Michigan, lower peninsula, about 1947, my dad was
furious. One of his very good buddies was killed
that day while fishing; he was furious because his
friend had been so incredibly stupid.
There has been some mention at times on the bulletin
board here lately about 'packing heat' while fishing.
Some are for it, others not. That is not the point
here. To each his own on that one. I have stories I
could tell which might support both sides of that
question. My point here is that you could get shot
The person, I will call him Rodney, was using spinning
gear with worms on Michigan's Rifle River for steelhead
in the fall. The river was well known for a fine run but
in those days there were few who ventured out due to the
rather crummy weather at that time of year. It also
happened to be a day when the deer season was open,
white-tails, cedar swamp dwelling creatures. The Rifle
River runs through a cedar swamp.
You have to understand this was before they had invented
blaze-orange for hunters, the best offered were red-plaid
Woolrich type coats. Rodney worked for the telephone
company, outside all day, everyday. He had the outdoor
clothing of the day for the average outdoor worker.
Carhart. I think most of you know the color, fawn tan.
He was not close to any town, steelhead rarely are. On
his belt he had a metal worm can, most will remember them,
green things, belt loops, flip top lid. A fellow hunting
deer saw him through the cedars and as Rodney was moving
very slowly, the guy touched off a round from a 30.30 The
shot spoiled the worm can. Rodney did not make it.
I write this now to remind you that when you are fishing
in an area, even if it is only open to shot-guns, or even
archery, although I don't expect there is a great chance
of you getting mugged, give some thought to what you are
wearing at that time of year. So often we get all wrapped
up in our own sport and fail to realize that others may
be sharing the outdoors with us. Blaze-orange fly fishing
vests anyone? Let's all be careful out there.
~ James Castwell