June 2016

June 2016

Securing Your Valuables:
When I am traveling I’m always concerned on how to safely secure my valuables. Wearing a money pouch that can be concealed under your clothing is a must for me. Some pouches attach to your belt, while others are worn around the neck, waist or calf. These are particularly important if you're sleeping on a train or standing on a crowded subway.
I keep all my important documents and most of my money, in a money-belt that can be worn beneath my clothing in a manner that makes it invisible to casual observers and I do not carry all of my valuables in the same place, I keep a backup credit or debit card in a separate pouch from the one I'll be using most often. I know of some travelers who carry all their money and documents with them at all times not just when on the move. I like this policy as I never have to be concerned about my valuables at any time. In my travels I have seen travelers using the money belt, not hidden under their clothing — this is always good for a laugh, keeping your money belt on the outside of your clothing is asking for trouble.
If you're traveling with a companion, make sure each of you has some cash and a credit card on hand in case you're split up. If alone I will purchase a small amount of currency before I leave Canada, but I like to put all my expenses on my credit card. If I am gone more than a month, I will make a pre-payment on my credit card so I will not be charged the interest after the 30 days.
You should avoid disclosing the presence of this belt in public, so keep spending money in a pocket or elsewhere. Better to lose a few bucks once in a while than everything along with your passport. It is also advisable to keep a reasonable amount of currency well hidden in your luggage ($100 US bill) as something to fall back on. While most valuables should be safely hidden away, you may want to keep a small amount of local currency in a separate pocket or pouch where it's easily accessible; that way you're not flashing your cash each time you want to make a small purchase.
Changing or withdrawing large amounts of money minimizes the fees you'll pay to get local currency, but it also means you'll be traveling with far more cash—and larger bills—than you'd have on you at home. We've already talked about the virtues of dividing your money, but it's also wise to make smaller denominations of currency easily accessible. That way, you won't pull out the local equivalent of a $100-dollar bill while attempting to buy a 30-cent souvenir. You also won't have to reach down into your jeans to get more money from an under-clothing money pouch. Make money preparation part of your morning routine. As you're packing your bag, make sure you've got a variety of small bills and coins at the ready for purchases such as food, souvenirs, and attraction entry fees. Squirrel away larger bills in your money pouch.
One of the best places I carry money is in the top pocket of a shirt or inside a pocket (zipped) that's inside a pocket. I don't carry my money around in a big wallet. I take only what I need.
A big paper clip works well as a money clip and is a good way to deal with the large amounts of notes you end up with.
Another good tip is to make two copies of your passport, driver's license, credit cards, ATM cards and any other important documents you might be carrying. Leave one copy at home with someone you can reach in an emergency. Keep the other set with you in a safe place separate from the originals. Another option is to scan your documents into a computer as a PDF file and e-mail it to yourself, allowing you access to your documents from wherever you have an Internet connection.
When I am travelling on a bus (and my main bag is on the roof) or on a train, especially at night, I keep any small bags I have very close. Neither overhead racks nor under your seat can be 100% guaranteed safe especially if I end up dozing. If my bag does not have my full attention I will strap it around my leg or a simple and quick wire-lock will give me peace of mind and possibly save my trip from being seriously tarnished.
You might consider buying a travel wallet that you reserve specifically for travel. There's one simple reason for this: If you're the type of person whose day-to-day wallet is packed with cards — gym memberships, pre-paid coffee cards, frequent-buyer punch cards, and the like — the pockets are likely to be stretched out when you minimize the contents for travel. By having a travel-only wallet, your cards will have snug pockets that they can't slip out of accidentally. As an added bonus, you won't have to unpack and repack your day-to-day wallet; you can simply transfer what you need for your trip to your travel version
 

Huxley’s Run: 

I have, on a wall beside my desk, framed renditions of the Cameron’s Copper Clauser fly. There is an artist’s rendition of it on top, and a hand-tied specimen just below. It was done and given to me by Island Fisherman Magazine Publisher Larry Stefanyk. It is a prized possession, not just because of Larry’s exquisite artistic skills, but also because the fly was named after me. After, that is, I “borrowed” a few off of famed Courtenay angler and writer Bob Jones’s tying bench.
Every time I look at it, fond memories flood back of Bob’s irascible and compassionate character. And the connection he, Larry and I had over the years.
One of those memories is of a fishing trip to Quesnel Lake with Larry. We were hitting the fry migration and as Larry headed the boat along the shoreline, schools of fry could be seen scooting here and there. I smiled, knowing I had a whole fly box of fry patterns, including the CCC.
As we geared up, I noticed Larry putting on what appeared to be the ugliest black leech I had every seen, with two slim strands of red on each side. Being a good friend, I suggested he take a pic of my fry flies instead.
“No thanks Doc,” said Larry patiently. “But if you want to borrow one or two of mine, just let me know.”
I didn’t laugh out loud, much. And we started fishing.
After Larry caught his fourth beautiful rainbow. I changed flies. After he caught his fifth and sixth, I changed flies again. After his seventh, eighth and ninth rainbow, my tears were giving a distinctive salty taste to my beer.
Being the gentleman he is, Larry simply handed me one of his ugly looking leech patterns and together we had incredible fishing.
While we were busy playing rainbow after rainbow, we noticed two cruisers farther out in the lake. With downriggers. They had noticed us playing fish and soon started trolling close to where Larry had our boat zigzagging in and out of the shallows. But at their depth, they couldn’t get very close.
We paid them no mind until we got to the lodge for supper.
The owner of one of the boats came up to Larry and started a casual conversation, during which he showed Larry one of the plugs they were using and explained about attractor flashers they also had.
I watched Larry show more interest than he really felt. Then the guy said, “We caught two nice ones.” Larry congratulated him, but didn’t tell him we caught over 10 times that. It was like Larry was playing a fish.
And then the guy said, “Heh, we noticed you were catching a few too.” Larry didn’t take the bait, he just smiled and said, “Yes, we caught a few.”
The guy chatted with Larry a bit more and I just settled in to enjoy the battle.
“I tell you what,” said the guy holding out a plug to Larry, “why don’t you give this a try? It’s sort of a gentlemanly thing to do, you know, sharing tips and all.”
Larry took the plug and studied it for a moment before handing it back to the man. “No thanks,” he said, “but your welcome to try one of these.”
The guy’s eyes widened and then widened again when he saw in Larry’s palm one of those ugly black leeches.
The guy never even reached out for the fly. His previous look of success was now one of disdain. It was clear he thought Larry was putting him on. He looked down at the fly as if it was a small piece of dog poop, up at Larry’s smiling face, down at the fly and up to Larry’s smiling face.
He mumbled a “no thanks”, turned and went back to his table obviously disgruntled at what he thought was a joke.
“Nice,” I said to Larry. “Nice.”
“Can’t say I didn’t try,” said Larry, tucking the ugly black thing back in his fly box.

 

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