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John Stevens
"Tiny Stevens" - Guest Blogger

5 guys and a rod.. an amazing story!

Guest Blog by: John Stevens 10/28/2013

In my experience, bad luck or misfortune is sometimes followed with extreme good luck.  I want to share with you the story of 5 guys and a rod, it is a true story!  I am sure, there are lessons to be learned in many ways from this tale... Enjoy

5 Guys and a Rod...

This story starts with a trip to Cherry Creek that I took on Friday Oct.18th.  If you recall, a pretty big snowstorm was hitting the Denver area in the wee hours of the morning.  I struggled through the snow to make it to the lake by 4 am with my boat.  Once there, I did the inspection paperwork, cut the seal and launched the boat.  I was eager to start, and after that 10 lb 'eye that I know has my name all over it!

The lake was cold, fog was rising from the waters surface, as the snow fell down around me in the boat.  I motored around the lake slowly, looking for fish, or baitfish, and working out my plan.  I was to pick up a friend of mine at 6:30 to fish with me for a couple hrs. There was not another soul on the lake.

At 6:30, I picked up Mark, and we immediately started jigging.  Booom!  Fish on!  I reeled it up, it was a nice walleye! I reached behind me, to grab the net out of the vertical rod holder when it happened.  I had my favorite rod, a St Croix Eyecon, 6'8" Medium, extra fast tip, my go to jerkbait and general purpose all around rod in the holder as well.  Unbeknownst to me, the reel handle had gotten in a loop in the net, when I pulled out the net, I heard a "Ker-plunk".  I glanced at my buddy Mark, who had a horrified look on his face, and said what went overboard?  He yelled, Set a way point!  I did and netted the eye I had caught and he told me I had lost a rod overboard!  I knew then... which rod, and felt a sick feeling in my stomach! We circled the spot, and tried to snag up the rod to no avail.  Writing it off as a loss for now, I went back to fishing and soon caught a 20" walleye.  Then the bite turned off.  I stayed at the lake until 3 pm, jigging, and I kept going back to that waypoint and trying all around there to hook my rod. But, I never did catch it.

I had talked to my friend, Nate Zelinsky, and had told him of my success at the lake that morning, as well as the loss of my rod.  He offered his congrats and condolences, and I went home.  Later that night, I talked to several of my friends who fish the lake often, mentioned the spot and told them about the rod.  It was not caught.

Sunday afternoon , Nate texts me asking what reel was on my rod.  I told him it was the Pflueger President 6935, with brand new braid on it.  A few hrs later, he asks me what lure was tied on, and I told him none, as it was in my rod rack when I lost it.  He says to me, that someone caught my rod Sunday, and he knows who it is and is going to get it back for me!  I was ecstatic!

Enter 2 very fine gentleman, Chris and Jon, who happened to be fishing Cherry Creek Sunday morning!  Jon had a guided trip scheduled with Nate for Monday morning up in the hills.  Nate called Jon to finalize their trip, and found out he and his buddy Chris had been at Creek that morning.  When he asked how they did and the bite was, Jon told him that they caught a crappie, and carp, and the best catch of the day, a St Croix Rod!  As he related the story to me, Chris was reeling in his cast when he felt a weight on the line, figuring he had hooked a stick, as he had caught one earlier, he just reeled it up.  When it broke surface, as he put it.. " it was a really nice stick!".  They left the lake and went home.  Chris took the rod and reel with him, and Sunday night cleaned up the rod, showed his son how to take apart the reel, took it apart, cleaned it, oiled it, greased it back up and re assembled it.  He no more than got it put away, when Jon called and said Nate knows the owner of the rod and reel!

Without hesitation, they agreed to return the rod and reel to me.  Nate gave Jon my number, and Jon called me to set up a return time meet! As I talked to Jon on the phone, I could tell that he was glad to have found the owner.  Jon and Chris are members of Fish Explorer, and fish metro waters regularly. We agreed to meet at the lake around 6 am this past Sunday.

The meeting happened Sunday without a hitch, and I must say, that it was an extreme joy of mine to meet these fine gentleman, talk with them, exchange fishing tips, and hear the whole story of the lost rod.  I asked Jon what I could do to return the favor to them, his reply was.. Let's go walleye fishing sometime!  I said "Of course!" and walleye fishing we will do! Jon and Chris are in a gold Lund, with a black top. I urge any of you to greet these fellows as they are fine gentleman and anglers!

Bottom line my friends.. Jon and Chris didn't have to return the rod and reel, they could have kept it and no one would have known differently.  Nate Zelinsky could have not tried to find who had caught the rod, but he did.  Mark could have called me a dumb-ass when I lost the rod overboard, but he didn't.  I should not have had the net and rod next to each other.. but I did!  If any of these events had not have happened though..I probably would not have had the opportunity to meet Jon and Chris, and make new friends and memories with them! And get my rod back!

What an amazing series of events occurred with the loss and subsequent return of a treasured, favorite rod!

My thanks to all who were involved in this.. a story of 5 guys and a rod.

Good fishing!

I love to fish. I fish Cherry Creek Reservoir and Aurora reservoir primarily from shore, Cherry Creek mostly at night. My main target is the ever elusive Walleye, but I have caught many other species as well. My forte is research ! I believe that the more that we know our prey, their food, habits, patterns... the better we can be as fisherman.
Blog content © John Stevens
Blog Comments
Coyute, 10/28/2013 2:56:30 PM
alanlf5280, 10/28/2013 3:05:10 PM
Fins up to Jon and Chris! And congrats on getting your rod back Tiny! What kind of damage was done to a rod and reel submerged for 10 days?
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), 10/28/2013 3:20:14 PM
Alan.. the rod and reel were onlky in the water for 2 or 3 days.. It took a week to track down and arrange them meeting. Chris and his son did an amazing job of cleaning the reel and rod! I cast it a few times yesterday, and it is just as smooth and flawless as ever!
IceFishingFool, 10/28/2013 5:11:38 PM
Nice Read John, lots of good Karma right there.
fom, 10/28/2013 5:18:06 PM
What a great story , these two guys are top shelf , if you guys , Jon and Chris read this feel free to ask me for info about creek any time, I run a 16 foot grey Lund with a 60 merc, also on the stern are the letters FOM , pull up and visit It would be my pleasure to share some info with you two. Jon [Tiny } is a good friend of mine , this is what a true brotherhood of fishermen should be like. FOM/ Kev
takeakidfishing, 10/28/2013 5:37:58 PM
Great story Tiny..Jon and Chris top notch folks for sure..
FISHRANGLER, 10/28/2013 5:49:50 PM
I heard about these events on Saturday and I'm still blow away at how quickly you got your rod returned to you through come casual conversation. Zmans a smart guy too with the "mark a way point" comment. I remember when you got that rod or it could have been one of the many you have, I know you like it tones and glad you got it back. You caught fish there Jon and Chris caught fish and a rod, that way point is gold.
Dan Swanson, 10/28/2013 6:14:12 PM
Well done Jon and Chris! Congrats on getting the rod and reel back.
John Stevens (Tiny Stevens), 10/28/2013 6:49:05 PM
Thanks for the comments guys! Keep them coming! These guys are to be applauded, I really appreciate the efforts they did! Their full names are Jon Bauman, Chris Sakkarris, and his son Nicholas Sakkarris! Top notch guys for sure!!! ( Names given with permission).
FISHRANGLER, 10/28/2013 9:59:20 PM
LOL your just jealous that you did not catch any fish that day Mark, you tought him everything he knows now he know more than all of us.
JOHN_COSprings, 10/29/2013 4:27:39 AM
Congrats on the return of your beloved rod. Fins up Jon & Chris - you guys are true gentlemen and scholars ..... John
skiman, 10/29/2013 5:20:17 AM
Good job Jon Bauman, Chis Sakkarris, Nicholas Sakkarris, and of course Nate Zelinsky for their efforts and honesty. The "Fish Gods" are VERY pleased. Good Fishing! Ski
Hawaiian Punch, 10/29/2013 6:47:27 AM
John must have a huge ballance in his "carma" account. . .what are the chances of catching a lost rod in a lake that size? Good work to everyone that helped that rod&reel find its way back to its rightfull owner,may the powers that be continue to smile down on all of you! Remember. . .nothing happens by accident! We may never know why or what the final outcome is,but just look at the new friends found part! Just think what a great world we would live in if everone did acts of kindness like this,and in return asked nothing more than a trip to fish as thier reward.
l.c.j.bait, 10/29/2013 6:56:41 AM
Great story good things happen to good people.That your lucky rod to catch your 10 pound eye.
Jimi, 10/29/2013 8:10:48 AM
The fact that You took Mark out must have been the determining factor as to why the Gods rewarded You in the long run ...
tracks, 10/29/2013 8:17:26 AM
Nice !!!!
FishForAll, 10/29/2013 8:41:02 PM
Great story John!
Dangly, 10/30/2013 5:18:35 AM
It would be cool if anyone on here that has a St croix sponsorship would see about hooking those guys up with a rod. And no, I don't know them.
Coyute, 10/30/2013 8:58:43 AM
Knowing I did a good deed for a good guy would be enough of a reward for me. :)
opencage, 10/31/2013 8:41:33 AM
I gotta believe 99% of folks do the right thing when presented with the opportunity. Anecdotes like this one reinforce that belief. Thanks for sharing Tiny.
GumDoc, 11/6/2013 9:03:58 PM
My pleasure John! My eight year old son is hooked on Walleye, but now he thinks we can limit-out on rods too! Nice to meet you and wonderful comments from all. The best reward is doing the right thing. -Chris & Nicholas (8yo)
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