Acceptable loss

The end of the Wisconsin Inland Trout Season usually means several things to me.
  1. My fishing season is also done.  Not because I am trout exclusive...but usually because there are several things that have taken a "backseat" to trying to cram in as much time on the water as possible.  Those things still need to be done.
  2. Work gets busy this time of year.  I try hard to not let my job interfere with my fishing jones...but just can't be helped.
  3. This fall I have been, quite purposefully, increasing my online "footprint".  Didn't want to take any time from my already limited time on the water this now that the season is done...(Many reasons to this...suffice to say that I have a plan--and when my mind is set...I'm a pretty focused sort of fella)
  4. Time to clean up a season's worth of used and usually abused equipment.
Which brings me to point #4.  This year, I spent a great deal of energy teaching a couple of different people to flyfish.  I like to teach...but this is worrisome for two reasons:  (A) I'm probably not the *best* person to teach anyone anything about catching trout.  And (B) the 'normal' amount of abuse exerted on my equipment is increased.

Hard. Core.

My favorite victim (er...I mean "student") this year was my 8 year old son.  By the end of the season, he was casting like a pro, and even outfished me on at least one occasion.

He was out with me on opening day...and fished with me all the way through the end of the season.  A true partner in crime.

While he is my favorite day tripper...he is...well...EXTREMELY hard on equipment.  As evidenced this year as I was cleaning up equipment.

Fish On!

But first...let's give credit where credit is due.  In the picture to the left, he is tight to his first trout.  A healthy little brown where he picked his spot, made the cast, dead drifted  a hares ear (#14) beautifully, and then played and landed the fish as if it were nothing at all.

All while his half mad father went clinically crazy as he jumped up and down and snapped pictures like a fool.
So...what does this have to do with end of season activities, and cleaning up used equipment?  Well...I suppose it was a bit optimistic to expect a 5wt graphite rod to hold up...

No bringin' this one back...
To be fair: I have broken my fair share of expensive equipment in my life.  Believe me.  But I just can't find it in my heart to get mad over this one.

He fished hard, and despite a couple times where he let it drag on the ground for a short time (until I saw him and chewed him out...), I believe this rod was simply a casualty of the game.

It happens when you fish hard.

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