A 3-weight fly rod, a handful of generic bugs, and a New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York fishing license are five things you can find in my truck pretty much at all times. To me, they are as essential as a jack, tire iron and spare. That’s because as far as I’m concerned, fishing can be a spontaneous event. You never know where you’ll end up and what piece of water will be begging for a cast. Over the weekend, I got the chance to bust out the emergency fishing tackle.


My wife, Christen, went to college in Ithaca, New York, and last Saturday we went back for the wedding of one of her school friends. There was a time while she was still a student there that I had every trout stream within a 50-mile radius of campus wired. I knew the short trip would afford no time to visit old haunts, but I did spy a manicured pond in the industrial park by our hotel. So I did what came naturally. Between the church ceremony and reception, I drove right past the hotel to the water, tied on a wooly bugger and stuck it to a handful of bluegills and small bass. Christen was less than amused tramping down by the pond in a dress and high heels, so I never got the chance to find any real lunkers. But I learned something.

You know how wiping fish slime on your shirt or shorts is an involuntary habit? Try really hard to remember not to do it if wearing a suit.

I’m sure some of you have cashed in on some spontaneous fishing opportunities. Let’s hear ’em – JC