.

The sportsman/outdoor lifestyle requires a person to suspend all of their common sense, and buy a boat. After a gun and a knife a boat is the Holy Grail. I must say that I have had river boats for almost twenty years. I am not immune to boat seduction. But I have one rule, no motors. But the boats at the show could make you talk to yourself. Woof! Sitting under the lights on their trailers, gleaming, it seams perfectly sensible to have a twenty-foot candy apple red bass boat with a flame job. My uncle Gayland who has given in to the allure of more than one boat once gave me some hard earned advise, " the best two days of a boat owners life are the day he buys and the day he sells" The best part of the boat deal is the financing, it is possible to buy a boat for say $30,000 and never live long enough to have it paid for, now that is the trout bum way.

In the middle of this swirling world of outdoor adventure is the casting pond, it is a long rectangular blue plastic enclosure with about three inches of water, and the idea is you stand in the center and cast yarn balls into floating toilet seats. Let me tell you some of these guys can really lay out a line. This is where the rod manufactures show off there newest casting tools. I of course gave them all a try, what the heck I didn't fall into the water and got a few toilet seat ringers.

I did find out an interesting fact about Powell fly Rods. The company was bought by none other the Charles Schwab the investment guru, and somehow the thought of Mr. Schwab out casting his own fly rods on some gorgeous piece of water with the girls in waders, driving his new boat, seems a fitting end to our adventure in the big city.

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
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
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