Monday, October 2, 2017

Guest post by Mike Cline: Outdoor Safety: Should You Carry a Gun While Fly Fishing?

It's been a while since I've posted a guest post here at Windknots & Tangled Lines, but I would guess that this is a subject that most every outdoors person has an opinion on. So I'd like to thank Mike Cline for reaching out and sending me this interesting piece. Enjoy!


As an experienced angler, I love the idea of fly fishing but it sometimes gets me into dangerous territory – after all, there’s not much fun to fly fish in the pond near your house. I like going for salmon in Alaska or for Atlantic salmon and rainbow trout in Canada’s wild rivers, but so do other animals and the first on my list is the bear (white or brown).

Some of the regions I frequent are also inhabited by elk and, while peaceful in general, if I would stumble across a mother and cub, I know things wouldn't go in my favor. This is why, even though I go fishing, I always carry a gun for protection.
Of course, there are some pretty powerful voices that maintain guns shouldn't be brought on the water, but there are some extreme cases when it’s of paramount importance to be able to defend yourself. This doesn't mean I go hunting, but I do want to come back alive from my trips.
Another reason why I always carry a handgun when I go fishing in remote locations is for protection against other people. It's happened on several occasions where I've met sleazy dudes who were just looking for trouble. The sight of a gun calmed them down and sent them on their way, but it could've gone in a different direction had I not been prepared.
So, yes, I am a strong believer in carrying a gun when going fishing (any kind of fishing). Below you can see the weapons I like to have around when I fly fish.

Springfield XD Tactical

This pistol is a fantastic piece of weaponry and it feels amazing for a guy with big hands. The rugged handle is also great for your grip, especially when you’re in an environment as humid as a river area. The pistol is available in several calibers, but I like the .45ACP because it makes a lot of noise and I can use it to scare off any large animals.
The pistol is also accurate and the trigger action is easy to handle even for a beginner. The gun also lets you know for sure if it’s loaded or cocked which is fantastic for people who are just starting with handguns.
I like it because it is lightweight (30 ozs. with an empty magazine). This is possible due to the polymer frame and the steel barrel that is hammer forged. The gun has a dual spring recoil system and dovetail front and rear sights for better aiming. It’s also easy to carry it in a hip holster which is great when your hands are busy with all that fishing equipment. It’s also a safe way to carry the weapon on the water without dropping it in the water.

Ruger Super Redhawk .44 Magnum

The Ruger Super Redhawk is a series of double-action revolvers, but I like the .44 Magnum for its caliber and power. This piece is smaller than the one above, which is why I like to take it when I don’t go too far into dangerous territory.
The gun is accurate and the recoil is not that powerful due to the recoil cushioning system it implements. The rear sight is adjustable for better aiming and the long barrel allows you to shoot at a distance which is quite nice.
These are the two handguns I like having with me when I go fly fishing, but if you don’t like carrying a real weapon, you can always choose an airsoft replica from Goog Gun. They’re intimidating at first sight, and if you remove the orange cap, no one will be able to tell that you’re not holding a firearm. They’re also a lot easier to buy since you don’t need a background check and there are lots of models from rifles to shotguns that look quite scary.

So what do you say, ya or nay?

Bio: Mike Cline
I live and work in Chicago most of the time, but I am an adventurer and I love trying new and cool activities that take me to wild and exotic locations. That’s how I fell in love with fly fishing, hunting, and rock climbing and I am always on the lookout for my next adventure!

I'm not Mike Cline!