It started as a most innocent kind of thing. Slowly it grew. I did not fear it... I welcomed it. However, it has definitely become a problem.
I kind of know how Andy Rooney must have felt. Often he spoke of all the things that people sent him, things he really didn't want. In my case, people started sending or bringing me all kinds of fly fishing things, but, unlike Andy, I wanted the stuff. And, once I got those things I usually couldn't let go.
Looking back, I truly the believe the catalyst that served as an avenue on the path to becoming a fly fishing hoarder was a gift brought to me by the grandson of a man I knew. Grandson showed up and handed me a contraption and told me it was from his grandpa and that grandpa said it was a fly reel.
I looked at the contraption and it did not look anything like a fly reel. At that particular time I was remodeling a room and I place the "so-called" fly reel in a box in that particular room being renovated. At some time, that box was taken to the trash and that "so-called" fly reel - the one I was convinced wasn't a fly reel went to the landfill.
About six months later there was an article on antique fishing stuff in the outdoor section of the Sunday paper and lo and behold there was a picture of the contraption that grandpa had sent me. Turns out I had a Billingshurst fly reel in my hand and didn't know it.
As the thought of that fly reel going to a landfill somewhere overwhelmed me... I think I hit the breaking point and entered the world of fly fishing hoarding.
I have since not thrown a single fly fishing-related-anything away. The mountain of stuff is uplifting... the peak has yet to peak... I think I may need help.
Here are just a few examples of the stuff that is in the spare bedroom which is now known as the hoarding room.
There are hooks in hand crafted boxes.
There are hooks in cigar boxes.
Hooks just lying around here and there and everywhere.
There are boxes and boxes of finished flies wishing to take the plunge in the drink... the stew... the bath. Sad they have not received a baptism. Part of my sickness I guess.
And, the of course there is the famous Island Of Misfit Flies which is basically a 1980's era wood frame television (that actually still works) but is better served being the island. These are flies that have seen their better days... worn out, in need of a steaming, have become unraveled, or were simply a bad tie at the vise. I do not own the heart to discard them.
Pretty sad huh? This is the organized chaos of a disorganized mind. Trust me, I know where everything is on this tying table. If anyone, and I mean anyone, tries to rearrange it... it screws me up beyond belief.
Back to my thoughts that I know how Andy Rooney felt with people sending and bringing all kinds of stuff. Like Andy, I have become an old curmudgeon, but, unlike Andy, I do want the stuff.
If what you have seen so far is disturbing... just wait. Being at the point of wanting to share my affliction with the rest of the fly fishing world, I will open up more in the next chapter.
There is a new career field these days I understand called "Professional Organizers" and they help people with hoarding problems.
I say I want help, but, perhaps I don't. I really like fly fishing stuff.
Nobody touch a damn thing!