March 21, 2011

A Tip of the Cap...

So I finally figured out the reason for my recent string of skunkings...

I got a lot of new hats for Christmas this year, each of which I like very much.  As such, I've been wearing them on my fishing trips since.  But no fish.  Yesterday, I went back to old faithful.  When I packed up my gear in the morning, my 5 year old Orvis hat once again made the trip.
Welcome back to the "bin o' stuff" old friend

And you know what.  Orvis hat = fish to hand.  Goodbye 2 month skunk.
My version of a bath in tomato juice

I really should have known...the Orvis hat was a gift from Lilly on my first Father's Day.  Okay, she was only 3 months old at the time and I know she really didn't buy it for me, but it became my primary fishing hat from that point on.  I wore it pretty much every time out, with the rare exception of the occasions I wore my "hat cam" hat to take video, or my MGD hat to chase bass.  It's been part of my fishing uniform ever since, as evidenced by its lighter shade from being bleached in the sun and grimy inner sweatband; I should have known better than to stray.
Only the strong survive - condolences to the other three

Yesterday's fishing excursion was a good one.  It was a beautiful sunny morning, a bit on the cool side at about 45 degrees, but really perfect fishing conditions.  I wasn't the only one to take notice, as Valley Forge National Park was filled with joggers, mountain bikers, hikers, and of course, other anglers.

This happened to be the first trip to the park for the new Subaru Forester.  I hope it enjoys the numerous gravel roads and parking areas, it will be seeing a lot of them over the next few years.  While I did what I could not to get it filthy, I did make sure to get some dirt in the back cargo area, to kind of christen the ride as the new troutmobile.
Joel's fly box has ample room on the back for MORE STICKERS!
Also, can never escape the presence of Lilly

The fishing itself was rather ordinary (which was a good thing).  No monsters, but the biggest fish of the day, a healthy native brown, checked in at a solid 9+ inches.  In all, a few fish lost, a few fish landed, but enough action to keep one entertained for a few hours and in the right mindset for the upcoming work week.


  1. Great post.
    The orange spots on that brown, wonderful.
    You've got it working now.

  2. That is a beautiful brownie. My wife has threatened to either throw away or at least wash my favorite fishing cap many times. These days I have to hide it from her. You just cannot mess with that kind of thing.

  3. Glad you kicked the skunk off the water.
    I try not to be superstitious about hats and such but I know deep down I am.

    (That Google Chrome pop-up drives me nuts...)

  4. Glad you got a tug. Now maybe you'll look upstream. :-)

  5. Beautiful little brown; a great fish to wash away the stench of skunk.

  6. Nice brownie, congrats on breaking the streak.

  7. Word of advice, the older that hat gets the less you can wash it. Washing machines are brutal on hats composed mostly of half rotten thread.

    The last bath was rough on my STL hat, so I'm now going to wear it fishing until the day it no longer stays put on my noggin - regardless of stink.

  8. Nice! Don't mess with the cap! I have a "not small" head so if I wear a new cap, I end up messing with it, reforming it, itching my forehead, etc. all day, instead of fishing/hunting. No bueno.

  9. If an old hat prevented a skunking then all those folks wearing Simms waders would be real fly fisherman!

  10. Mike - you have made me think twice about buying an off-color (probably blue) phillies hat to camouflage my head a little better while fishing. I can't go through a 2 month drought. So, red phillies had it will be. congrats on getting the skunk off.

  11. whoah mike, way good post...the go to hat is essential! putting in time to break in the new hat is hard too... it can make for some very unfishy trips until it is broke in so its understandable you returned to the old stand by.. skunk free is the way to be!!

  12. Hey Mike. Yup, don't hit the water without that hat and, God forbid, don't wash it. You'll lose all the good mojo. Wear the new hats for trips to the store and places like that. That way you don't have to throw them out. My fishing hat is a Duluth Trading hat I got back when I started fishing again. Always wear it, never wash it.


  13. Nice feesh! :) Let's get this party started trout bums! I started blogging back as winter was settling in on alot of you yankees, and now it looks like the fishing is about to be ON up there! Way to go, Mike!!! Pretty, pretty brown. When RD sees it, she's going to be jealous.

    PS - if anyone out there has a "five year old hat" that looks like Mike's it means one thing: You need to fish more than 12 times a year.

    Or it could mean you're just really careful not to get 'em dirty I guess....not that I would know about that myself. lol

  14. I don't believe you didn't know about the old Hat rule??? Never change a winning hat.

    I have two hat's, one for trout, and one for carp. Once I fished a water for carp, whilst wearing the trout hat, and caught the only trout ever seen in the water, an omen!!!! Never change the hat!!!!

  15. Now you've done it. This post and these comments inspired a post to fall out of my tiny brain. Coming soon.

  16. I am a confessed "hat" kind of guy. I have a bunch to pick from. I believe your favorite fishing hat should be as important as the fly or lure on the end of your line. Don't leave home without it!

  17. Way to get out and get the skunk off Mike. Good for you. I have the same HAT problem. Way to many but never enough.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Passinthru Outdoors Blog - Sharing the Passion

  18. This is all good stuff!! I need to show this to my wife. She's always looking to throw the hat in the wash!! She actually got an "OLD" lucky hat one time and it went through the laundry. First time out with it afterwards it blew off while underway. That says it all far as I'm concerned

  19. I can't even begin to respond to each of these individually, but thanks for all the comments. I had no idea the power of a lucky hat.

    And yes, it is in good shape for being 5 years old. Sure, it was once dark green, but on the whole it's held up well. What can I say, Orvis makes a nice hat.