Foot traffic at the shop is slow this time of year. Fishing focuses on bass and pickerel. Trout anglers have cleaned their equipment and stored it in a cool, dry place for the winter. Days at the shop are spent counting inventory and placing orders for inventory to stock the shop for the 2022 fishing season.
Tuesday, the shop’s supplier of ice-fishing gear called to ask if they could make a delivery the next day. He wanted to deliver ice sleds, ice shanties and ice augurs. These are products less expensive to deliver in person rather than pay UPS to do the heavy lifting. The supplier’s plan was to arrive about 11 a.m.
Like clockwork the big cargo van pulled up in front of the shop. I went out to greet the driver and help him unload the products. Working together, we got the job done in minutes. Teamwork makes things happen.
I went back to the order writing, deciding to wait before merchandising the delivery of ice-fishing gear. Outside the vendor was rearranging the van in preparation for the next delivery.
The door opened. Thinking it was the ice-fishing vendor, I got up slowly and as I rounded the corner my eyes bugged out of my head.
Coming through the door was Scott Mason, executive director of New Hampshire Fish and Game, and Col. Kevin Jordan, the head of Fish and Game Law Enforcement.
“Welcome!” I exclaimed. “What brings you to North Conway?”
“We are on our way back to Concord (Fish and Game Headquarters), and we wanted to personally thank you for all of the work you did on the Fish Hatchery Advisory Committee. It was important work, and it is allowing us to move in a positive direction in resolving the issue.”
“We also appreciate that you attend the Fish and Game Commission Meetings each month,” added the colonel.
The director walked over to the fly assortment and picked up a fly.
“This is the fly for you,” the director said to the colonel.
“Must be the Warden’s Worry,” I said. “Warden Joe Stickney developed that fly in Maine.”
The director nodded acknowledgement. He put the fly back.
“Got any Supervisors?” he asked. “That’s another fly Stickney designed. I troll with that fly.”
“Not sure what I have left,” I said. “It’s a strong seller to trout pond anglers.”
Conversation continued about different flies as the director walked into the fly materials room. He needed some materials for a trolling pattern he wanted to tie for one of his fishing buddies.
The door to the shop opened again, and in walked a young man and his father. The son had seen the colonel’s vehicle parked outside and the son is a huge “North Woods Law” fan. “North Woods Law” is a television show that chronicles the activities of New Hampshire’s conservation officers.
The young man was star struck. It was great to watch. The colonel gave the young man his undivided attention and answered all the questions he was asked.
I am proud that Col. Jordan is our law enforcement leader. The moment told the story of why our conservation officers are respected throughout the State.
The director brought his purchases to the register. He had found the items he needed to tie his flies. He thanked me again for my efforts.
I thanked the director for taking the position of executive director. I thanked the colonel for all his, and his teams, good work.
I felt proud to have these two civil servants working on behalf of the sports of New Hampshire. For the first time in a long time, New Hampshire Fish and Game is in good hands.
Tip of the Week
Consider becoming involved in the mission of Fish & Game. There are ample opportunities to volunteer either directly, or indirectly, with many of the conservation groups throughout the state.
Steve Angers, a native to the Conway area, is the author of the book “Fly Fishing New Hampshire’s Secret Waters” and operates the North Country Angler.