from Deanna Travis

FlyAnglers Online

Publisher & Owner



May 09, 2011

About a week before we packed up and headed back to Montana from our winter digs in Tucson Arizona we noticed a Pod had been delivered across the street from us. People showed up who apparently packed and filled the pod with boxes. Lots of boxes.

We didn’t know the person who lived in that house, except that the UPS truck stopped on a very regular basis and dropped off packages. Sometimes they picked up packages. Another local resident told me he thought the person who lived there did “fulfillment” for some company. Once the Pod was packed really full a self-loading truck showed up, picked up the Pod and drove off. Then a moving truck showed up and it too was loaded.

Several days later signs appeared, Moving Sale!

Never to be left out of whatever is going on, I had to see what was happening.

It was absolutely amazing.

Narrow pathways wound through the house. On both sides of the paths were stacks, several feet high, and tables too, stacked with ‘stuff.’ For the most part really nice stuff, not junk or old but craft items, cooking tools and gadgets - pasta and ravioli makers, books, food processors, jewelry making kits, beading and scrap booking supplies and a full-sized loom. Three bedrooms, two baths, living room, kitchen, back entry, hallway, and dining room everything stacked with stuff. The furniture was already gone. The house was stuffed with stuff!

The gentleman running the sale told us he had been working with the lady owner of the place for two years. This wasn’t all of it; there were two more rental storage units full as well.

So what was the story?

The lady was alone, watched the QVC shopping channel and just bought everything, anything which appealed to her. That’s why the UPS truck was a regular visitor. There was thousands and thousands of dollars worth of stuff. I wasn’t looking for anything, but a friend of ours bought a $400 Mix Master for $25. Some folks really did well.

I never got the details as to why she decided to move (probably because she had run out of any where to actually live in the house) or where she went either. 

My husband Trav and I have occasionally watched one of the ‘hoarder’ programs on TV, and since we didn’t see the house before the sale, it may indeed have been exactly one of those, but it surely stirred some thoughts in my head.

To be honest I guess the first thought was I should have known who this person was and have been somehow concerned for her welfare. But we had only just moved in to our place and we were certainly busy with our own affairs, until there was enough activity across the street to make us be curious.

Then after seeing all the stuff, I did wonder how many of us are hoarders in our own right.. When Trav and I moved from my house in Washington, the home office which I had shared with my late husband JC had literally stacks of fly lines on the shelf over his desk. Some had been used, but most were brand new. Perhaps thirty or forty fly lines. Just how many would one use in a day’s fishing?

Once we were settled in here in Montana, Trav did an inventory of rods and reels. I will admit I’m not any better than anyone else who fly fishes in that I have more rods and reels than I will even use up. or wear out. I’ve only heard of one person who actually wore out a fly rod. So what is that all about? How many rods does it take to be reasonably well equipped? Do you absolutely have to have a different reel (and line) for each? Perhaps multiple ones?

By giving the impression that you aren’t ‘geared’ if you don’t have a quiver full of fly rods, do we discourage new folks from getting into fly fishing? I’m not going to get into the fact that some fly shops will try and sell a newbie the most expensive rod they can, when an entry level rod would actually be a better choice.

And there is the storage problem. Where do you store your gear? Can you even find something you really need? What if you thinned out the amount of fly fishing stuff you have? Maybe sell some of what you are not using at a reasonable price? Or give some away to family or friends who have expressed in interest? You might even gain a little self-respect with that one.

I know my late husband JC was very proud of the fly fishing gear we had accumulated over the years. Some of it made the move from Michigan to Montana and then to the Pacific Northwest. Now it is back in Montana. Actually I would like to thin it down to what either Trav or I actually use. I’m not in any hurry, and Trav had everything he wanted before we got together, so one of these days I may put a list on our Bulletin Board.

By the way, my doctor suggested this past week that I look into having my right shoulder replaced; the one that has had three rotator cuff surgeries. Trav may have a better idea, Tenkara rod anyone?   ~ LF

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