There are endless reasons as to why you may have an interest in gun collecting, as you may have inherited a gun collection or developed an interest. Certainly antique firearms and ammunition collections are an investment but there are other motivations such as personal preference that captured your curiosity and imagination. Historic associations, artistic features and mechanical ingenuity are other factors which may have inspired you to start or continue with a collection.
Different Approaches to Gun Collecting
First of all you need to establish what you need from your gun collection. There are different approaches in gun collecting, you need to choose which one you want to pursue. Are you in need of a shooting battery and intend to become a serious hunter or competitive shooter? You may have purchased a gun for personal reasons and after that decided to obtain another. Before you realize it, you need a safe to store your weapons. However, you might simply be interested in the historical fascination of antique guns. It might even be a combination of both as many individuals have a serious fascination with fire arms.
Antique American arms for example have unlimited collectors potential and possibilities. The best approach in starting a collection is assembling an arms library and doing your research thoroughly. Visiting museums featuring specialized collections, dealers specializing in arms, gun shows, and visits to gun collector’s shows and homes are a good starting point for prospective collectors.
Attend Gun Shows
You will experience an unforgettable and fascinating opportunity at guns shows offering thousands of antique guns with accessories, literature, ammunition and parts. Gun shows also have the advantage of opening doors to other dealers and collectors as passionate about guns as you are. A great starting point is joining the National Rifle Association. They have regular publications of The American Rifleman with outstanding articles pertaining to gun collectors. Numerous magazines and online gun collectors website cover modern weapons available as well as collectors’ firearms.
The collecting of guns in America has risen to phenomenal heights after World War II. It is a fact that gun collecting is one of the fastest growing collecting pursuits. Prior to the war guns were on the lower end of collectors scale when compared to stamps, coins, rare books, art, etc. At that point only the very early Colts were somewhat of a center piece in a collector’s collection. Although not yet the highest collectors’ item compared to other collection fields in still steadily rise faster than other collections.
It doesn’t matter if you own one gun or more than 40 (if that’s the case, let’s be friends), it’s good to know what their value is. Even if you don’t plan on selling your firearm, it’s important to understand its worth. Although the idea of doing a DIY gun appraisal can seem overwhelming, the first one’s always the hardest. The more you do, the easier they become.
Consider What’s Your Gun Worth to You
A gun’s value doesn’t always lay in what someone’s willing to pay for it.
It could be the Colt 1911 that you’ve shot over a 1,000 times and no matter how many other guns you try, nothing feels as good as it does in your hand. Or maybe you have a snubnose S&W Bodyguard that may not bring in top dollar, but your dad gave it to you when you moved out of the house and it holds sentimental value. That’s fine. Never underestimate the personal value of a gun. The first time you sell one that you really don’t want to sell, you may regret it for the rest of your life.
Do a DIY Gun Appraisal to Determine Your Gun’s Worth
While you may feel like there could never be a price associated with your gun, the fact is there is. Every gun has a specific value that’s determined using a variety of things. Some of the most influential factors that impact your gun’s value include:
AGE: In most cases, the older a gun is, the more it’s worth.
TYPE: The type of gun influences its value, and some of the most sought after gun types include 1911s and military firearms.
CONDITION: Perhaps one of the most important factors during a self appraisal, gun conditions can range from brand new and never shot to so old and rusty you can’t fire it
MAKE AND MODEL: When it comes to gun value, the make and model of your firearm makes a difference, with Luger pistols and pre-1964 Winchester Model 70 rifles both having high values.
RARITY: Generally, the harder it is to find a gun, the more valuable it’s going to be.
To complete your DIY gun appraisal, write down all of this information about your firearm and start researching. Check out your local gun shop, go to gun shows, hit some (decent) online forums, or maybe even purchase a Book Book of Gun Values to get the best idea of your gun’s worth.
If you’re thinking of collecting guns, there’s a lot of information out there, from the most valuable pieces to add to your firearm collection to guns that are most likely to increase in value. But to the novice gun collector, it becomes overwhelming.
To make things a little easier, and take some of the pressure off, here are three tips to get your collection started, regardless if you’re spending $200 or $2,000.
Novice Gun Collector Tip 1:
Every gun collection must start somewhere, so don’t worry too much about that necessary first piece. While some people collect any and all firearms they can, most have some sort of theme to their gun collections. Some common themes include:
Historical periods, such as World War II era or guns from the wild West
Gun styles, like historic 1911s or flintlock rifles
Manufactures, including Ruger or Glock
Application, such as hunting rifles or self defense pistols
Other times, the collection may have a more general theme, like old guns or guns from movies. And remember, it’s okay for your collection’s theme to simply be “guns I like to shoot.”
Novice Gun Collector Tip 2:
If you don’t know what gun to buy, but want to start your collection with a bang, choose a gun that’s either no longer manufactured or one that’s imported. Be sure it’s in good working condition and of a decent quality. Imported, high-quality guns almost always hold their value and those that are no longer available are only going to become harder to find, increasing their worth.
Novice Gun Collector Tip 3:
When you can, buy the best. That doesn’t mean you should cash out your 401(k) to buy a gun you can’t afford, it means when given a choice between an okay gun and a good gun, opt for the good gun if it’s in your budget. Again, don’t break the bank. Every gun in your collection should be two things: a gun you like and a gun you can afford.
Although gun lovers purchase all types of guns, almost all of them own a pistol. Many people love the pistol because it is small and therefore easy to conceal. They also like the fact that it is lighter to carry around. When faced with a situation where you have to fire in a hurry, the pistol comes in handy.
This ease of use is the reason it’s used by everyone from law enforcement to people using it for self-defense. If you have the automatic Colt pistol, you need to use the right ammunition which happens to be 45 ACP ammunition.
This type of ammunition was first developed by John Browning in 1905. It has a colorful history and was later made popular by John Browning Classic Colt 1911 pistol. It has been in regular use by the police, civilians and the military since then. Many people confuse the 45 ACP with the .45 Colt although they are different. The latter is slightly longer and delivers a more powerful round.
Why Is 45 ACP Ammunition Popular?
If you love a cartridge that us simple to reload, this is the ammo for you. It is a low-pressure cartridge that usually produces a full powder burn once it is fired. If you use the Colt pistol for self-defense purposes, it is an extremely effective gun in an emergency. The interesting thing about this type of ammo is that although there is far superior ammo out there, it still has a huge fanatical base. Many people who own handguns aren’t happy unless they have a Colt gun that can work with the 45 ammo. Their reasons range from historical while some of them own the pistol because it was handed down by their parents.
Many handgun owners also say that having the Colt pistol makes them feel safe because it has a reputation of being able to stop someone coming at you far much better than many other types of guns. This can be attributed to the power of the ammo. While this ammo is not the cheapest in the market, it does not deter people from keeping their pistols. In terms of accuracy, it is not the most accurate and only delivers the best results when the target is close.
Although many other types of far more superior ammo exist, it has not in any way convinced the true lovers of the 45 ammo to change their mind.
Nicolás Maduro Moros is the current President of Venezuela. Born in 1962, Maduro became the President of Venezuela in 2013 when his predecessor, Hugo Chavez, died from cancer. In 2018, Maduro was reelected to the office by a with 67.8% of the vote. The legitimacy of the election was in question and deemed as fraudulent by neighboring countries, including Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile, Brazil, the United States, and Canada.
Currently, Venezuela is undergoing an extreme socioeconomic crisis. Many blame Maduro for his governmental policies, referring to him as a dictator. At present, the country is experiencing hyperinflation, the Venezuelan exchange rate is plummeting, and there is mass emigration to neighboring South American countries and the U.S. Over 3 million people have fled Venezuela since 2015, citing starvation. The IMF predicts that the Venezuela’s inflation rate will reach 1 million percent by the end of 2018, the highest rate seen since the beginning of the 20th century.
The huge reduction in oil production, Venezuela’s main source of income, has caused severe decreases in resources including food and medicine. Maduro has recently put a plan in place to revitalize the country’s wealth by mining for gold in the Orinoco Arc. The plan may be sound in theory, but to date poor treatment of workers, environmental crimes, and murder have been the only outcome of Maduro’s mission.
There are other controversies surrounding the President, including his place of birth. By law, a citizen must be born in Venezuela to serve as the country’s president. In the past it has been stated that Maduro was born in Colombia, not in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas. No proof has been brought forward to substantiate the claim though.
Maduro attended Liceo José Ávalos, a public high school. He allegedly became interested in politics during high school, but never graduated.
In 1979, Maduro was named as a person of interest in the kidnapping of American, William Niehous.
Maduro began his professional career as a bus driver for the Caracas Metro company. He ventured into formal politics in the 1980s, when he became an unofficial trade unionist representing fellow bus drivers.
At age 24 , Maduro lived in Cuba with other South American leftist militants. He attended a one-year course at the Escuela Nacional de Cuadros Julio Antonio Mella. Reportedly Maduro studied under Pedro Miret Prieto. Prieto was a close associate to Fidel Castro and senior member of the Politburo of the Communist Party of Cuba.
Maduro’s introduction to Hugo Chavez is unclear. The Cuban government allegedly assigned Maduro to work as a mole for Cuba’s Dirección de Inteligencia, with the aim of approaching Chávez.
In the early 1990s, he joined The Revolutionary Bolivarian Movement-200 (MBR-200), a political and social movement founded by Hugo Chávez in 1982. In the 1990s, Maduro also co-founded the Movement of the Fifth Republic, the main supporter for Chávez’s presidential election in 1998.
Maduro rose quickly through the political ranks:
1998 – The Venezuelan Chamber of Deputies
1999 – The National Constituent Assembly
2000 – The NationalAssembly
2005 – Assembly elected Maduro to the position of Speaker
2006 – Appointed Minister of Foreign Affairs
In 2012, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appointed Maduro as Vice President. Shortly after Chavez’s victory and Maduro’s appointment, Chavez announced that he would have to return to Cuba for cancer surgery. Chavez secured Maduro’s position as President by naming the VP as his successor.
In 2017, the United States sanctioned Maduro following his election. The U.S. labels him as a “dictator,” which prevents him from entering the United States. In 2018, Donald Trump placed more sanctions against Venezuela regarding their gold mining operation, forbidding any U.S. entities from participating in the process or from buying any of the gold mined in the country.
If you travel in winter you may be confronted by some unexpected things such as snow, ice, power outages, and more. If you travel by car, you could hit traffic delays, accidents, and breakdowns. Experts report that extreme cold kills faster than extreme heat, yet many people know little about extreme cold preparedness.
Appropriate clothing is important when going out into extreme temperatures, even if your intention is to go to the grocery store. Wearing layers protects you from wind and snow as well as more dangerous problems like hypothermia. Hypothermia means that your body loses heat faster than it can make it. Extreme cold leads to stress on the nervous system, heart, and other organs.
Winter gear should include several layers of clothing made of waterproof or insulated materials to stay dry and preserve body heat. Synthetic fabrics like polyester or natural materials like wool are best for base layers; outer layers should be weatherproof against wind, rain, and snow.
Driving in Bad Weather
Weather experts warn drivers to stay inside when storms or extreme temperatures are in the forecast. If you must travel in bad weather, let someone know your departure and arrival times, along with your route. A mechanic should check your car to make sure that the brakes and exhaust are functioning well, that your tires are adequate, and that all fluids, including antifreeze, are full. Carry additional washer fluid to combat slush on the highways.
Emergency gear should include:
Kitty litter or sand for traction
Emergency signals/signal flares
Bright-colored cloth to mark the vehicle in a snowstorm
Extra boots and gloves
If you become stranded while traveling, winter survival dictates that you should stay with your car if at all possible. Leaving your car is dangerous, particularly if the there is a snowstorm, since the chances of being found diminish. Your car provides shelter and has heat as long as it has fuel. Run the motor for ten minutes every hour to stay warm. Crack the window to allow for ventilation and, if there is a lot of snow, make sure the car’s exhaust pipe is not clogged.
Tie a bright cloth to the antenna to signal distress.
If you must leave your vehicle for some reason, you may need to build a shelter to protect yourself during a snowstorm. Stay as close to your vehicle as possible. A snow wall will create a wind block and help to keep you warm. Stay as visible as possible so that you may be found. If traveling with another person, use body heat to keep warm. Move around as much as possible to prevent frostbite and hypothermia.
Gun enthusiasts often buy ammunition in bulk, whether it’s for stockpiling, hunting, or target shooting. Ammo storage is key to protecting your investment. The rules for proper ammo storage are simple. You don’t need a gun vault or special equipment to keep your rounds cool and dry.
Everyone will tell you that the first rule of storing ammunition is to keep it cool and dry. Experts store ammo in a temperature controlled environment, usually inside the home. You can use a gun vault, closet, or any location that isn’t subjected to fluctuations in heat and humidity. A basement may work fine in some cases.
Storing ammo in attics, vehicles, and outdoor buildings (like sheds) are never a good idea since they get hot in the summer. Heat and humidity cause big problems with ammunition. It can change the chemical composition of the gun powder, causing misfires. It can also cause corrosion of the casing. If that happens, you should just throw it away and start with a fresh batch.
Ammo Storage Containers
Ammo storage containers are available online and at most retail stores that sell ammo. You don’t have to purchase the most expensive one on the shelf, in fact, any airtight container will work. Some argue the merits of plastic versus metal. Others will use household containers like Tupperware. Adding moisture-absorbing packets (desiccants) to the container will help with the humidity. If you have children, add a lock to the container for safety.
Avoid using old metal containers as the seams aren’t usually airtight.
Experts say that ammunition can easily last up to 50 years or more. Ammo stored in the original box should be used in the next 12 months or less to prevent damage to the cartridges and your weapon.
Surplus ammunition can be a great buy. Smart buyers ask the sellers how the ammunition has been stored as incorrect storage can make the ammo useless or dangerous.
You should label ammunition for a number of reasons. First, it will prevent a novice from mixing up calibers. Second, it will make it easy to locate the caliber you’re looking for without opening the airtight boxes. Dating the boxes will allow you to rotate stock as you purchase new ammo.
Safety is key when storing guns and ammo. Kids open drawers, boxes, and everything they aren’t supposed to, and that includes ammo storage containers. Parents must teach their children how to respect guns and ammo at a young age, so the kids know that they should never be touched without adult supervision. A gun vault or locked ammunition box (and gun box) are imperative if you have children or there will be children on the premises. You should always store guns and ammo separately. If you keep a loaded gun in the house, make sure that it is under lock and key to avoid accidents. This safety guide offers tips and ideas of how to keep your home and ammo safe.
Directors give guns roles just as they would famous actors. Movies have featured firearms from the beginning. The public’s reaction to weapons in movies have often caused sales to skyrocket, making the guns more popular than they might have been otherwise. Film critics and gun experts argue over the most iconic guns in popular culture, including movies. This list details some of the most iconic weapons on the silver screen.
Smith & Wesson Model 29
Clint Eastwood gave the S&W Model 29 its screen debut when he played San Francisco detective “Dirty” Harry Callahan in the 1971 movie “Dirty Harry.” The movie was the first in a series in which Eastwood carried a Model 29 44 Magnum. S&W built the Model 29 in 1955 and released it on the market in 1956. Remington produced the first ammunition, using a 240-grain bullet with a muzzle energy of nearly 1,200 feet per second.
Although there was a more powerful gun on the market, Callahan called the Model 29 “the most powerful handgun in the world.” Smith & Wesson enjoyed great success with its Model 29 as the movie became an instant classic. Director John Milius owns one of the original Model 29s. It is on display in the Hollywood Guns display at the William B. Ruger Gallery.
James Bond 007 uses a lot of weapons and is known for his guns. Many weapons have been used throughout the fictional legend’s movie career but the most iconic is the 7.65mm Walther PPK. The Walther PPK is the handgun that James Bond used in the original Ian Fleming novels. The Walther PPK described in Dr. No, Bond’s first film, was actually a PP (“police pistol”), a larger model than the PPK. Bond changed models when he used a 9mm Walther P99 in Tomorrow Never Dies, however, he went back to using a PPK in Spectre.
This gun wins the day in many movies from westerns to modern day classics. Although it’s over 100 years old, aficionados and collectors love the 1911. It plays a great role in every movie it has appeared in, including a stylized version in “Supernatural,” and as the enforcer used by Jeff Bridges in the “The Big Lebowski.”
The sleek Italian-made Beretta 92 shows up well on screen. Many movie heroes have used the flashy 9mm including Mel Gibson in “Lethal Weapon” and Bruce Willis as John McClane in the “Die Hard” series.
Colt Single Action Army
No western would be complete without an appearance by the Colt Single Action Army – AKA the Colt Peacemaker. Marshals and villains carried this gun, and it was stowed behind many bars. Wyatt Earp carried a Colt SAA, although it wasn’t the gun he used at the OK Corral. The guns are still used in Cowboy Action Shooting.
The Next Icons
Moviemakers continue to use a wide variety of weapons in their movies – real and fictitious. Along with the Desert Eagle and many ARs, guns will always play a part on the big screen and in popular culture.
When the economy collapses, store shelves empty, and people start to lose their minds; people who educate themselves, practice survival techniques, and remain calm will be the ones who thrive. River trout fishing is a great way of gathering food if you know what passive and active fishing methods to deploy. In this article, you’ll learn how to catch trout in a stream using many different techniques.
3 Traditional Methods for River Trout Fishing
Before we dive into some of the survival methods of catching trout, let’s focus on the standard and traditional ways that we all fish. It’s important to learn and master these techniques so you can rely on your experience in a survival scenario.
1. Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is one of the most trusted small creek fishing methods, especially for trout. This is done with the use of a fly rod, reel, and specific lures called “flies.” The casting process generally involves a backcast where you’ll throw the line behind your back or to the side of your body to build up enough force. Then, you’ll fire it forward with the built-up power resulting in a distance cast.
The reason why this method is so successful for river trout fishing is that it closely imitates what the trout want to eat. That’s not to say you couldn’t catch bass or panfish either because you can.
To find an ideal spot to fly fish in a river, you need to find somewhere where the water slows down a bit and you’ll need a pair of waders. The reason why you need to fish from the middle of the water is because of the backcast. You need water behind you so you can throw the fly over your shoulder and let it hit the water.
One crucial thing to think about is that it generally takes longer to learn how to fly fish. There are a lot of anglers out there who have mastered many fishing techniques but still won’t dare attempt fly fishing because it’s a whole different ball game. While it might be the best option for river fishing, you may want to master something else first.
2. Spinning Rod and Reel Casting
The traditional spinning rod and reel combo is one of the simplest and most effective ways of fishing for anything. This combo will appeal to the widest variety of fish and it’ll be the simplest to master with many styles of rods and reels available all over.
What you’ll want to pay most attention to is where you plan to fish. If we’re plotting a survival scenario and you’re figuring out the rivers closest to your bug-out location, you’ll want to get the gear with the highest rate of success for those locations.
If you’re stream fishing for trout, you’ll need something super lightweight and finesse-based. An ultralight rod, lightweight reel, and something in the 4lb test range in terms of line will work best in these situations. If you approach the creek with bait that is too large and bulky for the water, you’ll scare everything away and likely come back empty-handed.
When it comes to choosing lures, I find that soft plastics work best for river trout fishing. Anything that imitates a bug generally performs well because this is what the trout are used to eating. They come to the surface to search for these types of critters so you want to imitate that with your presentation.
If you’re going to choose something else, I would suggest going with a soft plastic worm like a Yamamoto Senko or something similar. Live worms are a heavy target for trout so go with a brightly colored artificial worm.
Jigging is one of the best trout fishing for streams and rivers. Keep in mind that this is a highly active method of fishing which means you’ll end up burning a lot of calories and spending a lot of time doing it. While it has a high rate of success, in a SHTF scenario, your time might be better spent doing something else.
The most important thing to remember about river jigging is that you need to find eddies and areas of the water that stop flowing. You can’t jig in moving water.
Since the full presentation is on your back, you’ll want to cast or pitch it out into standing water and twitch the tip of the rod to make the jig dance. You’ll still use ultralight gear and jigs that weigh around ⅛ ounce. I recommend choosing colors based on your surroundings so you’ll want to stock up to prepare for a time when you can’t buy whatever you want. Choose bright colors on sunny days and natural colors on cloudy days. If the water is murky after a heavy rainstorm, you’ll want to use bright colors to stand out in the stained water. Keep in mind that jigging requires you to create the presentation so you need to make the lure stand out.
3 Primitive Trout Creek Fishing Methods
Only once you master traditional fishing methods should you start to think about some of these. While they’re primitive and simple for survival fishing, a lot of the previously mentioned techniques can be practiced in real-life scenarios so you can plan for the imminent future. When it comes to trapping trout in rivers, these are the best ways to do it.
NOTE: Understanding Rules and Regulations
The main reason why I say to stick to the traditional methods is that a lot of these techniques are illegal. In most counties across many states, creating anything that obstructs the flow of water and fish is illegal and punishable by fines. So, unless you live in a very rural area of the country or in a place where self-sufficiency is supported, practicing these techniques will be hard. I don’t know about you, but I like to be prepared.
That said, when all hell breaks loose, you won’t be worrying about laws and all of these methods are fair game. They’re more passive, require less energy, and they can result in a much more stable harvest if you can master them.
Trotlines are my all-time favorite survival fishing strategy for trout because they work so well in rivers and they require very little attention once you’ve set them up. The key is to rig everything properly and make sure that it’s sturdy so you don’t lose your bait.
You’ll need some pretty large fishing hooks, durable line, and a plethora of live (or once live) bait. Many people use scraps from previously caught fish to rig the hooks.
Essentially, you want to drive a stake into both sides of the river (or use trees) and tie a rope or durable fishing line to both stakes so the line runs across the river. The mainline should have two floats holding it up so the line primarily rests under the water. From there you’ll put hooks throughout the line with a weight that stabilizes the line on the bottom of the river.
As fish move down the river, they’ll see the bait and either strike it or keep moving. This creates a ton of opportunities without you having to actively fish the river. Designate someone to check these hooks a few times per day to limit the chances of the fish getting away or breaking something. A great pro tip would be to cement your stakes into the ground for added durability.
Nothing is simpler than fishing with a net but there are a few different kinds of nets. A gill net is thrown into the water and pulled back immediately. These nets are generally used in saltwater fishing applications where catching shellfish is the goal. The holes in the net are large enough to allow small baitfish to pass through while still catching the larger fish that you’d want to prepare for a meal.
Dip nets are the type of net you’re likely thinking about when you think of a net you’d bring on a boat. It comes with a handle and it’s what you use to pull a fish out of the water from the side of your boat. You won’t use these primarily for fishing but you’ll want to have a couple to assist you with getting the fish out of the water.
Drift nets are the big boys that we want to focus on. These nets are completely illegal throughout most of the country so if you’re planning to practice this method (pre-apocalypse), be sure to do so carefully. The drift net will function much like a trotline with two stakes driven into the sides of the river and a net hung between. This will catch trout as they move down the river and the net will make it hard for them to get out. In a survival scenario, this is one of your best options for catching a lot of fish in a short amount of time.
3. Fishing Weir
Let’s say you find yourself in the middle of an economic collapse and society is in the middle of complete anarchy. You didn’t prepare very well, you don’t have many resources, but you’re starving to death and you need to feed your family. A weir could be your saving grace. This method requires nothing more than some rocks and some time.
You’re going to build a trap like the one above using rocks. You’ll shape them into a double heart design with the second opening being a bit smaller than the first. If the fish swim into the first opening, you’ve likely got them. Once they swim through the second opening, you’ve definitely got them. From there you can wade through the two pools with your dip net and scoop up as many as you can catch.
This method does require a serious time commitment with the initial setup and you need to have a DIY attitude because one small hole in the wall could result in a lot of your fish getting away.
Where To Find Trout
As you’re planning your bug out around river trout fishing, you need to know what to look for and how to decide that a location would be ideal for trout fishing.
First, the more remote the river is the higher chance you have of finding trout. Trout are a food source for wildlife such as bears and bobcats and they’re less common along major roadways and near towns. That said, this is a good thing when planning a bug out because you want to get away from these things as well.
You should also keep track of which rivers are stocked and try to find ones that are the most remote. That combination will result in a higher catch rate while also staying away from densely populated areas where people may go when the SHTF.
Important Rules to Remember with Trout Fishing
As you prepare and plan for the future, I want to leave you with a few important rules to always keep in mind for river trout fishing.
Powerbait doesn’t work on wild trout.
This point is always up for debate but the general belief is that powerbait is designed for stocked trout because it’s relative to what they eat when they’re being farmed. Wild trout do not have a taste for it so they won’t bite it. If you use it to enhance the scent of natural bait, you’re only doing yourself more harm. My rule is, if you’re fishing for survival, don’t use powerbait at all because eventually the stocked trout population will start to dwindle and it may or may not support the wild trout population.
Trout fishing is best when it’s cool.
Another known fact about trout is that they prefer cooler temperatures. Outside temps in the 60s are ideal so if you live in a place where it’s hot during the day, you’ll need to get up early for active fishing. If you’re planning on fly fishing you’ll want to hit the water as soon as the sun comes up. This is when the trout will be most active and you’ll have the highest chance of them hitting the fly.
Flags. You see them wherever you go. When you visit McDonald’s every morning, what do you see flying over the parking lot aside from extremely sick seagulls? A flag. When you refuse to stop driving your go-kart at the family fun park, what checkerboard-pattern thing does the attendant keep angrily waving at you? A flag. When you squint really hard while looking at the moon, what do you notice stuck into its surface? If you’re sensing a theme of questioning here, then you can probably guess at the answer: You see a flag.
Several flags from prehistory have endured into our enlightened times. Neolithic flags have reportedly been recovered from the Dingding Cave in China, although many scholars doubt their authenticity because they include plastic grommets and have “Made in China” written at their bottoms. Likewise, the supposedly Neolithic flags discovered at the Chütlhüldütl Settlement in Central Turkey were deemed by scientists to just be extremely dirty. But the flag discovered at the former site of the Aztec city-state Axolotlfrotlhuatlcolātlhīlpoctliacamolli appears to be the genuine article. It also features mastodons, however, which is truly unfortunate because contemporary scholars just aren’t as excited about the animal as early man seems to have been.
Flags didn’t really take off until Mediterranean civilization began picking up steam. In 1881 German adventurer Heinrich Trinkenschuh discovered a Neo-Sumerian flag in South-central Iraq bearing this message: 𒀴𒀥𒁖𒁣𒀡𒁤𒀉. Loosely translated it reads “Adamen’s Figs & Wine,” which we may assume was an early snack bar of sorts. Imagine Trinkenschuh’s surprise when he unearthed identical flags in Egypt, Qatar, and Jordan. These flags provide solid evidence that the Sumerians developed the commercial franchise long before Singer Sewing Machine Company thought up the concept in 1851.
Several flags made by the Ancient Greeks survive into the present day. You can’t dig six inches into the ground around Athens without uncovering a pennant bearing three Greek letters, such as ΓΔΗ, ΒΘΞ, ΩΚΠ, and ΛΥΛ. Also buried around these flags are empty liquor bottles, polo shirts with collars permanently starched in the upright position, and pills with cartoon characters imprinted on them. The exact purposes of these mysterious artifacts are still unknown, but preeminent historian Chad P. van der Veen has theorized that the Ancient Greeks were “total effen bros who knew how to effen party” (van der Veen, C.P., A Brief History of Effen Partying).
The Ancient Romans learned that the Ancient Greeks had made flags, and because 90 percent of Ancient Roman culture revolved around aping Ancient Greek culture they decided to make them too.
The subjects of Latin flagēos range from the mundane to the extraordinary. One flagēus recovered from Florence reads “Augustus’s Fried Oysters” in Latin, although no evidence exists that Augustus ever managed to franchise. Another flagēolis discovered near the outskirts of Genoa is made of mosaic tile. It is thought not to have fluttered very well, thus the reason for its apparent abandonment.
The most notable Ancient Roman flagēoli was unearthed just outside of Grosseto in 1935. Named the “Boombatz Flagēola” after the local doctor who discovered it, this banner depicts Jove disguised as an ostrich doing something genuinely reprehensible to several Vestal Virgins. (Vexillology enthusiasts solely appreciate the Boombatz Flagēolus for its artistry, not its subject matter.)
The Fall of the Western Roman Empire marked the beginning of a dark age for flags. The medieval Poles reportedly created beautiful flags around the 6th century, but sadly these were all lost when Bolesław the Dingbat put them all in one place and forgot where. Likewise, King Pierre Richelet Aux Pétard je Lorioux Oueuraxeux ordered all of Medieval France’s flags destroyed when he learned that a single banner poking fun at his receding hairline had been created by one of his subjects. Lorioux Oueuraxeux also used this insult as justification for marrying his cousin and invading Medieval Germany, which resulted in the creation of Schumstenberg, now a tax haven with a population of 14.
The British people restored the art of creating flags. They did so because their empire’s navy, which exceeded 83 million ships during its heyday, required flags as a means of distinguishing so many ships from one another. These flags typically depicted simple colorful lines and fields, although several flags depicting King George V in various lurid poses with the letters “SWM DTF NSA” were also flown from British ships’ masts.
The very first American flags depicted rattlesnakes accompanied by threatening messages such as “Don’t Tread on Me,” “I Told You Not to Tread on Me,” “I Swear to God, Tread on Me One More Time and See What Happens,” and “That’s It. I Told You Not to Tread on Me, and You Just Couldn’t Help Yourself. Now I’m Going to Stick my Trekker Half Boots So Far Up Your Keister That You’re Going to Taste Everything I Stepped in for the Past Month, and I Work at a Hog Farm.”
The Americans would proceed to create the best flag of all immediately after winning their independence – the American flag. This is the same flag that you can see when you squint real hard at the moon, but the Americans cleverly made more than one. You can find the American flag flying in front of government buildings, outside of sports stadiums, outside of suburban houses, outside of rural houses, on the backs of rural pickup trucks, and in the backgrounds of Republican politicians’ televised campaign advertisements. It is a really great flag, although communists occasionally burn it when they wish to make it known that they would like to be the very first ones sent to work camps once their ridiculous revolution takes place.
That brings us to the present. As we look to the future, who knows what exciting new flags await us one day? We can only guess which flag will be planted on Mars after America has put her flag there first. And surely mankind has not finished founding new countries, each of which will require its own respective flag. I only wish to recommend that none of these hypothetical countries put the mastodon on their flags, because honestly that idea has already been played to death.
About the Author
Alvin P. Twistleton-Twistleton is the former daytime manager of a Shoney’s in Little Rock, Arkansas. Today he resides at the Little Rock Home for the Mentally Ill with his wife Mrs. Elvira Q. Twistleton-Twistleton-Glossop, whom he made out of a broom and some rubber gloves. They have six children together.