I have a lot of respect for people like this guy, Dave, who is documenting his quest to catch native species of trout in California here on his blog. Here, he describes one trip where he hikes for fifteen miles to fish for one species. That'd be too much for most people and plenty for the rest. But Dave then adds a 3-night backpacking excursion through rugged California mountains, dodging lightning storms, watching out for rattlers and shooing scorpions out of his firepit.
Then there are guys like Zach, who took a harrowing trip to Brazil to fish the Xingu river for peacock bass, but ended up with all sorts of bizarre beasts on the line including piranha and something called a sabre-toothed payara that absolutely looks like it should be long extinct. The first several days he and his fishing party were there, they did not fish for peacocks, because the water was very, very high and the peacocks would be hanging out under the flooded trees. Which, of course, is where the anacondas hang out.
My point in all this, is that I love the outdoors. But I am starting to realize the stark difference between loving the outdoors and being a real outdoorsman. My idea of roughing it is to hike several miles, battle some briar bushes, head back to the car a little too close to dark and, a couple times a year, stay in a really awful motel to rest up and do it again the next day. But my roughest nights still always include beer and advil and food and cigars and cell phone calls and a few channels on the TV.
Who knows, a new year is nearly upon us and it's resolution time. Maybe this year I'll venture out a little farther, sleep in a tent, rig my 3-weight by campfire light and really rough it every now and then. I don't doubt it will be good for me. As long as I don't venture into scorpion/anoconda territory.