Goodbye old friend

Went and fished Merrill yesterday. I wanted to try out some new hex patterns. By 3:30 I was out on the water heading towards the south end of the lake. It's been a while and I wanted to check things out. Head wind. Major bummer. It took some time but I got there. Saw a hex take flight and a few rises, but nothing to speak of. Time to head up to the north end. Tail wind. NOT!!!! The wind direction had changed, and now I'm forced to row against the wind again. I try to take refuge along the bank, but it's still a hard go. When I get parallel to the boat ramp the wind really starts to kick up. I can feel the bow of my pontoon rocking against the waves. I take a couple of breaks; one for water, the other to get rid of water. 7:00. I've been rowing for a good hour and a half, but I'm where I'm supposed be. I tie on a pattern and begin working the water. Too early. I forgot to mention my friend: a Sage 490LLB. My first rod, my first build. Well, I guess you know where this is going.
The fish are beginning to work the surface. No signs of bugs, but you know what's going on and what's about to happen. Fish are rising to my fly. Great they're looking up and my fly is working. Crap, nature beckons. Better go now. I head towards the only place I can stand on the bank. Unfortunately there's someone fishing right in front of it, the put in at the north end of the lake. I muck up his water and make a ton of noise trying to maneuver my boat into the sparse opening. I suck. On my way out I apologize for disturbing his water. Fortunately he is cool about it. It had occurred to me to give him some of my flies, but I really didn't want to disturb his fishing any more than I had to. To whom ever you are, thanks for your understanding. I get back to my spot, and begin fishing. More rises on my fly, but no solid takes. What's new. At the bench I'm trying to develop a pattern to alleviate this problem, so I tie the pattern on. I stick the part I want to float in my floatant, put my rod down, and begin to row back to my starting point (the wind is being a real pain in the ass). But I soon realize that my rod has gone overboard. Quickly I make a couple of strokes with the oars and am able to locate my rod on the bottom, but I forget to triangulate my position. The wind is blowing me away. I spend time try to locate it again,but cannot. And just like Tom Hanks bidding farewell to Wilson, I let it go.
I've fished a lot of water with that rod: the Henry's Fork; the Green in Utah; Silver Creek; the Frying Pan; the Roaring Fork, and have hooked some nice and memorable fish. It's a rod that was able to work close; as well as far as the line is long. You will be missed.

The End?
UH NO! I have the exact same rod, it was my first built rod as well. I would cry out loud if I lost it.

I hope you find a nice calm day, and are able to retrieve it.


Not to be confused with Freestone
What a bummer! God, I dunno, I honestly think I'd go swimming for most of my rods if lost in a lake and not in water too terribly deep...too many memories, building and fishing them. If I lived near there, I'd go help you find it. Maybe one of our younger members with big lungs will offer.


Active Member
I am telling you right now. Go to costco and buy there snorkel set. Then, get a water proof light. Head down there and find that damn thing. Then take all that shit back to costco.
I wouldn't give up. My 490LL is my favorite rod and I've told my wife to have it cremated with me because nobody could love that rod like me. I think I'll wait a while for that but if I were you, I'd be back there with a diver or my own snorkel and fins. No way would I leave an old friend behind like that.

Greg Price

Love da little fishies

I love my rods, but no rod is worth it if you feel you are in danger trying to retrieve it. I hope you recover your rod.

Mel King

Active Member
If you can see it just use a drag line. I have retrieved a couple of rods with my lure retriever.Using a bright flood light at night should also do the trick.A 490ll is worth some effort and then go prepared to fish the moss out of it.You can get it back.
I've been in you're shoes...That's fishing. I use to feel you're pain but not anymore, I realized that the fish don't give a shit what you use, its the knowledge and skill involved that make the fisherman, I understand the preciousness at the present for the loss, when you find it please mount the rod on the wall as a piece of art. Then build yourself a semi-piece of shit rod and you might be surprised what you hold more dear in years to come. A guy never knows how fishing can humble one who ages with it.