Aug 28, 2015 at 10:04 am #88951Mike ClineMember
Last Sunday I was fishing a valley section of the Gallatin River with my kayak. Most of the water in the valley reaches is surrounded by private land and does not get many floaters because of low water and wade fishing only regs. As I worked my way up a rather turbulent, but small side channel, I noticed a fly rod hanging in the current by the tip. It was a fully rigged setup, fly in keeper and reel enclosed in a neoprene case. At first glance it looked pretty derelict as is was covered in moss and slime so it must have been in the river for sometime. When I got to it and examined it closely, it turned out to be a 9′ 5wgt Winston BIIIX with a nice Ross reel. Nothing was damaged or broken that I could see, so I got it untangled and broken down, and put in the kayak to take home. You don’t stumble across $1100 worth of fly rod and reel every day.
I assumed it had fallen out of someone’s boat as they floated the river. Once at home, I cleaned up everything and the whole thing was in perfect shape. I called Winston with the serial number and they graciously provided the necessary information to contact the registered owner, which I did. From this point the story got interesting. The rod belonged to an angler in Utah. The first time I talked to him, he was very appreciative of me returning the rod to him, a rod at the time he didn’t realize was lost. After a a bit of investigation on his part, it was determined that his brother-in-law had the propensity to borrow his gear without telling him about it. The brother-in-law took the rod to fish in the Grey’s River, Wyoming earlier in the year. At some point the rod was left in an unlocked vehicle and stolen by someone. Of course the brother-in-law didn’t inform the owner of the loss, hoping to save enough $$ to buy a replacement first.
Of course we still don’t know how the rod made it to Montana and ended up lost on the Gallatin, but I was happy to return it to its registered owner and entertained as well that the sneaky brother-in-law got burned.
Strategy without Tactics is a Slow Route to Victory, Tactics without Strategy is the Noise Before Defeat - Sun TzuAug 28, 2015 at 12:21 pm #88952Bob RigginsMember
You’re a good man Mike. How many people would go to that much trouble to return a rod? Just look at the string of possession, borrowed without permission, stolen from a truck, found hanging from a tree, returned to the owner with much effort. That’s a 33.3% honesty ratio. Pretty sad.Aug 30, 2015 at 7:39 pm #88953Tim AngeliMember
That’s a great story Mike. Good on you for tracking down the owner. I dare say you’ve just topped up your bank of good fishing karma.Sep 3, 2015 at 7:36 am #88964Zach MatthewsThe Itinerant Angler
Man that’s an amazing story Mike. I’m wondering if the part about the rod being stolen wasn’t manufactured by the brother in law as a cover for losing the rod in a river in Montana, which also makes me question whether anyone else knew he was IN MONTANA?
ZachSep 9, 2015 at 10:49 am #88965Peter E.Member
Wow, very very cool.Sep 10, 2015 at 6:52 pm #88970JackMember
Great story!Oct 4, 2015 at 7:16 pm #88978David AndersonMember
Well done Mike and good man.
Bit of a drag for the brother in law though – but maybe a case of karma ? lol
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