There are pieces of fly fishing gear that I leave at home from time to time. They are important, but they aren’t invaluable. Engaging in this lifestyle for nearly two decades, I’ve amassed quite the collection of rods, reels, and miscellany. Many of the various bits of tackle are uniquely created for use in a certain body of water, a particular season, or a specific fish. Those fly boxes and leaders might get pulled out for a month, then packed away for the rest of the year.
However, there is one necessary armament in my angling arsenal that I literally never go fishing without.
The rear bumper of my 2001 Subaru Forester.
I know, I know. It hasn’t been featured in any magazine or blog’s “best of” articles; nor are there any young, attractive, social media personalities posting super cool photos of their neatly disheveled adventures in front of one. But I have to tell you: this thing is indispensable.
Let’s start with some of the more impressive features.
- Need to put your waders on? Well, let me tell you – there aren’t going to be any conveniently located benches at roadside pull offs. This perfectly positioned platform provides a place for your posterior while prying off or pulling on your waders.
- Where are you going to set your cell phone or keys while you get ready? I mean, you could just throw them on the ground. Or, lock them in the car if you want to keep them safe. Here’s a thought: just set them on the non-skid surface of your Forester bumper.
- Similarly, you could just toss your fly rod anywhere as you prepare for fishing. Sure, it could get broken. But you’ve got stuff to do. Just maybe, instead, you get yourself a Forester bumper and gently lean your expensive rod against the smooth, contoured lip of this precision-engineered piece of equipment.
Those are obvious. “Of course,” you think, “I know that I’m missing out on those benefits by not owning a 2001 Subaru Forester bumper.”
“But,” you say, “I want you to ‘wow’ me.”
Oh, don’t you worry:
- Need a standardized measuring device for leader construction? Check out those lines.
- Hungry? Give that same wader-on-and-off seat a shot at lunchtime. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.
- Paranoid that backwoods folk / unsavory, jealous anglers are going to pop open your rear door to steal your rod tube and extra socks while you’re on the river? This bad boy can take the pressure of backing up against a tree or fencepost. You’ve just created an impenetrable barrier.
- Feel compelled to show the world what stickers you’ve amassed from various fly fishing shows? I suppose you could stick them on your windows and create unnecessary blind spots, putting yourself and my children at danger. (They are called bumper stickers.)
Is all this worth $250? Let me rephrase that: Can you afford to miss out on these benefits? For the low, low price of $250 I think the answer is simple.
Thank you, Subaru Corporation, for thinking of a world full of fly fishermen and women who are just trying to get the most out of their time on the water.
Thank you, and tight lines.