About 15 years ago I inherited the ash wood pack basket depicted in the attached picture from my Grandfather. Through the years this handy tool has accompanied me on many adventures into the wilds of Maine in pursuit of all manner of fish from great to small. There is a story to be told about the hard water fisherman and his personal choice of equipment conveyance. On a typical ice fishing outing all manner of device can be seen from 5 gallon plastic buckets, sleds and of course most typical and interesting of all the ash wood pack basket. Obviously, I am very jaded and opinioned with my outlook toward the “synthetic” crowd. These phonies skip around the ice with their plastic buckets in hand swinging them like a freaking purse. Of course I am totally poking fun so if anyone uses one of the synthetics please drop a comment defending yourself!
My particular basket is an heirloom and before it came under my charge it served close to (and I am guessing) 20 or more years under the care and supervision of my Grandfather. The old potbelly design is not typical of most of the pack baskets I see kicking around between my friends and none have close to the character of this old workhorse. As I look at many of the “modern” pack baskets many are already showing the signs of just 5-6 seasons of use. I have to wonder what has happened with the quality of the workmanship and the materials involved in creating these once amazing masterpieces. I wonder if in our disposable society “good enough” is what we have resorted to?
With barely any signs of perceptible wear I ponder if someday my two boys or maybe even their sons will one day fight over who inherits old Granddaddy Hitching's/Vose’s ice fishing pack basket!
For more on selecting and buying a packbasket click HERE.