Home' The Backwoodsman Magazine : Nov-Dec 2017 Contents and weight drop to the bottom of the
sandy lake and then wait until fish
swam back above it before I retrieved
it. This seemed to drive the local
Brown and Rainbow Trout mad with
desire for the flower encapsulated
hook, as it suddenly rose up from
beneath them heading to the shore.
My slow and steady retrieval
method, with the odd jerking action,
added to make it emulate a darting
fish seemed to work perfectly.
When you actually catch a fish
you obviously need to now consider
what technique you will use to
retrieve it. For someone with softer
hands and when the fish is slowly
moving towards you, just wrap the
line around the can.
If the fish runs away from you,
grasp the interior handle tightly then
support the other end of the can with
your other hand and hold the can side
on to the fish. Using this method you
are essentially trying to stop the fish
from running or at least restraining
it until it changes direction and
allows you to start retrieving the
line again. If the fish picks up speed
and runs towards you, drop the can
and use both hands in a hand over
hand technique to pull in the line.
Hopefully, you can coil it in some
moderate fashion of tidiness as you
wind it back onto the old tomato can.
Then you can get back to casting
without having to untie any knots or
rearrange your line.
This really is a simple project
here are the tools and items I use:
• a large tomato can
• 6” long x 1” diameter wooden dowel
or tree branch, willow is great for
• 2 x 2” self-tapping wood screws
• A drill and drill bit (size equal to
or slightly smaller than the diameter
of the screw thread) or multi tool, or
awl. Nails will also work just punch
them right through the can into the
• 50 yards of fishing line
• hooks or fishing lures
• split lead shot
• two and a half feet of parachute
To make the Gaucho fishing
can I will select a piece of wood
about one inch in diameter and
long enough to fit securely across
the interior diameter of the tomato
can. After I have cut the wooden
handle, I push it about one inch into
its interior, it should fit snugly into
place requiring a little bit of force to
get it there.
Next job is to work out where I
will drill my pilot holes for the two-
inch self-tapping wood screws that
I intend to use to hold it in place.
Once I have figured out where I need
to drill those holes, I mark their loca-
tion with a marker pen or sometimes
I just scratch a cross with the tip of
one of the screws I am going to use.
I remove the handle out of the can
and then drill the two holes through
the points I have just marked, either
equal or less than the diameter of
the thread of the screw. Do not drill
a hole larger than the head of the
screw as the screw will not hold the
handle in place. You could also use
the awl on a folding knife or multi
tool to punch the hole through.
I then place the handle back
inside and locate the central points
of the ends of the handle beneath
the holes I have just drilled and fully
screw in the self-tapping screws to
hold the handle securely in place.
At this stage, if you want, you can
also drill some pilot holes for the
screws into each end of the handle,
make sure they are at least half the
diameter of the screws thread or less.
To attach your fishing line, first
drill a hole in the can, close to the
interior handle. In the picture, you
will see that I threaded a length of
550-parachute cord through the hole
then tied it around the handle. I
used a two and a half foot length of
paracord but in a survival situation,
you could use a longer length of
paracord and a shorter length of
fishing line as a leader. Tie a loop on
the other end and attach your fishing
line to the loop.
I have taken this concept one
stage further by drilling two holes
in one of my cheaper camping pots.
This gives me the option to either
hook the ends of the pot bail through
the holes and use it to boil water. Or
if necessary, screw a wooden handle
inside and attach your fishing line.
Remember to pack two screws and
your fishing lines and hooks, the
wooden handle you can make from
the bush you are traveling through.
A little bit about myself is that
I’m a guide and outdoor pursuits
instructor here in the Canadian
Rockies, I served for 21 years in
the Army where amongst other
things, I taught mountaineering.
I now mainly teach wilderness
living skills as I am an instructor
trained by Mors Kochanski, I am
also a wilderness guide and board
member with the Wilderness
Guide Association (WGA), an
organization based in Europe.
Plus, I am a Master Guide with the
Interpretive Guides Association
here in Banff, Canada where
I find your magazine offers us
many period references to work
with. In between my regular
guide/instruction work stints, over
the past three years, I have been
working as one of the survival
consultants on the Alone Show.
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