This past Sunday morning was rare. I wasn’t fishing. That doesn’t happen often, but prior obligations found me in the quaint river town of Lambertville, NJ. On my way home, I happened past the Golden Nugget Flea Market, which I haven’t visited in years, and just like that I decided to rekindle my love of hunting for fishing treasures at the dirt mall. I confess, I’m a closet flea market and yard sale addict.


If you’ve never rooted through old fishing junk before I highly recommend it. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s worth it for nostalgic purposes. On this particular visit, I found a basket of unopened Burke Twin Dance spinnerbaits, “antique” spun mouse flies, plenty of bamboo rods that could use some love, and even a custom rod marked “For Fred Arana, Made By Jerry Ballard. 1973.” Kinda makes you wonder what it’s caught over the years, and what ever happened to Jerry and Fred. I didn’t buy anything this time, but I had a blast.

I’ve also found my share of gems out there. I once stumbled on a mint-condition G. Loomis GL3 fly rod at a yard sale at a little old lady’s house. “Oh, that was my son’s rod. He never really used it,” she told me. “Does $10 sound fair?” I actually felt guilty, but said “Yes ma’am” and handed her a ten, giggling like a school girl all the way to the car. Hey, you’d have done the same thing.

So how about you? What’s the coolest fishing (or otherwise outdoor-related) merchandise you’ve found at a flea market, yard sale, church bazaar or the like? — JC