Fish Spears And Spearing Fish

A Broken Knife Blade

It was a busy day yesterday. We baked some potatoes in the sun oven, baked some sourdough biscuits in the reflector oven, waterlined and shellaced a canoe, made fish spears, caught a bunch of fish with them, built a tripod for smoking them, filleted them and smoked them as the sun sank over the horizon.

While building the fish spears I was using my knife with a baton and the blade broke in half. I’ve never had this happen with one of these knives, even after using them exclusively for fourteen years. With the one-inch blade that was left, I was able to easily finish carving my fish spear, so it wasn’t a big deal. I’d much rather use a knife hard and break a few every decade than have a showpiece-knife that I was afraid to beat-up on.

Fish spears are like shelters. If you don’t use it, every one that you make is great. It’s in the actual use where you learn to separate the wheat from the chaff. I’ve seen pictures of fish spears people have carved that must have taken 20 hours to make, but that would be ruined with the first fish they tried to catch. There’s only one way to see if a fish spear is any good – try to spear a fish with it.

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