Legend of Lost Rod

by Timothy,

There’s a fishing story in my family that is the tale to tell when reminiscing of old lakes and past rods.

During the months after ice out, Lake Trout will swim up out of the depths they normally hide in and hunt the shallow water in search of young rainbow trout. It’s during this time that shore fisherman can test their tackle against some of the hardest fighting fish that freshwater has to offer. Being so carnivorous, the standard bait for lake trout is chunks of cut Sucker meat lashed upon a treble hook. The meat is large and heavy enough to be casted far distances without the use of any extra weight.

Fishing in this way means constant attention to the rods because these fish pick up the meat and tear off towards the darker water. It’s easy to imagine the small whales perusing down the shoreline just out of sight of our eyes. Once in a while, one of them will cruise down right in front of us and elicit shouts of excitement. These shouts grow louder when the fish fly through the water like gray torpedoes after schools of baby trout. Their huge toothy mouths open wide and completely engulf their prey. It’s amazing to see the few moments it takes for one more fish to be taken out of the pool.

It was on a hunt for these fish where the legend began. I was young. Young enough to tangle my line into knots even Houdini couldn’t escape. Inevitably, my father would walk over and proceed to untangle whatever mess I had made with exclamations of “How did you manage to do this?” coming from his lips.

During the entire trip everything had gone smoothly. We each had a few fish to our name and the weather was offering the perfect conditions to peer through the water. My family had decided to join my father and I that day but they wandered off through the woods surrounding the lake and left the fishing to the two of us.

Normally, my approach to fishing is to have one bait rod sit on shore and then I take a lure rod and walk the shoreline nearby. When fishing high mountain lakes, my lure rod is inevitably my fly rod and so on this trip I casted an Elk Hair Caddis to rising trout while I kept a careful eye on my rock weighted rod. When a fish struck, I’d fly back over and set the hook.

As the day went on we had only managed decent sizes of fish mostly within the 16 inch range. None yet had surfaced that would pull line out in screaming runs.

A period of time passed where the sun was beating so strong that it pushed the shallow fish deeper into the water. We chased them down with further casts but the catching of them had considerably become less frequent. I contemplated checking my bait for the fourth time and as I reeled in, the line suddenly stopped. I tangled it.

I called to my father who had been in the midst of reeling in his own bait and he set his rod down over a bundle of coiled line sitting on shore.

He teetered among the rocks toward me and took the rod from my hands to untangle the mess I had made.

Suddenly, there was a frantic clattering of rocks behind him and he jumped in surprise enough to drop my rod and sprint to his. The coiled line was whipping out into the water at lightning speed and the rod went with it moments before my father reached it. He took several frantic steps into the water before running back out and letting out a groan.

I ran up the sloping hill and perched on a rock so I could look out further into the lake.
There, in the deeper water, was the slender shape of a white rod being pulled steadily through the water and within moments it was swallowed into the depths.

We never did see that rod again.

Remembering the Inlet

by Timothy

This story represents my unorthodox introduction to fly fishing.

We fished all day with only one skinny brown trout to show for our efforts that barely made our 10 inch minimum rule. ( Anything below 10 inches doesn’t count towards the daily fish count.)

The day itself just felt dead and lifeless. The sun beat down relentlessly and even the wildlife seemed to be taking to their hidden shelters.

I was hot, tired, and my hands twitched like an addict suffering withdrawals. We had tried everything, yet neither bait nor lure seemed to make a difference.

It was the end of the day and the yellow-orange glow of sunset bathed the scene in one small consolation for our time spent.

As we began to consider our departure, a man walked up from behind us and asked if he could take our spot. We obliged and packed our things but continued to putter around the area for a while and observe him.

I recognized his attire immediately; waders, fly rod, fishing vest. A fly fisherman. This was intriguing to me as at this stage of my fishing career I had not yet attempted fly fishing. His obvious goal was the inlet mouth that ran, inaccessible to us, a small way away from the sandbank we stood on.

I felt like an audience member to a concert, watching on in envy over the spectacle before me that I had not the power to experience myself. I yearned to feel the cool flow of water around my legs and the power of a stream that ran freely for miles upon miles until it ended up trapped in the man-made lake.

The ripples spun off as his legs broke the waters movement and the gentle sloshing was loud enough to be heard even as he walked away from us.

As if cued by a hidden voice, the fly fisherman stopped and unpinned the fly from the rod and whipped it out in front to begin his casting. It was magic.

A great Heron in human form. Gracefully moving through the water, eyes locked on a sub-surface point only known to him. The line unfurled behind his form like great wings and flew forward in the looping arc credited as one aspect of fly fishing’s unique beauty.

The man was silhouetted by the orange sun, a natural painting. The last cast settled upon the water and the man’s figure froze, save for the hands that drew up the coiled line as it drifted towards him.

All this is now familiar to me; the wading, casting, and stripping of line is just second nature to a fly fisherman. In this moment however, I noticed each piece separately as they began to seamlessly flow together into a dance. A choreographed work of art took place before me, highlighting the connection between this man and his chosen prey.

As I continued to watch, a desire sprung up from within me to fly fish. To experience for myself the majesty of this pursuit. This feeling was made stronger by the man’s next cast.

It was not unique compared to its predecessors. The line flew and fell like snow on the water’s surface. This time however, the fly at the end of the line vanished in the deft swipe of a trout’s mouth.

The line snapped off the water’s surface and spray wafted through the air as the hook was set. The rod was bent. The arms were raised.

This was the second moment of awe. This lone man had accomplished in a ten minute span what a group had tried to achieve in a day.

“What power there is in fly fishing!” I thought.

I yearned to shed my socks and shoes and walk out to the man, not exactly sure what I would do whilst beside him. See the fish? Ask what fly he used? Surely at this point this man was a celebrity in my eyes. A fly fisherman.

Though I don’t know who he was and never exchanged words enough to find him again, he gave me my love for fly fishing. Something that I will never take for granted and continue to pursue until the day I die.

10 Things to Know When Hunting With a Gun

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As in all practices, gun hunting has its own share of rules and challenges which would render the hunter ineffective if not considered. Depending on the destination of your hunting expedition, there are diverse considerations and plans to employ before undertaking the art of hunting with a gun in the first place.

10 thing your know when hunting with gun
10 Things you need to know when hunting with a gun.
In this article we will present some useful tips which all gun hunters should keep in mind as they embark on their quest to harvest wild game. 

Ten things to consider:

1. Get a license
You need a hunting license and permit for the game you are going to hunt. Stay out of trouble and make sure you follow the laws and regulations in your jurisdiction and make sure you carry your credentials with you. Also, guns being lethal weapons, require that you have safety training before putting them to use. In many parts of the United States hunting without safety training is strongly discouraged, if not illegal. 

2. Have the requisite knowledge
Your state may also require hunters to enroll in hunter safety education programs, which are offered in different areas.

3. Carry all you need
Gun hunting being what it is requires a great sense of preparation and planning. It may be wise to carry your gear in a backpack. It doesn’t matter where you are hunting, something may arise which may call for the use of the materials you carry. You can keep your guns in the Best gun safe for the money and you may also want to stock any accessories you may need.

4. Ensure the gun is clean
Gun cleaning is a process of its own where gun handling is concerned. At every instance when the gun has been used, cleaning it prepares it for the next hunting trip. Cleaning the gun is additionally important as it allows the gun to last longer and remain in the proper condition for optimal performance.

In the process of cleaning, it is imperative to have the right assortment of tools which will help you remove each of the parts and allow them to be well wiped and oiled before being assembled again.

Guns are cleaned well when using the right solvent and lubricant, which the hunter has the prerogative to choose among the different solvents and lubricants for cleaning guns.

The use of brushes and cleaning rods is common. Scrub the solvent into the open areas of the gun to eliminate dust and powder residue which may render the gun inoperable. When all is done, the gun is coated with a rust proof material, or lubricant, to shield it from rusting as it is being put into use or being stored for the next use.

5. The shot
All gun hunters need to know where and how to take the right shot. There are instances when the standing position may disadvantage the hunter. However, the right place to aim at is usually the heart, whether you are standing atop a cliff or below the cliff.

Aiming at a moving animal is difficult and should only be attempted after the hunter has taken a stable position. Most shots on the legs of the animal will make the animal suffer and will not provide the desired result. 

6. Don't call their attention
Game in the wild have sharp instincts and may hear even the slightest movement. Consider wind direction when positioning yourself to take shots.

Park your vehicle and walk into your hunting area to avoid making noise that may alert game to your presence. At times, the use of horses will be a great asset to enable the hunter to cover more ground.

Above all, don't make any assumptions. Don't underestimate the ability of the game to smell you and dash off before you have an opportunity to take a good shot.

7. Cover ground until you locate game
At times, the game migrates and it is imperative for the hunter to move until the animals are located. Most gun hunters, because of the diverse accessories they have at their disposal are able to close the distance between them and the game. By doing this, the hunter is able to spot many animals before choosing the right one to harvest.

8. Acquire the best optics
For the sake of vision, getting the right lenses is an important step toward having the best sight of the game in question. At times, using cheap optics may cause your hunting expedition to end in failure, or at minimum cause problems that could be avoided with quality optics.

Good optics, allow you to spot the game father away and enable you to aim appropriately, thus, helping in reducing wastage of gun powder and cartridges. Your budget for optics plays an important role in ensuring your gun hunting success.

9. Be ready to fail
However strong your hope of coming back with your trophy game animal, know that the success rates in hunting are not very high. Many are the times when experienced hunters and even professional hunters come back with no game.

10. Stay within the confines of the law
Do not be tempted to break hunting laws due to the potential for failure or any other reason. Keep within the established regulations to avoid the revocation of your hunting license, fines, jail time, confiscation of your weapons, etc.


By following the guidelines above, many gun hunters have increased their chances at harvesting their targeted game. Gun hunting involves important investments which will allow the hunter to succeed.

Be safe and follow the laws and regulations of the area you hunt. Regulations are important for the conservation of game resources.

Author biography: I am Harvey Specter, I love hunting and writing and want to share my passions with anyone who is interested. I will gladly research and write to share my knowledge and passion for hunting with people who share my enthusiasm for this sport.

Happy Hunting!

For Our Future

by Timothy,

I love the fisherman’s high. At a very young age I was lucky enough to have a father who took me fishing and a mother who supported my outdoor endeavors. Some of my fondest memories are set within casting distance of a body of water. As a result, I have grown with an appreciation of the outdoors and nurtured qualities such as those that a fisherman would have. I grew patience waiting for a bite, respect when handling a fish, and, most important of all, a desire to show others why I love what I do.

This is not just a fishing story or how-to or wistful musings from times of old. This is a plea from a member of the next generation to show all of us, fisherman or not, your secrets, values, and passion.

I am a young man born and raised in Colorado who knows all too well other addictive mediums that kids in my age group use. They look for some sort of escape or fulfillment in their lives that they have trouble finding. Some end up glued to television screens and game controllers living viscerally through their online persona. They fall out of touch with their real lives and lose knowledge of what lives they could lead. Some end up plastering their faces on social media to find personal satisfaction in stranger’s comments and “likes”. Others still will resort to violence and misbehavior for the excitement and attention gleaned from overt acts. All end up detached from the outdoors as a personal outlet.

One of my close friends, prior to taking him fishing, told me, “My parents say that we’re a hotel family.” He was not young, not poor, not disabled. His family came down a long line of “hotel people” and he was set on a path that life, modern life, has handed to him. All his life lead to believe that going fishing is boring and when you go you never catch anything anyway so why bother. His few trips, to no one’s fault, were done in ignorance. Wrong bait, wrong tackle, wrong place, wrong time, throwing rocks, swimming dogs the list is endless.

Well on our trip, he went with a fisherman. Now he ties the rigs and baits the hooks that catch the fish he’s looking for. One trip. The birth of a fisherman. Now he has actually experienced the fulfilling sport of fishing and asks me to take him more. Now the problem is that although I have showed him our sport I cannot always be there to support his growth. His parents do not take him and his family does not fish so that it falls to me to give him the opportunities to make more memories. On another note, he has told more friends about his experience and they want to go as well. I do not have the time nor the money to stage a one man movement to teach the world to fish.

As much as I would like to live my life abiding by the rules of the old proverb (see below) I cannot do this alone. I know that I was born fortunate, into an outdoor oriented family, and had many positive experiences and opportunities to form them. Others are not and will never be given this chance.

Some fish for different reasons, by different means, holding different values, but residing in the core of all of us lies the hook for a hobby that can last a lifetime.

Believe me when I say that among my age group, rare it truly is to see a fisherman. Not one who “has been fishing before” but one who fishes for life. I see it in the midst of fishing trips. All those I see are mostly grown-men, many who are aging and grew up in a time when the outdoors was synonymous with everyday life.

In today’s culture we see a trend where living inside is safer or more normal than spending time outside. This being the case, I see that fishing is a very powerful catalyst for getting someone outside and them growing a fondness for being there.

To me, fishing is much more than catching fish or competing for size or eating everything on the end of the line. If that’s why you fish, more power to you. However, I fish for memories.

Years from now I will not remember the time I spent watching T.V. or playing call of duty. There was a time I heavily did. I will remember the evening with my father when we had an elk herd run in front of the car, illuminated by just our headlights and the slowly rising sun. I will remember the smile on my friend’s face fighting a huge fish all on his own and holding it up for his victorious picture. I will remember, and appreciate, my mother driving me to and from lakes and ponds many times at the drop a hat and always asking me, “Did you have fun?” This is because I do have fun, and I want to show others the same.

The success and growth of these values relies on the “breeding” of more fishermen. If they are not born, fishing will not live. It is in my humblest opinion that we are endangered, and it is solely up to us to save our bloodlines.

Take someone fishing. Sacrifice some of your time and grow the roots for the future of our sport.

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

In both body and soul.

Lessons From a Hookless Fly

by Timothy

Usually, at least for me, holding the fish is the point where the high from fighting it begins to wane. The heart thumping excitement from hook-set and tight lines is what really gets the adrenaline going.

Now, I wouldn’t portray myself as a meat hunter, but I’m not a puritan either in that I use barbed hooks and seldom pinch it down. There are times however, that the situation would appropriate a barbless hook.

On a past trip to the mountains I stood on the edge of a flirting, diamond-clear lake. I bent to slowly run my fingers through the water and watched the ripples spread throughout, shaking leaves that had sailed on unseen currents until my disruptive arrival.

My careful eye focused through the water and looked for the telltale signs of life. A shadow here, a flash there.

The mocking breeze muffled the clarity of the water's surface and I stood up, confident in the information I had gathered.

Like a sprinter taking in his last breath, I stilled mine and focused on the ghosting fog over the water’s surface. I inhaled the light air that swirled around me and took a moment to enjoy the scenery, drinking in the cool morning persona of the mountains.

Drawing upon this energy, I focused my attention on a submerged tree stump 30 feet out from my place on land. Out of respect for the land I was about to fish, I opted to pinch down the barb on my fly, a Copper John, and did so prior to tying it on.

The first few casts resulted in nothing; no telltale twitch in the line. I didn’t worry however, it only takes a single trout to come cruising by and let its curiosity test my fly.

I fell into the rhythm of fan casting. Starting off to the left of the stump and working my way right, I fished the fly slowly in steady pulls interspersed with quick frantic jerks and long pauses to let the fly sink into the blue depths.

While this patient vigil kept on, it was hard not to notice the environment- the great birds soaring overhead on unseen currents not unlike those that are formed in the water. The frantic splash of trout chasing after caddisflies. Great mountains mirrored on the lake's surface.

The wonder was cut short by the tick-tick-tick gunfire on my rod hand and I set the hook in a sweeping motion so as not to snap my thin tippet. Or rather, I tried to set the hook.

For a few brief moments I felt the weight of the fish and saw the bend of my rod. There was enough time to get my heart pumping before the hook came free and snapped up out of the water.

To be frank, I was sincerely perplexed.

Not often does it happen that my opponent gets the better of me. Especially with the relatively small size of fish that swam this lake.

Bad hook-set.

I silently berated my beginner folly.

Casting out a few more times, I managed a second chance.

I failed.

Every step of the process was perfectly aligned for me to land this fish and yet the same thing occurred. Twice in a row!?

I knew that it wasn’t a product of snapping the fly off on my hook-set because my fly was still on the rod after each failure.

I decided to pass it off on my strike being too early and tried once more to catch a fish.

By this time my heart was positively hammering! The fish were there and indeed biting, so I was excited by the prospect of catching a large amount of these beautiful Brook Trout.

Third time's the charm. I hope.

A few casts later, indeed I hooked up again. The rod bent, the silver flank flashed, the heart skipped, my breath caught, time slowed down, and…

The hook flew out into the clouds.

Needless to say I was reduced to a crying mess. Three fish in a row I missed. No way is it me. Too many missed chances.

My fly, the Copper John - The curved nature of the hook defines its purpose, to get caught in the prey’s mouth thereby trapping it on line to rod. 
I reeled in all the coiled and slacked line on shore and inspected the fly. It appeared that I had snapped the very tip of the hook off, right after the bend. So, there was just enough bend left to lodge for a few moments into the fish’s mouth- the few moments that made me think my hook-set was at fault.

I learned a valuable lesson that fateful day on the bank of that lake; be gentle and respectful to the tools you use no matter how excited you are to use them.

Timothy is a regular contributor at My Hunting & Fishing. He is also an author at TheOutLife.

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