These Boots

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Photo by Justin Pickett

Photo by Justin Pickett

By Justin Pickett

Tossed in the back of my truck for the ride home, they find their place amongst my gear.

Purchased for future fishy adventures, these boots will see their share of waterborne excursions.

They are made of synthetics; rubber, nylon, plastic, metal.

These boots wait for duty, standing out against the grimy gear strewn about. 

Streamside. Strapped. Solid. Secure. My steps are confident.

These boots’ first strides along my home water’s banks are welcomed.

Lugging my heavy, clumsy feet without complaint, they do their damnedest to keep the rubber side down.

These boots have tread along the banks of waters big and small. The Piedmont. The Rockies. The Appalachians. Patagonia.

Freestone streams. Tailwaters. Wild. Not so wild. An impromptu, low country flood tide.

These boots have scaled waterfalls, hiked paths less traveled, and blazed a few of their own.

They have been there for the highest of highs, and my biggest of falls.

These boots have chased tiny natives, waded ancient riverbeds, and pounded the pavement of urban jungles.

They have been beaten, battered, and bruised, yet remained steady.

These boots have fled from moose, bear, bighorn sheep, two angry heifers, and one dank skunk.

They have felt the tingle of adrenaline surging to my toes as my drag screamed.

These boots have traveled thousands of miles by ground, air, water, and other odd ways in between.

They have been there and done that, no need for t-shirts.

These boots have carried me on my most memorable trips, with friends both old and new. 

They have lugged the weight of new species, new accomplishments, and new goals.

These boots have wandered me away, yet always guide me home time, and time, again.

They wait for duty, standing out against the grimy gear strewn about, but for different reasons this time.

These boots have served their time, and seen better days. 

They show tattered threads, broken seams, and scars from the abuse of my fearless feet.

These boots will sit this one out. There is a new pair to lead my way.

With any luck, these old boots will rub off on the new.


Justin Pickett
Gink & Gasoline
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3 thoughts on “These Boots

  1. so are you replacing them with the same pair? I am looking at the Korkers dark horse. Are you sticking with korkers?

  2. I can so relate to this article. I have been fortunate enough with my work travels to be able to use my boots in every fishy destination I have ever wanted to explore. My fish-stalking travels, to name a few, include my home state of Louisiana, Laguna Madre in Texas, the Pacific Northwest, Colorado, EVERY coastal city and town on both coasts of Florida, the Florida Keys, and several Caribbean stalks. My boots currently stalk the home flats of the Florida panhandle. The retired ones are always passengers in my truck just in case I come across an unexplored “interesting area” on my daily grind!
    Great article!

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