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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.

Troutbum self-help
by R. Sumner


            Yesterday, Sunday November 18th, if you must know, the weather was miserable, cold and raining with a high of 38 degrees.

            I did nothing.

I sat in the basement watching TV all day, football mostly with some weird women's shows thrown in at half time. Let me tell you there is no" real" in" The Real Housewives of Orange County", and we'll let it go at that.

            My Troutbum buddy Chris called about noon and asked me to go fishing; I declined as a delicious nap was looming in my immediate future. Returning to my Chair (nap sled 2007) I started clicking through the channels looking for the perfect white noise for napping, football is too abrasive; no you want just the right voice pitch. Remember Bob Ross the artist that painted pictures on TV years ago? Remember he kind of whispered stuff like "Now let's paint in a happy little tree next to our cottage with the happy smoke coming out the chimney". Now that guy was like knock out drops, by the time he had swabbed on a couple happy clouds you were out.

            Anyway, I clicked over to PBS because they always have some insightful slow talking person droning on about some subject I have not the slightest interest in; perfect white noise. This particular afternoon it was Dr. Wayne Dyer with three hours of self-help tips. Dr.Wayne is a pretty brave guy; He was wearing a black kung fu outfit with no shoes and boiling over with advice. As I drifted of into a meditative state, I began to wonder about the whole self help concept, I mean if you're helping yourself why do you need advice from Kwai Chang Caine?

            On my fishing web site I have a rates page listing the prices for various fly fishing adventures, $300 for this $375 for that, and at the bottom of the list in bold type it says LIFE COACH  $500 per hour. So it's not like I don't have any experience dealing with people's issues. I'm exactly like a sensitive guy for…. $500 an hour.

 The truth is no one has actually paid for this service yet. That may be because I wear waders and boots on the job and fly fishermen are not generally whiney, self- obsessed losers. Of course if I did get one I could probably straighten him out for, say $1500. Maybe a little more.

 I think the reason most of the anglers I know are squared away is they realize they are at the top of life's little pyramid. The simple act of taking time for a purely esoteric activity that no non-angler will ever understand means you have made some conscious decisions about how you want your life to turn out.


So here are my five easy Troutbum self-help tips;


1.      Surround yourself with people that make you laugh. 

2.      Never marry anyone with more problems than you have.

3.      Eat your vegetables, get plenty of sleep, and take a walk everyday.

4.      Don't bore people with your past unless it's a funny story….really funny.

5.      Get out of the house and go fishing, Grasshopper Often. 


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
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