The I’ll just lay my rod here for a minute mistake

by | Sep 14, 2018 | 66 comments

People do the same things. The instincts of fishermen find identical paths upstream through the river — watery trails lead to the best water with the greatest efficiency. You can easily see where everybody else fishes. And I guess the flies and tippet-tangles in streamside branches signal that we all make the same casting errors too. Presented with the same problems, fishermen come up with the same solutions, and we make the same mistakes.

That’s all pretty harmless and kind of fascinating. But then there’s that thing we (all) do where we leave our rod on top of the vehicle and drive away. WTF?

I have to stop it. I had a pretty nice run of consistency where I wouldn’t allow myself to lay the rod on the roof rack. I just didn’t do it for a few years — no matter what. But lately I’m back at it:  Ya know, I’m just gonna lay this there for a minute. . .  My friend, Rene, says things like that open up a new mental pathway. If you make the mistake once, you’ll probably do it again soon enough. This happens to me when I forget the zipper on my pants, too. I create a new bad habit and can’t seem to remember the basics in life. Does the zipper thing happen to anyone else?

It seems everyone I fish with has a tragic story about leaving his rod on the roof of the vehicle. So I wonder, do I just fish with a bunch of dummies, or does this foolishness cross the spectrum of anglers?

My buddy, Sloop, lost the whole deal one day and never recovered it: rod, reel, line, leader. A thousand-dollar investment sliding right off the top of his car as he pulled away. Unaware, he probably had that happy Sloop John B. smile on his face too. He realized it about an hour later. No, it wasn’t in the lot when he went back.

My uncle left his rod on the tonneau cover of his pickup. Again, the whole rig. Got home, unpacked his gear and his heart sank. He never found it either.

Same with Phillip: Rooftop. Forgot. Drove away. Lost and never found.

Darkness makes the chances of recovery worse. Dad and I drove slowly back to camp one night, climbing the long road of dirt and limestone after a good evening of fishing. We dropped the dusty tailgate to unpack, and that’s when Dad realized what had happened. He’d left his fly rod on the rooftop. We spent the next two hours shining dim flashlights and bright headlights into the roadside brush, retracing the path, cursing and hoping. Our situation was better than most because we knew for certain the rod was somewhere within that one mile stretch of road. No one else had gone up or down the mountain and neither had we, so the fly rod had to be there — somewhere. With persistence and some dumb luck, we found the rod and saved the investment.

If you get a little kick out of the misfortune of others (and you know you do) —  e.g., if you laugh at your fishing buddy when he falls in the river — then this is all kinda funny when it happens to somebody else.

I’ve never lost mine, but I’ve had some close calls. Last time, I pulled out of the lot at dusk, traveled about fifty yards and heard it fall:

Ker-clunk.

It took me another fifty yards of confusion to realize what happened. Then I stopped the truck in the middle of the road and jumped out. I ran back, raised my arms and frantically flagged down the approaching car behind me. I’m sure I seemed a little nuts, but I got him to stop instead of running over my fly rod.

I really must break this bad habit again. I’ve got to create a new pathway.

Just one question: Where are all the stories of guys finding this lost stuff — new rods and reels, all spooled up and ready to fish? Somebody out there must feel pretty damn lucky.

pat-burke-streamer-mouth-1200x

Photo by Pat Burke

 

Enjoy the day.
Domenick Swentosky
T R O U T B I T T E N
domenick@troutbitten.com

 

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Domenick Swentosky

Central Pennsylvania

Hi. I’m a father of two young boys, a husband, author, fly fishing guide and a musician. I fish for wild brown trout in the cool limestone waters of Central Pennsylvania year round. This is my home, and I love it. Friends. Family. And the river.

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66 Comments

  1. As I’ve gotten older I’ve become very absentminded, but I’ve never lost a rod. (knock on wood) But I have a terrible habit of taking off my tackle pack and laying it on the ground, thinking that I’m not going to far away. Then I start wandering and end up leaving it and never being able to find it. Human nature I guess.

    Reply
    • Howard, I found your pack! Ha. Actually, a couple years ago, on one of our local limestoners, I ran across someone’s pack just leaning against a tree near the trail. No one was in site, but I assumed the owner was coming back for it, so I left it there. That’s a strange habit, my friend.

      Reply
    • I put mine under the windshield wiper blade , I drive from fishing hole to fishing hole . I can always see it and the wiper holds my flyrod tight . Yes I put a $700 Winston BX2 under the wiper blade and have never lost it or damaged it .

      Reply
  2. I am considering writing another book titled: 50 ways to lose (or break)a rod. I’ve done the roof drop thing more than once. Here are a few more: Slammed in a screen door; Fell off a boat rod holder; Stood along the road during a shuttle; Backed over with my truck; Fell on it coming up a bank; Fell on it going down a bank, and many more! (I’ve been fishing a long time).

    Reply
    • Snapped off the tip when I closed the car window.

      Reply
      • Ditto Helios 2

        Reply
    • This makes me feel a little less like the only guy who would put a rod on a roof. I lost a new Powell rod years ago in the Gorge lot at Baree. Put it on my brother-in-law’s truck roof. Hope all is well with you, Bill. Last I talked with John he was fine in Florida, just baking in the sun.

      Reply
  3. I’ve had some close calls. Habits can be easy to pick up and hard to break, so I’ve made it a huge point to always disassemble my rod and put it in the tube, then put the tube away before I do ANYTHING else. Its become a habit, albeit a good one, to put the rod away first every time.

    Reply
        • Domenick
          A friend of mine ALWAYS puts his rod/reel on the front hood of his car or truck. He’s never had a problem driving away as it’s staring him in the face when he starts the engine.

          Reply
    • I did that just the other day. Put the rod in the tube, and the tube on the truck cover over the bed, got everything else organized, patted myself on the back for a job well done, and drove away. I heard it roll off and hit the ground fortunately. At least it was protected in its tube. We come out of the stream so tired, and reflecting on events of the day more than think things out completely.

      Love the blog!

      Reply
    • Smart man Mike.

      Reply
  4. God this was so cathartic reading this.
    Last May. On the way to my favorite stream. Going down mental checklist and packing car. it was going to be evening dry fly fishing followed by night flies after dark.
    “Dad, can you take me to Micah’s house?”
    “Uh sure.” (Darn, it’s way out of the way, I’m going to get there later than I thought.) “Make sure you guys are ready in 5 minutes”.
    Rapid-fire pack car. Get kids loaded up. Get son and friend dropped off. Head toward stream. My 40 minute drive is now a 60 minute drive.
    2/3 of the way there it hits me…I didn’t throw in my sling bag. No flies, no tippet, no net. Shit! How stupid can I be? (Read on to find out.)

    Turn around and head home. Maybe can salvage what’s left of the evening on a neighborhood stream.
    3 miles from house, a loud clunk on the roof. Like a rock or branch hitting the car. Drive another couple hundred yards. Or…maybe LIKE THE SOUND OF MY ROD LOCKER DOOR SLAMMING SHUT! Drive another 1/2 mile looking for a place to pull over.

    Yep. i drove about 50 miles with the rod locker door wide open. One rod (my 6 weight) gone. The other got slammed hard by the door on its way down. Luckily the door hit the reel seat so all I got was a dent in the wood on that one. Drove back to friends house looking for rod. Maybe reel still intact. Turned around and drove back toward stream, looking in ditches, along berm. You know how it ends. Somebody hopefully is enjoying my rod and reel. I put in over 100 miles that night. Never wet a line and ended up down one fly rod.

    So that’s how stupid I could be.

    I’ve lived in shame since that day. I thought I was the only one. The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem.

    My name is Bill and I’m a dumbass.

    Reply
    • Don’t be too hard on yourself, Bill. As Dom says, it’s a big club.

      Reply
  5. I left a reel in a parking lot. A friend found it returned it and I lost it again with in a week. I figured I wasn’t meant to have it. Never had something that stupid happen like that since. I’ve done the leave your stuff on the car and drive away thing before. Luckily I heard it fall off and stopped before going too far. I never buy expensive sunglasses because I always lose them. I also always leave a jacket at friends houses when I visit. It got to the point where people wouldn’t even call around when they found a jacket after a party. They just figured it was mine because I had done it so many times in the past.

    Reply
  6. I can still see the article title in my head, just as it appeared the day I read it in Outdoor Life back somewhere in the 70s:

    “Never Lay It Down”

    Thanks to that article and the impression it made on my underdeveloped teenage brain, I have thankfully avoided leaving anything important behind, for good. My sympathies to those of you who missed it.

    Reply
  7. I’m not big on losing stuff, but I have fallen in a northern Michigan river twice in the same spot two weeks apart.

    Late December the river was so clear I assumed it was knee deep and stepped in. It was more than knee deep. My hat froze on the walk back to my truck. Two weeks later I paused to observe the location of my error and a little piece of the frozen bank broke off. I swam again.

    Reply
  8. I’ve never lost a rod, yet. I’ve never shut a rod tip in the truck door, yet. But the timing of this topic is remarkable; I was bringing my three kayaks home from camp last night and when I got here there were only two on the rack. Luckily for me the roads leading home are logging roads and when I went back, there it was, lying in the middle of the road, no worse for it’s landing. I fear greatly the impending onset of oldfarthood and so I tend to my fly gear almost obsessively when I’m loading up. Apparently I don’t give a damn about the boats…

    Reply
  9. Never lost a rod, but I have a bad habit of leaving reels on the bumper. I’ve lost two Orvis Batenkill 3/4 reels doing this.

    Reply
  10. I never had this happen to me personally. But it did happen to one of my rods that I lent a friend years ago. He left it leaning against his truck “for just a minute” and then proceeded to back his truck over it. That bitch of it all was that I was a newbie back then 45 years ago and that was my only rod at the time.

    Reply
  11. Another brother of the open zipper here, but hey- we are FLY anglers all said and done. I do as Terry suggests, I put my rod on the bonnet (hood), vertical, sometimes with windshield wiper on the handle on a windy day, or I’ll lay it down across the hood-depends what rod it is. Some of the tricks I’ve pulled are- driving off leaving the garage door open (for a week once) welders, metalworking machines motorcycles all in plain sight-luckily never had anything go, one neat trick was having all my keys on the one bunch, opening the up and over garage door, and then searching all round for the keys, decided I was gonna have to walk the mile to my neighbours, pulled the garage door down and…………………………head butted it several times. My usual parking lot was full, so having parked elsewhere, I returned to my usual one, and of course, no car!!, went to the Gendarmerie to report it stolen, half way through making the report- it clicked where I’d left it- doh. I always try to put my rod vertical or at least somewhere where I won’t step on it when taking a break streamside. And I always try to remember to block the door open when taking my set up rods to the car.

    Reply
  12. Sounds familiar, same thing happened to me, lake erie east side tribs. Tip, I went to local bait shop, east side angler, great guy, have him my name and #. Guess what, some one picked up my rof, put ad in lost & found, bait shop saw it, called me. I went to finder and got it back . There are still some good eggs out there!

    Reply
  13. Been down the same road with “I’ll just lean my rod here for a minute.” Now, I ALWAYS walk to the front of my car and lay my stuff on the hood where I will see it when I start to drive away. So far, so good.

    Reply
  14. This article resonates. I have done it sadly more than once. One time facebook group in Pa saved me. Someone responded they found my rod and returned it free of charge.

    Another time I sat it next to the car and pulled over and didn’t realize for an hour and was half way home. Turned around and thankfully found it right next to where I was parked. Sadly I broke rod tip but only $40 to replace the ferrule. Much better than being out $400 for outfit or more.

    I am AWFUL at losing glasses and nippers too.

    Nice article and glad to see I am not the only one!

    Reply
  15. Almost…almost had this happen to me. Instead I’ve managed to crunch my rodtips in my passenger window when winding it up and forgetting I had my rods assembled sitting on that side of the car. I’ve bought 2 new tips so far…

    Quick fly fishing hack though: open the door to your gas cap and you’ve got a handy little rod rest when you’re messing around in the back of your car. Works like a charm and doesn’t cost a $.

    Reply
    • This IS a good idea! I try to lean my rod up against the car, sometimes it works, sometimes they fall to the ground. I like the gas door/holder idea. Thanks!

      Reply
      • I always lean my rod against the side of the car. Like you said, sometimes that doesn’t work. I will use the gas filler door from now on. A great idea! Thanx.

        Reply
  16. I fished with a guide about three weeks ago on the Yampa river in Steamboat Springs, CO and he swears he found a fully rigged Winston Boron rod. He posted a “found” item on Facebook and the owner who lost it was able to identify it. My buddy Marty, left his fully loaded vest by his truck, came back fifteen minutes later and it was gone. Someone is going to get bad fishing karma.

    Reply
    • We were floating away from the boat ramp on the Green River, rods on the bank, when a saviour alerted us. Not broken rods, but a near-disaster nonetheless!

      Anymore I don’t set up until I am streamside. Walking through brush with a 10 ft+ rod should be avoided of at all possible.

      Reply
  17. By an insane twist of coincidence, or maybe a little bit of salt ground into the wound, I lost my favorite little 2wt brookie setup this weekend on a trip by laying it on my roof and driving away.

    Reply
  18. Great stories, although most are very sad. I’m sweating just reading them, knowing these things could happen to me. Luckily, I’ve avoided such trajedies to far. I did leave my rod and tube on a train platform in Oslo last year. When I realized I didn’t have it with me, a wave of panic hit me like a thunder bolt. Nooo! “I traveled all this way to fish, carried that awkward tube with me on trains and planes, and now when I’m here I lose the bloody thing?!” I was on foot, so I hadn’t covered much ground without it. I found it where I had set it down on the platform. Most people probably had no idea what it was and just left it alone.

    Reply
    • I did something similar in an airport. I was already through security and realized that I didn’t check my rod through. I had to leave the secure area and hope that the rod tube wasn’t reported as a suspicious package. I expected to see a crowd of cops and tsa gathered around it, or just find it missing. But there it was, sitting all alone leaning against a pillar where I left it. Had to redo security, and they scrutinized the snot out of me because they thought it was strange that I came through twice, even though I explained why I did so.

      Reply
  19. I try to mitigate damage to my gear as much as possible. Especially as I’ve aged. I don’t lean my geared up rod in my open door or side of hatch back even though those places hold it perfectly. I also actually put away my rod in the holder when I leave. Even if I know I’m fishing later that day or the next day. I used to leave everything strung up and sticking out one of the windows if need be. I had a reel fly off the roof of my brother in laws car when I first met him. That was a great first impression. The reel was his and luckily we found it just as it was getting dark. I’m sure I’ll lose plenty of more things. I’ve lost fly boxes and plenty of tools by doing the “I’ll just set this hear for a minute thing.” Usually I’m so eager to get to fishing I don’t have the 10 seconds to put something back where it belongs.

    Reply
  20. I have attempted to learn from the horror stories of others….and put the whole rig on the hood of my car, no matter what the circumstance. I once lost a tip of a new Orvis rod to a slightly over-powered screen door at a friend’s cabin on Penn’s Creek. That incident changed the dynamic of the trip, suffice to say!

    Reply
  21. Always walk to your truck and first thing put the cork handle of your rod under your windshield wiper.

    Reply
    • That’ll work. Lately, I open my fuel door, and prop the rod up against it. It’s on the drivers side, so I can’t miss it before I leave.

      Reply
  22. I don’t feel as bad now. 1 rod reel and English orvis lost and line. 3 tips, latest in montana in june, rental car window. 2 full fly boxes and that’s all, . thank god I tie.

    Reply
  23. No rod mishaps, but did leave my lanyard on the ground, and realized when I backed over it that plastic tippet bars do not stand up to the weight of a Jeep.

    Reply
  24. About Zippers:

    I try to remember to keep my zipper DOWN when float tube fishing.

    Fumbling around in my waders when nature calls, (think coffee) , the pants zipper is an unwelcome obstacle.

    I try to remember to zip up after removing my waders.

    Reply
  25. Nothing lost- YET- but enough close calls in my relatively short time in this game to know it will happen- brand new 2wt all strung up left on parking lot rail after fishing it for the first time with GREAT success, “ just for a minute while I get my key out of the waterproof wader pocket” ; undressed, got in car, drove the (fortunately only ) 5 miles home, and realized- luckily it had started raining hard, and the rod was still on the rail intact! A friend fishing with me reminded me my 5 wt was on the car roof rack as I started to pull away after finishing our chat through my driver’s window! Said friend has broken 3 rods this spring, one in my presence , as he pressed the autowind button on his rear window – goodby rod tip section. I’ve left a full nymph box ( 50+ flies)on a stream-side park picnic table after rigging up in comfort- it wasn’t there when I came back downstream an hour later( but you knew that!)- lost another box 2 weeks later after stepping in a hole- in current, sling pack zipper open, 20 yard swim, 30+ dry flies gone !
    Lessons learned, I HOPE!

    Reply
  26. Had 1 close call and lesson learned (hopefully)- rod was on roof for safekeeping while packing up all the other stuff. Closed the hatch, started the car and put it in drive. Saw this funny / odd looking line above the windshield pointing forward. Took a second to understand that it as the rod still on the roof.

    My solution since then has to still put the rod on the roof as it seems safest there while packing up, BUT put the sun glasses and car keys up there, too, at the same time.
    Even my feeble mind will see the rod before I drive away.

    Reply
  27. I’m with Rob and others, it all goes on the hood now. Rod under the windshield wipers, pack on the hood. They get stowed after the waders come off. I’ve lost both a rod and a vest from the roof of vehicles. Never again. I hope.

    Reply
  28. Found an Orvis Helios rod with reel in about 3 feet of water on the Arkansas River last year. Guessing it fell off a boat. Local shop never found the owner, so I donated it to casting for recovery.

    Reply
  29. 2 full fly boxes lost same day, one broken rod while climbing a steep bank but the one that really got me was: This year, standing mid-stream in fast water, just after tying on a new, leader, tippet, 2 nymphs and anxious to start fishing, I nipped off the tag on the second nymph. First cast I watched in amazement as the first 10′ of fly line went up up through the guides and kept going – I had somehow cut my nearly new fly line also with my nippers – duh.

    My name is Peter and I’m a dumb ass

    Reply
    • Yes, but a funny dumb ass!!! Your story has made my day. Sounds like something I would do, like not putting the drain plug in and having to haul a water filled boat out in front of an audience at the ramp. Keeps a guy humble.

      Reply
  30. Lost an almost new pair of Simms waders. They were wet so I put them in a milk crate in the back of my pickup. I was towing a 5th wheel. Strange air currents must have sucked it out of the crate. Gone when I got home. My new waders never go in the bed anymore.

    Reply
  31. When I started my fly fishing mentor always told me that the last thing you remove from your car on a fishing trip is your rod; and the first thing to go in your car at the end of the day is your rod.
    That was 40 years ago and it’s worked for me. BIG thanks to John Gribb for his guidance and advice.

    Reply
    • Best rod saving advice ever as long as “in the car” means, “in the two piece rod/reel case in the car”. Even if your just making a quick move to nearby access its quick and easy to break it in half still rigged.

      Reply
  32. I day I ran across a bargain Orvis flyweight 2 piece 9.fly rod with 2 tips @ 1/2 price. My very first Orvis rod owned as adult after years growing up in CT draming of owning one, but couldn’t afford it as a kid or college student. My prize. Took it to Colorado for trip but had to check it (2 piece rod tube) thru baggage. Ended up never using it as we went with a guide who provided the gear. Year after the trip, went to show my flyfishing brother the rod during a holiday visit……opened the tube and “nada” just air. Heart dropped to floor. Never even used this fine rod it and gone…I assume a baggage handler at Denver grabbed it, will never know for certain. Lessons learned always check every thing when I send bags thru. Since then , I have purchased a number of 4 piece rods THAT ALWAYS TRAVEL ONBOARD WITH ME, ALONG WITH MY FLY BOXES AND REELS. Funny thing is To this day, 12 years later, I still look into the empty Orvis tube every so often hoping for a miracle. 🙁

    Reply
  33. Ha! So glad I’m not alone. I was in Yellowstone fishing the Madison. There was one of those fancy outhouses nearby. Somehow I told myself that I had to bring my Scott rod inside with me so it would not get stolen. (??) Next thing I know the door slams on the rod, breaking the tip. As Domenick said, WTF.

    Reply
  34. Years ago I drove away from my flyrod after resting it against a tree. Fortunately, I remembered it within a mile of driving away so was able to retrieve it. Ever since, I always put it on the windshield with the reel under the wiper where it can’t get stepped on, slammed on, or driven away from.

    As far as finding lost gear goes, I did hear of a guy who was lamenting to a shop owner that he lost his father’s bamboo rod. The shop owner asked him to describe the rod, reel , and line but didn’t write any of the info down. Instead, he went into a backroom and brought out the rod. It turns out the guy who found the rod brought it to the nearest fly shop figuring someone would be looking for it. That was one decent human being.

    Reply
  35. When I was about 18 I left a nice Fenwick fiberglass rod, Pflueger medalist reel and Cortland 444 line on top of my car and drove home about 4 miles away. I realized the mistake when I got home after looking for my outfit and realizing what I’d done. I raced back to the scene of the crime and as I approached I saw my rod and reel in the middle of the back road where I had parked. I thought I had gotten away with the foolish act until I got closer and realized it had been run over. The only thing I was able to salvage was the line. At the time I only had one other outfit, a solid fiberglass clunker rod and reel from South Bend. It was a tough lesson to learn and I haven’t broken or lost a rod since. I have managed to lose a few fly boxes to the river when I have not zippered or snapped the vest pocket sling pack after changing flies. This year I had a whole spool of flourocarbon
    tippet material unwind when I was adding some tippet to my leader and the spool came out of my vest and dropped into a fast section of stream I was fishing. ARGH!!!!

    Reply
    • Regarding losing your tippet: My SNL and I were hiking the AT southbound from Baxter. First night out we ran into a middle aged hiker that had hike the AT as a teenager. During that hike, he had carried a “snoopy rod” the little pushbutton rod and reel combo for kids. All he kept say was that he when he got to Monson some hundred miles south, he was going to buy a snoopy rod so he could fish. Days later were in Monson and sure enough he purchased the rod and had it stuffed in his pack. He left about an hour ahead of me, continuing south on the AT. As I hiked, about a mile south of the trailhead, I came across hook, line and sinker snagged in a branch, stretched across the trial. As is my custom of picking up trash, I started to coil the line as I walked. I must have coiled 75 yds or more. Then it dawned on me, the hiker with the Snoopy rod must have snagged his line and the button pushed on his reel. He never new it was feeding out. I carried that line for the next 150 miles but never caught up to him. I can only imagine his surprise when he went fish. FYI, I carried a fly rod through the state of Maine and had a blast.

      Reply
    • Fenwick fiberglass and Pfleuger Medalist? You must be a senior citizen. Those were my go when I started Steelhead fishing in the late 60’s early 70’s. Still have them

      Reply
  36. This story reminds me of an old adage from the bicycle racing world: “There are only two types of racers, those who have crashed and those that are going to.”

    Same goes for fishing gear mishaps. Its just a matter of time before all of us makes an expensive error. I drove off with a brand new Helios/Ross combo on the roof. Also put a rod tip into a ceiling fan. Didn’t think I needed a lock on my new boat motor. The list goes on…..

    Reply
  37. I think it happens because I want to get outta my waders and put my rod on the roof to change out. I’ve started breaking down my rod as soon as I head to my car. Then can set it inside instead of on top. You might miss a last chance to cast, but I am usually running late anyway… So saves my rod and keeps everyone happy. (So far)

    Reply
  38. I haven’t lost a fly rod buy can definitely relate. After saving and searching for a number of years for the perfect upland gun I finally decided to pull the trigger on a beautiful Browning Citori O/U…gorgeous scroll work, walnut stock with great markings. A shotgun to be cherished through the generations. I had reached Upland Bird Hunting Nirvana. Three hunts into the new season I was feeling good, had shot some birds and was loading up after a day in the field when a couple hunters pulled in to the lot and we began talking about the area, hunting, dogs.. you know…the stuff we do. They geared up and began their hunt. I loaded up the shorthair and drove off satisfied with the day. A few miles down the highway I saw something in my side mirror that made my heart sink…my shotgun bouncing end over end on the asphalt. I had put it on the rack, something I had never done but today was the sad exception. I found the gun in the roadside gully pretty much destroyed. The stock had shattered and the upper barrel had a severe crimp in it. The beautiful scrolling was scuffed beyond recognition on one side…basically it was totaled. My buddy who was there to witness the event simply responded, “That’s a blow”. I didn’t hunt again that season.
    I learned a hard lesson that day, nothing goes on the rack that isn’t going to be left there and tied down for the trip…ever.

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  39. I left my rigged rod on the ground and a buddy backed over it. Still have the reel. It’s a great conversation piece because the metal looks ripped – the result of some serious force. My older brother forgot a whole plug bag, filled with plugs, on the ground after a night striped bass session. Never found it.

    I can’t take credit for this tip. I read it on a different fishing site. But try to lay gear carefully on your hood or windshield. That way, when you split, you’ll see it.

    Love your writing and look forward to every post!

    Reply
  40. Well yea, stuff does happen. Drove home 20 miles after a dove hunt, saw my shotgun fly off the roof at the last turn, one block from home, gun survived with souvenir scratches.
    Walking back to the car after a day of fishing a local river, met some old buds along the way, stopped to bullshit, leaned my rod against a tree, walked away, never saw that rod again. After a tough cross country ski, sweating like a pig, I took off my Tilley hat and put it on the roof of the car, said to myself; dumb shit don’t leave it there. Five months later a fine gentleman walks into my office with “my” hat in hand. Fishing license still in the pocket.

    Reply
  41. I have never lost a rod despite being pretty absentminded. I think it comes down to my automobile selections. The Civic and Prius are just so short it is hard not to notice anything left on top of them.

    As for flies on my “drying” patch, good grief. I lose boxes of flies each year off that thing. Any suggestions to remedy that situation would be great.

    Reply
  42. Frequently windy in Colorado and Wyoming. I keep my rods upright even when rigging. I use a magnet to steady the rod and magnet doesn’t scratch the car paint.
    I once bent over to remove a fish from my net only to have my camera slip from my wader pocket and into the drink..goodbye camera/phone.

    Reply

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