I’ve Got A 6 Foot Bed That Never Has To Be Made.

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Photo by Louis Cahill

Photo by Louis Cahill

By Kyle Wilkinson

I did something interesting the other day.

Something I haven’t done in years. I voluntarily didn’t go fishing.  It was this past Saturday and the sun was shining and my wife was at work. (She’s a hair stylist, which I’ll add is the perfect line of work for a spouse to be in if you like to fish since they have to work every Saturday.) Aside from the fact that Saturdays always find me streamside when I’m in town, it’s a new year and that all-important ‘first fish of the year’ still needs to be caught.  A quick scroll through Instagram will show that countless people have already crossed this annual milestone off their list- including some of my co-workers.  But nope, the wading boots weren’t getting wet that day.

2016 was a big year for me, with over 130 days spent on the water between guiding and personal fishing. Running a schedule like that puts a lot of wear on your gear, as well as your vehicle. Thus the reason for not fishing- I really needed to clean my truck.  This chore had been put on the backburner for the past bunch of months and if you’ve been in it lately you would be able to tell. It was getting pretty bad.

I pulled around to my garage, parked next to the open door- and just as I’ve done countless times- began pulling stuff out by the armful and tossing it on the floor.  Boat bags, duffle bags of extra clothes, rod tubes, hip packs, sling packs, wet wading neoprene socks, 3 pairs of waders, 2 pairs of boots, my Yeti 65, what my wife would likely think is too many empty beer cans, some empty Gatorade and water bottles, three collapsible chairs (2 of which still worked), my roll top table, a half a dozen tangled leaders and a few loose strike indicators. Through all of this, I couldn’t help but find myself reflecting back on the past year and the memories that this heap of dirty gear helped create.  It was as if I was instantly reliving the entire 2016 season- the nights spent sleeping in the bed, the early morning departures and late night arrivals, the cold beers on the tailgate while watching the sun set over South Park wondering what the next day of guiding would bring, the countless tunes that have been sung along to in between sips of hot coffee as the sun rose over Kenosha Pass, the untold number of gas station pit stops, Santiago’s breakfast burritos, and all the times it headed North to Montana, South to the Arkansas,  West to the Colorado and countless places in between.

And with the bed now empty I noticed something else. The dirt.

The dirt that didn’t used to be there. As I grabbed a push broom to clean it out, the dust that rose and hit me in the face also had a story I realized. From Deckers to the Dream Stream, Cheesman Canyon, the Bighorn, Madison, Clarks Fork, Bitterroot, Gallatin, Willow Creek, Arkansas, Eagle, Colorado, Fraser, and the Blue-  this dust and dirt was serving as further physical reinforcement  to the memories these places helped create over the past year.

Nearly 4 hours later and I was done.  Freshly scrubbed and polished, the interior smelled like Armor All and the exterior shined like it hadn’t in months. Not an empty Coors can or chik-fil-a receipt could be found anywhere.

I stood there admiring my handiwork for a moment and I’m not going to lie- it looked pretty damn good.  However, even in the glow of a shiny clear coat I could only think of one thing….man I can’t wait to go get it dirty again.

Kyle Wilkinson
Gink & Gasoline
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4 thoughts on “I’ve Got A 6 Foot Bed That Never Has To Be Made.

  1. When I started trout fishing again, after many years of not doing it, I came to realize just how much I adored my PU truck bed. I lined it with carpet, got a roll up cover for it to keep it dry, and even imagined myself sleeping in it streamside. I made a rack for all my rods to hang, not just roll around, so I hear ya! I’ll be getting the space super clean for another season soon. You’re not as crazy as you might think……….I get it!

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