River Karma? – Fins and Feathers Bozeman
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River Karma?

Over the last few months we have had several anglers stop in the shop (or call) to see if anyone had turned in something they lost. Things get lost, they always have and always will, it just happens. What would you do if you found something on the river that did not belong to you? Would you consider yourself lucky and keep it, or would you feel bad for whomever lost it and try to find its owner? Obviously there are going to be different opinions on this question. In my opinion not one answer is right or wrong, it just depends on how you view things. What is wrong in one persons mind could be something that the next person would never even think about.

If you believe in karma you will probably be the type to try to get the iteam back to its owner. Especially if you are an avid anglel and spend a lot of time on the water and you don’t want your fishing game to get a case of bad karma. But if you don’t believe in karma maybe you see it as your lucky day and would keep that rod or flybox. There are many arguments for both sides of the spectrum on this topic and I’m not going to crawl deep into them. I will say though that from working in the shop and having this conversation with several people over the course of the summer I have heard many of these different argument, including ones that I personally would not have thought of.

I myself have been in this situation twice. One day about five summers ago I found a nymph box with about 150 flies in it on the side of the East Gallatin. That day I decided to keep that box and call it my lucky day. Since then I have thought about it a few times, but never have I had the feeling that I did the wrong thing (weather that is good or bad I’m not sure). Another time (I think about 3 years ago) I was walking out of the Bozeman Airport after getting back to town and I found a Sage leaned up against a bench outside. I looked around and didn’t see anyone nearby so I grabbed the rod and took it home. The next day when I was looking at the rod the thought came to me that I should try to find the owner of this rod. Why I had this feeling after finding the rod but not the flybox is something that I havent been able to figure out. Maybe It had something to do with the mood I was in when I found it or maybe I had matured a little. That afternoon I put up an ad on Craigslist saying that I had found a rod at the airport and that if you could discribe the rod to me I would be happy to get it back to its owner. It wasn’t more than a couple hours later that I had someone call me and do just that. He arrived at my house a hour later with two cases of beer and we both walked away happy. Now did I get good karma for doing this? Who knows? I do know that I felt good about the situation after the fact, and I know the rod owner did as well.

So…what will you do if you find yourself in this situation? Time may tell, or maybe it won’t. But if it does maybe these couple of paragraphs will make you see the situation in a different way. It will be up to you to decide what is right and what is wrong.