Posted: Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Throughout the years I spent enjoying the outdoors whether it was here in Alaska or some place in the old country (lower 48) one thing has remained consistent; it is very important to have a good sporting goods store in your area. We are very lucky to have Trustworthy Hardware in our community. Many times I find that I need certain items for some trip and it is always at the last moment that I finally realize I don’t have enough line or need some other certain item like weedless hooks.

On one occasion I needed some spider wire fishing line for my tip-ups as I was going up to Crosswinds Lake to do some bourbout and lake trout fishing. If you have never fished with spider wire on your tip-ups you really need to try this stuff. It is fantastic line, small diameter, tough and wonderful to use. You can get on a whole lot more line then the thick braided stuff we used to use and it does not swell up and get even bulkier like the old braided line used to once it got wet. I was planning on leaving the next day and went to Trustworthy looking for this line but they had none on the shelves. I talked to Brian about it and he said we have some packed away some place and asked if I could come back later as it would take a while to dig it out. I returned later and he had my line ready but was worried about the price of the line. Now is that service or what? Not only did he go out of his way to dig out my line he also was concerned about what it was costing me!

Yes you can buy your fish cheaper in the store in most cases but you can’t buy that wiggle you feel on the end of the pole especially if you don’t have any line! And once you get the line you will also need lures, or hooks of some type. If they don’t have what you want ask them if they can order it for you. That is no problem if you simply think ahead, something I’m not very good at!

This year it seems like I am in the store there everyday looking at the fish pictures or weighing in fish of my own. When I fish I jig one pole almost consistently. The constant jigging with a jig is hard on your line and unless you put a swivel on some place in your life your line eventually twist up so bad that every time you put slack in your line it will twist and coil right up making it almost impossible to fish with. So there I was out of line again and wanting to buy a spool of 10 LB monofilament fishing line, hopefully Berkley Trilene. Well they had none on the shelf only the ice line but I really wanted the Berkley Trilene so I asked Paul Miller if he had any line stashed away. He replied ” No, not till April!” I said but Paul I need the line now! Paul then went found a partial spool of the same exact line I wanted and gave it to me! I offered to pay for it but Paul said no, there is not much line left on there anyway. I guess he figured giving me the line was better then having a grown man crying and causing a distraction in his hardware store.

I do most of my Christmas shopping at Trustworthy Hardware each year. Last Christmas I bought a spot light there for my son Travis and it quit working shortly afterwards. On the package it came in there is a place you can send these defective lights back to get them repaired or replaced. I asked Paul about this and he went to the shelf and gave me a new one and said to drop off the old one when I came back. Try getting that “special” one you sent off for in the mail replaced as simple as that. Sometimes it is just better to shop locally and dealing with a place that really looks out for their customers. Yes I buy some things from Cabalas and a few things off E-bay but I try to shop locally as much as possible.

The fishing derby they put on is a fantastic event each year for the whole community. It helps get a whole lot of kids out of the house each winter and out doing things way better for them playing video games or watching TV. I was there on Sports Lake for the grand opening on the derby this year and despite the windy cold weather they were there helping the kids, cooking hot dogs, drilling holes and giving away prizes. I know personally it would have been a whole lot more comfortable to be home sitting by a fireplace on their day off.

If you don’t get out much in the winter at least go to Trustworthy and look at all the pictures of the fish that were brought in. Many of these beautiful fish were actually caught by the children of our communities as Billy Spiers used to say “Looks like their smile met their ears!”

I know how much the derby means to a whole lot of kids each year but I also know it involves a whole lot of extra work each year for Paul, Brian and Scott each year as they sign up hundreds of fishermen young and old. Then they weigh in fish, take pictures, give away prizes and also listen to a whole lot of people complain about certain things too. Sometimes fishermen are not the most honest or the easiest people to please and we all know sometimes people cheat at playing cards, or even fishing. But I thing they do a great job and are a wonderful asset to our community not only as everyone’s favorite store but also as the one with the best service and always a friendly smile. Stop in and see for yourself, tell them ol’ John sent youSee you next week.

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