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Don’t keep worms in your pockets

No one will ever accuse me of being a fashionista, at least not before I learned what the word really meant.

Heck, I thought it would demand swords at dawn to defend my honor, but after I Googled the word I learned it meant someone obsessed with proper fashion. No worry about me being called obsessed with fashion so put away he swords.

My obsession with fashion ends with donning a clean T-shirt and jeans. During hunting and fishing seasons I even let that slide by more than my mom would have liked, and now my dear wife has taken over where my mom left off.

It’s not that I’m a slob, I just tend to be comfortable, and I no longer need to impress clients. So once I retired I also retired my selection of neckties and sport coats, but I do have a wardrobe selection that fits my outdoor lifestyle. No one would consider my outdoor wardrobe to be high fashion, but it has become extensive as I strive to match the changing seasons. After all, we live in Ohio where game seasons and weather seasons change several times over the year.

To match the seasons my shoe choice might not be as extensive as Imelda Marcos’ but I need a selection. Right now it is hot out, and those heavy hunting boots that I wear on winter hunts would certainly be a poor choice to wear on my boat. The boat requires lightweight foot covering to protect from the hot deck, but don’t ever try to ride on my boat wearing your winter clodhoppers. Of course the summer sandals would not do well in the snow drifts during winter deer season.

During summer, shorts are almost mandatory and I have a preference. My favorite shorts are made from a fabric I call cotton duck but then I know very little about style and materials.

These shorts do have cargo pockets and give me a way to carry much of the paraphernalia I need to fish, such as a knife, and even a cell phone that I struggle to use. I no longer keep worms in my pockets since my mom found them in my jeans after running them through her ringer. She was not happy.

Of course proper outdoor attire must be broken in to be useful. Someone once bought me a pair of fishing pants with zippers to take off the pant legs to make a pair of shorts. They are nice. but too nice to wear for fishing. So they hang in the closet until I do my version of dressing up.

What these pants need to become useful for fishing is a coating of catfish slime. Or maybe I could rub a bit of dirt on them. A couple of washings could turn them into my favorite pants … as long as my dear wife remembers to check the pockets for fish bait before she puts them in the washing machine.

So would you call me a fashionista, or even someone who is fashion conscience? I doubt it, but when it comes down to my hunting and fishing apparel, I can be quite selective. Camo clothing is worn for hunting season, except when hunter orange is required for safety. For fishing, lightweight shirts are worn and sometimes long sleeves are needed to guard against the harsh rays of the sun. Sunburn is not fun.

One particular item is always needed for summer fishing and that is a life jacket or PFD (Personal Flotation Device). A PFD should be considered your most important fashion statement. It might not make you become the best dressed angler on the lake, but it could save your life.

PFDs have come a long way from the bulky Mae West life jackets of years past and are now lightweight and do now restrict you fishing movements.

I now wear one nearly all the time, and should never be without it.

Fishing and hunting demand specialized clothing, so give a lot of thought to what you need for each situation and you might just be someone who understands outdoor fashion.

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