Killing Time in a Fishing Camp
Killing Time in a Fishing Camp
If the camp is a permanent one you will often have time to kill and you cannot do better than to use some of it in putting the fishing industry on a business-like basis. As a general rule camping is seldom done merely for the pleasure of life under canvas; that is, the camp is most often subordinate to the pursuits of fishing or hunting or some other outdoor sport. You should not allow all your attention to be taken up with the commonplace details of tents, outfits, cookery, and the like. If the fishing is to be successful there are several things to be looked to in this regard.
One of the first necessities is a rod rack. Possibly you will go into camp with the idea that, when through with it, you will take the rod down. It is quite probable that for the first two or three days you will do this. After that it is extremely doubtful. Something like the following comes to pass. You come in from fishing and are immediately assailed with a more or less polite request to rustle firewood—at once. You lean the split-bamboo against a convenient pine tree and do your duty. Then other things demand your attention. The rod is out of sight and mind. All night it leans against the convenient pine tree and by the next morning has acquired a beautiful set and is a fit candidate for the rod hospital. Now if there had been a rod rack this would not have happened.
If your quarters are large enough have the rack inside; if not, then under the tent-fly close to the tent where the rods will be protected and easy to get at in case of heavy rain. All you need is some crotched sticks. Plant them closely enough together so that the rod will be supported equally throughout its entire length.
For the bait-casting rods a better and more convenient arrangement, since these rods are short enough to allow this, is a rack on which the rods can be suspended from the tip. Such a rack can easily be constructed in several different ways and it hardly seems necessary to go into the details. It should be placed inside the tent and will take up very little room. Never by any chance allow a split-bamboo rod, or, for that matter, any rod, to lie for any length of time on the ground. It can be ruined in one night by this sort of treatment. By all means take the rod down if you can remember to; otherwise, use the rod rack.
In packing for a near-home trip, if you are not going light, it is a good plan to stow some of the outfit in a box which can be made into a live-bait box; or make your bait box at home and then utilize it for packing. Be sure to have the cover stout enough to hold the weights you will use upon it.
If you have a line dryer you will probably use it sometimes. A couple of cleats nailed one above the other to a tree or the tent pole make a competent dryer of which the most striking characteristic is simplicity. If you attempt a more complicated arrangement the chances are it will never be completed, unless you are one of those not rare individuals who may be described as "camp tinkers."
If the natural conditions are favorable it is a good plan to have a pen where the surplus fish may be kept alive—if there is a surplus—so that when, as sometimes happens, the fish are off their feed for some length of time, it will not be a case of straight bacon.
The angler who camps beside his fishing has many advantages over the one-day fisherman. Not only can he choose the best days and the best time of day for fishing but he has every facility for learning the peculiarities of the fish in that particular lake, their hours of feeding, where to look for them, their taste in the matter of flies and baits, the effect upon them of various local conditions, and similar matters. These are things the knowledge of which makes for success and the angler in camp should not fail to observe them.
Camp, Samuel Granger. The Fine Art of Fishing. New York: Outing Pub., 1911. Print.
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