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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.

fuel vs fishing
by R. Sumner


            I was reading an online fly- fishing forum the other day. This is a great place to get the pulse of a fly fishing community; you find out how much time the cubical people have on there hands at work.

             Mostly it’s the same old questions about waders, rods, reels, knots, boats, etc…..” “Should I buy the $700 waders or wear shorts?” or the classic,” How much should I tip the guide??”  I always say, if you have to ask, you can’t afford to hire a fishing god. But I digress.  

            The most interesting subject I found was about the price of gasoline as it affects your fishing travel plans. A lot of people apparently are upset at the price of gas and are angry at the Greedy Rotten Oil Companies.( from here on referred to as the GROC’s)

             The cubical people seem unhappy, restless, and I sense, horrified that there garages are full of gas guzzlers. What were you thinking when you bought that whopper one ton truck with a tractor motor, especially if your not using the thing for work. Now don’t get me wrong I am a free marketer, I say if you want a big, smoking, rod knocking beast of a rig, go for it, but then your whining later comes off a bit disingenuous.

             Here is a gut check; the price of fuel may modulate some but it will never come back down. How do I know that? Well, I asked my Mom about it, she is wise beyond her years; she says forget it, the cheap fuel is gone.

            So where does that leave us and our fishing travel plans?

 We Trout Bum types will probably just stay home and try and grow something to eat in our backyards and huddle for warmth around our BBQ’s, dreaming of all good times we’ll never have again because of the evil GROC’s.


            No, I suspect we will adapt quite nicely with smaller vehicles and some carpooling to our favorite distant fishing venues. We will embrace the new fuel reality, that’s what fishing teaches us; to constantly adjust to the conditions as we find them and most of all to stay optimistic about the future. My advice is to dump the behemoth monster rig soon while the dumping is good, or get a second job.

            As to the cubical people and there rants about the GROC’s here are some other by- the- gallon prices that will chap there hides.

Diet Snapple 16oz $1.29 …. $10.32 per gallon

Gatorade 20oz $ 1.59 …$10.17 per gallon

Evian water 9oz $1.49 …. $21.19 per gallon

Printer ink for your PC’s printer $5200 per gallon

            My favorite is a gallon of Vicks Nyquil 6oz $ 8.35 or $178.13, It would just be fun to see a gallon jug of Nyquil. Now I realize we don’t need to use much or any of any of these products, and that’s my point: We don’t need to use as much fuel either.

            When you consider all the trouble and expense it takes to find, drill, produce, ship, refine, and deliver fuel it makes you glad the cold medicine people are not in the oil business.


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
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