I used to never think about packing a gun while fishing.

I never had a reason to until several years back while out on the Green River alone. This would change my opinion on carrying a gun, and it still lingers in my mind some 15 years afterwards.

I was wandering back to one of my “secret” holes, one I’d discovered as a teenager and had never, ever seen another angler or trace of another human at since the early 1980s. I’d only shown it to two of my fishing partners, both of whom were sworn to secrecy and who knew I’d disown them if word ever got out.

I was 20 minutes into the usual 30-minute hike on animal trails when a person appeared from nowhere. I literally almost
jumped out of my waders. The dude, who looked strung out and definitely not a fellow fisherman, asked, “Hey, you got some smokes?” “Nope, I don’t smoke,” I said. “Do you have any money?” “Nope, I’m fishing.”

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