We just got some reader mail from Todd Horton of Dayton, Ohio, including the photo at left. It was taken by his son-in-law, Robert Krumroy, during a recent trip on the Maumee River. Not wanting to lose his jig after snagging, Robert waded out to retrieve it. The gnarled mess in the shot is what he was stuck on. In the note, Krumroy urged fellow anglers to do their best to retrieve snags so is to avoid junking up the river with lead and hooks. I agree with that, especially in high-traffic spots. However, I’m more intrigued by this mess for other reasons.

For starters, how many times have you joked with your buddies after losing a lure that you’d love to know how many thousands are actually down there? Every time I fish the Salmon River in New York, I kid that the steelhead must fan all the split shot out of the way to make redds. In one respect, it’s not funny to actually get an answer. In another, it’s kind of like a time capsule…all those years, all those casts, all those ticks that anglers thought were a bite, all that disappointment.

I’ve come across some pretty good lure jumbles in my day, but nothing of this caliber. How about you? Seen worse? Snagged worse? Think you know where worse is?