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Sporting goods

I like the pictures in these advertisements. Look, this one is from Boston. They have both fishing and hunting equipment. I bet this one is really for the “sports.”

Look here – – – near the top – – – fancy fly fishing rods – – – made from split bamboo. Only a rich sport could afford one of those. You know what I heard? I heard that if you left one bent for too long the bend would not come out of it. Can you imagine trying to fly fish with a bent rod? Who would buy one of those?

Give me a nice rod made from a Hornbeam sapling. It is a lot of work to get one straight and tapered but what else do we have to keep us busy on a long evening in the winter?

See? – – – they have one made of Hornbeam. And then they put a bamboo end on the darn thing. What would make them do such a thing? Maybe they are stronger at the tip. You know – – – maybe they have something there. I do seem to break a lot of tips off my Hornbeam rods. But they can be repaired right alongside the stream.

How? – – – I can tell you how. If the tip of your rod breaks off you have to save the eye from the broken tip. If not, you better carry a pin or two with you, – – – and a pair of pliers with a small tip.

Take your fishing knife and carefully re-taper the far end of your broken rod by scraping it a little at a time. Clean off the old eye or form a new one from the safety pin. Remove about five feet of fishing line and use that to wrap around the foot of the eye so as to fasten it to the rod.

Now you have to wrap it tight and substantial. I would suggest at least twenty wraps around the eye and the rod. Now for the secret! Find a nice pine tree and gather a fingertip full of sap. Very carefully smooth the sap around your winding. Make sure it fills all the gaps between each wind.

Now take a piece of thin lining from a trout’s stomach and wrap that around the whole winding. This will keep your line from sticking to the sap. Trim off the edges and light up a pipe full of tobacco. Every once in a while hold your pipe under the tip. The heat and smoke will cure the sap and tighten up the fish gut.

By time you are finished smoking your pipe the rod tip will be dry and good as new.

See here – – – half way down the advertisement – – – they are selling English guns. Probably rifles and shot guns. Fancy fellows those Reads. We have good gun makers right here in Albany and Utica.

English guns – – – why bother?

And see – – – they have small cannons for Yachts. Who ever heard of a yacht up here in the North Woods? Old Ulmendorfer, you know, the blacksmith up on Blue Mountain Lake? He made an eight gauge shot gun and mounted it on a big boat. But he didn’t use shot in it. He used old nails and bolts and rivets in it. Great goose and duck gun it was. He could get a month’s supply of food with one shot.

I guess I spoke to soon. Look what they have listed. “All the different American Rifles and Revolvers.”

Give me an American rifle, a flask of dry powder, and I will shoot you a big brown bear.

Tahawas and Tomosky c

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