Five things I can’t do without

None essential items used in the catching of fish that I do not actually need but still require:

  1. Lypsyl – ever since I was around 15 years old I used to get cracked chapped lips in the cold or heat. I then started to use lypsyl to keep them moist and…well….un cracked. This has helped me plenty of times when I have been fishing and realised I have no floatant – a little drop of the lypsyl and the fly floats all day.
  2. Camera – ok, some people are going to say this is not a necessity (and some people are going to say my photos are rubbish anyway) but I like taking my camera fishing and taking pictures of the fish I catch and the people I fish with. It gives me a record of the places I fish – on a winter’s night I can relive those hot summer days when I fished with friends.
  3. Sunglasses (Polaroid’s) – there are few things that would make me turn around and go home – I reckon sunglasses are up there with a rod and line when it comes to necessity. Other than for spotting fish they just make fishing more pleasurable, they keep the sun out of your eyes and can stop a nasty headache developing because of the glare off the water. I have fished without my hat – occasionally I forget to put it on – I never forget to put my sunglasses on. There is also the safety aspect – I had to go back to the house last week and pick them up – my wife asked why I needed sunglasses on a cloudy winter’s day – she understood after I had shown her the enormous pike hook that would be swinging past my eyes at speed.
  4. Water – I can honestly say I have never been truly thirsty in my life – I need to force myself to take water with me and to drink regularly. If I did not I would not fish on top form.
  5. My Buff – I have two buffs – a polar one and a plain material one. The polar one is great when it is cold as it can turn into a wee hat when it is not keeping my neck warm. The material one keeps the sun off my neck and covers as a midge stopper during the summer.

What can you not do without ?


  1. Scott · December 20, 2007

    Visit Fly Fishing In Yellowstone and view his The Mystery Fly post from a few days ago. That will give you a good reason to always wear your sunglasses.

  2. scott · December 20, 2007

    Im becoming increasingly dependant on my camera when i go fishing, waterproof trousers aswell because i never wade on the waters i fish and i need some protection from a wet arse come lunchtime! And i know its technically essential but i need to force myself to remember my reel these days after a cursed trip last summer. I trudged for two hours on an epic mission through the campsies to get to a burn i had been desperate to fish, I quickly took my rod from its tube, found my fly box, hang on a minute…where is??? im sure i…… SHIT! no fishing that day but a nice walk (sort of) made up for it.

  3. Alistair · December 20, 2007

    Scott 1 – a pheasant tail nymph in th eye – ouch !

    Scott2 😉 – Sounds like hell m8 – a bit like seducing a lovely women and finding out she is a bloke !

  4. Steve · December 20, 2007

    Number one is always polaroids, I would rather forget my rod than specs!

    Next on my list of must haves is a fullers earth paste and a tub of muclin. Tungsten putty also comes in handy for tweaking the weight of weighted nymphs!

    Hope the comment on seduced women being blokes is not from personal experience Alistair:-)

  5. scott · December 20, 2007

    I guess a tranny encounter would be worse than leaving your reel 15 miles away from where you intend to fish!

  6. SimonGraham · December 20, 2007

    My Hip flask never gets left behind.I always celebrate a catch with a wee dram,no matter what size the fish is.

  7. Stuart B · December 20, 2007

    So long as the sunglasses come off if you speak to folk
    🙂 ….(A pet hate of mine-folk expecting you to speak to them without seeing their eyes )

  8. Alistair · December 20, 2007

    Simon – as long as it is not the cheap stuff 😉

    Stuart – Had never thought of that – I very rarely take off my sunglasses when i talk to anyone !

  9. Stuart B · December 20, 2007

    I can understand that Alistair .You ( or anyone wearing dark glasses ) can see things reasonably clearly but don’t appreciate that the person speaking to them only see two large black things . What is it they say ” The eyes are the window to the soul”

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