Every fly fisherman has their rig of choice. For me, my truck is not only a mode of transportation but an asset to my fishing game that more or less defines my ability to do the things I want to do. My rig takes me where I needs to go, gives me a place to sleep, and probably most importantly is a representation of who I am and what I do. Anyone who knows me personally knows that I have a great love for cars and trucks. I take great pride in what I drive and generally do not enjoy newer cars as they lack the unique allure that older vehicles possess (IE a beat to hell Mazda B2200). Recently however, with life coming up quick, I realized a need for a more practical, reliable vehicle, and I spent quite a bit of time shopping for the ideal car. During my shopping endeavors, I established a short list of things that I must have in order for my choice to be acceptable and found a car that perfectly met my needs, a 2000 Toyota 4Runner.
Below is that list and that car:
1: Man Pedal
I'm not really sure why, but I've always felt uncomfortable driving a car with an automatic transmission so this was the first thing I looked for in every potential vehicle. Manual transmissions are also much easier to maintain, more efficient, and way more fun to drive. Not to mention the ladies love a guy who can shift.
2: Lots of room for stickers
Need I explain further? No Fly Fishing rig would be complete without being covered in stickers and my 4Runner has two rear windows that are perfect for accommodating them.
3: Lots of room for gear
The 4Runner not only has tons of room in the cargo bay to store gear, but its also long enough to have a ceiling mounted rod rack that can accommodate my whole arsenal. There is even enough room in the back with my seats folded down to comfortably sleep.
Now I have nothing against domestic vehicles but I have had horrible experiences with every single one I have encountered, so naturally, it had to be a Japanese! In fact, I was only shopping Subaru's and Toyota for their world renowned reliability and off road capabilities. Not to mention Toyota trucks are hugely popular in the group of fly fisherman I hang out with here in Kansas city.
So far I've been really happy with my purchase and I expect to get many years, miles, and adventures out of my rig. It's really the ideal fishing vehicle and I would strongly recommend my 4Runner to anyone.