My name is Jack Althoff. I was asked to be a guest blogger for Brazos this summer due to my love of the outdoors. I grew up in the city of Chicago, but spent most of my life looking for the best fishing spots outside the city, primarily on the many lakes of Wisconsin. I’m naturally inclined towards building and fixing things and have a great respect for Mother Nature. I was in the Marines when I was younger and take great pride in our country.
I love fly fishing new streams with my clumsy waders, three boxes of flies and 10’ rod. Rushing water requires some pretty good balance. Even with good balance, you rarely know what your next step is going to be. Everything is active and moving in a creek or river. Water depth changes quickly and often you have to navigate rocks and holes. Sometimes, sand and mud even get thrown into the mix.
What I generally bring along to make navigating and balance a little easier and safer is a long walking stick with a tether that can connect to my wader clip. I have a couple aluminum ones, but the wooden types seem to be more functional. They float downstream behind me while I cast, and I generally know where it will be because the current keeps it to my leeward side. And while they are floating, there is no extra weight. The aluminum ones also tend to bump the rocks as they drag along and I think that spooks the trout, especially on a sunny day.
For fishing, I’d recommend the Brazos 58-inch Twisted Oak Trekker Walking Stick in the lightest color possible (Natural). That way, if you lay it down on the shore, it will be easy to see. Longer sticks have more leverage in general and are more comfortable to carry
Here are a few other ways a long stick comes in handy for fishing and camping:
- Propping up a rain tarp
- Hanging up wet socks (or other things if you fall in)
- Knocking down dead sticks for firewood that are still up in a tree
- Catching your hat in the river, as it blows off your head and heads downstream
- Lashing a knife to the end to make an impromptu spear or fishing gig
Just a little advice for your next fly fishing adventure!